Alameda Health System Names Board Trustee and Former Berkeley Unified School District Superintendent Michele Lawrence to Lead Search Committee to Find New CEO

OAKLAND, Calif., Oct. 1, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Alameda Health System (AHS) announced that its Board of Trustees has formed a search committee to lead the effort to replace its CEO Wright L. Lassiter, III, who is departing in December to become the president of Henry Ford Health System (HFHS), one of the nation's largest and most comprehensive integrated health care systems. His appointment is part of a two-year succession plan announced yesterday by HFHS' CEO Nancy Schlichting as she steps down from the $4.5 billion dollar health care system in December 2016.

The committee will be led by Board Trustee Michele Lawrence and will be comprised of the Board's Vice President, Valerie D. Lewis and James D. Falaschi, Maria G. Hernández, James Lugannani and Dr. Barry Zorthian. Lawrence was appointed to the Board of Trustees in November 2012 and is a member of the AHS Finance Committee, Strategic Planning Committee and the Quality Professional Services Committee.

Lawrence previously served as Superintendent of Berkeley Unified School District from 2001 until her retirement in 2008. She overhauled the organization and moved its $100 million budget from financial insolvency to a positive budget certification. Lawrence led oversight efforts to achieve multi-year contract settlements with five separate unions and initiated changes in mental health programs by working with City and County agencies to bring needed resources and services into the schools.

"I am delighted and excited that Trustee Lawrence has agreed to lead the search," said Kirk E. Miller, President of the AHS Board of Trustees. "She has a proven track record of leadership, an astute ability to assess talent and the uncanny ability to include the community in the most important of decisions."

The special committee will present its plan of action at the Board of Trustees retreat on October 17 and 18. Lassiter will stay on at AHS until December 2014, helming a smooth transition for AHS.

About Alameda Health System (AHS)

Alameda Health System, a major public health care provider headquartered in Oakland, California, is recognized as a world-class patient and family centered system of care with more than 4,500 employees, 1,000 physicians and 480 volunteers. Their facilities include Highland Hospital, a major regional trauma center and teaching hospital; Alameda Hospital, an acute care facility providing emergency, in-patient and outpatient services in Alameda; San Leandro Hospital, which provides emergency and in-patient hospital care services; John George Psychiatric Hospital, an acute and emergency care facility in San Leandro; Fairmont Hospital, an acute rehabilitation hospital and skilled nursing facility, also in San Leandro; and four ambulatory wellness centers in Oakland as well as in Newark and Hayward.

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Source:Alameda Health System