Cliff A. Megerian, MD, named next CEO of University Hospitals Health System

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Currently President of UH Physician Network, he is a noted surgical pioneer
in cochlear implants for children

CLEVELAND -- The University Hospitals Board of Directors today announced the appointment of Cliff A. Megerian, MD, FACS, to succeed Thomas F. Zenty III as the Chief Executive Officer of the University Hospitals Health System. Zenty announced on Oct. 29 of this year his intention to step down as CEO in January 2021 after nearly 18 years in the position. During the interim period, Dr. Megerian will serve as President, University Hospitals Health System.
“Cliff has the clinical, academic and operational experience that this role requires, along with a deep appreciation for the character of UH, our mission and vision,” said Arthur F. Anton, Chair, UH Board of Directors. “He is an accomplished physician and scientist, with impeccable patient care, research and teaching credentials based on decades of experience. These characteristics, in addition to his keen insight into health care strategy and trends, will serve our health system well going forward.”
According to Anton, a succession planning committee of the UH board conducted a “thoughtful and deliberate succession planning process over the past year with one goal in mind: Assure strong future leadership that enables continuing success in all aspects of our tripartite mission -- To Heal. To Teach. To Discover.”
The succession planning committee analyzed the future needs of the health system and established a profile of the qualities and characteristics desired in an ideal candidate for the CEO position. A rigorous evaluation process, conducted with expert support of independent consultants, assessed candidates for the vision, patient-centric strategy and leadership qualities that will align the organization for the future.
Anton said, “We were and continue to be convinced that the right person at the right time to lead UH is already here. Our board members were impressed by the bench strength within our health system and recognize the benefits that come from knowing our community, our people, our organization and its heritage of innovation, excellence and compassion.”
Dr. Megerian currently reports to the CEO and has been a member of the Executive Committee as President of UH Physician Network, which supports more than 2,000 employed physicians. Additionally, he is President for UH System Institutes.
“I am truly grateful and humbled to have received the support of the UH Board of Directors to lead UH as we embark on a new chapter in our history,” said Dr. Megerian. “I will work closely with the board, Tom Zenty, fellow leaders and caregivers throughout the health system to assure a seamless leadership transition. We will collaboratively create the strategies for UH to continue advancing the science of health and the art of compassion.”
Previously, Dr. Megerian served as Chair of the Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, from 2012 until 2018, after holding the Vice Chairman role for five years. He also was Director of the UH Ear, Nose & Throat Institute for seven years. He held the inaugural Richard and Patricia Pogue Endowed Chair in Auditory Surgery and Hearing Sciences and was Director of Otology, Neurotology and Lateral Skull Base Surgery at UH. He is currently Professor of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.
Dr. Megerian is a pioneer in the use of cochlear implants in children and is recognized as an international authority in ear surgery. A highly respected researcher as well as a distinguished clinician, he has received more than a dozen research grant awards and completed several NIH-funded projects.
“We are highly confident about the future of our great health system with Cliff’s leadership,” said Anton. “The role of leadership is to create an environment where our 28,000 caregivers, researchers and teachers are able to achieve their potential and rise to meet the health care needs of the community we serve. They have powered our advancements in care and every day make a difference in the lives of our patients.”
Dr. Megerian earned his medical degree from the University of Michigan Medical School, and did his internship and residences at University Hospitals, followed by a fellowship at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and Harvard Medical School. He also holds a management certificate from the CWRU Weatherhead School of Management.

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