MARQUETTE — UP Health System – Marquette chief executive officer W. Trent Crable announced that Wael Khouli, MD, MBA, has been appointed to serve as Chief Medical Officer (CMO) for UP Health System – Marquette, effective May 17. Dr. Khouli comes to Marquette from HealthEast Care System in St. Paul, Minnesota, where he served as Medical Director of Care Management for the three-hospital system.
After a decade in the Twin Cities healthcare arena – an area known to provide some of the best healthcare in the country – Dr. Khouli brings to UP Health System knowledge related to quality of care, LEAN process improvement, and clinical integration across the continuum of care.
“We are thrilled that Dr. Khouli will be returning to the U.P. to oversee our team of medical experts and to engage in the strategy and direction of UP Health System,” Crable said. “Dr. Khouli brings with him a wealth of experience in key areas of focus for our organization.”
Earlier in his medical career, Dr. Khouli provided primary care for patients at the Gwinn and Sawyer Medical Centers, now the Upper Great Lakes Family Health Centers. He and his wife, Michele, a Negaunee native, are excited about the opportunity to return and raise their young son close to friends and family.
“We thought we wanted to settle in a large city but we didn’t realize how truly happy we were living here and enjoying the outdoors,” Dr. Khouli said. “The Twin Cities provided me experience in a very competitive environment that propels a health system to continuously strive for excellence in clinical quality and efficiency of care. However, Michele and I definitely missed Marquette and the UP community.”
Dr. Khouli said that the CMO opportunity at UP Health System is the perfect fit.
“The services offered by UP Health System are comparable to those in urban locations which means I can work in an advanced health system while living in a smaller town,” Dr. Khouli said. “It’s really the best combination.”
Dr. Khouli is board certified in internal medicine and has 15 years of clinical experience. He completed his internal medicine residency at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor and earned his medical degree at Damascus University Medical School in Damascus, Syria. He also holds a MBA from the Yale School of Management in New Haven, Conn. He’s a member of the American College of Physicians, Society of Hospital Medicine, American College of Physician Advisors and the American Association for Physician Leadership.
Dr. Khouli also has experience in population health management – an area of expansion for UP Health System. This relatively new healthcare concept aims to improve the health of a population as a whole, like the Upper Peninsula. A key component to this movement is removing health inequalities caused by social, environmental and physical factors that can potentially have a negative impact on the health of human populations.
Outgoing CMO Dr. Thomas Noren will remain with UP Health System on a part-time basis to lead the organization’s population health management efforts. As Executive Director of the Clinically Integrated Network (CIN), Dr. Noren will collaborate with physicians to focus on proactive healthcare, quality of care, patient satisfaction and efficient use of resources. Dr. Khouli will also be assisting with the CIN launch.
“Dr. Khouli brings a skill set and experience that are invaluable at this juncture,” Dr. Noren said. “He is the right person at the right time in the right place, and I am very excited about his arrival.”
“We are incredibly grateful to Dr. Noren and the professional leadership he provided to our medical staff over the past 8 years,” said Crable. “We’re thrilled that he will continue to work with UP Health System and Dr. Khouli to ensure the best possible care for the people of the Upper Peninsula.”
Dr. Khouli is looking forward to collaborating with physicians, staff and leadership to enhance the quality of care at UP Health System – Marquette.
“There’s a sense in the community that we can do better,” Dr. Khouli said. “We already have dedicated doctors, nurses, staff and leadership who are all trying to do the right thing. Add to that the financial support of Duke LifePoint and we have a great opportunity to advance the system and serve our community.”
(Information/Photo Courtesy of UP Health System – Marquette)