UC Irvine promoted from within for its new chief executive officer of UCI Health, officials announced Thursday.

Chad T. Lefteris, who has been chief operating officer since December 2018, was promoted to CEO of the health system, which oversees the medical center in Orange and about a dozen outpatient research and specialty care centers in Orange County and parts of Riverside County.

“Chad Lefteris is the ideal person to advance the work of UCI Health, especially during this unprecedented time,” said UCI Chancellor Howard Gillman. “He brings national executive experience to this vital position and is well-equipped to provide visionary and strategic leadership of Orange County’s preeminent healthcare provider and only academic medical center.”

Lefteris won the job over other candidates in a nationwide search.

“After a nationwide search, the search committee identified the ideal candidate within our own ranks,” said Dr. Steve Goldstein, vice chancellor for health affairs. “Chad brings years of experience and natural ability to build relationships.

“I have all the faith and confidence that Chad will lead UCI Health through this COVID-19 crisis. He’s the right person to ensure that our frontline caregivers have the tools and resources they need to continue providing care for our community during these trying times,” Goldstein said.

Lefteris said, “UCI Health plays a unique role in meeting the health needs of our region’s residents: While we’re at the forefront of providing complex care and cutting-edge research, we also have a prominent role in providing primary and specialty care in all corners of the community. With the vast spread of COVCID-19, this is a pivotal time for healthcare in our state and nation.

“I will prioritize the health of our community and the safety and well-being of our physicians, nurses and staff as we work together to get through this pandemic,” he said.

Lefteris was previously vice president of operations at UNC REX Healthcare, a private nonprofit system associated with Chapel Hill, North Carolina-based UNC Health.

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