ThedaCare names new president

Andrabi has been with Mercy Health for 25 years

The ThedaCare board of trustees on Tuesday named Dr. Imran Andrabi as the new president and chief executive officer of the Wisconsin-based health care organization.

Andrabi will join ThedaCare on June 19, following the retirement of Dr. Dean Gruner, who has led the system for nine years.

Andrabi, 49, comes to ThedaCare from Mercy Health, a nonprofit Catholic health care ministry serving Ohio and Kentucky. He began with Mercy Health (formerly Catholic Healthcare Partners) as an intern and medical resident 25 years ago and steadily advanced to become regional president and chief executive officer of the Toledo region in 2015.

At Mercy Health, Andrabi consistently led his team in achieving outstanding quality care performance, improving customer experience, as well as growing the system and the number of physicians recruited, according to a statement released Wednesday by ThedaCare.

“ThedaCare has a compelling vision for the next generation of health care in the communities we serve right here in Wisconsin,” said John Davis, president of the ThedaCare board of trustees and CEO of Great Northern Corp. “We want to increasingly provide peace of mind for our customers, our team and our neighbors as health care evolves. Through a thoughtful and thorough process, we sought a leader who shares in that vision, who successfully leads a health care organization to continually grow and become better, and who values customers’ perspectives, cares for caregivers, and builds relationships in the community.”

Andrabi said he chose to accept the position at ThedaCare in large part because of the organization’s reputation.

“When I think of best-in-class health care, ThedaCare is one that I have admired over the years,” Andrabi said. “This includes the work ThedaCare is doing in quality and Lean Six Sigma. So when the opportunity arose, I had to explore it.”

He said visiting ThedaCare locations convinced him to make the move.

“I found everyone to be extremely open and welcoming, which says a lot about the culture. They were willing to share their perspectives, successes and challenges. That openness is really what helped make a difficult decision — to leave Mercy, where I have been for so long — feel like the right one.”

The nine-member selection committee, under the leadership of past ThedaCare board chair Jon Stellmacher, conducted a nationwide search in partnership with executive search firm Korn Ferry. In the process, the committee reviewed feedback from 40 individuals from ThedaCare and the community who met with the candidates.

“Those who met Dr. Andrabi during the interview process were impressed by his experience and how he focused on improving the health of local community members,” Davis said. “In addition, they saw his sincere interest and interactions with our team as he toured our facilities. That is important to us — a leader who is personally connected to our team and to customers and their families.”

Gruner has been president and CEO of ThedaCare since 2008. Under his direction, it has continued to grow as the largest health care provider in Northeast Wisconsin and the largest locally based employer with 6,700 employees, seven hospitals, 32 clinics and other health care services across nine counties.

“Over the years, I have learned the importance of listening and understanding,” Andrabi said. “One of the first things I need to do as I join ThedaCare is to listen and understand the foundation Dr. Gruner has in place to improve the health of the community, and the opportunities and challenges ahead.”

Andrabi received his medical degree from King Edward Medical College in Lahore, Pakistan, and is certified by the American Board of Family Practice. He has been actively involved in teaching medical students as teaching faculty at the Medical College of Ohio and the Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine. In addition, he serves on numerous boards and committees to improve the health and economic status of the Toledo community.

Andrabi and his wife, Reema, have two adult sons and a daughter in high school, and are in the process of planning visits to look at homes in the area.