Berwick replacement named at head of Massachusetts healthcare institute

The Cambridge-based Institute for Healthcare Improvement announced Thursday that Maureen Bisognano will replace Donald Berwick as president and CEO. Berwick was appointed Wednesday to head the Medicare agency. 

IHI is an independent nonprofit organization that promotes improvements in patient care around the world.

Bisognano has served as the institute's executive vice president and chief operating officer for the past 15 years. She is also an elected member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, and teaches medicine at Harvard Medical School. 

"Maureen Bisognano is the ideal successor to Don Berwick, who has led IHI with such extraordinary insight, vision, and drive since its founding in 1991," IHI Board Chairman A. Blanton Godfrey said in a statement. "Maureen has been Don’s chief partner in IHI’s management and evolution since she joined IHI in 1995. She is a prominent authority on improving health care systems and is well known and widely respected throughout the global health care improvement community."

Added Berwick: "While my departure from IHI is, of course, bittersweet, I am absolutely delighted that the IHI Board of Directors has selected Maureen Bisognano to become IHI’s new President and CEO."

He said he looked forward "with great enthusiasm to this new challenge."

Bisognano praised Berwick as "the head, the heart, and the soul of the organization since its founding" and vowed to "carry IHI’s work forward, maintaining the qualities associated with Don — a commitment to excellence, a constant focus on innovation based on research and listening to patients and people on the front line, a firm belief in collaboration, and the joy of making change a reality."

Bisognano began her career in healthcare as a nurse in 1973.