Saddleback Memorial Names New Chief and Vice Chief of Staff

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Saddleback Memorial Names New Chief and Vice Chief of Staff
Dr. Kathleen Sullivan Leads Medical Staff, Dr. Thomas Vovan is Vice Chief

Two prominent physicians who decided at an early age to pursue a career in medicine have been elected to lead the Saddleback Memorial Medical Center medical staff.

Kathleen Sullivan, M.D. is the new Chief of Staff and Thomas Vovan, M.D. Vice Chief of Staff at Saddleback Memorial in Laguna Hills, which last week was named one of America’s 50 Best Hospitals by Healthgrades for the third consecutive year. Only 1% of the nation’s 4,500 hospitals received this honor for consistent clinical performance.

Both come from families of physicians. Dr. Sullivan’s father Eugene Shaw Sullivan, Jr., M.D. and grandfather Eugene Sullivan, Sr., M.D. were surgeons—her dad a national leader in colorectal surgery, her mother a psychology professor, husband Dr. Dorming Wong an anesthesiologist and she was a medical explorer scout in her teens. Dr. Vovan’s father, Dr. Tung Vo, was an eminent pediatrician in Westminster.

“Dr. Sullivan and Dr. Vovan have been very active in clinical leadership and are highly regarded by our physicians,” says Marcia Manker, CEO, Saddleback Memorial and Orange Coast Memorial Medical Centers. “As chief and vice chief of staff, they work closely with our physicians and hospital leadership to advance our standards of excellence in patient care, quality and clinical outcomes.”

Dr. Sullivan was a biology graduate of Harvard University where she was a member of the women’s rowing team that won the national championship and competed in European championships in Russia, was named intramural athlete of the year and played French horn in the marching band. She attended Stanford University School of Medicine and met her husband during her internship at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. She completed an anesthesiology residency at Stanford University Hospital and her cardiac, research and anesthesiology fellowship at UCLA Medical Center. Board certified in anesthesiology, Dr. Sullivan joined Saddleback Memorial in 1987, recently serving as vice chief of staff, chief of anesthesia and chaired Quality Council. She and her husband live in Laguna Hills and have four adult children.

“It’s an honor to be selected by the medical staff and follow Dr. Daniel LaMont and the outstanding chiefs of staff who served since the hospital opened in 1974,” says Dr. Sullivan. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to help lead our 900 exceptional Saddleback Memorial physicians and look forward to all we can accomplish together to improve the health of our patients and communities we serve.”

A native of Vietnam, Dr. Vovan graduated with a biological sciences degree from University of California, Irvine where he completed medical school and a pulmonary and critical care medicine fellowship. He did his internship and residency at UCLA/West Los Angeles VA (Veterans Affairs) Hospital. He also chairs Quality Council and served as Co-Medical Director, Saddleback Memorial Critical Care Services and Chief, Department of Medicine. Board certified in Internal Medicine, Pulmonary Disease and Critical Care Medicine, He was an associate clinical professor of medicine at UCI Medical Center Department of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine. Past president of Asian American Medical Society and frequent medical speaker, author and researcher, Dr. Vovan, his wife and three children live in Newport Beach.

"I am honored to work with Dr. Sullivan and our medical staff to advance the care and experience of our patients,” adds Dr. Vovan. "Saddleback Memorial is one of our nation's great community hospitals, held in high regard and continually honored for innovations in clinical care.”

Both physicians are active community contributors. Six years ago, Dr. Sullivan created a group of physicians and volunteers for an annual patient hair washing program—providing that extra measure of care appreciated by patients and families. Dr. Vovan served as a United Nations health worker in the Philippines, provided medical aid to rural Mexican villages with Flying Samaritans and sent medical supplies through Project Lifeboat to help rescue boat people.