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Just as Gary Shorb knew the time to step down was upon him, he knew Michael Ugwueke was the best candidate to replace him as CEO and to lead Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare into the future.
“I truly believe in timing. Michael is the right person at the right time to lead MLH. When Michael joined the MLH team in 2007 as CEO of Methodist South, he brought with him a focus, passion and dedication to excellence. That focus and commitment to compassionate care has grown even stronger as he has become more ingrained in both our system and our city, and I’m confident he can lead the organization to be the very best for all who walk through the doors of our hospitals,” said Gary.
Michael’s passion for healthcare began at a young age, when he lost a younger brother due to lack of necessary medical attention while growing up in war-torn Nigeria. He came to the United States with one goal- to attend medical school and return home to Nigeria to practice medicine.
During his college years, Michael was introduced to public healthcare administration at Shaw University and later at Emory University’s School of Public Health. Michael went on to open his own market research firm and held leadership positions in healthcare systems in Atlanta, Sarasota, Washington, D.C. and Chicago before coming to Memphis.
“I am very humbled by the confidence Gary and the entire MLH board have entrusted in me and my ability to guide this outstanding organization forward in its mission to provide high quality health care to everyone,” Michael said. “I consider it a privilege to have the opportunity to impact people’s lives in such a positive way. I’ve felt a call to serve in the healthcare industry all of my life and the opportunity to lead Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare is truly something I take to heart. I am honored to carry on the legacy Gary and others before him have built.”
Michael’s leadership and impact as CEO won’t wait until the turn of the New Year. He’s already leading a comprehensive strategic planning process to help take MLH into the centennial anniversary of our founding in 1918 and beyond.
With so many exciting things on the horizon for 2017 and beyond, there are a few things that won’t change when Michael takes over as CEO.
"Our commitment to the MLH mission and culture are not negotiable, as they are the true foundation for who we are as an organization,” said Michael.
Photo cutline: MLH’s President/COO Michael Ugwueke will take over as CEO of the organization in 2017.