University of Illinois at Chicago Office of Public Affairs (MC 288)
601 S. Morgan St., Chicago, IL 60607-7113, (312) 996-3456,

January 13, 2000 Contact: Mark Rosati (312) 996-5546,
  Bill Burton (312) 996-2269,


John DeNardo, a highly respected health care executive and hospital administrator from the Department of Veterans Affairs, has been named executive director of the University of Illinois Hospital. The appointment was approved today by the university's Board of Trustees and is effective Feb. 14.

DeNardo has served as director and chief executive officer of the 625-bed Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital since 1996, during which time the hospital received four "Hammer Awards" under Vice President Al Gore's National Performance Review program. DeNardo's appointment at UIC was announced today by Dr. Charles Rice, vice chancellor for health affairs.

"John's record of achievement as a hospital administrator, his knowledge of the regional and national health care environment and his success at forging partnerships between labor and management made him the perfect choice to run our hospital and continue its financial turnaround," Rice said.

During DeNardo's tenure, Hines reduced operating expenses by 11 percent over four years, while increasing the number of patients and establishing five new clinics. DeNardo established a labor/management partnership council with all three unions at that hospital. Prior to serving at Hines, he spent four years as director and chief executive officer of the West Side VA Medical Center, a general acute care hospital affiliated with UIC. He was associate director and chief operating officer of the Lakeside VA Medical Center in Chicago for six years.

"I look forward to addressing the challenges that face the UIC Medical Center as a public teaching hospital, and to helping it carry on and fulfill its exciting and vital mission," DeNardo said. "Providing top-notch care for our patients and an unsurpassed teaching and research environment for our professionals and students is our unwavering goal."

DeNardo succeeds David Coats, interim executive director of the hospital. Since last August, Coats headed the management team from The Hunter Group, a leading national healthcare consultant hired by UIC officials in response to a fiscal year 1999 deficit to administer hospital operations and implement recommendations aimed at returning the medical center to a surplus by fiscal 2002.

Coats will stay at UIC Medical Center through February to aid in the transition, and another Hunter Group executive, interim chief financial officer Alan Dzija, will remain through April while a search for a permanent CFO is conducted.

UIC is continuing to explore possible partnerships with other hospitals and health systems to strengthen the medical center. "Any strategic partnership must serve the needs of our students, patients, faculty and the public, and support the core missions of our institution," Rice said. The University of Illinois Hospital is a 424-bed tertiary care hospital with specialty care in cardiology, oncology, digestive and liver diseases, women's services, ophthalmology, otolaryngology and psychiatric services.

A Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives, DeNardo began his professional career as a pharmacist and pharmacy administrator. He earned bachelor's and master's degrees in pharmacy at UIC in 1971 and 1974 respectively, and a master of public health in medical care organization from the University of Michigan in 1984.

DeNardo has served as chair of the Greater Chicago Area Combined Federal Campaign for the United Way and has won numerous awards for professional and volunteer service, including the Distinguished Community Service Award from the DuPage County NAACP. He is a member of the advisory council of the UIC College of Pharmacy and is an adjunct clinical professor at Governors State University.

With 25,000 students, the University of Illinois at Chicago is the largest and most diverse university in the Chicago area, and is one of only 88 national Research I universities. Located just west of Chicago's Loop, UIC is a vital part of the educational, technological and cultural fabric of the entire metropolitan region.


Copyright © 1999 by B&P Consulting, Inc. and University of Illinois at Chicago. All rights reserved.
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