(ELKTON, Md. – January 12)
Sharon Kurfuerst, Ed.D., OTR/L, FACHE, has been appointed President of Affinity Health Alliance and ChristianaCare, Union Hospital.
In her new role, Kurfuerst will oversee efforts to strengthen community relationships in the communities that Union Hospital serves. Union Hospital joined ChristianaCare a year ago.
“For the past year, and throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, I have been privileged to see first-hand the strong commitment of our Cecil County Campus and Union Hospital caregivers to its community,” Kurfuerst said. “I look forward to helping us grow our community partnerships in Cecil County, which are integral to improving population health.”
Kurfuerst also will continue her leadership responsibilities as ChristianaCare’s system chief operating officer, where she heads the development and execution of core enterprise business processes and functions, including campus operations for Newark, Middletown, Wilmington and Cecil County, where Union Hospital is located; clinical essential services; corporate compliance; facilities and services; urgent care, safety and security; real estate; retail strategy and expansion; and design and construction activities.
Kurfuerst was recently recognized as a 2020 Women in Business honoree by Delaware Today and Delaware Business Times, in part due to her extraordinary leadership in mobilizing and collaborating with personnel across the state to integrate resources to benefit all Delawareans.
When the pandemic struck in March, Kurfuerst led ChristianaCare’s COVID-19 incident command and response team, coordinating with state and federal government agencies, other health systems and local officials to protect the health and safety of ChristianaCare caregivers, patients and communities.
Kurfuerst also led efforts to safely sustain essential ChristianaCare operations, including securing critical personal protective equipment. She oversaw new initiatives including drive-through COVID-19 testing and providing essential personnel and supplies to communities and medical centers in need.
Kurfuerst joined ChristianaCare in 2007 and held several roles before becoming COO of the health system in 2017. Her leadership roles have included senior vice president of Health Services Operations, senior vice president of Administration, and vice president of Rehabilitation and Orthopaedic Services, drawing on her clinical experience as an occupational therapist.
With a doctoral degree in educational leadership and professional development and a master’s degree in adult education, Kurfuerst presents nationally on topics in health care leadership, health care system partnerships, and rehabilitation and has published on those topics. She is also a frequent lecturer for other health care providers and universities.
Additionally, she serves on several boards focused on education and serving vulnerable populations.
Headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware, ChristianaCare is one of the country’s most dynamic health care organizations, centered on improving health outcomes, making high-quality care more accessible and lowering health care costs. ChristianaCare includes an extensive network of primary care and outpatient services, home health care, urgent care centers, three hospitals (1,299 beds), a freestanding emergency department, a Level I trauma center and a Level III neonatal intensive care unit, a comprehensive stroke center and regional centers of excellence in heart and vascular care, cancer care and women’s health. It also includes the pioneering Gene Editing Institute.
ChristianaCare is nationally recognized as a great place to work, rated by Forbes as the 5th best health system to work for in the United States and by IDG Computerworld as one of the nation’s Best Places to Work in IT. ChristianaCare is rated by HealthGrades as one of America’s 50 Best Hospitals and continually ranked among the nation’s best by U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek and other national quality ratings. ChristianaCare is a nonprofit teaching health system with more than 260 residents and fellows. With its groundbreaking Center for Virtual Health and a focus on population health and value-based care, ChristianaCare is shaping the future of health care.