CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA), a vital and innovative community health system that serves Cambridge, Somerville, and Boston’s metro-north communities, has named Assaad Sayah, MD, as its chief medical officer. Dr. Sayah, CHA’s senior vice president of primary and emergency care, will succeed Gerald Steinberg, MD, who announced his retirement last month.
Since joining CHA in 2006 as the chief of emergency medicine, Dr. Sayah has led tremendous advancements in the emergency departments at all three of CHA's hospital campuses (Cambridge, Somerville, and Whidden), resulting in dramatically improved efficiency, quality, volume, and patient satisfaction. Dr. Sayah spearheaded many initiatives, including rapid assessment protocols, the implementation of an electronic patient tracking system, and the addition of patient partners, that have contributed to better patient flow and established CHA’s emergency department as a national model that has been showcased in various venues across the country. He has shown the same commitment to innovation and operational enhancement during his tenure as CHA’s senior vice president of primary and emergency care, a role he assumed earlier this year.
As CHA’s chief medical officer, Dr. Sayah, who has served as both CHA’s medical staff president and chair of its chiefs’ council, will provide physician leadership, ensure high quality care for patients, and be a committed advocate for CHA’s physicians and all associates.
“Assaad will act as a strong voice for patients and providers at the executive level, which will be critical as we advance performance improvement initiatives that will increase our revenues, lower costs, and enhance our operations,” said Patrick Wardell, CHA’s chief executive officer. “He will work closely with other leaders and our strong team of chiefs to determine how we can best provide mission-critical services in a sustainable manner, grow in areas of strength, and improve patient satisfaction.”
Dr. Sayah will also oversee CHA’s academic mission, ensuring its highly respected training programs attract top candidates and instill a commitment to serve vulnerable populations. He serves on the faculty of Harvard Medical School and has published extensively on a variety of subjects including emergency department operation, continuous quality improvement, advanced directives, and access to care in Massachusetts following health reform.
Prior to coming to CHA, Dr. Sayah held several leadership roles in area hospitals, including director of EMS for Brigham and Women's Hospital, associate chief for the Department of Emergency Medicine at St. Elizabeth's Medical Center, and chairman of the Department of Emergency Medicine at the Caritas Good Samaritan Medical Center. He has received numerous honors for his work, including the President’s Award and Vanguard Award from the Massachusetts College of Emergency Physicians and the EMS Physician of the Year Award from the Metropolitan Boston EMS Council. Dr. Sayah earned his medical degree at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and completed his residency in emergency medicine at William Beaumont Hospital in Michigan.
“Strong and compassionate clinical leadership will be needed to prepare us to deliver high-value care for patients in an era of payment reform,” added Mr. Wardell. “Assaad has shown a keen ability to innovate and demonstrate major positive change, and I am confident he will steer us in the right direction.”
Cambridge Health Alliance is an integrated, award-winning community health system that provides essential services to Cambridge, Somerville, and Boston’s metro-north communities. It includes three hospital campuses, a network of primary care and specialty practices, and the Cambridge Public Health Dept. CHA is a Harvard Medical School teaching affiliate and is also affiliated with Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard School of Dental Medicine, and Tufts University School of Medicine. For more information, visit www.challiance.org.