RUSH Board Chair Earns Excellence in Governance Award

Susan Crown among 14 leaders recognized by Modern Healthcare
Susan Crown

Susan Crown, chair of the Rush University System for Health and Rush University Medical Center boards, has been selected for Modern Healthcare’s 2022 Excellence in Governance award. The program recognizes a class of influential people who serve on a health care organization's board of directors and foster advancement in culture, mission and performance.

With a more than 30-year history with RUSH, Crown became chair in 2018, following decades of leadership of key board committees. Her business acumen has had a significant impact across RUSH, including helping to shape the RUSH approach to the future of health care.

“During the last few years as CEO of Rush University System for Health, we have shared many discussions around the future of health care and the role of RUSH today, tomorrow and decades to come,” Dr. K. Ranga Krishnan wrote in his letter of support. “Her enthusiasm for finding innovative business models that bring together organizations that can rapidly make a lasting impact on the health and well-being of our patients and community is inspiring to me as we position the system for ongoing success.”

Crown provided oversight for the construction of RUSH’s signature Tower hospital building — which opened in 2012 and proved to be a beacon of hope for the city of Chicago during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Crown’s influence on the RUSH response to the pandemic is well known. Not only did she encourage RUSH to lean into its mission of health equity and role as a standard-bearer for excellence in quality and safety, Crown also saw the opportunity for the organization to lead instead of follow from the moment she assumed her role as chair. That expectation served RUSH well throughout the pandemic — with RUSH emerging in Chicago and across the country as a global leader in addressing COVID-19, and saving countless lives by providing the highest-quality care and taking the region’s sickest patients.

“In early 2020 — when most hospitals were hoping to avoid any connection to COVID-19 — Susan Crown saw an opportunity," Dr. Omar Lateef, president and CEO of Rush University Medical Center, noted in his letter of support for the award. "Encouraging us to lean into our skill set and flexible facilities, RUSH made a conscious decision to put our hospital to the test and embrace our role as a leader in infectious disease.”

Among the criteria for selection, nominees have:

  • Made a significant impact on their organization’s culture, strategic focus, effectiveness and financial sustainability.
  • Successfully served as ambassador and advocated to advance the organization's mission.
  • Demonstrated outstanding and innovative leadership and ability to influence/affect change.
  • A proven track record in promoting gender and racial equity, such as voting/adding female and diverse leaders to the board and other leadership positions.

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