Executive Leadership Team
Dr. Akram Boutros joined The MetroHealth System as President and Chief Executive Officer in June 2013.
He serves as the leader of The MetroHealth System and is its primary public representative, reporting to the MetroHealth Board of Trustees. He works in partnership with the Board to ensure that the organization fulfills its mission and creates strategies that ensure its future success.
Prior to joining MetroHealth, Dr. Boutros was President of BusinessFirst Healthcare Solutions, a health care advisory firm focused on clinical transformation, operational turnarounds and emerging health delivery and reimbursement models. Dr. Boutros previously served as Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer of St. Francis Hospital – The Heart Center in Roslyn, New York, and as Executive Vice President, Chief Medical Officer and Chief Operating Officer of South Nassau Hospital in Oceanside, New York.
An internist, Dr. Boutros received his Doctor of Medicine from the State University of New York Health Sciences Center at Brooklyn. He is a graduate of Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program, is a Fellow, American College of Healthcare Executives, and is a recognized thought leader in management systems.
Dr. Boutros has been recognized for his leadership by several prominent organizations and publications. Most recently, he was named one of America’s 50 Most Influential Clinical Executives by Modern Healthcare. He was named to the Power 150 by Crain’s Cleveland Business; Power 100 by Inside Business Magazine; EY 2015 Entrepreneur of the Year for Community Impact in Northeast Ohio; American Red Cross 2016 Community Leader; Stokes Community Leadership Award, 2017; 183 Nonprofit Hospital and Health System CEOs to know by Becker’s Hospital Review; and a Top 30 Leaders of Northeast Ohio by Cleveland Magazine in 2018. More about Dr. Boutros...
Kate Brown was named President of The MetroHealth Foundation and Chief Development Officer of The MetroHealth System in February 2016.
In this role, Brown is responsible for the creation and implementation of a comprehensive strategic fundraising program for The MetroHealth System.
She served as Vice President of Development since March 2006 after joining the System in 2001 as Director of Development. Prior to joining MetroHealth, Brown was a senior development officer with The Cleveland Clinic. She also served as director of development for the Northeast Ohio Chapter for The Multiple Sclerosis Society and membership program manager with the Greater Cleveland Growth Association.
Brown earned her Master's in Public Administration from Cleveland State University, and a bachelor’s degree in International Studies from Miami University of Ohio.
Bernard Boulanger, MD, MBA, joined The MetroHealth System as Executive Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer in March 2016.
In this role, Dr. Boulanger is partnered with Michael Stern, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, as System dyad leaders, responsible for aligning organization-wide operational and clinical efforts.
Prior to joining MetroHealth, he held several roles at University of Kentucky (UK) HealthCare, most recently serving as chief medical officer. He provided leadership in the areas of clinical operations, program development, service quality and physician leader development. Dr. Boulanger also served as a trauma and general surgeon, medical director of inpatient services, associate chief medical officer for perioperative services, physician executive for UK Good Samaritan Hospital, and as enterprise director for surgery, endoscopy and interventional services.
Dr. Boulanger earned his Doctor of Medicine from the University of Toronto’s College of Medicine and a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Kentucky’s Gatton College of Business and Economics.
Nabil Chehade, MD, MSBS, serves as MetroHealth’s Executive Vice President and Chief Clinical Transformation Officer. He has been with the system since August 2016 when he joined MetroHealth as Senior Vice President of Population Health.
In this role, Dr. Chehade leads MetroHealth’s efforts to transform its clinical and operational approach to a population health care model, to further evolve the virtual care model and care for seniors. In addition, Dr Chehade oversees the Institute for H.O.P.E. ™ and community health initiatives.
Dr. Chehade previously worked at HealthSpan Physicians in the role of Chief Executive Officer and Market President from 2013 to 2016, and at the Ohio Permanente Medical Group, where he served in a number of executive leadership positions between 1998 and 2012, including Executive Medical Director and Chief Medical Informatics Officer and Chief of Urology.
Dr. Chehade received his medical degree and completed a residency in urology at the Medical College of Ohio in Toledo. He received a master’s degree in Biomedical Studies with a major in pathology at Toledo as well, and he completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School. Dr. Chehade is board certified in urology.
Jane M. Platten was named Executive Vice President, Administration & Chief of Staff. She joined MetroHealth in the summer of 2016, serving as Assistant to the CEO for Special Projects, and was named Associate Chief of Staff in the fall of 2017.
In this role, Platten is responsible for advising and collaborating with the President and Chief Executive Officer on mission-critical and complex strategies. In addition, she oversees the departments of Communications, Marketing, Community and Government Relations, Facilities Management, Community and Economic Development, Corporate Policies, and Public Safety.
During the past three years, Platten was responsible for orchestrating key aspects of the $946 million debt issuance for the physical transformation of MetroHealth’s Main Campus. She oversaw the development of a corporate policy department, and the reorganization of Facilities Management. In 2018 MetroHealth received a stellar review from The Joint Commission and had the fewest facilities opportunities for improvement in decades.
A proven senior executive, Platten’s background includes extensive experience in public administration, public agency and systems reorganization and performance-based project management. Prior to joining MetroHealth, she served as Chief of Staff for the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office, where she was responsible for operational and policy management and acted as senior advisor to the county prosecutor.
Additional experience includes serving as the Director of the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections from 2007 to 2012, where she overhauled operations and transitioned from an electronic voting system to an optical scan paper ballot system, resulting in renewed public confidence in the county’s election system. She also served as Administrator, Administrative Services Division of the Board of Elections from March 2004 to March 2007.
Platten earned a Bachelor of Arts in English degree from John Carroll University in Cleveland. She has served as a member of the Election Verification Network and has participated in national and state post-election audit workgroups, serving as an elections subject matter expert for local and national news outlets; this includes features in publications such as the New York Times, Congressional Quarterly and Governing Magazine.
Craig Richmond was named Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer in January 2018.
Richmond is responsible for the system-wide leadership and strategic direction of the organization’s financial operations, which include the revenue cycle, finance, accounting, internal audit, managed care, reimbursement and treasury departments.
Richmond joined MetroHealth in April 2010 as Vice President, Revenue Cycle, became Associate Chief Financial Officer in May 2013, and was named Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer in January 2014. His background includes more than 20 years working with academic medical centers, health systems and community providers to optimize revenue cycle and finance operations.
Richmond earned a Bachelor of Science in Accounting with a minor in Management Information Systems and Decision Support Systems from the University of Delaware. He is a Certified Public Accountant (Ohio and Maryland) and frequent speaker on a variety of best practices within finance and revenue cycle operations.
Michael Stern, MHA, FACHE, was named Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer in January 2018.
In this role, Stern partners with Bernard Boulanger, MD, MBA, Executive Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer, as System dyad leaders, responsible for aligning organization-wide operational and clinical efforts.
Stern joined MetroHealth as Senior Vice President and Chief of Staff in August 2015. Prior experience includes serving as System Vice President of Healthcare Services at Einstein Healthcare network in Philadelphia, a multi-hospital system and Level 1 Trauma Center, where he worked since 2011. He also held the position of Vice President of Operations at St. Vincent’s Hospital in New York from 2006 to 2011 and held roles as Regional Administrator of Physician Services at St. Vincent Catholic Medical Centers and Administrator at St. Charles Hospital and Rehabilitation Center, both in New York.
Stern earned a Master of Health Administration degree from Clark University and the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, MA, and a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management degree from Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York. He is also a Fellow, American College of Healthcare Executives.
Cheryl Forino Wahl, MA, JD, joined MetroHealth in July 2017 as Senior Vice President and Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer.
In this role, Forino Wahl is charged with ensuring that MetroHealth’s policies and practices reflect a culture committed to ethical conduct for the protection of patients, staff and visitors.
Before joining MetroHealth, she was the Chief Compliance Officer for ENVISIONRX OPTIONS, a subsidiary of Rite Aid Corporation. Prior to that, she served as Chief Compliance Officer for University Hospitals of Cleveland. Forino Wahl led her former companies to be recognized among the World’s Most Ethical Companies® by the Ethisphere Institute, a global leader in defining and advancing the standards of ethical business practices.
Forino Wahl earned her law degree and a Master's in Medical Ethics from the University of Pittsburgh, and her bachelor’s degree from Colgate University.
Joe Frolik was named Senior Vice President, Communications, Government and Community Relations in October 2019.
In this role, Frolik leads MetroHealth’s communications efforts and strategy as our Main campus is undergoing a billion-dollar physical transformation that includes the construction of a new 11-floor hospital.
He spent more than three decades at The Plain Dealer as a reporter, columnist, national correspondent and chief editorial writer. Frolik received numerous honors, including two National Headliner Awards. In 2013, he left The Plain Dealer to lead communications and public policy at the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office. For the past three years, he has been with ideastream, leading the public media organization’s news and public affairs efforts as its executive editor.
He earned his bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Northwestern University. In 2017, Frolik was enshrined into the Cleveland Press Club’s Journalism Hall of Fame.
Julie Jacono was named Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy & Innovation Officer in October 2019.
In this role, she oversees the business strategy and development, innovation, performance improvement and market intelligence of our growing MetroHealth System.
Jacono led the newly formed Office of Strategic Operations beginning in August 2018, when she was named Vice President, Strategic Operations. That internal consulting group continues to partner with other MetroHealth departments and employees to support innovative change. Her previous positions at MetroHealth include Executive Director of Ambulatory Operations and Director of Strategy & Business Development.
Jacono is a graduate of the Weatherhead School of Management and the School of Engineering at Case Western Reserve University.
Walter B. Jones, Jr., joined The MetroHealth System as Senior Vice President of Campus Transformation in October 2014.
In this role, Jones is leading the transformation of MetroHealth’s three million-square-foot main campus and surrounding community.
Jones previously served as senior vice president of facilities development for Dallas County Hospital District's Parkland Health and Hospital System. In that role he managed the planning, design, development and programming of Parkland's $1.3 billion 865-bed hospital and medical campus project. Prior to joining Parkland, Jones was an associate with Howell, Rusk, Dodson Architects in Atlanta, GA, where he oversaw projects including the major renovation and expansion of Atlanta's Grady Memorial Hospital and Northside Hospital Women’s Center.
Jones received his master’s degree in Architecture from Clemson University, and an undergraduate degree in Architecture and Urban Planning from Princeton University. He is a member of the American Institute of Architects and the Texas Society of Architects; he is LEED certified in sustainability design by the U.S. Green Building Council, and EDAC certified by the Center for Health Design in the principles of evidence-based design.
Melissa Kline, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, was named Senior Vice President - Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer in January 2019.
In this role, Melissa partners with the Vice President, Hospital Operations, to oversee MetroHealth’s inpatient facilities. These include main campus, Old Brooklyn Campus, and the Parma and Cleveland Heights Medical Centers. In addition, she oversees all aspects of nursing practice for the system.
Kline previously served as Vice President - Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer since January 2018; prior to that, she was named Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer in January 2016. She served in a series of progressive leadership roles since beginning her career at MetroHealth in 1998. These include Nurse Manager, Director of Nurse Staffing Operations, Director of Nursing Operations and Professional Development, and Associate Chief Nursing Officer.
Kline earned a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree from the Chamberlain College of Nursing in 2017, a Master of Science in Nursing from Walden University, and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from The University of Akron.
Laura McBride was named Senior Vice President and Co-General Counsel for MetroHealth in January 2021 along with Sonja Rajki.
In their roles, they are responsible for all legal affairs of The MetroHealth System. They implemented a co-General Counsel structure after previously serving as Deputy General Counsels for MetroHealth. Through this framework, the co-General Counsels are able to provide high-level strategic advice while maintaining their strong connection and understanding of the System’s operational challenges and opportunities. McBride joined MetroHealth in 2014.
McBride previously worked for two large Ohio-based law firms. In the firm setting, her practice focused on assisting clients in navigating federal and state regulatory issues in a wide range of industries and forums through public and administrative law, health care and energy matters, and litigation of all types. McBride received her juris doctor degree from the George Washington University, her master’s degree in evaluative clinical sciences from Dartmouth College, and her bachelor’s degree from the College of Wooster.
Alan K. Nevel was named Senior Vice President, Chief Diversity and Human Resources Officer for The MetroHealth System in June 2018.
In this integrated leadership role, Nevel is responsible for driving the human resources strategy to attract, retain and motivate a highly engaged workforce to implement MetroHealth’s mission while leading diversity, inclusion, cultural competency and work-life strategies to empower employees.
Nevel most recently served as Vice President, Global Diversity and Inclusion for Thermo Fisher Scientific, a Massachusetts-based global life sciences solutions, specialty diagnostics and laboratory equipment company, which he joined in 2012. Previous experience includes leading diversity and inclusion, HR strategy delivery, talent development and organizational change management during his eight years with fashion retailer L Brands. Additional experience includes working at Anderson Consulting/Accenture and the Sherwin Williams Company.
Nevel earned a Master's in Business Administration from Case Western Reserve University’s Weatherhead School of Management and a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies from Cleveland State University.
Sonja Rajki was named Senior Vice President and Co-General Counsel for MetroHealth in January 2021 along with Laura McBride.
In their roles, they are responsible for all legal affairs of The MetroHealth System. They implemented a co-General Counsel structure after previously serving as Deputy General Counsels for MetroHealth. Through this framework, the co-General Counsels are able to provide high-level strategic advice while maintaining their strong connection and understanding of the System’s operational challenges and opportunities. Raiki joined MetroHealth in 2011.
Prior to joining MetroHealth, Rajki was a partner with a Cleveland-based law firm where her practice focused on counseling businesses, nonprofits and health care organizations in all aspects of their operations, including formation, mergers and reorganizations, joint ventures and real estate matters. Rajki began her legal career at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics where she implemented HIPAA and managed the root cause analysis process. Rajki received her juris doctor degree from Case Western Reserve University and her bachelor’s degree from Lawrence University.