Dr. Omar Lateef Named One of '100 Most Influential People in Healthcare'

Modern Healthcare recognizes Rush University Medical Center CEO for leadership, impact
Dr. Omar Lateef

Rush University Medical Center CEO Dr. Omar Lateef has been named to Modern Healthcare’s 2021 list of 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare in the United States.

“This program acknowledges and honors individuals who are deemed by their peers and the senior editors of Modern Healthcare to be the most influential individuals in the industry, in terms of leadership and impact,” the publication's award announcement says.

“This recognition strongly affirms our entire RUSH team and the esteem in which we are held for the high quality of care we provide to our patients every day and all that we’ve done in response to the COVID-19 pandemic," Lateef said. “What we have accomplished under the most difficult of circumstances these last few years has been extraordinary. I am deeply proud to share this honor with each and every one of you.”

In her letter of support for Lateef and RUSH’s nomination, Susan Crown, chairperson of the Rush University Medical Center board, wrote that he is “comfortable on the front line and in the board room."

"Dr. Lateef has managed to successfully marshal resources to combat a pandemic while also excelling in delivering the kind of quality patient care and outcomes that have twice earned Rush a spot on the U.S. News & World Report hospital honor roll.”

Arne Duncan, former U.S. Secretary of Education and CEO of Chicago CRED, an anti-gun violence organization co-founded in 2016, noted Lateef’s community work as an educational resource.

“Dr. Lateef brought an important and accessible voice to the conversation for the benefit of the entire city,” Duncan wrote. “He has been a tireless advocate in this space, having spoken with dozens of community groups and demonstrating his commitment to providing education to prevent illness while rolling up his sleeves to extend care to those who were unable to avoid it.”

Last year's complexity is reflected in the 2021 Most Influential People in Healthcare honorees, according to Modern Healthcare editor Aurora Aguilar.

“The year was dominated with vaccines that promised a return to normal. But that treatment faced ire and rejection from some, creating divisions in communities and even the health care workforce,” Aguilar said. “Meanwhile, the financial sector threw around its weight in health care, causing some pushback from the industry and regulators who say private equity and venture capital's goals conflict with health care's mission. Still, there's no denying that new players affected the business of health care in 2021." 

Related Stories