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Cunningham started working at Penn Medicine as associate chief nursing officer of Cancer Services at the Abramson Cancer Center six years ago and worked up the ranks before assuming her current position.

Credit: Zach Sheldon

Regina Cunningham, chief nursing executive of the University of Pennsylvania Health System, has been appointed CEO of the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania beginning in April, according to a Penn Medicine news release

Cunningham began working at Penn Med as an associate chief nursing officer of cancer services at the Abramson Cancer Center nearly six years ago, ascending through the center's ranks before assuming her current role in 2013.

“Regina’s ability to lead across many areas and her deep understanding of hospital operations, especially the role of nursing, were key factors in this appointment,” UPHS CEO Ralph Muller said in the press release. “As we embark on greater integration of service lines across the hospitals and physician practices, and continuously focus on quality, we are confident that Regina’s thoughtful leadership, collaborative style, and expertise in administrative matters will serve the Health System well.”

A Penn Med news release last week announced that the leadership transition followed CEO of HUP Garry Scheib’s departure from his current position after more than 17 years at Penn. Scheib will remain at Penn Med, however, undertaking a part-time role involving teaching and mentoring.

In addition to Cunningham, two other Penn Med executives have been appointed to new positions, according to the Philadelphia Business Journal. Phil Okala has been appointed chief operating officer for the Philadelphia region of UPHS, and Lori Gustave has been named senior vice president for business development for UPHS.