Clinical Center News
February / March 2024

Dr. Saly Gabriel to lead NIH Clinical Center Pharmacy Department

A deft leader and change agent, Gabriel has led rapid turnarounds in staff engagement and quality of care in large hospital systems

Headshot of Dr. Saly Gabriel
Dr. Saly Gabriel

Saly Gabriel, PharmD, MBA will join the NIH Clinical Center as its new chief of the Pharmacy Department.

Dr. Gabriel says she plans to focus on staff engagement, the quality of patient care, regulatory compliance and supporting NIH partner ICs.

"My biggest passion is investing in our staff to build teams that are highly engaged, strong, efficient and that are collaborative," Dr. Gabriel said.

At the CC, the "team I've met just through the interview process [alone] has been phenomenal," the pharmacist said. "I think our vision is strong, and it makes me excited to be here," she said.

Dr. Gabriel comes to NIH from Portland, Oregon, where she served as director of pharmacy services for nonprofit Providence Health & Services. There, she oversaw a large staff and diverse portfolio of hospital pharmacy services at three facilities, an oncology infusion center, and research investigational trials.

Dr. Gabriel spent the prior 10 years at HCA Florida Healthcare, working as a critical care pharmacist before progressing to clinical manager then director of pharmacy services.

As a leader, Dr. Gabriel showed her talent for quickly addressing staff needs to improve staff engagement and patient care. "I'm a big believer in a shared governance approach, where we work collectively as a team to tackle improvements," she said.

Dr. Gabriel took over a department with a low engagement rate as reported in employee satisfaction surveys. Within her first year, engagement climbed to 84 percent—reaching 98 percent in her final year. Similarly, Dr. Gabriel saw the hospital's quality ranking climb from 130 out of 186 hospitals to the top 100 within her first three months as a manager. Within her first year, the hospital ranked in the top 5.

Dr. Gabriel said the turnaround was driven by "seeing the team come together as a group [and] working toward a common goal … . Seeing the effects on patient care on the other end was really amazing."

Dr. Colleen Hadigan, the NIH Clinical Center's chief medical officer and clinical director, praised Dr. Gabriel's expertise and track record leading complex pharmacy organizations.

"She'll be able to come in with a fresh set of eyes to help us identify what we do well and sustain that, and also see where there [are] opportunities for improvement," Hadigan said. "I think she is going to be great for the department and the Clinical Center."

Dr. Hadigan noted that the CC Pharmacy Department has functioned without a permanent chief for the past four years. She said Dr. Gabriel's ability to articulate the challenges associated with this situation and her vision for her first 100 days were impressive.

Dr. Gabriel said she takes a servant leader approach as a manager, listening to and meeting the needs of staff so that they can, in turn, meet the needs of patients and the organization.

As a leader, she has overseen the creation of new pharmacy facilities in a number of new hospital construction projects and has streamlined pharmacy processes to reduce errors and help front line workers.

Dr. Gabriel earned her doctor of pharmacy at Florida A&M University and an MBA from the University of Florida.

An avid hiker, Gabriel is joined by her husband Mina, himself a pharmacist, and their 15-month-old son Joey.

- Sean Markey

You are now leaving the NIH Clinical Center website.

This external link is provided for your convenience to offer additional information. The NIH Clinical Center is not responsible for the availability, content or accuracy of this external site.

The NIH Clinical Center does not endorse, authorize or guarantee the sponsors, information, products or services described or offered at this external site. You will be subject to the destination site’s privacy policy if you follow this link.

More information about the NIH Clinical Center Privacy and Disclaimer policy is available at