Rhonda and John Campo are leaving Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center for West Virginia University’s growing medical enterprise. Credit: Lantern file photo

A husband and wife duo are the latest to leave Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center for West Virginia University’s growing medical enterprise.

Rhonda Campo, who served as associate director of business development at the medical center, and John Campo, the center’s director of psychiatry and behavioral health, are leaving Columbus as West Virginia’s president — and Ohio State’s former president — E. Gordon Gee continues to recruit top medical professionals from his former employer.

Rhonda Campo served as Ohio State’s associate director of business development at the medical center. Credit: Courtesy of West Virginia University

Gee brought Dr. Ali Rezai to West Virginia in October to lead the Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute. Dr. Clay Marsh left the medical center for Morgantown, West Virginia, in 2015 to become the university’s vice president and dean of health sciences, while Dr. Richard Goldberg left in January 2017 to lead WVU’s cancer center.

West Virginia’s press release announcing the arrival of the Campos included statements from the three prominent figures who have left Ohio State.

“Our goal for the Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute is to bring together world-class specialists to advance brain health and wellness for West Virginians and those across country,” said Rezai, now the executive chair of the WVU RNI and vice president of neurosciences for WVU Medicine, in a statement. “John and Ronnie Campo are both exceptional and very dedicated professionals. We are thrilled to have them join the RNI and the WVU family.”    

Rhonda Campo will serve as associate vice president of strategic development, commercialization and innovation at RNI. Her focus will be on creating new economic opportunities for the university, according to the release.

During her five years at Ohio State, Rhonda Campo implemented a program designed to bring patients from Asia and the Middle East to the medical center for care.

John Campo, who spent 11 years at Ohio State, will serve as assistant dean of behavioral health and wellness, and chief behavioral wellness officer. He also will teach for the WVU School of Medicine at the institute. According to the news release, Campo also will work to establish a program in mental health services and policy research.

Craig Kent, the dean of Ohio State’s College of Medicine said in an email to medical center staff and faculty Wednesday that John Campo will begin his role at WVU in March.

Eileen Ryan, a professor and vice chair of clinical services in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health, will serve as interim department chair.

Ryan previously served as medical director of the Institute of Law, Psychiatry and Public Policy at University of Virginia.

“She will play an important role as we further advance Neuroscience and Behavioral Health as one of the key areas of our strategic plan,” Kent said. “Please join me in expressing our gratitude to Dr. Campo for his contributions and accomplishments over the years, and welcoming Dr. Ryan to her new role.”

According to 2016 Ohio State salary data, John Campo was paid $447,198 and Rhonda Campo was paid $186,750.

“I am always optimistic about West Virginia University and West Virginia,” Gee said. “That optimism reaches its peak when we attract top talent from around the

John Campo served as Ohio State’s director of psychiatry and behavioral health at the Wexner Medical Center. Credit: Courtesy of Ohio State

country and around the world. With the addition of John and Rhonda Campo to the Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute, this is surely one of those great days. We are committed to building one of the best academic medical centers in the country and having them join us puts us another step closer.”  

At an Ohio State Board of Trustees meeting Thursday, members discussed new strategies to recruit and keep top talent.

Susan Basso, the university’s vice president of human resources, presented a three-part plan to the Board comprising of HR excellence, total rewards packages and talent management, though the majority of the meeting focused on retaining top university employees.

However, it is unclear whether the strategy is related to the medical center departures directly, with other top university figures leaving as well. Its former CFO, Geoff Chatas, left this month.

Ohio State did not provide a statement prior to this article’s publication. The Campos did not respond to The Lantern’s requests for comment before publication.

“With the addition of Dr. Rhonda Campo and Dr. John Campo to the RNI, we’re strengthening the connection of this group to the health of West Virginians and the revitalization of our state’s economy,” Marsh said.


Update, 2/7.2018 at 1:00 p.m.: This article has been updated to include information on John Campo’s start date, and interim replacement.