BHSH health system announced Wednesday the hiring of Benjamin Schwartz as the new president of Beaumont Health, replacing its embattled former leader John Fox.
Schwartz, 53, becomes Beaumont's top local executive effective July 5. He joins Beaumont from New York's largest health system Northwell Health, where he most recently served as its senior vice president and regional physician executive.
Schwartz takes over the top spot vacated by Fox, who departed the organization after the completion of the merger between Beaumont and Grand Rapids-based Spectrum Health in February. Nancy Susick, co-COO, serves as the hospital system's interim CEO until Schwartz begins.
The merger created the state's largest health system, temporarily named BHSH Health, with $12 billion in revenue and operating 22 hospitals and 305 outpatient locations. It would also create the largest employer in the state with 64,000 employees.
Spectrum's Tina Freese Decker now leads the entire BHSH system.
Schwartz steps into the leadership role at a smoother time for Beaumont. Fox led Beaumont down several failed merger deals amid cost-cutting scrutiny at the system before finalizing the deal with Spectrum.
Fox attempted two prior mergers before Spectrum came to the table.
A former board member called for the termination of Fox and his team, while donors called for a meeting with the board to address the growing "crisis" at the eight-hospital system when it attempted to merge with out-of-state system Advocate Aurora. Physicians also penned a letter to the board critical of management.
Beaumont and Advocate terminated the merger plan in October, blaming COVID-19 financial constraints, not internal unrest.
It's unclear what role Freese Decker and the parent company, BHSH, will play in the day-to-day operations of Beaumont under Schwartz.
"In the search for the new president of BHSH Beaumont Health, we were looking for a leader with the proven ability to drive excellence, a strong developer of teams and culture, a dynamic communicator and a strategic and systems thinker. Dr. Schwartz exemplifies these qualities," Freese Decker, president and CEO of BHSH, said in a news release. "He is a visionary healthcare leader with a passion for taking healthcare into the future. He is also committed to fostering and inspiring a vibrant culture for our team at BHSH Beaumont Health, and for leading this team toward our bold vision."
Schwartz also serves as an associate professor at several institutions and serves on the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology in Dallas.
He earned a bachelor's degree from Dartmouth College, a master's from Harvard University and his doctorate from George Washington University. He is board-certified in gynecologic oncology as well as obstetrics and gynecology.
This story first appeared in our sister publication, Crain's Detroit Business.