Donna Devine is retiring from the University of Washington in August. She has held leadership positions in academic medicine for over 40 years – 30 at the University of Washington, including 18 in the Department of Medicine – and is recognized locally, regionally and nationally for her many contributions to academic medicine.
After receiving her undergraduate degree in Health Services Administration from the University of South Dakota, she worked as chief accountant at Holiday Park Hospital in Portland, Oregon for a year before returning to South Dakota to serve as the director of finance at the University of South Dakota School of Medicine for 11 years.
She came to the University of Washington in 1987 as the administrator of the Department of Psychiatry. In 1999, she was appointed director of the Department of Medicine.
Donna has served on many UW committees and task force groups as well as nationally, on the AAIM Board of Directors and as the former President of the Administrators of Internal Medicine (AIM). She has received various honors and awards including: Outstanding Young Woman of America, UW Distinguished Staff Award, and Administrators of Internal Medicine Distinguished Service Award.
She has published three book chapters and written six articles including a 5-part series in the American Journal of Medicine on Educational Redesign.
During her tenure in the Department of Medicine, Donna has worked with me and many others to expand the department from 450 to over 1000 faculty in 14 divisions with an annual operating budget of over $500 million.
We have recruited 14 Division Heads, all internationally recognized faculty leaders who are directing our clinical and research programs and training the next generation of physicians and scientists for our University and for the nation. Donna has been heavily involved in focusing scarce resources into competitive recruitment and retention packages for each of those faculty leaders and investigators and for additional major recruitment in all our divisions.
A major focus of our department activities is the strong research programs. With Donna’s administrative leadership, we have established many new centers and institutes, including the Diabetes Institute, Lung Biology Center, Center in Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Diseases, Kidney Research Institute, Cambia Palliative Care Center of Excellence, Center for Scholarship in Patient Care Quality and Safety, as well as other research programs at South Lake Union in Dermatology, Women’s Health, Inflammatory Diseases, Nephrology and Rheumatology.
Donna has been universally admired for her skill, thoughtfulness, accuracy, transparency and complete dedication to our highest goals.
Despite having to make many difficult decisions in a very busy and resource-constrained environment, she always leaves people feeling that they have been listened to carefully, that their concerns are important to her and that she will do everything imaginable to help them attain their goals.
Donna has been a major reason why we are consistently ranked in the top few Departments of Medicine nationally in overall reputation, NIH funding and primary care. She has been a huge positive force within the University of Washington and nationally.
She will be greatly missed.
We all thank Donna for her outstanding dedication and work in the Department of Medicine and beyond. We wish Donna and her husband Dave, who has also retired recently, all the best for the next stages of their lives.