About CURE > Board
Sharon O’Keefe, a nationally recognized authority on hospital operations, health care quality, patient satisfaction and employee engagement, joined the University of Chicago Medical Center as President in February 2011. As president she oversees a $1.1B clinical enterprise and connects the patient care mission of the medical center with the research and education missions of the University of Chicago Biological Sciences Division.
A Chicago native, Ms. O’Keefe received her bachelor of science in nursing from Northern Illinois University in 1974. In 1976, while a critical-care nurse at Loyola University Medical Center, she earned a master of science in nursing.
In 1979, she became director of nursing for surgical services at Johns Hopkins Hospital. After six years at Hopkins, she became an associate hospital director at the 900-bed Montefiore Hospital in the Bronx.
From 1987 to 1989 Ms. O’Keefe was senior manager for health care at the accounting firm Ernst & Whinney, where she developed a consulting practice focused on organizational design, operations improvement and large-scale change management. Clients included large, complex academic medical centers and healthcare systems.
Ms. O’Keefe returned to hospital administration in 1989 and spent 10 years as senior vice president for operations at the University of Maryland Medical System in Baltimore, where she focused on clinical program development, operations improvement and facilities renewal. Her efforts helped the Medical System become the first health care organization to receive the State of Maryland Quality and Productivity Award.
In 1999 she moved to Boston’s Beth Israel-Deaconess Medical Center, a teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School. As executive vice president and chief operating officer, she developed and implemented a financial recovery plan for the recently merged hospitals. In 2002 she became chief operating officer at Barnes-Jewish hospital in St. Louis. In 2009, Ms. O’Keefe became President at Loyola University Medical Center, where she served until her appointment at UCMC.
Ms. O’Keefe was appointed an examiner for the U.S. Department of Commerce's Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award in 2005. She serves on the National Institutes of Health Advisory Board for Clinical Research and Finance Committee, the Illinois Hospital Association Board of Trustees, the University Healthcare Consortium Board and Audit and Corporate Operations Committee, the Board of CURE: Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy and the Board of Vocera Communications.