CLEVELAND (WJW) — MetroHealth’s newly announced CEO has led transformational changes at a major Chicago hospital system.

Airica Steed is the current executive vice president and chief operating officer of Sinai Chicago Health System and president of Mount Sinai and Sinai Children’s Hospital. She’ll assume the president and CEO roles at MetroHealth on Jan. 1, 2023, succeeding retiring CEO Dr. Akram Boutrous, according to a news release from 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 is quoted in the release.

“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.”

While at Sinai Chicago, an urban academic health care system similar to MetroHealth, Steed oversaw a “multifaceted clinical, operational, financial and cultural transformation” leading to more than $200 million in improvements over three years, “radically” improved quality indicators and cut mortality rates by 40%, according to the release.

Steed is a “proud” fourth-generation nurse who’s been nationally recognized for innovation and leadership, according to the release. She was named among Modern Healthcare’s “Top 25 Healthcare Innovators” in 2020 and among the “Top 25 Minority Leaders” last year. Becker’s Hospital Review also put her on its lists of top female and Black health care leaders.

Steed holds a Doctorate of Education in Leadership from Olivet Nazarene University, a Master of Business Administration from Governors State University and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Rush University.

“Dr. Steed’s capabilities, character and experience are a perfect match for the qualities we wanted in our next CEO,” MetroHealth Board Chair Vanessa Whiting is quoted in the release.

“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.”

MetroHealth, founded in 1837, is Cuyahoga County’s public “safety-net” hospital system. It operates four hospitals and emergency departments and dozens of other health centers and other sites, and employs about 8,000 workers.