Health system appoints chief medical officer


Ronald Grifka. Courtesy Metro Health-University of Michigan Health

A health system in the area has named its new chief medical officer.

Metro Health-University of Michigan Health appointed pediatric cardiologist Dr. Ronald Grifka to the role, according to the system today.

Grifka will oversee 17 departments, more than 500 physicians, provide leadership for medical education and serve as the system’s chief clinical quality officer.

However, Grifka plans to continue caring for patients at Metro Health and maintain a role at the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital.

“I really want to understand the needs of our patients and the needs of our staff providing the care,” he said.

Grifka spent nearly 20 years at Texas Children’s Hospital-Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, in roles as assistant chief of pediatric cardiology and director of cardiac catheterization laboratories.

The Michigan native has been helping young heart patients in the Grand Rapids area since 2006, when he became chief of cardiology at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. He led the expansion of that program, including designing the new cardiology facilities.

In 2012, Grifka joined the University of Michigan as professor of pediatrics and an attending cardiologist at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital. As director of the cardiology outreach program at Mott, he helped establish 11 clinical sites across Michigan, including in Grand Rapids. He also served as director of the pulmonary hypertension program and director of the Mott Partners in Pediatric Care conferences held in several cities across Michigan.

For the past two years, Grifka has also been associate medical director for strategic planning and business development for the University of Michigan Health System.

He is also an adjunct professor of cardiology at the Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine, where he teaches and performs catheterization procedures.

He has published more than 85 manuscripts, 12 chapters and developed a device that was approved by the FDA for treating congenital heart defects.

“Dr. Grifka is an ideal addition to our leadership team,” said Dr. Peter Hahn, president and CEO, Metro Health-University of Michigan Health. “He brings highly respected expertise, a passion for excellent patient care and a commitment to sharing his skills with the next generation of physicians.”

Grifka said he was drawn to Metro Health–University of Michigan Health by the opportunity he sees to advance care and choice for patients.

“Metro has been a great community hospital,” he said. “We've added a number of new programs, new physicians, and we are trying to advance the care that has been provided at Metro. We're going to bring in new people to do that, to enhance the great work that's already been done here.”

Grifka is a member of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Sudden Cardiac Death Committee and Neonatal Oxygen Screening Committee. He is a member of the Phi Lambda Upsilon Honor Society and Donnelly Honor Society.

He is a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Cardiology and Society of Cardiac Angiography and Intervention.

Grifka has received outstanding teaching awards at several children’s hospitals, been an invited professor at numerous hospitals around the world and moderated scientific sessions at national and international meetings.

He holds a B.A. in chemistry and an M.D. from Wayne State University, where he received the Donnelly Award as the university’s outstanding graduate.

Grifka succeeds Hahn, who was named president and CEO in October.

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