This website uses cookies. By continuing you are agreeing to our privacy policy.

University of Chicago Medical Center Leader Honored as Outstanding Chicago Mother

Sharon O’Keefe recognized for achievements balancing personal, professional life

(April 16, 2019) - CHICAGO

For more information please contact:

Jill Thompson
[email protected]

On May 1, Sharon O’Keefe, president of the University of Chicago Medical Center, will be honored for her achievements at the first-ever Chicago Outstanding Mother Awards.

The American Lung Association in Greater Chicago, in partnership with the National Mother’s Day Council, will host the Outstanding Mother Awards at the Hyatt Regency. The special event will recognize O’Keefe, as well as two other local mothers, for their ability to balance their personal and professional lives while making an impact in the community.

“Sharon is a true healthcare veteran, who worked as a staff nurse, then transitioned into executive leadership. She has worked in some of the most innovative and important healthcare markets in the U.S., including Boston, Baltimore, St. Louis and now here in Chicago,” said Kristen Young, the executive director for the Lung Association. “Sharon’s leadership and patient impact has transcended beyond the walls of the hospital and even the city. She has helped advance new treatments and improved patient care by serving the National Institute of Health Advisory Board for Clinical Research. Sharon has made a significant impact on the healthcare industry and Chicago, all while raising her daughter.”

Currently, O’Keefe serves as president of the University of Chicago Medical Center, where she oversees a $1.9B clinical enterprise and integrates the patient care mission of the medical center with the education and research missions of the University of Chicago Biological Sciences Division. She has received multiple awards, including being named in the 2013 Modern Healthcare list of the 100 most influential people in healthcare and the top 25 women leaders in healthcare. Additionally, O’Keefe serves on the Illinois Hospital Association Board Finance Committee, The Vizient Board of Managers and the Board of America’s Essential Hospitals, and several others.

O’Keefe and her husband, Hal, live in Chicago and have a daughter, Mackenzie.

Mary Kay Bonoma, executive vice president for the Illinois Restaurant Association, and Caylei Vogelzang, director of business strategy for Vogelzang Law and editor-in-chief for Cancer Wellness Magazine, will also be honored at the Chicago Outstanding Mother Awards.

The Outstanding Mother Awards event will include a cocktail reception, dinner and program. Money raised will fund education, life-saving research and advocacy efforts for the Lung Association’s mission to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. The event is sponsored locally by the University of Chicago Medical Center, the Illinois Restaurant Association, Chicago Magazine and Vogelzang Law. The master of ceremonies will be NBC 5 Chicago anchor Zoraida Sambolin.

More information, tickets, table sponsorships and tribute ads are available on the Outstanding Mother Awards website


About the American Lung Association

The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, through research, education and advocacy. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to improve the air we breathe; to reduce the burden of lung disease on individuals and their families; and to eliminate tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the coveted 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Gold-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit:

Red button with telephone
Ask An Expert

Questions about your lung health? Need help finding healthcare? Call 1-800-LUNGUSA.

Get help
Red button of two hand prints
We need your generous support

Make a difference by delivering research, education and advocacy to those impacted by lung disease.

Button of turquoise LUNG FORCE swirl

LUNG FORCE unites women and their loved ones across the country to stand together in the fight against lung cancer.

Get involved
Join the fight for healthy lungs and healthy air.
Donate Now.