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New CEO and President Takes Helm at Shepherd Center on Feb. 20

Sarah Morrison will lead the hospital as longtime CEO and president Gary Ulicny retires.

As longtime president and CEO of Shepherd Center, Gary Ulicny, Ph.D., prepares to retire on March 31, Sarah Morrison, PT, MBA, MHA, will officially assume the lead administrative role on Feb. 20.

“I am deeply grateful for Gary’s dedication over the last 22 years,” says James Shepherd, co-founder and chairman of the board of Shepherd Center. “Gary has led us through a tremendous period of growth and success, and I know Sarah has the skills and experience to lead us as we continue to exceed national standards and navigate a changing healthcare environment.”

As vice president of clinical services since 2012, Morrison has worked closely with Ulicny as she’s directed operational and financial management of patient care. To ensure a smooth transition in leadership, Morrison has spent the past several months working alongside Ulicny preparing to assume her new role. Shepherd Center also recently named Chet Bhasin, FACHE, as chief operating officer.

Since 1984, Morrison has served in various leadership roles at Shepherd Center, a 152-bed private, not-for-profit hospital specializing in medical treatment, research and rehabilitation for people with spinal cord injury, brain injury, multiple sclerosis, spine and chronic pain, and other neuromuscular conditions. Before assuming the role of vice president of clinical services, Morrison served as director of the Shepherd Center Spinal Cord Injury Program, which serves nearly 600 inpatients from across the nation each year. Before that, she worked at Shepherd Center as a director of the medical surgical and ICU programs, manager of the spinal cord injury day program, a physical therapy supervisor and a physical therapist.

Morrison is well known in the healthcare community, having written more than 30 peer-reviewed publications, presented more than 40 invited lectures to professional organizations and actively participated in eight funded research studies. In 2013, Morrison received the award for Clinical Excellence in Neurology from the Neurological Section of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). Morrison’s career includes leadership roles as a surveyor of external rehabilitation hospitals for the Commission on the Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities and chair of the APTA Special Interest Group for Spinal Cord Injury.

Morrison earned her bachelor’s degree in physical therapy from the University of Miami, where she graduated summa cum laude. She received master’s degrees in healthcare and business administration from Georgia State University, where she received the Max G. Holland scholarship for the highest grade point average in the graduate business program.

Morrison lives in Atlanta with her husband, Jeff, a visiting instructor at Emory University. Their son, Michael, lives in Houston, Texas, and works for Cigna Healthcare in process management. Their daughter, Susan, lives in Atlanta and works as an editor for an independent publishing company.

About Shepherd Center

Shepherd Center provides world-class clinical care, research, and family support for people experiencing the most complex conditions, including spinal cord and brain injuries, multi-trauma, traumatic amputations, stroke, multiple sclerosis, and pain. An elite center recognized as both Spinal Cord Injury and Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems, Shepherd Center is ranked by U.S. News as one of the nation’s top hospitals for rehabilitation. Shepherd Center treats thousands of patients annually with unmatched expertise and unwavering compassion to help them begin again.