Chutes & Ladders—MetroHealth CEO, president to retire in 2022; Intermountain CIO heads to nonprofit

Welcome to this week's Chutes & Ladders, our roundup of hirings, firings and retirings throughout the industry. Please submit the good news—or the bad—from your shop, and we will feature it here at the end of each week.


Akram Boutros, M.D.

Akram Boutros, M.D., announced plans to retire from his role at president and CEO of Ohio’s MetroHealth on Dec. 31, 2022.

He’s held the top spot since 2013, doubling the system’s hospital count and increasing its workforce from 6,200 people to nearly 8,000 during his tenure. Annual revenue increased from $785 million to over $1.5 billion under his watch.

Boutros is also the CEO of the MetroHealth Foundation, where he oversaw the largest donation in the organization’s history and increased its campaign goal from $100 million to $150 million.

Boutros’ career includes leadership positions at a number of healthcare providers, advisory groups and medical software firms.

MetroHealth’s board of trustees plans to conduct a nationwide search for Boutros’ replacement and will announce the members of that search committee later this month.

Graphite Health

Ryan Smith

Ryan Smith, currently chief information officer for Intermountain Healthcare, is departing the system to serve as the chief operating officer of nonprofit digital health company Graphite Health.

Smith is scheduled to remain in his current role through the first quarter of 2022 during a gradual onboarding at Graphite. He will report to CEO Ries Robinson, M.D., and take charge of building its team, managing corporate partnerships and critical deliverables.

He’ll be bringing decades of health IT leadership experience to the young company. In addition to more than 20 years at Intermountain, Smith served as senior vice president and chief information officer at Banner Health for half a decade as well as a senior vice president and executive adviser to Health Catalyst for nearly two years.

He'll likely maintain a close relationship with Intermountain, which was one of Graphite’s three founding health systems when it launched just a couple of months back.

The nonprofit aims to build a common data platform incorporating health records, health plan information and other relevant data for all of its participating health systems. According to the companies, Intermountain will be licensing Graphite’s medical informatics intellectual property free of charge.

UnitedHealth Group

profile photo of UnitedHealth Group's Dr. Margaret-Mary Wilson
Margaret-Mary Wilson, M.D.
(UnitedHealth Group)

Margaret-Mary Wilson, M.D., is taking on the new title of chief medical officer at UnitedHealth Group, succeeding Richard Migliori, M.D.

Wilson is currently serving as executive vice president and associate chief medical officer. She has been with the company since 2008, initially joining as a regional medical director of inpatient care management, health services.

UnitedHealthcare in 2008, Wilson was an associate professor of internal and geriatric medicine at St. Louis University in Missouri, where she also served as director of geriatric ambulatory services and director of the ortho-geriatric service. Her experience also includes direct patient care, medical education, patient safety, quality improvement, risk management and global healthcare systems management in a variety of healthcare settings in Africa, the U.K., South America and the U.S.

Migliori will be handing over the reins Dec. 5. He has been with the company for 25 years, having served as its chief medical officer since 2013.

Kaia Health

Nigel Ohrenstein
(Kaia Health)

Nigel Ohrenstein has been named as the new president of musculoskeletal (MSK) digital therapeutics company Kaia Health.

An entrepreneur who’s been active within healthcare for roughly two decades, Ohrenstein comes directly from co-founding and heading value-based care and population health company Lumeris.

While there, he helped shepherd the company’s sales, marketing, account management, operations, product development, partnerships and strategy as it scaled from a fresh startup to an employer of over 1,000 people.

At Kaia, Ohrenstein has been tasked with ramping up the company’s growth and strategy within the busy digital MSK space. It currently covers 60 million lives across the globe and recently closed a $75 million series C funding round.

> Kaiser Permanente is welcoming back Chief Health Officer Bechara Choucair, M.D., following a nearly one-year stint as the vaccinations coordinator of the White House COVID-19 Response Team. His return is effective Dec. 27.  

> Emanate Health CEO Robert Curry is scheduled to retire April 2.

> Equality Health, a provider of value-based physician networks, has appointed Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota vet Garrett Black as its new chief operating officer.

> Providence has appointed Susan Stacey as chief executive of its Providence Inland Northwest Washington service area and Ruth Krystopolski as president of its population health management subsidiary Ayin Health Solutions.

> Axuall has brought on board Joey Blogna as director of talent acquisition and development as well as LaShawn Fergus as director of implementation.

> H1 has named Ziad Ismail as chief operating officer.

> Greenway Health, a practice management and revenue cycle management software provider, has announced President Pratap Sarker will step up as its next CEO, effective Jan. 1.

> Southeast Georgia Health System has appointed former Tennessee Hospital Association President Scott Raynes as president and CEO, effective in January. He will succeed the retiring Michael Scherneck.

> Lark Health named Christian Ricciardiello as its new general counsel and Iveta Brigis as vice president of human resources.

> Wiggin and Dana has added Megan George as a counsel in its New York City-based healthcare practice group.

> CareRev has added former WHOOP Chief Business Officer Deborah Poole to its board of directors.

> XRHealth has added Rafael Grossmann to its advisory board.