COVID-19 Discussion with CEO of Rush University Medical Center

Insight by

Joshua Jennings, M.D. Cowen’s Medical Supplies & Devices analyst, speaks with Omar Lateef, M.D., CEO of Rush University Medical Center.  Rush University Medical Center is a leading academic medical center in Chicago, IL. Dr. Jennings and Dr. Lateef discuss the impact of COVID-19 on the medical center, changes in procedure volumes, and potential paths to recovery.

Press play below to listen to their conversation.

Cowen Host: 

Joshua Jennings, M.D., Medical Supplies & Devices Analyst


Omar Lateef, M.D., CEO, Rush University Medical Center

Dr. Omar Lateef, became the CEO of Rush University Medical Center in May 2019. He was the chief medical officer of the Medical Center and of Rush University System for Health from January 2015 and June 2018, respectively, through June 2019.

As Chief Medical Officer, Lateef helped design, implement and oversee initiatives related to clinical quality, patient safety and performance improvement. Under his leadership, Rush system hospitals have performed exceptionally well in rankings by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), U.S. News & World Report, the Leapfrog Group and Vizient, which in 2019 ranked Rush University Medical Center first among 93 participating academic health systems across the nation in quality and accountability.

Lateef is a recognized leader in the measurement of health care quality, and has worked with physicians and analysts at Rush and from academic medical centers across the nation to evaluate the driving factors and methodology for quality rankings by CMS, U.S. News and others. Lateef and his colleagues have evaluated and recommended changes to the rating systems to confirm that they are accurate and a fair reflection of quality. His work to ensure that key national measures are transparent, measure what they are intended to measure and have no unintended consequences has profoundly impacted how health care quality is viewed and reported at Rush and across the country.

Lateef, who joined Rush in 2002, was appointed associate chief medical officer in 2009 and vice chair of the Department of Internal Medicine in 2012. He also served as program director for the Pulmonary and Critical Care Fellowship Program and as director of the medical intensive care unit.

A former associate dean of medical sciences at Rush University, Lateef is currently a professor of pulmonary and critical care medicine. He has won numerous teaching awards at the University and led educational programs that ranked repeatedly among the top five in the country.

In 1995, Lateef earned a bachelor’s of science in religious studies from the University of Florida – Gainesville. Four years later, he received his medical degree from Des Moines University, after which he completed his internship and residency at New York University Downtown Hospital. He completed a fellowship in pulmonary and critical care medicine at Rush in 2005.

Lateef has published extensively on scientific and ethical issues in critical care medicine and spoken internationally on improving health care and its delivery. He is a member of the American College of Chest Physicians, the American Thoracic Society, and the Society of Critical Care Medicine, and a fellow of the American College of Physicians.

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