The Board of Directors of Sinai Health System last week announced that Karen Teitelbaum will become president and CEO, effective July 1. Teitelbaum takes the helm at the 695-bed hospital group following a decade of leadership from Alan Channing who announced his retirement this spring.
Teitelbaum has served as executive vice president and chief operating officer at Sinai for nearly seven years, where she has focused on strengthening operations, quality, safety and business development for the health system, which includes Mount Sinai Hospital, Sinai Children’s Hospital, Schwab Rehabilitation Hospital, Holy Cross Hospital, Sinai Urban Health Institute, Sinai Community Institute, and Sinai Medical Group. During her tenure, Sinai has received national and statewide recognition for clinical excellence as well as its innovative urban health programs, which translate research in social, economic and health disparities into holistic prevention and wellness programs that improve health as well as quality of life.
“We are very fortunate to have a proven leader in Karen, already profoundly invested in Sinai and the community,” said Gary Niederpruem, chairman of the Board of Sinai Health System. “Her strong health care experience and business acumen, coupled with a deep passion for making a difference in the communities we serve, make her the right person to lead Sinai forward during this dynamic period of change and transformation in health care delivery. As health care in the United States begins to more closely resemble the type of care Sinai has always delivered, Karen is uniquely qualified to guide our organization forward to continue changing lives for the better.”
Serving Chicago’s west and south side communities for nearly 100 years, Sinai has been expanding its service area and now reaches almost 1.5 million people annually. Its recent merger with Holy Cross Hospital created a unique Jewish-Catholic partnership united in a mission to bring quality, compassionate health care and social services to some of Chicago’s most economically challenged communities.
“We know that quality health care has the power to transform communities. What distinguishes Sinai is our work to make lives better by also addressing the non-clinical issues that impact health care disparities like access to jobs, interrupting violence and improving neighborhood safety,” said Teitelbaum. “Through our Sinai Community Institute and our Urban Health Institute, we never stop working to better understand the needs of our community, provide beneficial community programs, and turn urban epidemiological findings at the neighborhood level into innovative treatment.”
While Sinai is known for its expertise in trauma care, Sinai’s expansive network also provides top specialty services at its hospitals and clinics, from neonatal intensive care to advanced oncology programs. System wide, Sinai has 4,000 caregivers, including 800 physicians, 695 licensed beds, 100,000-plus annual emergency department visits, and eight physician training programs.
In fact, Teitelbaum receives her health care from providers and hospitals throughout Sinai Health System.
Teitelbaum, 57, came to Sinai with deep and broad leadership experience in nearly every sector of health care. She began as a clinician, a speech language pathologist, and went on to own and sell her own physical rehabilitation agency. Teitelbaum’s career has included strategic planning, medical staff development and managed care contracting at both teaching and community hospitals. She was a senior executive for a network of 12 Catholic hospitals, directed channel and customer marketing for a major pharmaceutical company, and led business development and operations for a number of Chicagoland hospitals.
Teitelbaum earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from the State University of New York, and a Master of Arts in Speech and Language Pathology and a Master of Management degree from Northwestern University. A native of New York, she has made Chicago her home ever since graduate school.
Teitelbaum is active in many civic and health organizations nationally and locally. She is an immediate-past member of the Maternal and Child Health Committee of the American Hospital Association. She was the chair of the Building Committee for the Lawndale Christian Health Center, and serves on the boards of the Lawndale Business Renaissance Association and the Metropolitan Chicago Healthcare Council.