Wayne M. Lerner, DPH, FACHE, is a veteran executive with over 30 years experience in healthcare administration, public policy, and education, and one of the leaders of the evolution of healthcare in the City of Chicago and the country as a whole.
Since 1997, Dr. Lerner has been President and Chief Executive Officer of the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, a private, not-for-profit organization that offers inpatient, day rehabilitation and outpatient care to people with temporary or permanent physical disabilities. Under Dr. Lerner’s leadership, the Institute has grown to a network of more than 20 wholly-owned and partnership sites throughout the Chicagoland metropolitan area and Southern Illinois, and is also home to one of the largest rehabilitation research and education programs in the country. Since 1991, the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago has been ranked the “ Best Rehabilitation Hospital in America” by U.S. News & World Report.
Before joining the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, Dr. Lerner was Vice President for the Lash Group, providing consultative services in the firm’s Provider and Purchaser Division, specializing in the development, implementation and evaluation of integrated delivery systems, corporate and clinical strategic planning and health policy analysis. From 1990 to 1996, he was President of The Jewish Hospital of St. Louis and Senior Executive Officer within the BJC Health System. He was one of the initiators and key executives in the formation and implementation of BJC as well as the merger of The Jewish Hospital of St. Louis with Barnes Hospital.
Prior to The Jewish Hospital of St. Louis, Dr. Lerner spent 17 years with Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center in Chicago, where he rose to the position of Vice President for Administrative Affairs and Associate Professor and Chairman of the Department of Health Systems Management.
Dr. Lerner received his Doctor of Public Health (Health Policy) and Master of Hospital Administration degrees from the University of Michigan and Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Illinois, Urbana.
Dr. Lerner chairs the Adequate Health Care Task Force, a bipartisan health care reform commission for the State of Illinois. He is a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) and served as the elected Regent for Illinois-Northern Cook County for the years 2000 to 2004. He is the Immediate-Past Chairman of the Board of the Illinois Hospital Association (IHA) and a member of the Executive Committee. Dr. Lerner’s appointment to Board Chair for the 2003-04 term was the first time the position was held by a representative of a rehabilitation organization. He is Treasurer of the Board of the American Medical Rehabilitation Providers Association (AMRPA) as well as being responsible for overseeing its legislative and political action activities. He is a past chairman of the American Hospital Association’s (AHA) Committee of Commissioners, and as such, was a member of the Executive Committee of the Board of the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO). He continues to serve as a member in the American Hospital Association, the Association of University Programs in Healthcare Administration (AUPHA) and on the U.S. Paralympics Leadership Council.
Locally, Dr. Lerner is a member of the City Club of Chicago, The Economic Club of Chicago, The Commercial Club of Chicago, The Chicago Club, the Chicago Healthcare Executives Forum (CHEF), the Mayor’s Fitness Council for the Chicago Park District and Rush University College of Nursing Community Advisory Committee. He also serves on the faculty of the Program in Health Industry Management of the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University and the Department of Health Systems Management of Rush University and on the Board of the Judd Goldman Adaptive Sailing Foundation.
Dr. Lerner has been selected in 2001-05 as one of Chicago’s most influential business leaders in Crain’s Chicago Business’ Who’s Who in Chicago Business. At their 1995 Alumni Institute conference, The University of Michigan’s Department of Health Management and Policy honored Dr. Lerner with the Lawrence A. Hill Award for Excellence in Health Management and Policy. In 1992, Dr. Lerner received the Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award from the Washington University School of Medicine, Health Administration Program. In 1990, the Wayne M. Lerner Excellence in Leadership Award was established at Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center. In May 1986, Dr. Lerner was elected one of the AHA Health Care Leaders for the 21 st Century. In 1980, Rush University College of Health Sciences honored Dr. Lerner with the Outstanding Faculty Award.
Dr. Lerner is married to Sandra Jacobson Lerner and they have four children: Joanne Jacobson Rosen, Carolyn Jacobson, Adam Lerner and Rebecca Lerner.