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Detroit — Nancy Schlichting, CEO of Henry Ford Health System, will retire in December 2016, the health system announced Monday.

Wright L. Lassiter, III, will become president of Henry Ford Health System on Dec. 15, as part of a two-year succession plan. He is currently CEO at Alameda Health System in Oakland, Calif. Lassiter will replace Schlichting as CEO following an unspecified transition period.

“It is very important to me to have a smooth transition in leadership and that I continue to serve in my role for a period of time alongside the individual we identify as the next CEO to ensure that Henry Ford Health System is best positioned for future success,” Schlichting said in a press release.

Lassiter has 20 years of experience in large, complex health systems, including Methodist Health System in Dallas and JPS Health Network in Fort Worth, Tex., according to Henry Ford officials.

In his most recent position as CEO at Alameda Health System in Oakland, Calif., Lassiter led the expansion and turnaround of an $865 million public health system, achieving eight years of positive financial performance with operating margins as high as 19 percent.

Under his leadership, Alameda achieved the Joint Commission Top Performer status, increased patient engagement and was awarded the Press Ganey Spirit of Excellence Award for two consecutive years for employee engagement.

“I am honored to lead one of the nation’s premier health care systems,” Lassiter said in Monday’s press release. “I am equally thrilled to be part of the renewal of Detroit — a city that the California media are now calling the ‘new San Francisco’ — and the role Henry Ford is playing in the city’s rebirth.”

KBouffard@detroitnews.com

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