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April 3, 2020
Dr. Edward Abraham, the executive vice president for health affairs and CEO of the University of Miami Health System (UHealth), has announced his retirement from the University effective May 31.

After joining the Miller School of Medicine as dean and chief academic officer on July 1, 2017, Dr. Abraham transitioned to his role overseeing health affairs on January 1, 2018, bringing an impressive track record of leadership to the top position at UHealth. During his tenure as CEO, Dr. Abraham oversaw the consolidation of hospital licensing across the medical enterprise and the transformation of key business practices and processes resulting in the two best financial years in the history of UHealth.

His transformative approach strengthened UHealth’s position in the areas of health care delivery, patient satisfaction, quality of care, research strategy, and education. Among other accomplishments, he implemented a new faculty compensation plan to recruit and retain top talent. Dr. Abraham also championed the expansion of outpatient facilities, modeled after the Lennar Foundation Medical Center on the Coral Gables campus, at locations across South Florida.

“We are so thankful to Dr. Abraham for the leadership he brought to the medical enterprise and the impressive gains made during his time here,” said Dr. Julio Frenk, president of the University of Miami.

“On behalf of the UHealth Board I would like to express our sincere thanks to Dr. Abraham for his tireless dedication and special talent in enhancing our mission of providing world class care to our community,” said Stuart Miller, chairman of the UHealth Board. “We are confident in a seamless transition as President Frenk, a global authority in public health, steers our health system through the current COVID-19 crisis.”

A process for the search of a permanent CEO will be developed immediately. During this transition period, the UHealth Board of Directors has asked President Frenk to take on the added responsibility of serving as interim CEO of the health system. President Frenk, a physician and global health expert, is the former minister of health of Mexico, a past executive at the World Health Organization, and the former dean of the T.H. Chan School of Public Health at Harvard University.

During the past several months, President Frenk has been leading the University of Miami and UHealth through the current COVID-19 crisis. He has provided expert guidance to the UM community’s 35,000 students, faculty, and staff—prioritizing health and safety while continuing to drive the institutional mission of education, research, innovation, and service. The University has successfully transitioned to remote teaching and learning systems, as UHealth finds itself on the front lines of battling the COVID-19 outbreak in South Florida.

President Frenk will continue to lead the entire University through these challenging times, as the health system’s role of responding effectively to increased demand from COVID-19 patients needing critical care increases. UHealth’s service mission will be a major area of focus for the entire University community in the coming months.

In this endeavor President Frenk will be supported by the recently instituted Joint Operations Leadership Team (JOLT). The JOLT was created by the UHealth Board to oversee the day-to-day operations of the health system. The members of the JOLT are: Joe Echevarria, who has been named interim chief administrative officer; Dr. Dipen Parekh, interim chief operating officer; Dr. Henri Ford, dean of the Miller School of Medicine; Dr. Stephen Nimer, executive director of the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center; Dr. Eduardo Alfonso, executive director of the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute; Dr. Roy Weiss, chair of the Department of Medicine; and Dr. Omaida Velazquez, chair of the Department of Surgery.

President Frenk will serve as interim CEO of UHealth during this public health emergency with the expectation that his additional hands-on responsibilities as chief executive of the health system will subside no later than July 1.

“It is an opportune time to bring the unique background and experience of our president, Julio Frenk, to the forefront. President Frenk, as CEO, will be providing his leadership on all fronts,” said Dr. Edward Abraham. “Being part of the University of Miami, the Miller School of Medicine, and the UHealth system has been enriching, rewarding, and personally gratifying.”
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