35 hospital and health system chief innovation officers to know | 2023

Becker's Healthcare is delighted to honor 35 hospital and health system chief innovation officers. 

In the current age of accelerated digital transformation, chief innovation officers ensure that their hospitals and health systems remain on the cutting-edge of care delivery. Chief innovation officers foster cultures of innovation, creativity and open-mindedness, leading to novel technologies, enhanced patient care models, new partnerships and more. 

Note: This list is not an endorsement of included hospitals, health systems, or associated healthcare providers. Organizations cannot pay for inclusion on this list. Organizations are presented in alphabetical order. We extend a special thank you to Rhoda Weiss for her contributions to this list.

We accepted nominations for this list. Please contact Anna Falvey at afalvey@beckershealthcare.com with any questions or comments.

Derek Angus, MD. Chief Healthcare Innovation Officer at UPMC. Dr. Angus was appointed chief healthcare innovation officer at UPMC earlier this year. He leads UPMC's efforts to make care decisions wisely and learn fast to accelerate changes in patient care. He is also responsible for efforts to blend clinical care delivery with medical research, artificial intelligence and computer, social and behavioral sciences. He has a background in machine learning, behavioral economics and clinical analytics.

Scott Arnold. Executive Vice President and Chief Information and Innovation Officer at Tampa (Fla.) General Hospital. Mr. Arnold first joined Tampa General in 2010, managing the conversion of its electronic medical records before rising through the ranks to become executive vice president. He envisions technology as a tool that physicians can use to streamline patient coordination and care. He also oversees the integration of biomedical devices with existing technologies systemwide. In the last year, he has implemented predictive analytics and AI in the system to support care delivery and streamline clinician workflows. He has integrated technology into Tampa General's warning system to prevent and treat sepsis He has streamlined day-to-day operations in the hospital and launched a career development program to enable health system staff to share new technology and innovation breakthroughs. 

Sangeeta Bardhan Cook, PhD. Chief Innovation Officer of Fox Chase Cancer Center; Senior Vice President of Commercialization Strategy and Business Development of Temple University Health System (Philadelphia). Dr. Bardhan Cook joined Fox Chase Cancer Center and Temple University Health System in August 2022, and has since shifted focus in the organization towards de-risking and early-stage technologies. Her work includes both digital transformation projects and therapeutic and diagnostic development, allowing for acceleration of new technology movement into clinical practice. In her short time at Fox Chase and Temple University Health, Dr. Bardhan Cook has begun a number of strategic partnerships, led development of a data-driven care insight model, and led clinical developments for a novel therapeutic set for clinical trials.

Jessica Beegle. Senior Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer of LifePoint Health (Brentwood, Tenn.). Ms. Beegle joined LifePoint Health as chief innovation officer earlier this year. In her role, she'll deliver more care to patients at home and in their communities while leading LifePoint's health tech startup incubator. Her experience includes leading consumer health for Google, founding Amazon Web Services' healthcare and life sciences business and leading commercialization for Walgreens Health's consumer and tech-focused healthcare business.

John Brownstein, PhD. Chief Innovation Officer at Boston Children’s Hospital. Dr. Brownstein is a global leader in healthcare IT, especially informatics and big data analytics. As chief innovation officer, he runs a 100-person multidisciplinary team focused on digital innovations that impact clinicians and consumers. His group is supported by a multimillion dollar budget including grants from National Institutes of Health, U.S. Agency for International Development, Department of Defense, The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Google, Skoll and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. His work has pioneered “digital epidemiology”, utilizing diverse digital data sources to understand population health. His work is published in over 300 peer-reviewed papers, all focused on new methods and applications in digital health. This work was recognized by the White House with the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.

Becky Buchen. Senior Vice President for Innovation at OSF HealthCare (Peoria, Ill.). Ms. Buchen leads OSF Innovation at Jump Trading Simulation & Education Center. Her leadership helped enhance economic activity by over $103 million and created over 600 full-time jobs in the last decade. She sponsored the development of an app that allows OSF HealthCare clinicians to practice using a variety of medical carts and containers without opening the physical carts. After the 2022 launch of the office of innovation management, she oversaw the implementation of the OSF Trailblazer program, which has allowed 142 of the system’s employees to turn their ideas into reality. She has also assisted in the formation of academic partnerships, 3D segmentation and modeling, virtual reality technology and startup investments that provide early access to emerging technologies and digital solutions that better serve marginalized populations, including in rural areas. 

Nancy Cibotti, MD. Chief Innovation Officer and Assistant CMIO at Beth Israel Lahey Health Primary Care (Cambridge, Mass). Dr. Cibotti assumed the chief innovation officer role in 2020 after serving as the senior medical director of care development and innovation and regional medical director for two years. Dr. Cibotti has over 25 years of experience in the healthcare field, beginning as a primary care physician.

Chris Coburn. Chief Innovation Officer at Mass General Brigham (Boston). As chief innovation officer at Mass General Brigham, Mr. Coburn leads more than 140 teammates in investments, company creation, innovation management, industry collaborations, and licensing. He is charged with handling a venture fund of approximately $500 million and ​​commercialization revenue topping $160 million each year. Over the course of the past 10 years, 300 companies have been spun-off from Mass General Brigham. Mr. Coburn is also the founder of World Medical Innovation Forum. 

Kolaleh Eskandanian, PhD. Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer of Children's National Hospital (Washington, D.C.). Since 2008, Dr. Eskandanian has served as the vice president and chief innovation officer at Children's National Hospital. There she oversees the Office of Innovation Ventures, the Sheikh Zayed Institute's research and development operations, and leads in the development of the Children's National Research and Innovation Campus. With her focus on addressing the unmet medical needs of children, her expertise includes product development, as she is the lead inventor of the first-ever adverse event reporting system.

Rachel Feinman. Vice President of Innovation, Tampa (Fla.) General Hospital. Ms. Feinman became the vice president of innovation of Tampa General Hospital in 2021 after serving as the executive director of Florida-Israel Business Accelerator for three years. With a passion for influencing the strategy for impactful innovation, she currently leads innovation and oversees the organization's venture investment strategy.

Tadashi Funahashi, MD. Chief Innovation Officer at Kaiser Permanente Southern California and Assistant Regional Medical Director at Southern California Permanente Medical Group (Oakland). Dr. Funahashi is passionate about seeking, inventing and assessing the best ways to improve both care delivery and the patient experience. He leads a team of physicians, consultants, designers, data scientists and engineers across the system to envision and build a modern healthcare delivery system. He also spearheaded the development of an in-home cardiac rehab that lowered rates of hospitalization systemwide. He also tracks the safety and outcomes of medical devices across the system as chair of the department's committee. 

Dana Habers. Chief Innovation Officer at Michigan Medicine (Ann Arbor). In less than a year as chief innovation officer, Ms. Habers has been instrumental in key innovation projects at University of Michigan Health, including leading the implementation of drone delivery of pharmacy products and expanding specialty pharmacy services, all designed to get patients their prescriptions faster and at lower cost. She drives U-M’s Health’s growth opportunities by identifying, developing and launching new products, services and business models to address health care gaps. She works across the system with clinical departments and top leaders to ensure alignment with strategic priorities and to translate aspirations into operations. Ms. Habers played a key role in U-M’s COVID-19 vaccine and therapeutics response and continues to serve as COO for pharmacy. 

Elizabeth Hagerman, PhD. Chief Innovation Officer and Executive Director, Isthmus, Project of UW Health (Madison, Wis.). Dr. Hagerman became the chief innovation officer of UW Health in 2020 and since then has been responsible for providing vision and leadership in developing UW Health's innovation accelerator, Isthmus Project. She also established an innovation network connecting UW Health, the UW-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health and other partners. Her experience includes product development, biotechnology, innovation and biotech startups and academic-industry partnerships.

David Higginson. Executive Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer at Phoenix Children's. In his role as executive vice president and chief innovation officer of Phoenix Children's, Mr. Higginson champions patient care and reduces costs for the health system. Under his leadership, Phoenix Children’s has more than tripled in size in the past decade and is on target to become the fourth-largest pediatric health system in the country in 2024. He led Phoenix Children's in its implementation of a fully integrated EHR, billing and ancillary clinical systems with a single database, and product line integration. He is also responsible for launching game-changing patient care apps like the Malnutrition App, Ketogenic Diet Therapy App and the Cleft Palate App, as well as an enterprise "data lake" that allows the health system's 1,500-plus clinicians access data from nearly 70 systems.

Roger Jansen, PhD. Chief Innovation and Digital Health Officer of Michigan State University Health Care (East Lansing). Dr. Jansen is involved in nearly every strategic business collaboration and product launch in his role at MSU Health Care. Since joining the system in 2019, Dr. Jansen has worked in strategic analysis to diversify revenue streams, leading to a Medicare Advantage product and successful chronic disease management program. Prior to working with MSU Health Care, he served as chief strategy officer for Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Mark Kandrysawtz. Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer of Wellspan Health (York, Pa.). Mr. Kandrysawtz leads innovation efforts in products, services and experiences, as well as clinical business solutions, digital diagnostics and novel therapeutics at Wellspan Health. In his role as vice president and chief innovation officer, he leads Wellspan's research and development, digital health and innovation ventures. Under Mr. Kandrysawtz's leadership, the system became the first Epic EHR-enabled organization to earn "Five Diamond'' recognition for its patient portal application. He has been instrumental in the organization's efforts to digitally engage patients and innovate virtual care delivery during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. Mr. Kandrysawtz is also founder and president of Benjamin & Bond, A WellSpan Portfolio Company. 

Harlan Levine, MD. President of Health Innovation and Policy at City of Hope (Duarte, Calif.). Dr. Levine champions a new cancer care delivery paradigm that ensures patients, especially those in underserved communities, have access to the newest cures and treatment options. In his previous roles at Anthem and OptumHealth, he created a national accountability organization and telehealth platform. To address inequities in cancer care across the state, Dr. Levine launched the Cancer Care is Different coalition in 2021 to remove systematic barriers for patients from underserved communities. The coalition supported the passage of several cancer rights and equity act bills that expanded care statewide. In addition to the successful programs he's launched, Dr. Levine continues to innovate and drive colleagues to seek leading-edge solutions to best serve patients. He is also focused on the widespread adoption of value-based care in oncology. 

Kristen Murtos. Chief Innovation and Transformation Officer at NorthShore-Edward Elmhurst (Ill.) Health. Ms. Murtos has been with NorthShore EEH since 1998, building the system into a regional destination for cutting-edge medicine through her work in business development, physician partnerships, mergers and acquisitions and innovation and transformation. She leads a team that sets the bar for what's possible across the 27,000-member system. She is working to accelerate the pace of technology adoption through strategic design, development and dissemination of the innovation agenda. She also takes pride in her work as a mentor, leading younger healthcare innovators through its complicated intricacies. 

Sandra Powell-Elliott. Vice President, Chief Innovation and Commercialization Officer at Hackensack Meridian Health (Edison, N.J.). Ms. Powell-Elliott serves as vice president, chief innovation and commercialization officer at Hackensack Meridian Health, where she brings transformative solutions from outside of the organization to the forefront of its strategic planning efforts. This encompasses precision medicine, new device development, new product and solution development, new business model development and more. Ms. Powell-Elliott has been instrumental to the successful implementation of systemwide innovation challenges that help to reimagine patient and team member safety and reduction of patient length of stay.

Lisa Prasad. Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer of Henry Ford Health System (Detroit). Ms. Prasad joined the Henry Ford Health System in 2013 as a managing director and transitioned into the vice president and chief innovation officer in 2020. With a passion for high quality, accessible healthcare and higher education, she's responsible for leading technology development, corporate business and product development.

Roy Rosin. Chief Innovation Officer at Penn Medicine (Philadelphia). Since 2012, Mr. Rosin has served as the chief innovation officer at Penn Medicine to identify, shape and implement improvements in patient health outcomes and patient experience while testing for potential new revenue streams. Before Penn Medicine, Mr. Rosin was the vice president of innovation at Intuit. He managed Intuit Brainstorm to turn ideas into actions and outcomes for small teams to pursue new opportunities to get into the market and experiment rapidly.

Rich Roth. Senior Vice President and Chief Strategic Innovation Officer at CommonSpirit Health (Chicago). Mr. Roth, who has been serving in the strategic innovation office since 2012, oversees novel partnerships, new company formation, intellectual property development and the venture fund for CommonSpirit Health. He aims to combine externally developed resources with internal competencies to deliver meaningful improvements. For instance, he led the development of the Connected Community Network, which has supplied over 22,000 people with housing, food and transportation in partnership with approximately 900 community organizations. AI has been incorporated into outpatient visits and emergency rooms, with more than 1.7 million engagements and a patient satisfaction rate over 93 percent.

Roberta Schwartz. Executive Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer at Houston Methodist. Ms. Schwartz leads Houston Methodist's center for innovation and its internal leadership committee, which works to implement digital health technology across the entire system. She also serves as executive vice president at the system's flagship hospital, located in the world's largest medical center. She works to ensure that every member on the innovation team holds dual roles within the system, bringing in members from IT, clinical, marketing, patient access and more. She also led the hospital's COVID-19 command center during the pandemic, creating a virtual ICU and expanding telemedicine offerings. She is passionate about mentoring other women in the system, bringing them into leadership roles. 

Bill Sheahan. Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer of MedStar Health; Executive Director of MedStar Institute for Innovation (Columbia, Md). Mr. Sheahan serves as vice president and chief innovation officer of MedStar Health in addition to his role as executive director for the over 175-member Institute for Innovation team at the health system. The Institute for Innovation team is currently working on many projects under his leadership, including inpatient care delivery innovation to address national staffing shortages, virtual primary care expansion and acute services delivery in care at home. With over 20 years of experience in healthcare, research and public safety, Mr. Sheahan has led advancements in intelligent automation, remote patient monitoring, artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented reality, and more for the health system.

Dan Shoenthal. Chief Innovation Officer at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center (Houston). Mr. Shoenthal has worked to create an ecosystem of ongoing transformational change at MD Anderson through collaboration, leadership and commitment to motivation organizationwide. Under his leadership, the system has made advancements in innovation, patient experience and research collaborations. He is committed to breaking down silos within the system to bring together leaders from various fields to foster collaboration. He also forges collaborations with external organizations, startups and academic institutions. He is keenly aware of emerging technologies and trends and identifies opportunities for transformative change. Mr. Shoenthal has a blend of both technical and business acumen, spending more than seven years at MD Anderson sparking creativity among his 24,000 employees and the patients they serve. 

Rasu Shrestha, MD. Executive Vice President, Chief Innovation and Commercialization Officer at Advocate Health (Chicago). Dr. Shrestha leads Advocate Health's innovation initiatives, including launching new healthcare services to benefit patients and the community. He has nearly 30 years of experience in the industry and has the ability to anticipate healthcare trends and devise solutions to emerging challenges. He uses patient demographic data to address health disparities and was an integral part of the creation of a Charlotte, N.C.-based innovation district which will be home to Wake Forest University School of Medicine Charlotte. Dr. Shrestha also helped lead a partnership between Atrium Health and Best Buy Health to develop new hospital at-home offerings, taking advantage of Atrium's telehealth capabilities and Best Buy's technical expertise. He spearheaded the effort to rebuild and redesign Advocate's EHR with a focus on data collection that expands care for underrepresented patient populations. 

Lynn T. Simon, MD. President of Healthcare Innovation and CMO at Community Health Systems (Franklin, Tenn.). Dr. Simon incorporates strategies and partnerships that improve healthcare safety and quality for more than 15 million annual patient encounters and the work of thousands of CHS clinicians. Under her leadership, several innovative programs are being scaled across affiliated hospitals and physician clinics, including remote patient monitoring for those with chronic conditions, maternal-fetal early warning system using AI, a virtual patient sitting system to prevent falls among high-risk hospital patients, and a virtual behavioral health program incorporated into primary care settings. She is a member of the Heritage Group, a healthcare-exclusive venture capital firm helping fund, and develops successful healthcare start-ups and works closely with other venture capital firms investing in healthcare. Previously, she was CHS president of clinical operations and CMO. She serves on the board of Ascend Learning and is past chair of the Federation of American Hospitals' Quality Committee. 

Jolynn Suko, MPH. Chief Innovation Officer of Parkview Health (Fort Wayne, Ind.). Ms. Suko joined Parkview Health in 2015 and has served as chief innovation officer since 2019. In her current role, she oversees multiple departments at the Parkview Mirro Center for Research and Innovation, where she promotes innovation across the health system. Since assuming her role, Ms. Suko has enabled international connections such as the Parkview and Enterprise Ireland, led development for the Parkview international innovation competition seeking solutions to infant mortality, and expanded research output and publication. Prior to becoming chief innovation officer, Ms. Suko served as senior vice president for neurosciences and virtual health at Parkview.

David Sylvan. Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer of University Hospitals (Cleveland). Mr. Sylvan drives innovation at University Hospitals by overseeing core operations, industry partnerships, technology transfer, commercialization and investments, business development and strategic initiatives. Having served as the president of UH Ventures since 2020, he leverages his team's design and process expertise alongside the strategy and planning platform to help streamline clinical operations. In 2021, Mr. Sylvan collaborated with other UH teams and supporters to launch a key program, the Feuer Accelerator, which spurs ideation and design-thinking. He also leads the Cleveland Innovation District's research and product innovation initiatives for UH, which aims to generate an estimated $3 billion in economic impact while bringing more than 20,000 new jobs to Ohio over the next 10 years.

Mary Tolikas, PhD. Senior Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (Boston). Dr. Tolikas was appointed as the senior vice president and chief innovation officer at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in 2022. With more than 20 years of experience in establishing and growing technology-based organizations, she is responsible for leading and accelerating the organization's innovations through identifying discoveries and forming collaborative partnerships to move the information from the laboratory to the clinic quicker.

D. Geoffrey Vince, PhD. Executive Director of Cleveland Clinic Innovations. Dr. Vince was appointed as executive director in 2021, leading a transformation model to better serve inventors. He has experience as a researcher, an inventor and a leader in academia and healthcare. He also holds 12 patents, one of which he sold to Philips in 2002. In his current role, he has worked to align Cleveland Clinic's technology department with scientific and research priorities including growth in data and computing sciences. He has also built strategic partnerships and alliances within the industry to drive revenue growth through commercialization. Under his leadership, Cleveland Clinic has seen a higher translation rate of invention disclosures to licenses and more inventors and external investments in Cleveland Clinic. 

Jerry Vuchak. Executive Vice President and Chief Information and Innovation Officer at Children’s Nebraska (Omaha). In his role as executive vice president and chief information and innovation officer, Mr. Vuchak takes outcome-based risks and challenges existing processes, technologies and methods, ensuring that Children’s Nebraska continues to evolve. He guided the hospital's launch of customized patient-facing applications, including digital wayfinding, digital concierge bedside services, self-scheduling and telehealth resources at Children's. Thanks to his leadership, the hospital became the only pediatric hospital in the Metaverse. He was also instrumental in spearheading the launch of AdaptCare, a mobile app that supports the continuity of care for children with complex medical needs.

Chris Waugh. Vice President and Chief Design and Innovation Officer at Sutter Health (Sacramento, Calif.). Mr. Waugh is Sutter Health's very first chief design and innovation officer. During his tenure at Sutter, his team has received over $26 million in philanthropic support from community members, allowing for speedy implementation of innovative projects. One such project is Scout by Sutter Health, a nonclinical digital toolkit that supports youth ages 13 to 22 in managing mental health. Scout’s results include a 40 percent increase in resilience, a 20 percent improvement in understanding of mental health and a 45 percent increase in understanding of diagnosis. He also led Sutter’s launch of Ferrum Health’s AI-powered quality platform, with which Sutter became the first health system in the U.S. to run quality review on applicable CT lung scans, aiming to reduce medical errors across the patient journey. 

Richard Zane, MD. Chief Innovation Officer and Director of Emergency Services at UCHealth (Aurora, Colo.). In his role as chief innovation officer, Dr. Zane focuses on development of industry and venture relationships to foster innovation across UC Health. In addition, he also serves as director of emergency services for the health system. He is a co-founder of UCHealth CARE Innovation Center, a clinical-validation sandbox for testing, piloting, optimization and commercialization of novel healthcare technologies. Dr. Zane is widely published in peer review publications and was recognized by The New England Journal of Medicine as a thought leader. 

Cole Zanetti, DO. Senior Advisor for the Veteran Health Administrations Innovation Ecosystem (Washington, D.C.) and Chief Health Informatics Officer at the Ralph H. Johnson VA Health Care System (Charleston, S.C.). Dr. Zanetti fosters connections across the Veteran Affairs system and creates private and public partnerships for veterans. He tackles complex issues within the VA by aligning multiple siloed departments to create innovative change, which then improves veteran care and healthcare effectiveness. Dr. Zanetti has helped further enhance the VHA's eScreening platform, created a partnership with Care Centra to provide personalized AI health coach care to thousands of veterans, co-designed a national VET Text platform and much more.

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