HOUSTON, Texas (Nov. 19, 2019) — The Harris Health System Board of Trustees has unanimously selected Esmaeil Porsa, MD, MBA, MPH, CCHP, as its new president and chief executive officer (CEO). The announcement was made Monday, Nov. 18, during a Special Call Board meeting.
“The Board is pleased to appoint a seasoned professional to serve in this key leadership position,” said Anne Clutterbuck, chair, Board of Trustees, Harris Health System. “Dr. Porsa brings a wealth of leadership experience to help the system achieve its vision of becoming a premier public academic healthcare system.”
As CEO, Dr. Porsa will lead all aspects of the $1.4+ billion budget operation, while ensuring the system continues to provide safe, high-quality care and services for the most vulnerable residents of Harris County, Texas.
“Our path toward a more resilient and prosperous Harris County begins with a healthy population with access to quality care,” said Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo. “Harris Health is one of the largest public health systems in the nation, facing big challenges and incredible opportunities in the years to come. Harris County is excited to welcome Dr. Porsa as CEO and looks forward to his creative, visionary leadership as Harris County and Harris Health work together to improve health outcomes for all of our residents.”
Porsa is set to begin March 2, 2020, and succeeds George V. Masi who is retiring.
The search to identify a replacement began in May 2019 when Masi announced his intent to retire in the coming year. The Board engaged an executive search firm, B.E. Smith, to lead the national recruitment effort. An ad hoc committee of Trustees paired with community representatives from the system’s advisory council participated in the lengthy and thoughtful search process. Porsa was voted as a unanimous pick by the full Board of Trustees during Monday’s meeting.
Porsa is the current executive vice president and chief strategy and integration officer at Parkland Health & Hospital System. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, Texas; a doctor of medicine degree from the University of Texas Health Science Center Medical School in San Antonio, Texas; a master’s degree from the University of Texas Health Science Center School of Public Health in Houston, Texas; and a MBA from the University of Texas at Dallas. Porsa completed his internship and residency training in internal medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston, Texas, and served as chief medical resident. In addition, he completed a fellowship in primary care at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston, Texas. Porsa’s clinical research has focused on management of tuberculosis as well as management of MRSA in the correctional health setting. From 1991 to 1992, he was a research fellow with the American Heart Association, studying the effects of heart failure on the aortic smooth muscle function. He has more than 20 years of experience in providing health care within several county jail facilities in Texas including Harris County and Dallas County. His previous roles at Parkland Health & Hospital System included senior vice president of professional and academic affairs and interim chief medical officer. Porsa is also a member of the CCHP Board of Trustees at National Commission on Correctional Health Care and is currently the vice chair of the Texas Commission on Jail Standards.
Porsa is expected to be introduced to the community during the Board of Trustees’ meeting Dec. 5, 2019. Masi will continue to serve as CEO until his successor is in place and will work with the executive team and the Board to ensure a seamless transition.