MED MOVES: Sinai Chicago names first Black female CEO, and more

In other news, Baptist Health System chooses a new hospital president, Providence announces a new top digital officer, and more leaders enter new roles.

Dr. Ngozi Ezike has been named the new president and CEO of Sinai Chicago. She’s the first Black woman to lead the system.

Ezike will take over Chicago’s largest private safety net health system on June 13. She will replace Karen Teitelbaum, who has led the system for 15 years. Teitelbaum announced she was planning to retire last September.

Ezike served as director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, where she was the agency’s first Black female leader. She left the post March 14. She previously worked for 15 years for Cook County Health.

“I received many calls about various opportunities over the past year, but this is the right choice for me and the right moment. Sinai Chicago is where I want to be,” Ezike said in a statement.

“For more than 100 years, Sinai Chicago has cared for the most underserved communities in Chicago. I’ve dedicated my career to advancing health equity and working with underserved communities. I am proud to take up the mantle of leading that legacy and continue my work, addressing issues of health equity that Sinai has been working on long before the COVID-19 pandemic brought them to brighter light.”

Baptist Medical Center announces youngest CEO

Benjamin Richaud has been named CEO of Baptist Medical Center in San Antonio, making him the youngest CEO of a hospital in the Baptist Health System.

Richaud most recently served as CEO of Community Health System’s Merit Health River Region, a 361-bed acute care hospital located in Vicksburg, Mississippi. He spent nine years with Community Health, where he also held executive positions within the company’s Tennessee hospitals.

“I am excited to be a part of a team that cares for such a diverse and transformative part of town. The work our doctors, nurses and staff accomplish here will benefit our growing downtown community and our city as a whole for years to come,” he said.

Baptist Health System has expanded the hospital in downtown San Antonio in recent years, making improvements to the emergency department and adding a stroke unit. The system notes the area is drawing young professionals to San Antonio, and now the medical system has a young chief executive to chart its future.

Providence appoints new chief digital officer

Sara Vaezy has been named the new executive vice president and chief digital officer of Providence, the Catholic health system based in Reston, Washington.

Vaezy will report to Providence's chief executive officer, Rod Hochman. In her new role, she will oversee digital strategy, product innovation, marketing, digital experience, and commercialization.

"Sara is well-positioned to accelerate our digital work," Hochman said in a news release.

Previously at Providence, Vaezy was the chief of digital and growth strategy.

"Our team built a strong digital platform and foundation for growth and transformation," Vaezy said in a statement. "I'm excited to lead our efforts to apply that foundation in new ways that make a difference to both our organization and others outside of Providence through commercialized solutions."

Orlando Health announces new hospital president

Philip Koovakada has been announced as the new president of Orlando Health - Health Central Hospital.

Koovakada will also serve as the new senior vice president of Orlando Health’s southcentral region. He began his new role April 18.

He comes to Orlando Health from the Baptist Health System in San Antonio, Texas, where he served as president and CEO of St. Luke’s Baptist Hospital.

He served as the chief executive officer for NMC Health Network in Nacogdoches, Texas, and held various leadership roles for Tenet in Nacogdoches and Palm Springs, California.

Jamal Hakim, chief operating officer of Orlando Health, hailed Koovakada’s credentials.

“Philip comes to us with an outstanding background with broad experience in acute and outpatient care, quality improvement, strategic development and operational/financial management,” Hakim said in a statement. “He will be a dynamic, optimistic, forward-thinking leader, and I’m eager for him to join our team.”

Alabama health system CEO retiring, successor announced

Bryan Kindred, who has served as CEO of the DCH Health System in Alabama for 26 years, has announced his plans to retire.

Kindred will retire July 31 and his successor has been named. Katrina Keefer, who possesses 20 years of healthcare leadership experience, will serve as the new chief executive of DCH Health System.

Keefer is currently the CEO of Augusta University Health and executive vice president of health affairs at Augusta University. She will become CEO at DCH on Aug. 1.

Kindred will remain in a consultant role to ensure a smooth transition. He has spent more than 37 years in various administrative positions within the system.

“I am proud of what we have accomplished at DCH over almost four decades,” Kindred said in a statement. “We have grown by leaps and bounds, brought new and innovative care to our community and become the destination for healthcare needs in West Alabama.”

Keefer is looking forward to joining DCH.

“I will combine the skills and expertise I have honed during my career to drive change, continue to grow clinical services, enhance engagement and improve healthcare outcomes for the patients we serve in West Alabama,” Keefer said in a statement.