Dr. Omar Lateef became CEO of RUSH in July 2022. He was appointed president of RUSH University System for Health in 2021 and has been president and CEO of RUSH University Medical Center since May 2019. Prior to becoming president and CEO of the Medical Center, Lateef was its chief medical officer.
Under his leadership, the Medical Center has received national attention for its ongoing, effective management of the COVID-19 pandemic, which included building a forward triage, deploying early testing, acceptance of critically ill patient transfers especially from communities hit hardest by the pandemic, and being one of the first to offer antibody testing.
RUSH University Medical Center was among the first recipients of the Mayor’s Medal of Honor in April 2021. The Medical Center was the only hospital in Chicago to receive the award, established by Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot to recognize individuals and organizations who made extraordinary contributions to Chicago’s residents throughout 2020 and particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In recognition of Lateef’s role in RUSH’s response to the crisis, Modern Healthcare named him to their 2021 list of the 100 most influential people in health care in the United States. Modern Healthcare again recognized Lateef in October 2022, naming him one of the nation's top 25 diversity leaders. He was cited for advancing equitable health care policy, care delivery and inclusivity within RUSH and the health care industry.
Under Lateef’s leadership, RUSH performed exceptionally well in rankings from government organizations and from private rankings companies. RUSH University Medical Center has a five-star rating, the highest possible, from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. In 2022, Vizient, Inc., ranked RUSH University Medical Center No. 3 among 107 academic medical centers for quality and accountability. The Medical Center has twice earned a spot on the U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals Honor Roll, and in 2022, Newsweek ranked RUSH University Medical Center No. 16 in the U.S. and No. 56 in the world. Other accolades include receiving A grades in 18 rounds of grades issued since the Leapfrog Group began rating hospitals in 2012, including the most recent ratings.
A nationally recognized leader in the measurement of health care quality, Lateef has worked with physicians and analysts at RUSH and from academic medical centers across the nation to evaluate the driving factors and methodology of quality rankings by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), U.S. News & World Report and others.
In January 2020, Lateef was invited by the secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to serve on the National Advisory Council for Healthcare Research and Quality of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Lateef and his colleagues evaluated and recommended changes to the rating systems for accuracy and the best reflection of quality. His work to ensure that key national measures are transparent and measure the right, meaningful data points greatly affected how health care quality is reported across the country.
Lateef earned a bachelor's degree in religious studies from the University of Florida-Gainesville in 1995. He received his medical degree from Des Moines University and completed his internship and residency at New York University Downtown Hospital. He completed a fellowship in pulmonary and critical care medicine at RUSH University Medical Center in 2005.