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Medical School leadership team recruits new physician executive

Hopkins nephrologist will lead Washington University Physicians

January 9, 2017

Johns Hopkins University

Paul J. Scheel Jr., MD, a highly regarded physician-leader at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, has been named associate vice chancellor for clinical affairs at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and chief executive officer of Washington University Physicians, the school’s faculty practice.

His appointment, which begins July 1, was announced by David H. Perlmutter, MD, executive vice chancellor for medical affairs and dean of the School of Medicine.

“I am delighted to welcome Paul to Washington University School of Medicine,” Perlmutter said. “He is an experienced and collaborative physician-leader with strong business acumen and an impressive track record at Johns Hopkins Medicine. I am confident that under his leadership, our faculty practice will continue on its current path of excellence as we move into the next era of rapidly changing health-care dynamics.”

Washington University Physicians ranks among the five largest academic group practices in the United States. The practice includes over 1,400 full-time faculty physicians and 400 other health-care professionals who see patients at Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals and 49 clinical sites in the St. Louis metro area and outstate Missouri.

Scheel serves as vice president of the Office of Johns Hopkins Physicians in the Johns Hopkins Health System and medical director of Integrated Renal Solutions of Johns Hopkins Healthcare in Baltimore. He also is the Ronald Peterson Professor of Medicine and director of the Division of Nephrology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

“It is a great honor to be joining Washington University School of Medicine in this role,” Scheel said. “I look forward to working with its world-class faculty physicians to continue the school’s legacy of excellence in patient care. I became quite familiar and impressed with Washington University when my son attended its medical school.”

Scheel succeeds James P. Crane, MD, who will step down as associate vice chancellor for clinical affairs and from his position leading Washington University Physicians after more than 25 years at the helm. In that time, the clinical practice has grown substantially and draws patients from across the country.

“Jim Crane founded Washington University Physicians and has worked in collaboration with our department chairs to establish what is now one of the very best providers of specialty academic medicine in the world,” Perlmutter said. “What I find most remarkable is how the clinical practice of Washington University Physicians has thrived under Jim’s leadership and at the same time our medical school has remained among the nation’s leaders in biomedical research and medical education. I would like to express gratitude to Jim for his exceptional and transformational leadership of our faculty practice. Fortunately, Jim will be staying with us in a part-time capacity as he passes the torch to Paul.”

Last year, Washington University Physicians saw more than 3 million patients, performed over 65,000 surgical procedures and cared for nearly 91,000 hospitalized patients. Their expertise draws patients from near and far. One in every four patients treated by Washington University Physicians comes from outside the St. Louis metropolitan area.

The practice group provides care and expertise across 76 different medical and surgical subspecialties and serves as the foundation for the medical school’s broader academic mission to train the next generation of health-care professionals and bring new medical discoveries to the bedside.  The faculty oversee an extensive portfolio of clinical trials, providing the community with unique opportunities to participate in studies evaluating the latest innovative investigational treatments and disease-prevention strategies.

In his leadership role with the Hopkins faculty practice, Scheel has overseen insurance contracts, served as physician liaison to the insurance arm of Johns Hopkins Medicine and implemented new programs involving faculty and affiliated physicians.

Scheel has worked with department chairs and other institutional leaders in implementing initiatives that reduced the length of hospital stays and made significant improvements in patient safety. He is founder and medical director of Integrated Renal Solutions of Glen Burnie, Md., and is well-known for his expertise in caring for patients with renal disease. As part of his clinical and academic focus, he developed a medical therapy to treat patients with a rare kidney disorder, retroperitoneal fibrosis. The therapy is used by physicians worldwide and eliminates the need for surgery or the insertion of ureteral stents.

Scheel earned a medical degree from Georgetown University School of Medicine and a master’s degree in business administration from Johns Hopkins University School of Business. He continued his medical training with an internship, residency and fellowship at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where he specialized in nephrology.

Perlmutter also announced that Paul Scheel’s wife, Janet Scheel, MD, will join the School of Medicine faculty. Currently, she is medical director of the heart failure and cardiac transplant program at Children’s National Heart Institute in Washington. Janet Scheel specializes in caring for children and adolescents whose hearts can no longer pump blood throughout the body. Often, such patients require ventricular assist devices (VADs) or heart transplants. In her new role, she will join the School of Medicine’s Department of Pediatrics as associate medical director of the heart failure and transplant program in the Division of Cardiology.

The Scheels have two grown children. Their son, Paul, recently graduated from Washington University School of Medicine and is now an intern at Johns Hopkins. Their daughter, Amy, works in public health and conducts research in Uganda.

Washington University School of Medicine‘s 2,100 employed and volunteer faculty physicians also are the medical staff of Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals. The School of Medicine is one of the leading medical research, teaching and patient-care institutions in the nation, currently ranked sixth in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Through its affiliations with Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals, the School of Medicine is linked to BJC HealthCare.