Inova’s Singleton announces retirement in 2018

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J. Knox Singleton, the longtime CEO of Inova Health System, announced Friday that he will retire July 1, 2018.

Singleton, 69, has led the hospital system since he was 35. He oversaw the evolution of Inova from a three-hospital, $500 million enterprise with 1,000 employees to a $3.5 billion healthcare system with five hospitals, a health insurance company and more than 17,000 employees.  

“I want to move to the next chapter of my life while Inova is at its peak, fully engaged in implementing our strategic plan,” Singleton said in a statement.  "This is the best time for Inova to recruit and transition to a new leader. 

"I want to start my post-Inova life while I am able to devote my full passion after 35 years to my personal priorities of social entrepreneurship and health-care technology.  I also want to spend more time with my family, especially my seven kids.”

Singleton was named the Virginia Business Person of the Year by Virginia Business in December 2015.

Tony Nader, chair of the Inova Board of Trustees, credited Singleton with advancing Inova’s vision of becoming a global center for the discovery and application of genomics and bio-informatics to the care of patients.  “Knox Singleton is the real builder of one of the most advanced healthcare systems and research centers serving the mid-Atlantic region.  All of us owe him a debt of gratitude, admiration and best wishes for his leadership as he continues to be a vital participant in our community and the healthcare industry."

In a statement, Singleton said the most satisfying accomplishment was the shift Inova made from simply treating those who are ill to conducting cutting-edge research into how the new science of genomics and precision medicine is applied to new treatments and prevention. “The new Applied Research Institutes in Cancer, Cardiac Care, Neurosciences and Women’s and Children’s services are all up and running under exceptional clinical and administrative leadership,” Singleton said. 

In 2015, Inova announced its plans to transform the former Exxon Mobil campus into the Inova Center for Personalized Health (ICPH), a campus envisioned for researchers, clinicians, educators and patients — designed around the growing field of personalized medicine. Singleton was responsible for spearheading a number of important collaborations with universities to be located on the Inova Center for Personalized Health. 

During his tenure, a partnership was created with the University of Virginia to establish a regional campus of the university and nine research projects focused on predicting, preventing and treating cancer and other diseases.  The Inova-Mason Proteomics Center at the Center for Personalized Health was established in partnership with George Mason University.  Several Shenandoah University health profession education programs will be located in the Center.


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