LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Sparrow Health System President and CEO James Dover is leaving the health system Sept. 15, Sparrow announced Friday.

Dover joined sparrow just over four years ago, in June 2019. He oversaw the health system during the COVID-19 pandemic and through its agreement to become part of University of Michigan Health, which became official April 1.

“Jim led the team through the pandemic, one of the most challenging times in our history, and received national recognition for innovative care,” said Sparrow Health System Board Chair John Pirich in a statement.

Dover, who served for 36 years in leadership roles at health systems around the country before joining Sparrow, called his time at Sparrow “one of the proudest moments of my career” in the statement Friday.

He said the time is right for him to leave, now that Sparrow has partnered with U-M Health, which creates a sense of permanency in the system.

“Throughout his tenure, Jim’s passion around quality was one of the reasons Sparrow has achieved among the highest percentiles in the country on key patient care indicators,” Pirich said.