Dr. Lynn Welling, MD, FACEP started his career as a carrier based jet pilot flying the A7E. He received his MD from the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences in 1989 and completed an Emergency Medicine residency at the Naval Medical Center San Diego in 1993. His naval career spans 34 years of progressive leadership experience including command of the forward deployed Naval Expeditionary Medical Facility Kuwait and the Naval Hospital Jacksonville Florida. He deployed multiple times to Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom, and has multiple deployments as a tactical emergency physician.
After retiring from the Navy in 2012, Lynn assumed duties as the Chief of Staff of the St Louis VA Healthcare System. As the senior physician executive he led clinical operations across the 2 hospital system with 300 providers, 2400 staff, 398 beds and an annual budget of $432M. He set the leadership structure, roles, and the infrastructure previously lacking – significantly improving the business, physician engagement, reduced time to decision, and accountability. Lynn sponsored and led 22 complex systems redesign initiatives, advancing e-consult, patient flow, tele-health, and technology training.
Dr. Welling was then recruited to become the Chief Medical Officer of Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center in Chula Vista California, a tertiary care hospital with 300 providers, 2500 staff, 343 beds and an annual revenue of $421M. Lynn was the key physician leader in building a 343-bed hospital from ground up – from RFP and design to structure and buildout of a medical center. He also led the operations transformation towards becoming a High Reliability Organization (HRO), developed an operating management system utilizing lean management principles. These efforts provided significant improvements in patient throughput, quality metrics, and staff and physician satisfaction.
Most recently Lynn led as Regional Chief Clinical Officer for Swedish Health Services, a $2.7B complex system comprising 5 hospitals, 2 ambulatory care centers and 140+ primary/specialty care clinics with 3800+ physicians and 13,000 caregivers. Lynn led a strategic turnaround, establishing leadership and responsibility structures that were lacking across six institutes, creating roles/accountabilities for P&L, aligning free-standing institute operations to an aligned regional healthcare system. He delivered clinical improvements across the region as well as an agile, flexible, scalable infrastructure. Following the turnaround, he led incident response for a wall-to-wall labor strike closely by the first cases of COVID-19’s in the US. Lynn developed the strategy and tactics addressing the “space/staff/stuff” requirements of the anticipated overwhelming influx of critically ill patients that were some of the first templates utilized nationwide.
Dr. Welling is passionate about developing physician leaders and has done extensive work throughout his career to develop teams and leaders that get the job done. His mentees have gone on to become Commanding Officers, Chief Executive Officers, Chief Medical Officers, Chiefs of Staff and other senior leaders.
Lynn and his wife Patricia have 3 children and 6 grandchildren. Lynn is an avid pilot and woodworker.