The VOICE of UPMC Shadyside Winter 2021–2022

A New President

Sandra L. Rader, DNP, MSA, RN, NEA-BC became president of UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside in January 2022

Sandra L. Rader, DNP, MSA, RN, NEA-BC, formerly chief operations officer, chief nursing officer, and vice president of Patient Care Services, became president of UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside in January 2022. She is the first nurse leader to head UPMC’s flagship hospital, with two campuses and more than 8,000 employees. Ms. Rader succeeds John P. Innocenti, who now serves as president of UPMC Mercy and as a senior vice president of UPMC Health Services Division, with executive oversight for UPMC Sports Medicine, STAT MedEvac/EMS, and trauma services.

“Sandy Rader is a leader who does it all,” Mr. Innocenti commented. “She has command of the specifics, the details, she motivates people, and she is people-oriented.”

Mark Sevco, president of UPMC Hospitals, describes Ms. Rader as “a strategic, capable, and compassionate leader ready to take on this challenge.”

A native of New Castle, Pennsylvania, Sandra Rader is a longtime advocate for empowering front-line health care workers and engaging them in executive decision-making in order to drive innovation and create a culture of excellence.

She earned her nursing diploma from Jameson Memorial Hospital School of Nursing, BS from Purdue University, MSA from the University of Notre Dame, and doctorate in nursing practice from Chatham University. She and her husband have two grown children.

After living and working in the Midwest, Ms. Rader returned to her strong family ties in western Pennsylvania. She joined UPMC Horizon in 1999, and, in 2004, UPMC Shadyside recruited her as director of nursing. Her goal has been to raise the quality of patient care continuously. When she became chief nursing officer in 2006, she and her team led the hospital’s successful journey to the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Magnet Recognition®, widely accepted as the gold standard in nursing excellence, in 2010. Shadyside received its third consecutive Magnet designation in 2020, a status shared by fewer than 3 percent of hospitals nationwide. In 2017, she was asked to take on the role of UPMC System Lead for Patient Experience. She became chief operations officer of UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside in 2020.

“Our aspiration is, as always, to provide every patient with the finest possible experience and outcome,” Ms. Rader states. “Our shared leadership structure is very strong, as is the partnership of the medical staff. We have such strong ties with our medical staff. I firmly believe in pushing those excellent relationships throughout the hospital because patients are the ultimate beneficiaries.”

A past president of the Southwestern Pennsylvania Organization of Nurse Leaders and past board member of the Pennsylvania Organization of Nurse Leaders, she is an active board member of Chatham University, Family House, UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside, and the Westminster College Distinguished Board of Visitors. She received the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing 2015 Honorary Alumni Award.

“One of the biggest strengths across UPMC is our people,” Mr. Sevco wrote in a letter to employees about the executive changes. “And at this crucial moment in health care, there’s no better time to tap the potential of our leaders and continue their growth right here at UPMC.”