Sharon O’Keefe

Former President

University of Chicago Medical Center



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Sharon O’Keefe is the Former President of the University of Chicago Medical Center.

Ms. O’Keefe has more than 30 years of healthcare and executive experience. As an advocate for quality, efficiency and innovation she has been actively engaged in breakthrough initiatives focused on creating high performance healthcare organizations, engagement of patients as partners in their care and development of a culture that fosters creativity, risk taking and diversity of thought. Prior experience includes work as senior vice president for operations at the University of Maryland Medical System in Baltimore, where her efforts helped the Medical System become the first health care organization to receive the State of Maryland Quality and Productivity Award. As executive vice president and chief operating officer at Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, she developed and implemented a financial recovery plan for the recently merged hospitals. In addition, she has served in leadership roles at Barnes-Jewish hospital in St. Louis and president at Loyola University Medical Center.

Outside of her academic medical center experience Ms. O’Keefe was senior manager for health care at the accounting firm Ernst & Young, where she developed a consulting practice focused on organizational design, operations improvement and large-scale change management.

Ms. O’Keefe received her Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from Northern Illinois University and a Master of Science degree from Loyola University of Chicago.

In 2013 Modern Healthcare listed Ms. O’Keefe as one of the 100 most influential people in healthcare and selected her as one of the top 25 women leaders in healthcare. In January 2015 Healthcare Purchasing News honored Ms. O’Keefe for Excellence in Supply Chain Leadership with its annual “SURE” award.

Ms. O’Keefe actively participates and represents leadership roles in a number of professional and industry organizations. She serves on the NIH Advisory Board for Clinical Research, the IHA Board of Trustees, the University Health Care Consortium Board of Directors and the Board of America’s Essential Hospitals. In 2012 Ms. O’Keefe joined the board of Vocera Communications, a company specializing in technology solutions designed to improve patient safety and clinical communications. In 2013 she joined the board of Aviv REIT, Inc., a Chicago based real estate investment trust with a primary focus on skilled nursing facilities.

Active in community organizations Ms. O’Keefe serves on the boards of CURE: Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy, the Greater Chicago American Heart Association and has chaired the American Heart Association Go Red for Women campaign.

The Chicago Network