Wright L. Lassiter III will succeed Lloyd H. Dean as the chief executive of CommonSpirit Health on Aug. 1.
Lassiter is moving to the top post at CommonSpirit from Henry Ford Health, where he has been president and chief executive since 2016. Henry Ford Health, based in Detroit, has 33,000 employees across a system that includes four hospitals and an academic medical center. Its 250 locations throughout Michigan include three behavioral health facilities and centers for cancer care, orthopedics and sports medicine.
Chicago-based CommonSpirit is one of the nation's largest nonprofit health systems with more than 150,000 employees, 140 hospitals and over 1,500 care sites in 21 states.
"CommonSpirit plays a special and indispensable role in communities across America," Lassiter said in a press release from the system announcing his hiring. "I'm honored to have the opportunity to lead this organization, which is a driving force for access to high-quality, essential services for all."
Dean announced last fall that he would retire this year after 22 years as a national leader in the Catholic health care ministry. He has been at the helm of CommonSpirit since it was formed in February 2019 by the merger of Dignity Health and Catholic Health Initiatives, creating the largest Catholic health system in the nation. He led Dignity Health before that. CommonSpirit had two chief executives until Kevin E. Lofton, the former head of CHI, retired in June 2020.
Lassiter chairs the board of the American Hospital Association and is a past chair of America's Essential Hospitals, an organization of over 300 safety net hospitals. At Henry Ford Health, he oversaw two mergers and the system's global expansion with the opening of partner hospitals in Saudi Arabia and India in 2020. Before coming to Henry Ford, he led the expansion of the Alameda Health System in Oakland, California, as the chief executive of that public health system.
"Wright's accomplishments and career focus embody CommonSpirit's vision of health care as an essential aspect of every person's life," CommonSpirit board member and incoming board chair Chris Lowney said in the system's press release. "His experience and success with complex health systems positions him well to lead our organization on our mission to deliver better health to all Americans."
Sr. Barbara Hagedorn, SC, president of Catholic Health Care Federation, CommonSpirit's sponsoring body, said that throughout his career "Wright has demonstrated that he shares our commitment as a Catholic health system to improving the health of those we serve, especially those most in need, and advancing social justice for all people."
CommonSpirit said a key area of focus for Lassiter will be supporting the health and well-being of the system's nurses, physicians, and staff.
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