CommonSpirit Health taps Suja Chandrasekaran as first chief information and digital officer

healthcare executives
As CIDO, Suja Chandrasekaran will play a key role in improving interoperability between the technology capabilities of the formerly independent health systems. (Jirapong Manustrong/GettyImages)

CommonSpirit Health has tapped former Kimberly-Clark Corporation CIO Suja Chandrasekaran as its first chief information and digital officer (CIDO).

The $29 billion nonprofit Catholic health system was formed through the February merger of Catholic Health Initiatives and Dignity Health.

Operating in 21 states, CommonSpirit Health is the largest nonprofit health system in the country by revenue, operating more than 700 care sites and 142 hospitals, as well as research programs, virtual care services, home health programs, and living communities.

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head shot photo of Suja Chandrasekaran
Suja Chandrasekaran

In the chief information and digital officer role, Chandrasekaran will lead the integration and modernization of technology systems to connect the 142 hospitals and more than 700 care sites of CommonSpirit Health.

RELATED: With completion of $29B CHI-Dignity Health merger, CommonSpirit Health emerges

Chandrasekaran will play a key role in the health system's efforts to improve interoperability between the technology capabilities of the formerly independent health systems. She will focus on redesigning business processes with forward-looking technology and operating models that connect the 150,000 employees and 25,000 physicians across the different geographies and communities of CommonSpirit Health, in addition to designing digital capabilities to transform the patient experience, according to the health system.

“I believe technology can play a unique role in health care. By linking CommonSpirit Health’s clinical and digital strategies and modernizing work processes, we can free up time for our physicians and staff to focus on their number one priority—the patient,” Chandrasekaran said in a statement. 

Chandrasekaran previously served as CIO at Kimberly-Clark Corporation, where she developed and led global strategy and deployment of digital technologies, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence capabilities, enterprise applications, software, and technology infrastructure. Her experience includes IT leadership roles at Walmart Inc., Nestle S.A., and The Timberland Company.

Consumers expect technology to provide easy, engaging experiences in their everyday lives, Chandrasekaran said, noting that she plans to focus on integrating technologies that will lay the foundation to create healthier communities across the country.

RELATED: Kaiser Permanente taps Prat Vemana as first chief digital officer

As a member of CommonSpirit Health’s executive leadership team, Chandrasekaran will report to CEO Kevin Lofton.

“Suja’s experience driving technology and digital transformations across major consumer-driven corporations will set the trend for how we integrate today’s emerging technologies into a health system,” Lofton said in a statement. “To truly change health care in our country, we need the very best leaders at the table. Suja has a distinct vision to accelerate the development of innovative operating capabilities and new digital pathways to support our people as they deliver the highest quality of care to our patients.”

Chandrasekaran's priorities as CIDO include setting the operational technology strategy for CommonSpirit Health, deploying systems for high-performing technology infrastructure, digitizing core processes, and improving the use of analytics and artificial intelligence across the organization.

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