Sharon O'Keefe elected to Illinois Hospital Association board of trustees

Sharon O'Keefe elected to Illinois Hospital Association board of trustees

December 15, 2011

Sharon O'Keefe, President of the University of Chicago Medical Center, has been elected to the Illinois Hospital Association's Board of Trustees. O'Keefe will begin serving a three-year term on the IHA board on Jan. 1, 2012.

O'Keefe is a nationally recognized authority on hospital operations, health care quality, patient satisfaction and employee engagement. She has served as President of the University of Chicago Medical Center since January 2011.

"This is both a genuine honor and a significant responsibility," O'Keefe said. "The ongoing economic challenge, the state's fiscal situation and the mounting pressures on hospitals to provide more care and outreach despite decreasing resources have made strong leadership from the IHA more and more important. I look forward to the opportunity to contribute in this new role."

A Chicago native, O'Keefe, 59, began her health care career as a critical care nurse. She soon advanced into more administrative roles, where she focused on improving hospital operations and performance, enhancing health care quality and safety, and increasing patient and employee satisfaction. Her quality-improvement efforts led to national recognition. She was appointed to be an examiner for the U.S. Department of Commerce's Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award in 2005. She currently serves on the National Institutes of Health Advisory Board for Clinical Research.

She has held administrative roles as the director of nursing for surgical services at Johns Hopkins Hospital, an associate hospital director at Montefiore Hospital in New York, a senior manager for health care at the Ernst & Whinney accounting firm and senior vice president for operations at the University of Maryland Medical System in Baltimore.

Before coming to the University of Chicago Medical Center, she was executive vice president and chief operating officer from 1999 to 2002 at Boston's Beth Israel Hospital. She also served as chief operating officer at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis from 2002 to 2009 and president of Loyola University Medical Center from 2009 to 2011.

The IHA Board of Trustees is the Association's policymaking body. The Board is made up of 32 trustees, including 14 at-large trustees elected by the voting members of the Association, nine regional trustees elected directly by the regions, six elected officers (chairman, chairman-elect, immediate past chairman, immediate past, past chairman, treasurer, and secretary), and the Association's president ex officio. Constituency sections, councils and ad hoc task forces provide members with opportunities to participate in the Association's policy development process.