This prestigious recognition acknowledges and honors individuals who are deemed by their peers and the senior editors of Modern Healthcare to be the most influential clinicians in the industry.
As an emergency medicine physician, Dr. Wei not only experienced the impacts of the pandemic from the frontline as he worked shifts in the emergency departments within the public hospital system, but he also played a critical role in the system’s response to the pandemic.
His contributions included strategic planning to quadruple ICU capacity, reconfiguring emergency departments to accommodate the needs and patient volume demands of the pandemic, and leading the patient level-loading system that moved over 850 COVID-19 patients in the first NYC wave to ensure each hospital was operating safely considering high patient volumes.
He also oversaw planning for a second surge, especially related to worker training and allocation of resources.
In addition, Dr. Wei oversaw more than $35 million in donation to the public health system to help with employee accommodations, such as meals, transportation, and child care, and the expansion of the Helping Healers Heal program, aimed at supporting employees’ emotional and psychological well-being.
Dr. Wei has been with NYC Health + Hospitals since 2018.
“I’m honored to be recognized on Modern Healthcare’s “50 Most Influential Clinical Executives” list alongside colleagues who played critical roles in our country’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, said Dr. Wei. “The pandemic showed the resiliency and flexibility of our public health system, but our life-saving work would not have been possible without our entire workforce who worked tirelessly to make sure no care was disrupted for any patient in the City.”
During the first COVID-19 surge, NYC Health + Hospitals’ Helping Healers Heal (H3) program, which was launched in 2018 by Dr. Katz and Dr. Wei to help support healthcare workers through emotional and psychological trauma, second victimization, and burnout, was quickly scaled up.
The expanded program encompassed unit-based wellness rounds, which include mental health experts and peer-support teams actively engaging employees working in areas heavily affected by COVID-19, H3 encounters that consisted of group debriefs, 1:1 peer support sessions, and wellness events, an anonymous behavioral health employee-only hotline, and the creation of respite/wellness rooms across the system to allow employees to take a break and engage in calming activities, such as medication or crafting.
Dr. Wei also helped to facilitate a Department of Defense partnership focused on combat stress management and resilience in the setting of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The system’s Office of Quality and Safety, which Dr. Wei oversees, also coordinated donations of more than $35 million during the COVID-19 pandemic to help fund services for staff, such as hotels for isolation, meals, laundry services, childcare, and more.
“Dr. Wei is incredibly deserving of this recognition, not just for his leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic, but also for the innovation and compassion he has brought to the hospital systems I’ve been fortunate to work alongside him at,” said NYC Health + Hospitals President and CEO Mitchell Katz, MD. “Eric, understanding that quality care is impacted by many variables, looks at improvement through the workforce, spaces, equipment, resources, and more to ensure that healthcare employees have what they need to provide high-standard care. NYC Health + Hospitals is lucky to have Eric on its team.”
“The 2021 class of 50 Most Influential Clinician Executives did not shy away from the challenges of caring for patient populations during a pandemic. They found inspiration in knocking down hurdles and fighting for top quality care for their patients and staff,” said Modern Healthcare Editor, Aurora Aguilar. “They improved cancer screening outcomes by incorporating in-home test kits and secured more diversity for future clinician ranks. Modern Healthcare congratulates this class and appreciates their hard work.”
Dr. Wei leads the Office of Quality and Safety, focused on fostering a culture of safety, building quality improvement capacity across all 40,000+ staff, aligning improvement efforts with system vision and strategic pillars, and becoming a data-informed, high-reliability organization.
Dr. Wei also leads care experience, staff wellness, high-value care, arts in medicine, spiritual care, data governance and analytics, emergency management, hospital police and security, and the Helping Healers Heal (H3) program.
He is the fellowship director for the NYC Health + Hospitals Clinical Leadership Fellowship and launched Healthcare Administration Scholars Program (HASP) across 5 NYC Health + Hospitals sites.
He is a practicing Emergency Medicine physician rotating through all 11 Emergency Departments in NYC Health + Hospitals.
He serves on the board of MetroPlus Health and as faculty for the Greater New York Hospital Association/UHF Clinical Quality Fellowship Program.
Previously, he was the Interim Chief Quality Officer and Associate Medical Director for Quality, Safety, and Risk for LAC + USC Medical Center in the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services, the second-largest public safety-net system in the United States.
In Los Angeles, Dr. Wei led lean teams in the emergency department and perioperative services, built the H3 program, created quality improvement capacity building programs, and led TeamSTEPPS and Just Culture implementation.
Dr. Wei received his Bachelor’s degree in Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology at the University of California, Los Angeles in 2003.
He completed the combined MD and MBA program at the University of California, Irvine in 2009. Dr. Wei completed his Emergency Medicine residency and the Healthcare Administration Scholars Program at the University of Michigan in 2013.
He is Lean Healthcare, Six Sigma Black Belt, and TeamSTEPPS Master Trainer certified. He is a fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians.
Dr. Wei was named in the Becker’s Hospital Review top 50 experts leading the field of patient safety in 2018 and 2020.
NYC Health + Hospitals is the largest public health care system in the nation serving more than a million New Yorkers annually in more than 70 patient care locations across the city’s five boroughs.
A robust network of outpatient, neighborhood-based primary and specialty care centers anchors care coordination with the system’s trauma centers, nursing homes, post-acute care centers, home care agency, and MetroPlus health plan—all supported by 11 essential hospitals.
Its diverse workforce of more than 42,000 employees is uniquely focused on empowering New Yorkers, without exception, to live the healthiest life possible.