SMD Client Profile: Dr. Akram Boutros

When Dr. Akram Boutros left New York to become the president and CEO of the MetroHealth System in Cleveland, Ohio, he recognized that he could serve Northeast Ohio in revolutionary ways. MetroHealth was already the recognized leader in trauma and burn care in the Greater Cleveland area. Its 16 health care centers provided care throughout the county. But Dr. Boutros knew that MetroHealth could do more for the community and even become a model for the rest of the country.

With the future of health care delivery necessitating a different way to do business, Boutros knew he had to shift the mind-set at MetroHealth. He began by appointing a committee to create a new mission statement, vision statement, and core values. Within six weeks, they crafted a mission, vision, and values that guide all that MetroHealth does. The new mission is “Leading the way to a healthier you and a healthier community through service, teaching, discovery and teamwork.” The new vision is “MetroHealth will become the most admired public hospital in the nation, renowned for our innovation, outcomes, service and financial strength.” The entire staff, as well as volunteers, embraces the mission, vision, and core values of service to others, teamwork, accountability, respect, inclusion and diversity, and the quest for excellence. They bring them to life every day through their attitude and actions.

Recognizing that the main campus of the hospital was built when health care needs were very different from today, MetroHealth is in the process of planning for a new main campus focused on patient-centered care that will help lead to better health and wellness for the entire community. A new website dedicated to this transformation process encourages community members to join the conversation and suggest what they would like to see in their new hospital. Last month, MetroHealth held a music festival right on the front lawn of the main campus as a way to invite the surrounding community to join in.

At the head of it all, Dr. Boutros is bringing his own process to health care in Cleveland. He is known for showing a personal interest in his staff and keeps in touch with their lives as he walks through the halls of MetroHealth. When the positive changes at MetroHealth are praised, Dr. Boutros deflects the compliments and says it’s the MetroHealth employees who are doing the work. It’s not a coincidence that for his last birthday his staff gave him a card that had his face superimposed onto a superhero character. In the time that Dr. Boutros has been at MetroHealth, he has led impressive changes that have poised MetroHealth for its brightest future yet.

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