Gwen Sandefur, MHSA

Gwen Sandefur is chief care transformation officer, Spectrum Health System, a $6.9 billion not-for-profit integrated health system based in West Michigan and president, Spectrum Health Hospital Group.

In this role, Gwen is responsible for the strategy, operations and growth of 11 of Spectrum Health's hospitals, including Butterworth Hospital, Blodgett Hospital, Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, Gerber Memorial, Big Rapids Hospital, Ludington Hospital, Pennock, United Hospital, Kelsey Hospital, Reed City Hospital and Zeeland Community Hospital. She also is responsible for hospital-based outpatient locations, as well as nutrition services, volunteer services and hospitality/environmental services. In her role as chief care transformation officer, she leads care management, Spectrum Health Healthier Communities and Spectrum Health Behavioral Health Services.

Among Gwen’s key accomplishments:

  • Ensuring community value. Leads the Spectrum Health Hospital Group executive team to continually systematize operations, with a focus on high-reliability, affordability and a One Spectrum Health Experience for our communities and patients.
  • Optimizing the value of governance. Systematized governance across Spectrum Health Hospital Group by creating a Governance Task Force of board members across all hospitals and the continuing care division.
  • Excellent operations. Challenged operating room leadership to create a Surgery Management Committee to operate the Grand Rapids OR as a “virtual” for-profit entity.
  • Optimized capital spend. Led the initiative to ensure appropriate bed utilization throughout Spectrum Health Hospital Group while working to find alternatives to a substantial increase in intensive care unit beds.
  • Top decile patient throughput. Led multidisciplinary teams at Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital to reduce the ICU average length of stay to less than the Milliman “well-managed” level.

Gwen joined Spectrum Health in 2015 as senior vice president and chief operating officer for Spectrum Health Grand Rapids. In 2016 her role was expanded to chief operating officer for Spectrum Health Hospital Group, until assuming her current position in June 2017. Previously, she served as the executive vice president/chief operating officer, St. Mary’s Health, and president, St. Mary’s Medical Center, in Evansville, Indiana, which is a member of Ascension Health. Gwen was responsible for service growth, development and integration. Previously, she served as senior vice president, strategic development and regional operations, St. Mary’s Health System/Seton Health Corp. In this role, she was responsible for strategic growth/partnership opportunities, outpatient services and development of staff departments. Prior to joining St. Mary’s Health, Gwen worked in various strategic roles for St. Vincent Health, Indianapolis, Indiana.

Gwen earned her Master of Health Services Administration from the University of Michigan and her Bachelor of Science in Public Health from Indiana University.

Gwen is on the board of directors the Michigan Health & Hospital Association Service Corp. and a board member for Junior Achievement of the Michigan Great Lakes and Heart of West Michigan United Way. She is also a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives.