Bisognano to Succeed Berwick as IHI CEO

Janice Simmons, July 9, 2010

With the appointment this week of Institute for Healthcare Improvement President and CEO Don Berwick, MD, as administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Cambridge, MA-nonprofit has named its executive vice president and chief operating officer, Maureen Bisognano, as its new head.

Since joining IHI in 1995, Bisognano has been a frequent speaker at major conferences on quality improvement, and had travelled globally to work with healthcare leaders. Before joining IHI, she was senior vice president of The Juran Institute, where she consulted with senior management on the implementation of total quality management in healthcare settings. Before that, she served as CEO of the Massachusetts Respiratory Hospital in Braintree, MA, where she participated in the National Demonstration Project, the precursor to IHI.

Bisognano began her career in healthcare in 1973 as a staff nurse at Quincy City Hospital. While at the hospital, she served as director of nursing, director of patient services, and chief operating officer.

Currently, she is an instructor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and a research associate in the Division of Social Medicine and Health Inequalities at the Brigham and Women's Hospital. She is also an elected member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.

"Maureen Bisognano is the ideal successor to Don Berwick, who has led IHI with such extraordinary insight, vision, and drive since its founding in 1991," said IHI Board Chairman A. Blanton Godfrey, in a statement. "Maureen has been Don's chief partner in IHI's management and evolution since she joined IHI in 1995. She is a prominent authority on improving healthcare systems and is well known and widely respected throughout the global healthcare improvement community."

"Though we have made many strides in improving safety, effectiveness, and efficiency in health care, there is much work left to be done," Bisognano said in a statement. "Together, we will carry IHI's work forward, maintaining the qualities associated with Don — a commitment to excellence, a constant focus on innovation based on research and listening to patients and people on the front line, a firm belief in collaboration, and the joy of making change a reality."

Janice Simmons Janice Simmons is a senior editor and Washington, DC, correspondent for HealthLeaders Media Online. She can be reached at
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