Jeffrey Matthews, MD, appointed University of Chicago Health System Surgeon-in-Chief

Jeffrey B. Matthews, MD

Jeffrey B. Matthews, MD, Surgeon-in-Chief and Chair of the Department of Surgery, has been appointed Surgeon-in-Chief for the University of Chicago Health System, effective July 1, 2024.

The announcement comes amid an era of expansion for the University of Chicago Medicine, which has grown beyond the University of Chicago Medical Center on the city's South Side. The health system now includes a new multispecialty care facility in Northwest Indiana, a controlling interest in AdventHealth's Great Lakes Region in the western suburbs, Ingalls Memorial Hospital in Chicago's Southland, as well as dozens of outpatient locations and clinics throughout the region. It is also building a 575,000-square-foot cancer care and research facility, scheduled to open in 2027 on its flagship medical campus.

"As our organization’s ascent and growth continues, we must ensure the continuation of cohesive, high-quality surgical care, innovation in surgical techniques, and seamless integration of academic and clinical missions across all locations expanded its world-class surgical care spanning multiple sites across Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana," said Mark Anderson, MD, PhD, Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs at the University of Chicago.

Matthews will continue his role as Chair of the Department of Surgery, a position he has held since 2006.

In this new role, Matthews will serve as the senior physician leader responsible for surgical and perioperative care across UChicago Medicine. He will oversee governance of growth, access, quality, safety and value, working with leaders of the health system, service lines, and offsite facilities. This includes developing surgical program strategies, driving performance improvement, enhancing leadership at system and site levels, ensuring high standards in perioperative care, and expanding surgical access and capacity.

During his tenure as Surgery Chair, the Department has seen significant growth across its missions. Notable achievements include:

  • Doubling the volume of UChicago Medicine's transplant programs over the past five years. This was supported by growth across the heart, lung, liver, kidney and pancreas programs, which far exceed national averages in providing transplant care to local minority communities.
  • Launching the Level 1 adult trauma program in 2018, which is now among the busiest in the city and has helped the hospital improve its efficiency around the clock and throughout the year.
  • Managing surgical services through the COVID-19 pandemic. UChicago Medicine's team’s framework for the ethical triage of medically necessary, time-sensitive procedures was endorsed by the state of Illinois and the American College of Surgeons.
  • Driving growth in research. From 2006 to 2024, the Department’s research portfolio grew 68% to a projected $12.3 million.
  • Recruiting diverse, talented new faculty and expanding training programs. Since 2006, the surgical faculty nearly doubled to 145, and the number of residents and fellows grew from 78 to 135. The Department’s approach to establishing a culture committed to equity and inclusion has been lauded nationally.

Matthews, a gastrointestinal surgeon and an authority on pancreatic and bile duct diseases, holds current and past leadership positions in the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, the American Board of Surgery, the Society of Surgical Chairs, and the Society of University Surgeons, among others. He has more than 200 published works and received long-term funding from the National Institutes of Health for his research on epithelial transport and barrier function.

Notably, he received the Society of University Surgeons’ prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award, which recognized a career marked by academic excellence, unwavering stewardship, and inclusive leadership.

"The selection of a decorated faculty leader into this system-wide position reinforces the health system's commitment to bringing academic medicine to an increasing number of communities and ensuring the highest quality of care to patients," said Tom Jackiewicz, President of the University of Chicago Health System.

Jeffrey B. Matthews, MD

Jeffrey B. Matthews

Jeffrey B. Matthews, MD, is a gastrointestinal surgeon, a leading authority on the surgical treatment of diseases of the pancreas and bile ducts, and University of Chicago Health System Surgeon-in-Chief. 

Learn more about Dr. Matthews