Geisinger’s Karen Murphy Among ‘50 Most Influential Clinical Executives’

Karen Murphy, Ph.D., R.N., executive vice president, chief innovation officer and founding director of the Steele Institute for Health Innovation at Geisinger, has been selected as one of Modern Healthcare’s 50 Most Influential Clinical Executives for 2021, and has been named a 2021 Changemaker in Health by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS).

Modern Healthcare’s annual list of the 50 Most Influential Clinical Executives recognizes leaders who are paving the way to better health through innovation, community service and achievements inside and outside of their respective organizations. Murphy was recognized for the Steele Institute’s leading role in Geisinger’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including early contact tracing efforts, automation and vaccine distribution. Murphy and her team also used the pandemic as an opportunity to reimagine how care could and should be delivered in the future. This year’s class includes Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The inaugural HIMSS Changemaker in Health awards recognize 11 inspiring healthcare executives who challenge the status quo in their journeys to build a brighter health future. The awards celebrate innovative individuals as they lead change in their pursuit to improve care by harnessing the power of information and technology. Awardees were chosen by public online voting.

“I am honored and humbled to be selected for these awards among my colleagues,” Dr. Murphy said. “Every day I’m fortunate to work with an incredible team of transformational and innovative people in an organization that inspires us to build a better future for our patients and communities.”

Under Dr. Murphy’s direction, Geisinger’s Steele Institute is making health easier by developing leading-edge solutions that slow rising costs, improve quality and increase access to healthcare. Working with teams in digital transformation, robotic process automation, machine learning, behavioral economics and data enterprise, the Steele Institute builds solutions to improve overall health, patient experience, care delivery and affordability.

Most recently, the Steele Institute launched ConnectedCare365, an innovative care delivery model for patients with chronic diseases like diabetes, heart failure and hypertension. Currently a pilot program, this first-of-its-kind virtual care delivery platform uses remote patient monitoring, artificial intelligence and powerful data analysis tools to improve patient outcomes.

Throughout her career, Dr. Murphy has worked to improve and transform healthcare delivery in the public and private sectors. Before joining Geisinger, she served as Pennsylvania’s secretary of health, addressing the most significant health issues facing the state, including developing an innovative payment and delivery model for rural hospitals. Prior to her role as secretary, Dr. Murphy served as director of the State Innovation Models Initiative at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and as president and chief executive officer of Moses Taylor Health Care System.

For more information about Geisinger’s Steele Institute for Health Innovation, visit