Summa Health System named a new top doctor for its leadership team Wednesday.
Dr. Erik Steele will join Summa on June 24 to serve as chief medical officer. He is coming to Akron from Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems, where he has been serving in a similar position.
Steele, 56, replaces Dr. Mike Hillman, who left Summa last year.
Steele said he was attracted to the opportunity in Akron because of Summa’s dedication to being a leader in adapting to industry changes, particularly under federal health-care reform.
“They are a fit with my philosophy where health systems should be going,” he said. “They have all the parts. They have physicians and physician practices. They have a health-care plan.”
In a prepared statement, Summa President and Chief Executive Thomas J. Strauss said Steele “is the right person to lead our strategic and operational clinical initiatives.”
“I am very pleased that Dr. Steele has decided to join us on our journey to transform the delivery of health care, not only in our community, but across the nation,” Strauss said.
In his new role at Summa, Steele will be responsible for overseeing physician alignment initiatives and developing specialty “integrated institute models,” which coordinate patient care and establish systemwide standards.
Steele has been a longtime leader at Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems, where he started as a medical resident in 1988 and joined the faculty after graduation, according to the organization.
The nonprofit health system, headquartered in Brewer, Maine, includes seven hospitals.
Steele held several administrative positions before becoming its first chief medical officer in 2005.
A primary-care physician, Steele said he wants to see patients in Akron on a limited basis, as he has done throughout his tenure in administrative roles at the Maine system.
By continuing to see patients, Steele said, he can “see how the organization works” and understand the effects of policies and changes.
Steele’s salary at Summa was not disclosed.
The New England native earned his doctor of osteopathy degree from University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine.
Steele and his wife of 32 years, Nan, have two grown daughters. The couple plan to move to the Akron area soon.
Cheryl Powell can be reached at 330-996-3902 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Powell on Twitter at twitter.com/abjcherylpowell.