The long-time nurse heads UPMC’s flagship hospital in Pittsburgh

A long-time champion of including health care professionals at the forefront of executive decision-making will take over the helm of UPMC’s flagship hospital operations early next year.

Sandra Rader – a veteran Chief Nurse and Vice President of Patient Care before becoming Chief Operating Officer – has been promoted to President of UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside, a multi-campus hospital in Pittsburgh.

She will oversee more than 8,000 employees in the UPMC Presbyterian and Montefiore buildings in Pittsburgh’s Oakland neighborhood and UPMC Shadyside on Center Avenue.

The Oakland campus serves as the hub of UPMC’s academic medical programs and offers Level 1 trauma care – the highest accolade for the treatment of serious and life-threatening injuries.

“I’m very excited about the opportunity,” said Rader, a past president of the Southwestern Pennsylvania Organization of Nurse Leaders. An Associate Professor in the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Nursing, Rader holds a PhD in Nursing Practice from Chatham University – where she remains an active member of the Board of Trustees – and a Masters in Administration from the University of Notre Dame.

It promotes a philosophy of “shared leadership to create high quality patient care and a culture of excellence”.

As chief nurse officer of both the Shadyside and Presbyterian campuses, Rader said she tries to ensure that her employees are “empowered to make a difference” and “are encouraged to question the status quo and think outside the box to new ones and think of creative solutions ”.

“It’s important to stay close to the frontline people, listen to them, really have the best idea about best practices, and make changes,” Rader told the Tribune review. “I have always been closely connected to the employees. We talk a lot about goals and the way they see their department. I like to sit and listen and really listen to their needs so we can empower them. ”

Rader succeeds John Innocenti, who, as President of UPMC Mercy Hospital in Uptown, takes on a new role in the multi-billion dollar non-profit organization.

The changes are among several internal promotions announced by UPMC this week, roughly three months into Leslie Davis’ tenure as CEO of the downtown Pittsburgh-based healthcare giant, following the retirement of Jeffrey Romoff.

“One of UPMC’s greatest strengths is our people. Without our talented frontline patient care teams and essential service staff, our dedicated managers and our senior executives, we are just big buildings and nifty devices, ”said Mark. Sevco, President of Health at UPMC, wrote a memo to staff about the promotions. “And at this crucial moment in our industry, there is no better time to unlock the potential of our leaders and continue their growth here at UPMC.”

Innocenti, also Senior Vice President, will continue to have senior oversight of UPMC Sports Medicine, STAT MedEvac, EMS and Trauma Services.

He remains on the steering committee for the 18-story tower under construction, which will add 636 beds and 900,000 square feet for heart and transplant programs and a lobby-level lifestyle village at UPMC Presbyterian, in addition to overseeing ongoing construction at UPMC Barmherzig.

The Hospitals-in-Hospital projects are part of a $ 2 billion expansion.

“We are so grateful for the expertise and leadership shown by John at UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside, and appreciate his continued, unwavering commitment and focus in setting the course for UPMC Mercy’s future as they continue to build, and ultimately that UPMC Vision and Rehabilitation will complete the tower over the (next) 12 to 15 months, ”said Sevco.

Sevco said of Rader that she “has shown herself to be a strategic, capable, and compassionate leader ready to take on this challenge.”

Looking ahead, Rader said the Covid-19 threat and staff shortage continue to pose challenges for hospitals across Pennsylvania and across the country.

“Sure, the pandemic has posed many challenges to our health system as a whole, and the things we are facing are not that different in terms of labor shortages from what is going on in the rest of the nation,” Rader said. “We’re really working on keeping our talented people and on recruiting more.”

Both Rader and Innoncenti will take up their new leadership positions at the hospital on January 1st.

Among other things, personnel changes within UPMC’s health services department:

Tami Minnier, who has led UPMC’s Covid-19 response for the 40 hospital system since the beginning of the pandemic, has been named Chief Quality and Operational Excellence Officer and Senior Vice President. It is a new position that expands Minnier’s work and was created in response to needs and “their skills and talents,” said a UPMC spokesman.

“Your ability to reach consensus and quickly assemble action teams has been critical to our ability to successfully manage the pandemic and the ensuing national trend of national health labor shortages that followed,” said Sevco.

It will focus on “Improving Clinical Care Coordination, Efficiency and Alignment Using Insights From Analysis and Data”. With the help of Holly Lorenz, UPMC’s Chief Nursing Executive, your responsibilities will be expanded to include supervision of the Center for Nursing Excellence.

David Gibbons, President of UPMC Hamot in Erie since 2017, has been named Market President of UPMC’s Northern Tier and North-Central Pennsylvania Regions and Senior Vice President. Gibbons served as the regional leader, overseeing progress on the UPMC Chautauqua, UPMC Kane, UPMC Northwest, UPMC Horizon and UPMC Jameson hospital campuses.

“David has helped position UPMC well for growth and longevity in the region,” said Sevco.

Gibbons joins Dave Martin as Regional Market President. Steven Johnson, President of North Central Hospitals, will report to Gibbons.

In his message to staff, Sevco said he would work closely with Dr. Joon Lee working together “to achieve great success in the months and years to come”.

The couple marked the first two UPMC executives to take new titles as CEO after the Davis acquisition.

In October Sevco became President of UPMC Hospitals and Dr. Lee became President of UPMC Medical Services. Together they run UPMC’s health services division, previously headed by Davis.

Natasha Lindstrom is a contributor to Tribune Review. You can contact Natasha at 412-380-8514,, or on Twitter.

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