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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Sasse appoints UF’s first biomedical research evangelism adviser

New UF Health CEO also named

Ben Sasse speaks at UF Hillel’s Spread Cream Cheese Not Hate event on Sunday, Jan. 28, 2024.
Ben Sasse speaks at UF Hillel’s Spread Cream Cheese Not Hate event on Sunday, Jan. 28, 2024.

UF President Ben Sasse appointed UF Health President Dave Nelson to a new role as adviser to the president for biomedical research evangelism, he announced in an email to faculty March 5.

Nelson has served as senior vice president for health affairs and president of UF Health since April 2019. He oversees the university’s academic health center in its Gainesville and Jacksonville campuses.

“I’m tremendously grateful for Dave’s work and wisdom,” Sasse wrote. “Under his leadership over the past five-plus years, UF Health has made tremendous strides and grown in unbelievable ways.”

Nelson is a gastroenterologist and transplant hepatologist with a specialization in hepatitis C. He completed his undergraduate degree at Dartmouth College, his medical degree at State University of New York Upstate Medical University and his residency at the University of Massachusetts. He also completed a gastroenterology fellowship at UF in 1996.

The UF Board of Trustees approved UF Health Corporation as a new legal entity in December. Nelson created the transition committee for the new corporation and will continue advising as the search begins for his replacement as senior vice president, Sasse wrote.

The search committee for the new senior vice president is made up of 15 people and will be led by UF Provost Scott Angle. 

After the senior vice president search is underway, Nelson will take a “more than earned” sabbatical, after which he will begin his new advisory position, Sasse wrote.

While the search begins for Nelson’s replacement as senior vice president, his replacement as UF Health president has already found a match. Sasse announced Stephen Motew will take office as president and CEO of the UF Health System April 1 in the same email.

Motew joins UF Health from the Inova Health System, a nonprofit health organization based in northern Virginia near Washington, D.C. He is a practicing vascular surgeon currently living in northern Virginia, according to his Inova profile.

“[Motew’s] passion for medicine, commitment to patients, and desire to build strong teams are immediately clear,” Sasse wrote.

Motew will take office April 1, while Nelson will wait until his upcoming sabbatical, whose date is not specified, is complete.

Contact Zoey Thomas at Follow her on X @zoeythomas39.

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Zoey Thomas

Zoey Thomas is a second-year media production major and the university administration reporter for The Alligator. She previously wrote for the metro desk. Other than reporter, Zoey's titles include espresso connoisseur, long-distance runner and Wes Anderson appreciator. 

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