This Week Health

Karen Murphy

Chief Innovation Officer


Karen Murphy, PhD, RN is the Executive Vice President, Chief Innovation Officer and Founding Director of the Steele Institute for Health Innovation at Geisinger.

Dr. Murphy has worked to improve and transform healthcare delivery throughout her career in both 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 the opioid epidemic. 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 leading a $990 million CMS investment designed to accelerate health care innovation across the United States. She previously served as president and chief executive officer of the Moses Taylor Health Care System in Scranton, and as founder and chief executive officer of Physicians Health Alliance, Inc., an integrated medical group practice within Moses Taylor.

Dr. Murphy earned her doctor of philosophy in business administration from the Temple University Fox School of Business. She holds a master’s of business administration from Marywood University, a bachelor of science in liberal arts from the University of Scranton, and a diploma in nursing from the Scranton State Hospital School of Nursing.

An author and national speaker on health policy and innovation, Dr. Murphy also serves as a clinical faculty member at Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine.
Karen Murphy, RN, PhD
As chief innovation officer, Dr. Murphy leads Geisinger’s deep commitment to innovation, one of the organization’s four principle values along with kindness, excellence and learning to fulfill the mission of caring. Geisinger is an integrated healthcare system that includes 13 hospital campuses, two research centers, the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine, and a health plan that serves approximately 600,000 members. Geisinger’s more than 30,000 employees, 2,500 providers, nearly 500 residents and fellows, and 360 medical students serve and care for the three million residents in Pennsylvania.



It's crystal clear that the fee for service system we're all living under is abysmal. If you think back to what we did in March, we did all the right things to protect our patients, our communities and our workers. We stopped our elective procedures. We've amped up care in the home. We provided public health services for our communities and it was financially devastating. That should not be the case. It should be that we're always incentivized to do the right thing and that doing the right thing does not result in financial peril.
We define innovation as a fundamentally different approach to solving a problem that has quantifiable outcomes. And we all know that we have plenty of problems in healthcare. It's the hardest job I’ve ever had because what we're trying to do is make a meaningful difference in cost or quality. And it’s very challenging.
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