Ron M. Walls, MD, FAAEM, FRCPC, is the Chief Operating Officer at Mass General Brigham and the Neskey Family Professor of Emergency Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He oversees all clinical services across the Mass General Brigham system, including the academic medical centers, specialty hospitals, community hospitals and ambulatory services. Major areas of focus are integration of clinical services; collaborations between and among clinical departments; enhancing enterprise services, including radiology, pathology, emergency medicine and anesthesiology; system-wide service line development; and specialty hospitals and services. Programmatic priorities include implementation of the active asset management system within each operating entity and across the system and optimizing and standardizing inpatient and ambulatory operations to enable best-in-class care delivery and optimal patient experience. Scope includes operational improvements in access, scheduling and navigation as well as improvements in pharmacy operations and strategy.
Previously, Dr. Walls was the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Brigham Health—a position he held since 2015. A native Canadian, Dr. Walls attended medical school at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, and completed his residency training in emergency medicine at Denver General Hospital. He served on the faculty at George Washington University Medical Center and then as Associate Professor and Head of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Vancouver General Hospital.
He was recruited to Brigham and Women’s Hospital in 1993 and served as Chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine through 2014. During his tenure as chair, Dr. Walls oversaw two highly successful redesigns of the department and significant growth and improvement across its educational, research and clinical missions. In 2006, he became the first emergency physician to achieve the rank of professor at Harvard Medical School. He also served as Chair of the Brigham and Women’s Physicians Organization Finance Committee and then its Board.
As an emergency physician, Dr. Walls’s principal contributions were in advancing the techniques and knowledge base related to emergency airway management. His research and teaching were major drivers of the widespread adoption of neuromuscular blocking agents for emergency intubations. He founded and served as principal investigator of NEAR (the National Emergency Airway Registry), a multi-year, multi-center research project on emergency airway management that produced more than 25 published original reports. In all, he has more than 180 scientific publications. Dr. Walls is editor-in-chief of Rosen’s Emergency Medicine, the major textbook in the field, editor-in-chief for emergency medicine for UpToDate and editor emeritus of the Walls Manual of Emergency Airway Management, now in its fifth edition. His resuscitation courses have trained more than 12,000 emergency physicians and other providers. He has received major awards from all three emergency medicine specialty organizations and has served as visiting professor at more than 40 institutions.
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