OAKLAND, Calif., Sept. 29, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Alameda Health System (AHS) today announced that Wright L. Lassiter, III will step down as Chief Executive Officer. He has offered to stay on until December 12, 2014.

Lassiter has been tapped as the new President of Henry Ford Health System (HFHS) beginning on December 15, 2014. Based in Detroit, Mich., HFHS is a $4.5 billion organization and one of the largest and most comprehensive integrated health care systems in the U.S. with more than 23,000 employees.

Since joining AHS as CEO in 2005, Lassiter has led the expansion and growth of the organization. Under his guidance, AHS has been lauded for its turnaround and has received nationwide acclaim. Some of Lassiter's accomplishments include:

  • Seven years of positive financial performance with operating margins as high as 19%.
  • A $70 million reduction of AHS debt.
  • The expansion of the Highland campus with a new Acute Tower and state-of the-art Care Pavilion.
  • The addition of two hospitals to its emerging health care network - San Leandro Hospital and Alameda Hospital.
  • Designation by The Joint Commission as Top Performer status with increased patient engagement from the 1st percentile to the 80th percentile.

"We are thankful for Wright's unwavering leadership and extraordinary vision during his tenure at AHS," said Kirk E. Miller, President of the AHS Board of Trustees. "AHS has transformed into a major public health care provider in San Francisco's East Bay. He expanded our portfolio of hospitals and wellness centers, and has worked tirelessly to ensure everyone in the community has access to the best health care possible. We thank him for his commitment and wish him the best in the next phase of his career."

"I've had the unique opportunity to spend the past nine years actively engaging with AHS' management team and front-line health care workers as we have partnered to improve access to world-class heath care for all," said Lassiter. "I am grateful for the support I've received from the Board of Trustees, our employees and most importantly, those who rely on AHS for their well being. "

Miller, a 40-year veteran in health care, joined the Board early in Lassiter's tenure. Board Vice President, Valerie D. Lewis, also a long-term Board member who previously served as a trustee of the Alta Bates Medical Center, was equally complementary of Lassiter. "We will miss Wright. He has done a stellar job of righting the AHS ship. He has also worked in a collaborative way with the AHS leadership team and the Board," said Lewis. "As result, we will continue to fulfill AHS's mission as a world-class health care institution."

About Alameda Health System (AHS)

Alameda Health System, a major public health care provider headquartered in Oakland, California, is recognized as a world-class patient and family centered system of care with more than 4,500 employees, 1,000 physicians and 480 volunteers. Their facilities include Highland Hospital, a major regional trauma center and teaching hospital; Alameda Hospital, an acute care facility providing emergency, in-patient and outpatient services in Alameda; San Leandro Hospital, which provides emergency and in-patient hospital care services; John George Psychiatric Hospital, an acute and emergency care facility in San Leandro; Fairmont Hospital, an acute rehabilitation hospital and skilled nursing facility, also in San Leandro; and four ambulatory wellness centers in Oakland as well as in Newark and Hayward.

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