MED MOVES: MetroHealth System announces Airica Steed as next CEO, and more

MyMichigan Health hires its new chief executive, Blue Cross Blue Shield selects a new lobbying leader, and other leaders take new roles.

Airica Steed has been named the next president and chief executive officer of The MetroHealth System in Cleveland.

She will succeed Dr. Akram Boutros, who announced late last year that he planned to retire at the end of 2022. She will take over on January 1.

Steed is currently executive vice president/system chief operating officer of Sinai Chicago Health System and president of Mount Sinai and Sinai Children’s Hospital.  MetroHealth noted that Steed comes from an urban academic health system that is also focused on improving health equity.

She said she sees great opportunities at MetroHealth.

“Coming from one of MetroHealth’s national peers, I know it to be one of the most admired, innovative and progressive public health systems in the country,” Steed said in a statement. “MetroHealth has done an incredible job in developing a patient-centered, whole-system approach that aggressively targets health equity and has a bold and unapologetic focus on eradicating healthcare inequities.”

MetroHealth selected Steed after a national search. MetroHealth Board Chair Vanessa Whiting, who is chairwoman of MetroHealth’s board, hailed Steed’s focus on improving health equity and her history as an innovator and strong collaborator.

“Dr. Steed’s capabilities, character and experience are a perfect match for the qualities we wanted in our next CEO,” Whiting said in a statement. “She comes from a major safety-net healthcare system that shares a similar focus to that of MetroHealth: improving the health of the community in an urban, academic setting.  Airica has been successful in improving quality of care, patient satisfaction, operating results, and health equity.”

MetroHealth operates four hospitals, four emergency departments and dozens of other healthcare sites.

MyMichigan Health announces new CEO

Lydia Watson has been named the next president and CEO of MyMichigan Health.

Watson, MyMichigan Health’s senior vice president and chief medical officer, will move up to the CEO post on Dec. 1. She will succeed Greg Rogers.

Rogers will serve in an advisory role to Watson through the month of December. He called Watson “a well-respected and trusted leader in the industry and here at home.”

“She has been instrumental in guiding our system through the pandemic, is a steadfast advocate for quality care and patient, employee and physician satisfaction, and accomplished in establishing and maintaining cultures of excellence,” Rogers said.

The MyMichigan system endured tragedy earlier this year. In March, Diane Postler-Slattery, MyMichigan Health’s longtime president and CEO, died in a plane crash. Her husband, Donald, also perished in the crash.

Jenee Velasquez, board chair of MyMichigan Health, referenced the tumultuous time.

“The leadership and direction provided by Greg, Dr. Watson and the entire leadership team has been nothing short of exceptional,” Velasquez said in a statement. “Dr. Watson’s commitment to the health of our communities combined with her long-time leadership and respect for all those with whom she works will continue to strengthen this beloved health care system for generations to come.”

Watson joined MyMichigan Health’s administrative staff in 2013 and has held several leadership posts. Previously, Watson served as an obstetrician-gynecologist at the Medical Center in Midland. She also was an active staff member at Saginaw General Hospital from 1988 to 1996.

MyMichigan operates nine hospitals and employs more than 8,800 workers.

Blue Cross Blue Shield hires leader of lobbying

David Merritt has been named the senior vice president of policy and advocacy for the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.

Merritt will take the post on Oct. 24.

He’ll lead BCBSA’s advocacy at federal and state governments, including lobbying, political affairs, and legislative development. Merritt will lead a team of more than 50 people in the association’s Washington office.

“It is a privilege to join BCBSA and continue to drive policy solutions that make quality health care more affordable and more accessible for the people we serve,” Merritt said in a news release.

Merritt leads public affairs at America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP). He also serves as president of the Partnership for America’s Health Care Future and on the board of directors for the Campaign for Sustainable Rx Pricing.

He has worked with some high-profile figures in politics. He helped lead political and messaging research for Frank Luntz and worked with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich on health issues. Merritt also worked with Mike Leavitt, the former HHS Secretary and Utah governor, leading Leavitt Partners’ Washington office.

“David has a proven track record in politics, policy and public affairs in Washington and states across the country,” said Sean Robbins, executive vice president of external affairs.

Saint Mary’s Health Network names new CEO

Derrick Glum has been named the new chief executive officer of Saint Mary’s Health Network in Reno, Nevada.

Glum succeeds Tiffany Coury, the system’s former CEO. Saint Mary’s is part of Prime Healthcare, which operates 45 hospitals in 14 states.

Glum brings nearly 20 years of healthcare experiences to Saint Mary’s.

“I am thrilled to be joining such an impressive, community-focused healthcare organization in Saint Mary’s,” Glum said in a statement. “Saint Mary’s has provided quality care to its patients for over 110 years, and I am honored to build on such a tremendous healthcare legacy.”

Previously, Glum served as the regional chief operating officer and hospital administrator for two hospitals in the Phoenix area – Mountain View Medical Center and Florence Hospital. The system said Glum oversaw substantial gains in hospital performance and patient satisfaction.

Prior to that, Glum served as a system vice president for Renown Health and was the CEO of Tahoe Pacific Hospital in Reno, Nevada.

MUSC appoints new director of Marion Medical Center

Shametra Swaringer has been named executive director of MUSC Health Marion Medical Center.

Swaringer brings more than 16 years’ experience with MUSC Health Florence Medical Center, and the hospital formerly known as Carolinas Hospital System. She previously served as critical care services director in the Florence Division.

As the executive director of the Marion Medical Center, she will oversee the hospital and nursing leadership. MUSC described her as “a passionate and trusted leader.”

MUSC Health Florence Division Chief Executive Officer Jay Hinesley welcomed Swaringer to her new role.

“She will focus on bolstering a strong culture, bringing additional efficiencies to operations, and standardizing processes between the hospitals in the Florence Division,” Hinesley said in a news release.

Based in Charleston, MUSC is the healthcare system of the Medical University of South Carolina and operates 14 hospitals and hundreds of care sites.

Ingenovis Health names first chief marketing officer

Lauren Pasquale Bartlett has been named the first chief marketing officer of Ingenovis Health.

The Colorado-based company is one of the nation’s largest healthcare staffing firms, with brands including Trustaff, Fastaff, U.S. Nursing, HealthCare Support, CardioSolution and VISTA Staffing Solutions.

The company says its business has surged in the COVID-19 pandemic, with hospitals and health systems seeking nurses.

"I am honored to take on the role of chief marketing officer for such a purposeful company,” Bartlett said in a news release. "Alongside dedicated colleagues and with an incredibly talented team, I am committed to our purpose of creating a home for healthcare talent and contributing to an industry-leading employment experience for our valued clinicians, and sustained quality patient care for our clients.”

Bartlett has worked in digital media, marketing and communications with the National Football League, USA Hockey and the U.S. Olympic Committee.