MetroHealth names new board chair

The board of trustees for Cleveland-based MetroHealth System has a new chairman four months after welcoming a new CEO and recovering from an alleged scandal involving its former chief executive. 

E. Harry Walker, MD, takes on the chairman role after serving on the volunteer board of trustees for MetroHealth since 2021. Dr. Walker practiced as a primary care physician for more than 30 years with MetroHealth before retiring as the safety-net system's vice president for ambulatory operations in 2015. He succeeds Vanessa Whiting, who has served as board chair since 2019.

Dr. Walker led the search committee that identified Airica Steed, EdD, RN, as MetroHealth's new president and CEO. She came to the system after serving as executive vice president and system COO of Sinai Chicago Health System. 

Dr. Steed began her tenure in December, replacing Akram Boutros, MD, who was terminated Nov. 21 after the MetroHealth board of trustees said that between 2018 and 2022, he authorized more than $1.9 million in supplemental bonuses for himself, without disclosure to the board. Ms. Whiting said MetroHealth discovered the compensation issues while preparing for the CEO transition. Dr. Boutros has alleged his firing was an act of board retaliation and has filed multiple lawsuits since his firing.

Dr. Steed has suspended the supplemental and one-time bonus programs. The system is now seeking to fill other key leadership positions, including a human resources officer and permanent CFO after Craig Richmond resigned from the role in March.

"I am grateful for the trust my colleagues on the Board have placed in me at this pivotal time in MetroHealth's 186-year history," Dr. Walker said in a MetroHealth news release. "I would not be the physician or person I am today if it were not for this storied institution and the thousands of caregivers who work here. It is an honor to serve in this role and partner with Dr. Steed and MetroHealth's more than 8,200 employees to improve the health and well-being of the residents of Cuyahoga County (Ohio)."

MetroHealth board trustees are nominated by the Cuyahoga County Executive and approved by two judges and the Cuyahoga County Council. They are appointed or re-appointed for six-year terms.

Copyright © 2024 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars