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Michael J. Dandorph, Rush System President

Michael J. Dandorph

Michael J. Dandorph is president of Rush University System for Health, a position he has held since the system's formation in March 2017. He also was the president of Rush University Medical Center from July 2017 through June 2019. Dandorph joined the Medical Center in 2013 as executive vice president for clinical affairs.

As president of Rush University System for Health, Dandorph serves as the senior-most leader responsible for the integrated operations and strategies of the System’s hospitals and clinical practices, as well as the System’s continued growth and future direction. Rush University System for Health currently includes Rush University Medical Center in Chicago; Rush Oak Park Hospital in Oak Park, Illinois; Rush Copley Medical Center in Aurora, Illinois; and numerous outpatient facilities throughout the metropolitan Chicago area. 

In fiscal year 2018, the three hospitals in the system had a combined total of 49,294 patient admissions, 181,126 emergency department visits and more than one million outpatient visits. The system had annual operating revenues of $2.4 billion and $4 billion in total assets, and it employed nearly 12,000 people.

Under Dandorph’s leadership since 2013, Rush University Medical Center saw dramatic growth in its clinical programs and repeatedly has been ranked among the top 5 in hospital quality among leading academic medical centers in the United States each year. The Medical Center expanded access to its care with the opening of Rush River North in April, 2016; Rush South Loop in October, 2018; and Rush Oak Brook in January, 2019. Rush University Medical Group has expanded ambulatory visits by nearly 10 percent per year; Rush Oak Park Hospital went from a historically negative operating performance to a 5 percent operating margin and experienced significant program expansion; and the nation’s three leading bond rating agencies each have repeatedly issued upgraded financial outlooks for the Rush Obligated Group, leading to its highest ratings ever. 

During this time, Dandorph also initiated the redesign of Rush University Medical Center’s funds flow methodology and governance of its faculty practice plan, and he led the Medical Center through the development of a new five-year strategic plan and a 10-year master facilities plan. The facilities plan outlined the development of four multi-specialty ambulatory facilities throughout the Chicago region, including a 480,000 square-foot cancer and neuroscience care facility, the Joan and Paul Rubschlager Building, expected to open on the Medical Center’s campus in 2022.

Prior to joining Rush, Dandorph served for 18 years with the University of Pennsylvania Health System in Philadelphia. As senior vice president of strategy and business development, he oversaw a major expansion of the clinical enterprise at the $4-billion, five-hospital, 1,500-physician health system, which included seven large ambulatory facilities and a post-acute care network. He was instrumental in the Penn Health System’s financial turnaround from 2001-2003, and later led its  service line integration processes, overseeing significant regional growth of the system’s cancer, cardiac, musculoskeletal, neuroscience and transplant centers of excellence.

Previously, Dandorph led the network development and regional expansion of First Option Health Plan, a provider-owned HMO in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania; and The Valley Hospital’s Sports Institute, where he worked with the rehabilitation of athletes throughout northern New Jersey. He received a Master of Health Administration from Cornell University’s Sloan Program in 1995 and a Bachelor of Science in sports medicine and movement science from William Paterson University in 1990.

Dandorph has served on a number of community and for-profit boards, and he speaks frequently at conferences and universities on a variety of topics related to strategy, leadership development, operations and the fiscal management of health systems.