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CMH welcomes chief medical officer

Hospital news | Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Christopher Strear, MD, FACEP, joins CMH Executive Leadership Team

ASTORIA, Ore. – CMH and OHSU are pleased to announce board-certified emergency medicine physician Christopher Strear, MD, FACEP, is CMH's new chief medical officer (CMO). He began working at CMH today, June 1.

After earning his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Dr. Strear completed a residency in emergency medicine at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. He has been an emergency physician in Portland for nearly 20 years at Legacy Emanuel Medical Center. In addition to providing emergency care, he held positions as director of operations and patient flow at Legacy, chief medical officer for a health care start-up, AkēLex, Inc., and director of revenue cycle management and patient flow for Northwest Acute Care Specialists.

CEO Erik Thorsen says Dr. Strear's unique experience as a physician and leader makes him a valuable addition to CMH's Executive Leadership team.

"From the start, Dr. Strear stood out as an excellent candidate for the chief medical officer position with CMH and OHSU," Thorsen says. "As CMO, he will help improve coordination between our two organizations to achieve seamless care that benefits patients and supports clinicians. His background makes him a great fit for the job."

Dr. Strear's areas of expertise include transforming patient flow, productivity and profitability for hospitals and health care systems, as well as leadership, strategic planning, process improvement, innovation and operational strategy. In 2020, a book he co-authored, Smash the Bottleneck: Fixing Patient Flow for Better Care (and a Better Bottom Line), was published by Health Administration Press.

As a leader at CMH, Dr. Strear wants to impact change across the patient population rather than only on individual emergency patients.

"I'm very excited to start work, and I can't wait to become a part of the community," Strear says.

At CMH, Dr. Strear will help direct clinical strategy, support providers in the CMH Medical Group, oversee quality metrics and serve as an important member of the CMH Executive Leadership Team. He will also continue to work as a physician in the Emergency Department with a handful of shifts per month.