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  • Jan 08, 2020

Cambridge Health Alliance Names Assaad Sayah, MD, as New Chief Executive Officer

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - The Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA) Board of Trustees today announced the selection of Assaad Sayah, MD, as CHA's new chief executive officer. Dr. Sayah, the health system's chief medical officer, has served as the interim CEO since June.

With support from recruiting firm Isaacson, Miller, Inc., CHA's search committee, composed of CHA Board members, senior leaders, providers, staff and community and government leaders, screened 150 applicants from across the country. Isaacson, Miller's extensive stakeholder engagement was reflected in the job description, candidate screening and overall review process.

Special focus was placed on candidates with administrative operations expertise, the ability to enhance quality metrics and standards, experience creating effective partnerships with provider and community organizations and commitment to advocacy for CHA's critical role serving the region's underserved. The Board conducted an extensive interview process with several high-caliber finalists and unanimously chose Dr. Sayah at this morning's Board meeting.

"Dr. Sayah exceeded our expectations while serving as interim CEO and in his various leadership capacities at CHA," said Joshua Posner, chair of the CHA Board of Trustees. "Though we were fortunate to have a deep bench of candidates, it was clear to our team that Dr. Sayah was the right fit. He is relentless in his pursuit of excellence and the highest quality of care, passionately committed to our mission and focused on the transformational change that is needed for CHA to achieve its vision of being the premier academic public health system in the nation."

Dr. Sayah's leadership has been a critical component of CHA's growth and success over the past decade. Before being named the chief medical officer in 2013, he served as the chief of emergency medicine and senior vice president of primary care. In the Emergency Department, Dr. Sayah led tremendous advancements at all three CHA hospitals, resulting in enhanced efficiency, quality, volume and patient satisfaction. He spearheaded primary care growth by more than 50 percent, expanding CHA's access in underserved communities and integrating primary care and behavioral health services and systems to address social determinants of health. He also plays a key role in CHA's commitment to the communities it serves, including his tenure as the co-chair of the Cambridge City Manager's Opioid Working Group established in 2018 to develop recommendations for strengthening the city's response to the opioid epidemic.

Additionally, Dr. Sayah served as chairman of CHA's Chiefs Council and president of the CHA Medical Staff, and he continues to serve on the faculty at Harvard Medical School. His research and publications focus on Emergency Department operation and emergency medical services, including design of the EMS system, continuous quality improvement, advanced directives, violence and weapons, disaster planning and pre-hospital thrombolytics.

Prior to joining CHA, Dr. Sayah held leadership roles at several area hospitals, including director of EMS for Brigham and Women's Hospital, associate chief for the Department of Emergency Medicine at St. Elizabeth's Medical Center and chairman of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Caritas Good Samaritan Medical Center. He received his medical doctorate from the University of Massachusetts Medical Center and completed his residency in emergency medicine at William Beaumont Hospital in Michigan.

"CHA is a special place, with a mission-driven team of providers and staff who put the patient first during each encounter," said Dr. Sayah. "I look forward to working together to continue to fulfill that commitment while setting high standards of access, value, equity and convenience for our patients and innovating ways to grow and deliver care."

Dr. Sayah's appointment as CHA's CEO is contingent on contract negotiations.

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