Joe Echevarria appointed CEO of UHealth

The University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and UHealth. Photo: TJ Lievonen/University of Miami
By News@TheU

The University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and UHealth. Photo: TJ Lievonen/University of Miami

Joe Echevarria appointed CEO of UHealth

By News@TheU
On Wednesday, Joe Echevarria, after serving in an interim capacity, was named CEO of UHealth and executive vice president for Health Affairs at the University, effective immediately.

In a message to the University of Miami community on Wednesday, President Julio Frenk announced that Joe Echevarria has been appointed chief executive officer of UHealth and executive vice president for Health Affairs. 

The Board of Trustees executive committee ratified the decision by the UHealth board of directors to appoint Echevarria, who had held the position on an interim basis since July 1. 

“Joe’s leadership acumen and financial expertise are precisely what the health system needs at this point in its trajectory,” said Frenk. “During his time as interim CEO, Joe has recruited several key leaders to UHealth and developed transformational plans to enhance crucial business functions in support of our clinical, education, and research missions.” 

Echevarria stepped into the interim role as the coronavirus pandemic raged through the United States and throughout the world. Frenk credited his leadership and stewardship—along with the dedication and sacrifice of UHealth professionals—with enabling the academic health system to successfully navigate the challenges associated with COVID-19. 

“Joe has proven to be an astute leader who collaborates and propels those around him to greater heights,” said Dr. Dipen J. Parekh, chief operating officer of UHealth. “He has helped accelerate our academic health care mission by combining his decades of business experience with his understanding of our goals. I look forward to continuing to work with him in serving our community of patients, clinicians, researchers, students, and educators.” 

UHealth has essentially been operating two hospitals simultaneously—one that addresses the demands of the pandemic, the other resuming non-COVID-19 patient care. That nimbleness, Frenk noted, has resulted in positive financial performance. In addition to clinical teams focused on caring for COVID-19 patients, researchers have been involved in prevention and treatment breakthroughs. 

“Having a CEO who listens to their team and provides clarity is imperative, and Joe has done that during a very challenging year,” said Dr. Tanira Ferreira, chief medical officer of the University of Miami Hospital and Clinics. “More importantly, he’s able to help foster solutions using his busines expertise, allowing us to stay focused on our clinical mission, treating our patients.” 

Echevarria is a University of Miami alumnus and previously served on the University’s Board of Trustees for seven years. A graduate of the Miami Herbert Business School, he is a certified public accountant who joined Deloitte, LLP in 1978 and went on to become chief executive officer of the multinational professional services company. He retired in 2014 and holds positions on the boards of several companies and organizations.

“Joe Echevarria is an outstanding choice to lead our integrated academic health system,” said Dr. Henri R. Ford, dean of the Miller School of Medicine. “He understands the synergistic relationship between UHealth and the Miller School of Medicine, which propels the health system. He is a true partner in building bridges to achieve shared objectives, and he’s able to bring different people to the table and build consensus. Joe understands our unique value to South Florida in bringing the latest advances in clinical medicine to our patients and in training the next generation of physicians.”

Frenk noted that Echevarria’s commitment to public service is evident in his volunteer work and his focus on strengthening our health system.

“I am confident that with Joe’s experience and determination, the health enterprise will continue to thrive, delivering leading-edge patient care, conducting groundbreaking research, and preparing the next generation of physicians for a dynamic future,” Frenk said.