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'Privilege of a lifetime': MetroHealth CEO Dr. Akram Boutros retiring at end of 2022

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Posted at 11:58 AM, Nov 29, 2021

CLEVELAND — MetroHealth System announced Dr. Akram Boutros is retiring after serving as the hospital system’s president and CEO for over eight years.

“I fell in love with MetroHealth the first time I visited, and it has been the privilege of a lifetime to be its CEO,” said Boutros in a news release. “I never imagined that we would have accomplished so much so quickly. Over the past 8 ½ years, The MetroHealth System has emerged as a national leader, renowned for its focus on the community, and distinguished for its financial strength. And I am delighted to say that we have, arguably, achieved our vision of becoming the most admired public health system in the nation. With The Glick Center and Behavioral Health Hospital opening next year, it feels like the right time to hand the baton to MetroHealth’s next leader.”

During his tenure, which started in 2013, he helped grow the employee base from 6,200 to nearly 8,000 and increased the minimum wage to $15 per hour in 2019 while providing a no-deductible, no-copay health coverage for employees.

Since 2013, MetroHealth has opened two hospitals, three emergency departments, ten community health centers, and nine pharmacies, and sent health care providers to more than a dozen local schools.

Boutros’ retirement will be effective Dec. 31, 2022.

The Board of Trustees is issuing a request for proposal to retain an executive search that will help conduct a nationwide search for a new CEO.

“Akram has been preparing the board and the health system for this day. We’re thankful that he has positioned us well and given us enough notice to run a thorough process to identify the person best-suited to succeed him,” said MetroHealth Board Chair Vanessa Whiting. “MetroHealth’s clinical strength, national stature, strong leadership team, financial strength and soon-to-be state-of-the-art main hospital and campus will allow us to attract a great pool of candidates.”

Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish issued the following statement:

"All residents of Cuyahoga County have much to thank Dr. Boutros for as we learn of his impending retirement. Dr. Boutros has been a great partner for me and the County. Under his leadership, Metro is stronger than ever; it is undergoing a significant renovation project; during the pandemic Metro has responded to the urgent needs of underserved people to obtain testing and vaccinations; and, Dr. Boutros has been a leader in public and behavioral health, chairing the Board of the County’s Diversion Center. "We are fortunate Dr. Boutros chose public service, and fortunate he chose Cuyahoga County." 

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