COVID-19: Masking policy, vaccinations, testing and general information. Learn more

Physician Leadership

Dr. Christine Alexander was named chair in May 2014 and serves as the Director of Maternal and Neonatal Service for the Department of Family Medicine. Prior to  these appointments, she was Director of Obstetrical Education from 1997 to 2003, Residency Director of the Department of Family Medicine from 1998 to 2004, and Clerkship Director for Family Medicine from 2006 to 2010. Since 2010, she served MetroHealth as the Interim Chair of the Department of Family Medicine.

Dr. Alexander was promoted to Associate Professor at Case Western Reserve University in 2011. She is board certified in Family Medicine, and was recertified in 2009.
She completed the Advisory Board Leadership Series in 2011 and the Academy Fellowship Development of Senior Leaders Program sponsored by the Advisory Board and The MetroHealth System in 2013. Dr. Alexander is active in numerous national family medicine organizations.

She currently is co-principal investigator on the MEDTAPP Healthcare Access Initiative Grant which began in July 2012 and provides $2.9 million dollars of support from the State of Ohio to improve healthcare access, increase quality of care and decrease cost of care for Medicaid patients while training, recruiting and retaining providers who wish to serve an urban population. She also has initiated the MetroHealth School-Based Healthcare Program and successfully obtained private foundation funding for a pilot project for the program at Mound Elementary STEM School. Currently this program is targeted to expand to 20 school sites under Dr. Alexander’s leadership.

Dr. Alexander received her Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Youngstown State University and completed her medical degree at the Ohio State University. She completed a residency in Family Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, followed by two years of obstetrics at the Mercy Hospital in Pittsburgh. She later completed a Faculty Development Fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh.

Dr. Agnieszka Anna Ardelt was named chair in February 2021 and serves as the Director of Neurocritical Care, Director of our Joint Commission-accredited Comprehensive Stroke Center and recently, as interim Chair of the Department of Neurology.

Dr. Ardelt joined MetroHealth from the University of Chicago in 2017, where she was the Director of the Neurosciences Critical Care Division. As Chair, Dr. Ardelt will transform the Department of Neurology from predominantly a community practice model into an academic Department. She will optimize neurologic care across the system and is committed to elevating neurologic knowledge among multi-disciplinary colleagues and future generations of inter-professional providers. Dr. Ardelt will lead innovative research in outcomes from neurologic disease, neurologic health care delivery, and population neurologic health; and design and implement innovative programs to elevate the quality of neurologic care across the care continuum.

Dr. Ardelt received her MD/PhD from Washington University in St Louis, followed by a residency in Neurology and a fellowship in Neurosciences Critical Care at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. She is triple boarded in Neurology, Vascular Neurology and Neurocritical Care and has an MBA in health care from Loyola University in Chicago. 

Craig Bates, MD, was appointed as Medical Director, Metro Life Flight in 2008, and oversees clinical operations for critical care transport services.

Dr. Bates began his career at MetroHealth in 2001 as an emergency medicine resident. He joined the emergency medicine faculty in 2004. Dr. Bates is board certified in Emergency Medicine and Emergency Medical Services through the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He has been working as a flight physician since 2004. He also serves as Associate Medical Director for the Cleveland Department of Public Safety. 

Dr. Bates received his medical degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Shari Bolen, MD, MPH, was named as Founding Director of The MetroHealth System Population Health Research Institute (PHRI), on January 2, 2020. Dr. Bolen will leads and develops new interdisciplinary research programs – paving the future for medical research, education, clinical care, and community health. The component Centers of the Institute include the Center for Healthcare Research and Policy (CHRP), the Center for Reducing Health Disparities and the Center for Clinical Informatics Research and Education. Dr. Bolen also serves as the Director of CHRP.

As Director of the PHRI, Dr. Bolen creates a highly collaborative environment that shares best practices and generates opportunities for continued growth of the Institute and its component Centers and ultimately, the entire research enterprise at MetroHealth. She plays a key role in driving the planning, implementation and delivery of data analytics and outcomes research around population health and care management programs and initiatives.

Dr. Bolen collaborates with the MetroHealth Population Health Innovation Institute and the Institute for H.O.P.E.™ to advance our understanding of social determinants of health and inform and contribute to the development of effective interventions. Above all, Dr. Bolen helps MetroHealth adapt and thrive in an evolving health care industry and inspire the organization to deliver on its vision of being the “most admired public health system in the nation, renowned for our innovation, outcomes, service and financial strength.”

Christopher Brandt, MD, has served as Chair of the Department of Surgery since September 2011. He also serves as Associate Director of the MetroHealth Comprehensive Burn Care Center. Dr. Brandt has been Board Certified in Surgery since 1989 and joined MetroHealth that same year.

Dr. Brandt is an accomplished teacher, winning numerous awards from the Case School of Medicine and other institutions. He has served the surgical community through roles in multiple, national organizations. He is currently active in the Association of Surgical Education where he serves on the Executive Committee, is chair of the Program Committee and is Section Editor of the Surgical Educator’s Manual. He has also served as an Associate Examiner for the American Board of Surgery. Dr. Brandt is highly involved in the Central Surgical Association, the Cleveland Surgical Society, the Midwest Surgical Association, the Eastern Great Lakes Burn Study Group, the National Board of Medical Examiners and the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons.

Dr. Brandt is a regular contributor to surgical literature, authoring 54 abstracts, 39 peer-reviewed publications and 10 book chapters. He also has served as section editor of two books.

Dr. Brandt attended Case Western Reserve University for both his undergraduate and medical degrees. He completed his general surgery residency at the University Hospitals/Veterans’ Administration/MetroHealth System combined program.

Dr. Doug Bruce is Senior Vice President, Chief Clinical Integration Officer. In this role, he works closely with leaders from the hospital and ambulatory divisions. He is responsible for coordinating and integrating clinical and medical operations across MetroHealth, including between the main hospital and ambulatory sites. Dr. Bruce assists in directing efforts to increase quality of care, advance health equity, enhance patient safety and engagement, and optimize the overall effectiveness of MetroHealth’s clinical enterprise.

Dr. Bruce joined MetroHealth in 2022 where he previously served as Physician Executive for Primary Care. Prior to joining MetroHealth, Dr. Bruce was an Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine at Boston University and the Associate Chief of Clinical Affairs at Boston Medical Center. 

Dr. Bruce received his medical degree from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas and additional graduate degrees from MIT (MBA) and Yale University (MA in philosophical theology and MS in chronic disease epidemiology).

Dr. James Campbell joined MetroHealth in 1993 and has served in a number of key roles during his tenure. He has overseen the Post-Acute and Extended Care Patient Care Unit since 2009 as Executive Director and has served as Chair for the Department of Family Medicine from 1999 through 2010.

Dr. Campbell was instrumental in building a strong geriatrics program at MetroHealth and is board certified in Family Medicine and Geriatric Medicine.

Dr. Campbell received his medical degree from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and completed his internship, residency and fellowship programs at University Hospitals Health System in Cleveland.

John Chae, MD, was named Senior Vice President, Chief Academic Officer, in June 2023, leading the continued elevation of MetroHealth’s academic and research mission. In this role, he coordinates the joint mission of MetroHealth and Case Western Reserve University (CRWU) in medical education and research.

A faculty member at MetroHealth since 1994, Dr. Chae also has appointments as Senior Associate Dean and Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) and Biomedical Engineering at the CWRU School of Medicine.

Dr. Chae previously served as Vice President of Research and Sponsored Programs, Chair of the clinical department of PM&R and Co-Director of the MetroHealth Rehabilitation Institute at the MetroHealth System. He also served as Chair of the academic department of PM&R at CWRU. 

Dr. Chae has made notable contributions as a clinician, educator, inventor, scientist, and leader. He is the co-inventor of percutaneous peripheral nerve stimulation system for the treatment of musculoskeletal and neuropathic pain, which has been placed in nearly 20,000 patients. He also co-invented contralaterally controlled functional electrical stimulation, a novel treatment for recovery of upper limb function following stroke.

He has authored over 130 peer-reviewed publications, book chapters and books and has been awarded 15 patents. During his tenure as Chair of PM&R, the MetroHealth Rehabilitation Institute rose to become Ohio’s top rehabilitation hospital (#24 nationally, US News & World Report), and the Department of PM&R at CWRU became the nation’s top NIH funded department (Blue Ridge) among PM&R departments in US medical schools. Dr. Chae was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 2011 and is a Past President of the Association of Academic Physiatrists. 

Dr. Chae received his Bachelor of Science degree in Biomedical Engineering from Duke University and a Master of Engineering degree in Biomedical Engineering from Dartmouth College. He received his M.D. and residency training in PM&R from Rutgers University – New Jersey Medical School. He completed the NIH Rehabilitation Medicine Scientist Training Program Fellowship at CWRU. His clinical expertise is in stroke rehabilitation.

Dr. Crowe is a board-certified dermatologist specializing in general dermatology. He joined MetroHealth in 2011. He is a member of the Academy of Dermatology and of the American Medical Association.

Dr. Crowe received his medical degree from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, where he also completed his internship and residency programs.

Dr. Ronnie Fass joined MetroHealth in 2012 and is a world-renowned expert in the field of esophageal disorders and gastrointestinal motility. In addition to his role as Director of the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Dr. Fass is the head of the Esophageal and Swallowing Center at MetroHealth.

In 2021, Dr. Fass was selected to be a Master of the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG). The Mastership is awarded to individuals due to their recognized stature and achievement in clinical gastroenterology and teaching, as well as their contributions to the ACG in service, leadership and education. Dr. Fass has extensively researched and published many articles in the areas of GERD, (gastro esophageal reflux disease) functional esophageal disorders and Barrett’s esophagus. He is board certified in Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology. He is a member of the American College of Gastroenterology, the American Neurogastroenterology and Motility Society, and the American Gastroenterological Association.

Dr. Fass earned his medical degree from Ben-Gurion University in Beer-Sheva, Israel and completed his residency at the University of Arizona Health Sciences Center in Tucson, AZ, where he served as Chief Resident. He completed his fellowship at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Dr. Gregory Heintschel joined MetroHealth in 2018 and serves as Chair of the Department of Dental Medicine.

As Chair, Dr. Heintschel is responsible for the successful recruitment and development of faculty to meet the clinical and academic needs of the department. He maintains excellent teaching programs for residents, fellows and dental students in close collaboration with the Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) School of Dental Medicine.

Dr. Heintschel was appointed as Senior Associate Dean for the MetroHealth Campus of the CWRU School of Dental Medicine in 2020. In this role, he oversees the planning, assessment and implementation of the school's teaching and research programs at the health system.

Dr. Heintschel also serves the professional community at large. He currently sits as a member of the Ohio Dental Association’s Council on Access to Care and Public Service, and serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Ohio Dental Association as of spring 2020. He also has national involvement as a member of a working group for dental patient safety for the American Dental Association’s Council on Advocacy for Access and Prevention.

Dr. Heintschel earned his DDS from The Ohio State University and an Masters in Business Administration from Lawrence Technological University in Southfield, MI. He completed his residency at the University of Toledo (Ohio).

Dr. Natalie Joseph joined MetroHealth in 2008 and serves as Director of the Center for Breast Health. In this role, she collaborates with the strategy team, key clinical and administrative stakeholders and others to develop a plan for a new comprehensive breast center. Dr. Joseph also serves as Division Director, Surgical Oncology. In January 2024, she became President of the Medical Staff.

Previously, she served as Interim Director of the Cancer Center and Medical Director of the Breast Center and Division Director, Surgical Oncology. 

Dr. Joseph received her medical degree from Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia. She completed her surgical residency at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, followed by a fellowship in Surgical Oncology at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia. 

Dr. Venkataramu (Venkat) N. Krishnamurthy was appointed Chair of the Department of Radiology in August 2021. In this role, he will work with the Service Lines and other stakeholders to deliver safe, high quality and efficient radiological services to our patients, while being a champion of inclusion and diversity, faculty development and the recruitment of outstanding attending radiologists, residents and fellows.

Dr. Krishnamurthy is was previously Professor, Department of Radiology, Vascular and Interventional Radiology, and Professor, Department of Surgery, at Michigan Medicine/University of Michigan. In addition, Venkat was the Chief of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine Services and Director of Interventional Radiology at the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System.  

Dr. Krishnamurthy received his MBBS from the Karnatak Medical College, followed by residency training in Radiology and Interventional Radiology in India. He then completed fellowships at the University of Miami in Abdominal Radiology and at Indiana University in Vascular and Interventional Radiology. Venkat is board certified in Radiology (ABR), Vascular Medicine (ABVM) and holds a Certificate of Added Qualifications in Subspecialty Vascular and Interventional Radiology (ABR).

Dr. Krishnamurthy brings a breadth of teaching experience to MetroHealth and Case Western Reserve University. Venkat won teaching awards during his time in Michigan and Miami for his education of students, residents and fellows. Dr. Krishnamurthy has been an active researcher and is currently engaged in studies focused on interventional radiology and funded by the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality, Department of Defense, VA Merit Funding and others. Venkat has published more than 50 peer reviewed publications, numerous book chapters and has often presented his work to both regional and national audiences.    

Dr. Agnes Loeffler joined MetroHealth in 2018 and serves as Chair of the Department of Pathology.

She earned her medical degree from the University of Illinois College of Medicine (Urbana). Dr. Loeffler completed her residency in Anatomic Pathology and a fellowship in Surgical Pathology at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (New Hampshire).

Dr. Holly Perzy joined MetroHealth in 1994 and established the first Medicine-Pediatrics (Med-Peds) practice at MetroHealth in the southwest Cleveland area and the first national “department” in 1996, setting an example for other Med-Peds programs in the US. She served as President of the medical staff from 2006 to 2008 and has held a variety of clinical and operational leadership roles. Most recently, Dr. Perzy served as Vice President, Care Delivery and Executive Director of Skyway, an integrated network of health care services.

Dr. Perzy has been recognized with countless awards, including most recently the Northeast Ohio Notable Women in Healthcare Award, Crain’s Cleveland Business (August 2018), Meds-Peds Resident Teacher of the Year Award (June 2018), Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters, John Carroll University (May 2017) and one of Cleveland’s Top Doctors, Internal Medicine (2015-2017).

Dr. Perzy earned her medical degree from the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, and a Masters’ in Medical Management from the Heinz School of Public Health and Policy at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburg. She completed her internship and residency training at MetroHealth, serving as Chief Resident in Internal Medicine. 

Dr. Rakhshanda Layeequr Rahman was appointed Executive Director of the Cancer Center in January 2024. She joins MetroHealth from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in Lubbock, Texas, where she served as Medical Director of the UMC Cancer Center, Director of Breast Center of Excellence and Vice Chair of Cancer Research and Development.

Dr. Rahman is nationally recognized for her clinical practice and translational research in the field of cryoablation for breast cancer. She also is a published author on topics of personal development and leadership, including her latest book, Leadership Deconstructed. In addition, she is a nationally recognized speaker and instructor on leadership in business and health care.

Dr. Rahman serves on several national boards and committees, including for the American Society of Breast Surgeons and National Consortium of Breast Centers. She is the recipient of numerous awards and honors. She is a graduate of the Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine at Drexel University.

Dr. Rahman received her medical degree from the Aga Khan University Medical College in Karachi, Pakistan, where she completed her internship and residency. She completed fellowships in breast and general surgery at Aga Khan, followed by a breast subspecialty fellowship at the University of Arkansas for the Medical Science. 

Dr. Roy was named chair in February 2022 and has served as interim Chair since June 2021.

Dr. Roy is recognized as a strong and dedicated leader, including roles as Division Head and Medical Director of Pediatric Critical Care Medicine at MetroHealth and Vice-Chair for Quality, Safety and Patient Experience. Importantly, Dr. Roy has been outstanding in fostering our collaborative work with Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital.   

Dr. Roy is a native of India and completed her Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery at Grant Medical College, Mumbai, India.  She completed a residency in Pediatrics at Cooper University Health Care, New Jersey followed by a Fellowship in Pediatric Critical Care at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital, Cleveland. She is board certified by the American Board of Pediatrics and the American Board of Pediatrics-Critical Care Medicine.

Dr. Roy is currently an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics.

She earned a Masters of Public Health at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, and is in the process of completing a Masters of Applied Science – Healthcare Quality and Patient Safety, also at Johns Hopkins.  In addition, Dr. Roy is a graduate of the FLEX Leadership Program, a development program for women faculty at CWRU School of Medicine.

Dr. Roy brings a breadth of teaching and research experience to her new position and has won numerous teaching awards. 

David Stepnick, MD, has served as Chair of the Department of Otolaryngology since February 2017. A faculty member at MetroHealth since 2014, he is a Professor at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. He is Board certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery (1990) and the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (ABFPRS) (1992).

He has served on the ABFPRS Credentials Committee for many years, was elected Co-chair of the Credentials Committee in 2015 and has been the ABFPRS Vice President of Credentials since 2018. Dr. Stepnick was a two-term member of the ABFPRS Board of Directors from 2009-2015, a Senior Advisor to the Board from 2015 – 2018, and a member of the Executive Committee since then.

He has been an Oral Board Examiner many times for each of the specialty Boards noted above. He was the Associate Editor of Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery journal from 2011 - 2019. He has been on many committees of the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery and the American Academy of Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS) since 1985, and currently Chairs the Continuing Medical Education Committee of the AAFPRS.

Dr. Stepnick’s primary focus is on Facial Plastic Surgery including cosmetic and reconstructive surgery of the face, nose, mouth, throat, and neck. His specialties include functional and cosmetic rhinoplasty, facial cosmetic surgery including non-invasive procedures, facial reconstruction after removal of skin cancers, and head & neck cancer surgery. 

Dr. Stepnick received his medical degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and completed his surgery internship and otolaryngology residency at University Hospitals of Cleveland. He completed a fellowship in Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Washington University School of Medicine.  

Dr. Luis E. Tollinche joined MetroHealth in 2021 and is Chair of the Department of Anesthesiology. He also serves as Professor of Anesthesiology at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) School of Medicine. He is an elected member of the Faculty Senate at CWRU. 

Dr. Tollinche teaches and supervises MetroHealth Anesthesiology Residents and oversees the Program Director for MetroHealth’s Anesthesiology Residency. Previously, he held academic and clinical appointments at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) in New York for nearly 15 years. He also held academic and clinical appointments as an attending anesthesiologist at Memorial Hospital for Cancer & Allied Diseases. 

Among his responsibilities as Chair is the successful recruitment and development of faculty to meet the clinical and academic needs of the department.

Dr Tollinche also serves as the medical director of Perioperative Services.

A leader in Quality Assurance and Patient Safety, Dr Tollinche’s research interests and expertise also include neuromuscular blockade and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.  He serves as an oral board examiner for the American Board of Anesthesiology; is an elected Councilor of the American Association of Anesthesiology Chairs (AAAC/SAAAPM); and is an assistant editor for Anesthesia & Analgesia, the official journal of the International Anesthesia Research Society. 

Dr. Tollinche is principal investigator of multiple active Institutional Review Board protocols and has authored dozens of articles in peer-reviewed publications.   

Dr. Tollinche earned his medical degree from the CWRU School of Medicine. He received his undergraduate degree from Harvard University. He completed an internship at Carney Hospital of Tufts University School of Medicine and his anesthesiology residency training at Brigham and Women’s Hospital of Harvard Medical School.

He is in the process of completing a Masters in Public Health from the University of Florida College of Public Health and Health Professions. 

Dr. John (Jack) H. Wilber, MD, was named as Chair of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at MetroHealth in August of 2013. He joined the System in 1987 and is board certified in Orthopaedic Surgery.

The recipient of multiple best doctor and best surgeon awards, Dr. Wilber has been listed in Best Doctors in America consecutively from 1998 to 2014 and has won the Department of Orthopaedics Teaching award four times during his tenure.

Dr. Wilber has an international reputation in Orthopedic Traumatology and has served in many leadership roles including as President of AO North America, the premier international organization for Orthopaedic Traumatology, from 2004 to 2011. In addition, he served on the board of the AO International Foundation from 2000 to 2010; the AO North American Trauma Committee since 2004; the AO Trauma International Board since 2009 where he is current Chairman Elect; and is chair of the AO North America Board of Directors.

Dr. Wilber has been published in 28 peer reviewed publications, has written 21 abstracts, and 11 book chapters. He has made more than 145 national and international presentations including multiple visiting professorships. Dr. Wilber was promoted to Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the Case School of Medicine in 2002 and was named the inaugural Hansjoerg Wyss Professor of Orthopaedic Traumatology in 2009. 

Dr. Wilber earned his medical degree from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and completed his internship and residency in Orthopedics at Case University Hospitals/MetroHealth, followed by an AO fellowship in Orthopaedic Traumatology in Switzerland.

Dr. Donald "Chip" Wiper III is Chair of the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology. He joined MetroHealth in August 2022 and also serves as Center Director, Women's Health.

Dr. Wiper previously served as Professor, University of South Carolina School of Medicine and Professor, School of Health Research, Clemson University. Prior to his experience in South Carolina, he was Associate Professor at the University of Vermont, Maine Medical Center; and Chair of the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology at Greenville Health System in South Carolina, now part of Prisma Health. 

Among his other roles during his tenure at Greenville Health System, Dr. Wiper was Vice President for Institutional Culture, Experience and Organizational Science; Women's Services Medical Director; Chief Clinical Officer for Patient Experience; and was a founding board member and manager of Greenville Health System's clinically integrated network/accountable care organization.  

Dr. Wiper's personal research interests focus on health system science and complex teams. In partnership with colleagues at Clemson University, he is the Principal Investigator of a Department of Defense Army Research Institute current first phase project entitled "Next Generation Teams: Multiteam Systems in Healthcare."   

Dr. Wiper received his medical degree from Case Western Reserve University and completed a residency in Obstetrics & Gynecology at University Hospitals, followed by a fellowship in Gynecologic Oncology at the Cleveland Clinic.  

Dr. Wiper is board certified by the American Board of Obstetrics & Gynecology with subspecialty board certification in Gynecologic Oncology.