Newswise — Thomas W. Burke, M.D., has been named Executive Vice President and Physician-in-Chief at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, effective immediately. Burke has been a member of the M. D. Anderson faculty since 1988 and ad interim Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for nearly a year.
His responsibilities include the management of patient care delivery in the hospital, clinics and outreach programs, as well as clinical strategic planning. In his new role, Burke will focus on enhancing patient services and developing more efficient systems for patients to participate in clinical trials.
He also will develop ways to accommodate the increasing demand for M. D. Anderson services.
Burke takes the helm of the clinical operations component of one of the largest cancer centers in the world. More than 70,000 patients receive care annually at M. D. Anderson, and about 25,000 of these are new patients coming to M. D. Anderson for the first time. As executive vice president, Burke leads approximately 7,000 of M. D. Anderson's 14,000-plus workforce.
"Dr. Burke is both a proven leader and an outstanding academic clinician," says M. D. Anderson President John Mendelsohn, M.D. "He is respected by physicians, managers, nurses, researchers and staff. His knowledge of M. D. Anderson and experience as a practicing oncologist here bring depth and breadth to this important role. Aligning our clinical and research efforts will benefit patients through a more efficient organization as we continue to make progress towards the new era of individualized cancer treatment."
Burke assumes the clinical leadership role at a time of significant growth at M. D. Anderson. The campus has increased about 50 percent in size in the last five years. Recently, the new Ambulatory Clinical and Cancer Prevention buildings opened. Three new buildings will open in the next several months, including the George and Cynthia Mitchell Research Building, the Proton Therapy Center and a new South Campus Research Building.
"Assuming this important leadership role is an honor," says Burke. "The delivery of compassionate, patient-centered care is one of the hallmarks of this institution. I'm committed to continuously enhancing clinical excellence and improving patient outcome. Blending clinical operations with our research efforts to streamline clinical trials for patients is a priority."
During the past year as ad interim senior vice president, Burke has led the institution's efforts in several important initiatives, such as the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organization's accreditation survey and the activation of the Ambulatory Clinical Building.
Burke is a professor in the Department of Gynecologic Oncology. In addition to his administrative responsibilities, he maintains his clinical practice in gynecologic oncology, and is board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology. Burke is the principal investigator of M. D. Anderson's uterine cancer Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) grant, and is the author or co-author of over 100 publications and chapters in national and international publications.
Burke received his undergraduate and medical degrees from Tulane University and trained at both Tripler Army Medical Center and Walter Reed Army Medical Center.