“I received many calls about various opportunities over the past year, but this is the right choice for me and the right moment,” Ezike said in a statement. “Sinai Chicago is where I want to be.”
Ezike, a board-certified internist and pediatrician, replaces Karen Teitelbaum, who announced she was leaving last fall. At the time, Sinai said that it was executing a nationwide search and that the board of directors was working closely with search firm Spencer Stuart to find its next CEO. Sinai originally hoped to have someone in the role by the end of 2021.
To help guide a smooth transition, Teitelbaum will become a senior executive consultant to the hospital system, according to an internal memo obtained by Crain's. Teitelbaum is credited with leading a successful turnaround of the hospital’s financial, philanthropic and operational performance during her tenure.
Joining IDPH in 2019 as its first Black female leader, Ezike was the face of the Pritzker administration's pandemic response, helping the governor explain COVID-19 to Illinoisans and create virus mitigation policies.
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Before IDPH, Ezike was the medical director at the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center and worked as an attending physician at Cook County Health.
Ezike holds degrees from Harvard University and the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine.
“[Ezike] is a strong, trusted and well-respected leader who has made a real difference in the lives of so many in the statewide response to the worst pandemic the world has seen in over a century,” Sinai Chicago Board Chair Vincent R. Williams said in a statement. “After an extensive selection process, we are confident Dr. Ezike has the vision and dedication to lead Sinai Chicago into its next century of service.”
Sinai Chicago’s service area covers more than 1.5 million people in Chicago’s West and Southwest sides. Its facilities include Mount Sinai Hospital, Holy Cross Hospital, Schwab Rehabilitation Hospital and a network of community clinic locations. The system, which employs over 3,200 workers, also operates the Sinai Community Institute and the Sinai Urban Health Institute.
This story first appeared in our sister publication, Crain's Chicago Business.