Stephen L. Demers, Veteran Health Care Executive, to Join UHealth as COO
Stephen L. Demers, senior vice president for ambulatory and clinical services at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center in Burlington, Massachusetts, will join UHealth – the University of Miami Health System on January 21 as chief operating officer.
Demers will be responsible for the execution, coordination, integration, and optimization of UHealth’s clinical delivery systems. He will work closely with leadership in clinical, research, and business operations to ensure that UHealth provides outstanding outcomes, experience, and value for patients. As COO, he will report directly to Edward Abraham, M.D., executive vice president for medical affairs and CEO of UHealth.
“Steve brings the perfect combination of experience and enthusiasm to the COO position,” Dr. Abraham said. “He will play a key role in further establishing UHealth as a preeminent, internationally renowned health care system.”
“I am passionate about creating an environment that provides the highest quality of care, patient and staff satisfaction in a value-focused environment,” Demers said. “I see this new position as a special opportunity to be part of a great organization on a journey toward increasing levels of excellence and preeminence.”
Demers has more than 30 years’ experience leading operations in academic, community, and military health care systems, and new business ventures. At Lahey, a $13 billion integrated hospital and physician enterprise, he is responsible for overall leadership, management, and oversight of Lahey’s clinical service lines, and the administration of the Department of Medicine’s 15 divisions and the Department of Surgery’s 13 divisions.
His career has stemmed from a lifelong interest in health care and business. As an undergraduate at the University of New Hampshire, he majored in Health Management and Policy, which enabled him to combine those interests. He then earned an MBA at Northeastern University.
Demers’ professional career began in the military, where he served as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy Medical Service Corps, rising over five years to become director of administration at a naval branch medical clinic.
Following his service in the Navy, Demers joined Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute — both affiliates of Harvard Medical School — in 1996 as administrative director for the Division of Thoracic Surgery and the Thoracic Oncology Program, and then went to the University of South Florida College of Medicine in 1999 as chief administrator for the Department of Surgery.
Demers became an entrepreneur in 2005 as founding principal/COO of the Surgical Safety Institute, a Tampa, Florida-based company that brought aviation safety techniques into hospital operating rooms. In 2007, he returned to academic medicine at the University of Pennsylvania Health Care System as COO of the Department of Surgery. He joined Lahey in 2009 as vice president and executive director for cardiovascular and musculoskeletal services.