Akram Boutros Bio
In his more than seven years as the President and CEO of MetroHealth, the public health system in Cleveland, Akram Boutros, MD, FACHE, has galvanized political leaders, entrepreneurs and the community around an inspiring and comprehensive model of health care that goes beyond traditional medicine to include distributing healthy food and providing educational opportunities, job training, legal services and more throughout the community it serves.
With his unwavering commitment to improve the health of Greater Cleveland, Dr. Boutros has achieved what many thought was impossible: a complete turnaround of MetroHealth. In 2017, the system went to market on its own credit and sold $946 million in bonds to rebuild its aging hospital, revitalize its main campus and resurrect its West Side neighborhood. In April 2019, it broke ground on that 270-room, 11-floor hospital. Two months later, MetroHealth made two stunning announcements: a more than $60 million investment in its Clark-Fulton neighborhood that includes three apartment buildings and retail development, and the creation of the Institute for H.O.P.E.™. (Health, Opportunity, Partnership, Empowerment), a bold venture dedicated to the social determinants of health.
These achievements are just a few pieces in the unprecedented transformation of Cuyahoga County’s public health care system Dr. Boutros has piloted since he arrived at MetroHealth in 2013.
During his tenure, he has created an Integrated Delivery System that provides care at more than 20 community health centers, four hospitals, four clinics in Discount Drug Mart stores, four MetroExpressCare locations and nine pharmacies. Those are in addition to MetroHealth’s main-campus medical center, which is home to the area’s most experienced Level I Adult Trauma Center, Ohio's only Ebola Treatment Center and the only adult and pediatric trauma and burn center in the state.
With $1.3 billion in annual revenue, MetroHealth treats more than 300,000 patients at more than 1.4 million visits a year.
Under Dr. Boutros, MetroHealth has created more than 1,800 new jobs, sent doctors into more than a dozen local schools and constructed an $82 million addition to its Critical Care Pavilion. In 2019, MetroHealth returned $231 million – 19% of its operating expenses – to Cuyahoga County in free care and community benefit programs. That is nearly two times the national average.
Dr. Boutros’ collaborative spirit has led to dozens of partnerships, including working with the Cleveland public schools to open what is believed to be the only high school inside a hospital. Its first class of seniors graduated in June 2019; 100% were accepted into college.
An internist with a 28-year record of successful hospital leadership at academic medical centers, community hospitals and specialty hospitals, Dr. Boutros cultivates personal relationships throughout the hospital system and the community along with an atmosphere of personal excellence for everyone he works with.
He is a graduate of St. John’s University, SUNY Downstate Medical Center and Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program. He has received an honorary Doctor of Medicine degree from Northeast Ohio Medical University and an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Baldwin Wallace University.
He serves on numerous nonprofit boards and is the recipient of dozens of awards, including the 2019 Humanitarian Award from The Diversity Center of Northeast Ohio.
His community service includes serving on the boards of:
- America’s Essential Hospitals
- American Hospital Association Regional Policy Board
- American Hospital Association Section for Metro Hospitals Governing Council
- American Hospital Association Strategic Leadership Group for Urban Hospital Sustainability
- Blockland Cleveland 1.0
- Blockland Cleveland 2.0
- Cuyahoga Community College Foundation
- Greater Cleveland Partnership
- The MetroHealth Foundation
- Select Assurance Captive
Some of his recent awards include being named:
- Recipient of the 2019 Humanitarian Award from The Diversity Center of Northeast Ohio
- Recipient of the 2018 George V. Voinovich Municipal Service Award from The Cuyahoga County Mayors & City Managers Association
- Recipient of the 2018 Richard H. Adler Community Leadership Award from the American Jewish Committee Cleveland
- Recipient of the Stokes Community Leadership Award
- A Nonprofit Hospital and Health System CEO to Know
- EY 2015 Entrepreneur of the Year for Community Impact in Northeast Ohio
- A 2015-2018 nominee for Modern Healthcare’s 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare
- To Northeast Ohio’s Power 150 by Crain’s Cleveland Business
- Inside Business Magazine’s Power 100 list