By Chris Ramirez

UNM Health and Health Sciences VP for Finance & Administration Named

Rebecca Napier, a seasoned administrator in academic health institutions, has accepted the opportunity to serve as the next UNM Health and Health Sciences Vice President for Finance and Administration beginning November 1, 2023.  

Napier brings a wealth of experience to this role, with more than 20 years of dedicated service in academic health centers.  Currently she is the Chief Operating Officer for Florida Atlantic University Health (FAU Health), as well as Senior Associate Dean for Finance and Administration at their College of Medicine, and serves as the President of FAU /Broward Health Medical Group.  

"I am truly honored and excited to join UNM Health and Health Sciences,” said Napier.  “My journey in academic health institutions has been a fulfilling one, and I am eager to bring over two decades of experience to this new role. During my time at Florida Atlantic University, I had the privilege of leading significant initiatives, including the development of a joint venture with a major public health system. Now, I am eager to embark on this new chapter at UNM and collaborate with the dedicated team here to further enhance the institution's mission of providing exceptional health care, education, and academic services to our community."

Her career has many accomplishments, showcasing her prowess in financial management, operational excellence, regulatory matters, human resources, and strategic development. Her impressive track record includes leadership roles at the University of Texas (UT) Southwestern and the University of Kentucky.  She has great experience in the missions area important to UNM Health and Health Sciences including- clinical, research, education, economic development, and community engagement in the context of hospitals, ambulatory and practice plans.       

“One of Rebecca's standout qualities is her unwavering commitment to diversity and inclusive excellence,” said Doug Ziedonis, MD, MPH, Executive Vice President of UNM Health Sciences and CEO of the UNM Health System.  “She is a champion of these values, understanding the importance of representing and engaging with diverse communities. Raised in rural Kentucky, Rebecca understands the need to connect with the community and embrace the local culture.  Coming from Appalachia, she understands that traditions, beliefs, cultures, and values require sensitivity, a willingness to learn, and deep respect.  She has consistently recruited talented and diverse individuals to reflect the population of the community.”


As the Chief Business and Operational Administrator for Surgery at UT Southwestern Medical Center, Napier led the physician business unit spanning nine hospitals and numerous ambulatory sites.  Her academic administrative responsibilities oversaw outstanding clinical, research and educational programs, including as a leadership partner for an educational program that included the largest general surgery residency in the United States and was the ombudsperson for the surgery clerkship.  She has collaborated on multiple research projects with contributions resulting in peer-reviewed publications. 

Napier has led economic development initiatives, joint ventures and advanced start-up companies. As the Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at HEP Healthcare in Dallas, Texas, a subsidiary of Best Merchant Partners, she developed complex proformas and needed analysis related to mergers and acquisition targets.  She was pivotal in designing strategic plans to drive expansion and developing new service lines.  Her responsibilities included budget and data analytics to drive operations and investor funding. She identified partnership opportunities, formulated new business models, and supported enhancing technology resources, including EHR and telemedicine platforms.

Napier earned her Master of Business Administration (MBA) at Morehead State University and holds a Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP) certification from the Society for Human Resource Management. She created many professional development and mentoring programs for staff, trainees, allied health professionals, and faculty.  At UT Southwestern, she led a staff engagement initiative that increased scores from mid-20s to 87 percent satisfaction and her direct team was at the 95th percentile.   

“I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to everyone who contributed to the extensive and competitive national search process that brought us Rebecca,” Ziedonis said.  “Special recognition goes to the Korn Ferry executive search firm; Mike Richards, Senior Vice President for Clinical Affairs, as chair of the search advisory committee; the committee members; and our dedicated staff who invested countless hours to ensure a successful outcome.  I also want to take this opportunity to acknowledge and thank Joe Wrobel, Chief Facilities and Budget Officer, and Mike Schwantes, Chief Financial Services Officer, who covered critical tasks, as well as Ava Lovell, retired Senior Executive Officer for Finance and Administration, who provided additional support during her retirement.  Please join me in expressing gratitude for their service and continued commitment to UNM.” 

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