MetroHealth Names Dr. Airica Steed as New President and CEO
The Board of The MetroHealth System announced today that after a nationwide search it has selected Airica Steed, Ed.D., MBA, RN, CSSMBB, FACHE, IASSC, to be its next President and Chief Executive Officer. She will succeed Dr. Akram Boutros, who announced late last year that he planned to retire at the end of 2022. She will assume the position on January 1.
Dr. 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. Much like MetroHealth, Sinai Chicago is an urban academic healthcare system focused on health equity and eradicating healthcare disparities. It is comprised of four acute care, post-acute and specialty hospitals, a nationally recognized research institute, and large multispecialty medical group with 800 physicians and 4,000 caregivers serving 1.5 million patients throughout Chicago. Mount Sinai & Sinai Children’s Hospital, the System’s flagship, is an acute care safety-net, teaching hospital, Level III Perinatal Center, and Level I Adult Trauma Center. Sinai Chicago’s flagship recently opened a new ambulatory campus that features a state-of-the-art facility that integrates healthcare with retail and housing to address the social determinants of health.
“Dr. Steed’s capabilities, character and experience are a perfect match for the qualities we wanted in our next CEO,” said MetroHealth Board Chair Vanessa Whiting, who is president of A.E.S. Management Corp. “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. She also has a deep history as an innovator and as a community collaborator who builds strong relationships among partners, both of which will continue to be important to our success.”
“We were fortunate to have several excellent candidates for the CEO role,” continued Whiting. “The Board was unanimous in the belief that Dr. Steed was the right leader to take MetroHealth forward, particularly as we open The Glick Center, our new hospital, and to increase our impact on our community’s health.”
“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,” said Dr. Steed. “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. The Board, Dr. Boutros and the MetroHealth team have put the system in an incredibly strong position, with great opportunities ahead. I’m excited to have the chance to work alongside them to build on what’s been accomplished and further develop and build on that work into the future.”
In her role at Sinai Chicago, Dr. Steed architected and led a multifaceted clinical, operational, financial and cultural transformation that accumulated over $200M in improvements over three years while radically improving publicly reported quality indicators and reducing hospital-acquired infections and mortality rates by 40 percent. She also serves in several academic positions, including the University of Illinois School of Public Health, and holds key board positions including at the Loyola University Chicago Quinlan School of Business and inaugural board seats on both the South Side Healthy Community Organization and the West Side Health Equity Collaborative. Dr. Steed is a proud fourth-generation nurse and brings a clinical perspective through her work as a nurse throughout her career.
Dr. Steed is nationally awarded, regarded and recognized across the country for her innovation and leadership. In 2020, Modern Healthcare named Dr. Steed among its “Top 25 Healthcare Innovators,” and last year included her among the “Top 25 Minority Leaders.” She is also named by Becker’s Hospital Review as one of the “Top 130 Women Hospital & Health System Leaders to Know” and “75 Black Healthcare Leaders to Know.”
Prior to joining Sinai Chicago, she was Senior Vice President, Operations at Presence Health; Chief Experience & Administrative Officer at University of Illinois Health System – one of the first chief patient experience officers in the country; Vice President, Clinical Operations and Professional Services/Operations at Advocate Health System, the largest integrated health system in Illinois; and a Senior Consultant and Engagement Leader at Pricewaterhouse Coopers.
She has a Doctorate of Education in Leadership from Olivet Nazarene University, a Master of Business Administration from Governors State University and a Bachelor of Science, Nursing from Rush University. She is also pursuing a Master's in International Relations with a focus on Healthcare from Harvard University Extension School.
Founded in 1837, MetroHealth is leading the way to a healthier you and a healthier community through service, teaching, discovery, and teamwork. Cuyahoga County’s public, safety-net hospital system, MetroHealth meets people where they are, providing care through four hospitals, four emergency departments, and more than 20 health centers and 40 additional sites. Each day, our 8,000 employees focus on providing our community with equitable health care–through patient-focused research, access to care, and support services–that seeks to eradicate health disparities rooted in systematic barriers. For more information, visit metrohealth.org.