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Henry Ford Health System CEO Becomes America’s Essential Hospitals Board Chair


Wright Lassiter III

Wright Lassiter III

WASHINGTON — Wright Lassiter III, president and CEO of Henry Ford Health System, in Detroit, today becomes board chair for America’s Essential Hospitals, which represents 300 hospitals that care for the nation’s vulnerable and provide vital services to communities.

Lassiter has served on the association’s board of directors since 2014 and last year became chair-elect. He will begin his term July 1, when he succeeds Joseph Scott, executive vice president of health care transformation for RWJBarnabas Health.

“I am honored to serve in this capacity,” Lassiter said. “When we provide safe, affordable, high-quality health care to our most vulnerable communities, then we achieve true equity in health care. That is a mission I am passionate to support every day alongside all of our partners at America’s Essential Hospitals.”

Since 2014, Lassiter has led Henry Ford Health System through dramatic quality performance and financial improvement initiatives. Under his leadership, the health system developed and maintained one of the most successful Next Generation Accountable Care Organizations in the country, pioneered a direct-to-employer contract with General Motors, and completed two successful mergers.

“Wright is a strong mentor and advocate who recognizes and builds on the important role that essential hospitals play in their communities,” said Bruce Siegel, MD, MPH, president and CEO of America’s Essential Hospitals. “We look forward to the creativity and forward thinking he’ll bring to our board this year.”

Dedicated to fostering employee wellness and development, Lassiter has overseen the creation of a physician wellness program, a partnership with Detroit’s first bikeshare program, and a systemwide effort to align employees’ personal mission statements with the health system.

Before leading Henry Ford Health System, Lassiter served as CEO of another essential hospital, Alameda Health System, in Oakland, Calif. During his tenure, Lassiter led an expansion and complete turnaround of the $865 million health system, growing patient service revenue nearly 100 percent and achieving positive financial performance in eight of nine years.

Committed to improving the patient experience, Lassiter has launched several digital advancements for Henry Ford patients, including scheduling appointments through Alexa devices and pioneering the use of Apple health records. At Alameda, he worked with leadership and front-line staff to increase the behavioral health division’s customer service ranking from the first to 80th percentile. He has demonstrated his commitment to protecting care for the vulnerable through policy by twice allowing his organizations to serve as lead plaintiff in successful legal challenges designed to protect access to care for the underserved.

Lassiter holds a master’s degree in health care administration from Indiana University.

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About America’s Essential Hospitals
America’s Essential Hospitals is the leading champion for hospitals and health systems dedicated to high-quality care for all, including the most vulnerable. We support our 300 members with advocacy, policy development, research, and education. Communities depend on essential hospitals to provide specialized, lifesaving services; train the health care workforce; advance public health and health equity; and coordinate care. Essential hospitals innovate and adapt to lead the way to more effective and efficient care. Learn more at

Carl Graziano


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