Dr. Laura Forese, Chief Medical Officer, Appointed Chief Operating Officer of NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell

Jul 13, 2006


A noted leader in hospital administration and medical affairs, Dr. Laura Forese has been appointed chief operating officer of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. Dr. Forese will continue to serve as chief medical officer and senior vice president at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell, a position she has held since last year.

As chief operating officer, Dr. Forese will be responsible for all operations at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell's 781-bed medical and surgical hospital in Manhattan and 276-bed psychiatric hospital in White Plains.

"Laura's exceptional background as a physician and an administrator makes her uniquely qualified for this position," says Dr. Herbert Pardes, president and CEO of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital.

"Laura has continually shown superb leadership, demonstrating a commitment to the Hospital's mission of delivering outstanding care and putting the patient first," says Dr. Steven J. Corwin, executive vice president and chief operating officer at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital.

As chief medical officer, she has achieved a five-year (maximum possible) Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) Institutional Accreditation for NewYork-Presbyterian; led more than 5,000 physicians through a successful JCAHO survey; recruited numerous physicians; and reorganized infection control services, including air and water safety programs.

Dr. Forese received a B.S.E. in civil engineering and operations research Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude from Princeton University in 1983 and a medical degree Alpha Omega Alpha from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1987. After completing training in orthopaedic surgery at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, Dr. Forese obtained a degree in health services management from the Mailman School of Public Health (then called Columbia School of Public Health).

In 1993, she joined the full-time faculty at Columbia University, specializing in pediatric orthopaedic surgery; she continues to retain an appointment as associate clinical professor. She served as chief of surgical and anesthesia services at Helen Hayes Hospital in West Haverstraw, N.Y., and from June 1998 to December 2002, she was vice chair in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at Columbia University. Subsequently, she was vice president for medical affairs at NewYork-Presbyterian until her appointment as chief medical officer for NewYork-Presbyterian in January 2005.

She serves or has served on committees in numerous organizations, including the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) and the Health Management Academy. Additionally, she created a new AAOS-sponsored quarterly publication, Orthopedic Medical Legal Advisor, for which she served as editor-in-chief; serves as communications skills mentor at AAOS; and teaches physician-patient communication to orthopaedic surgeons throughout the U.S. She has lectured on a host of topics, including outcomes; technology and health policy; patient communication; operational efficiency; and liability and communication. She is a member of a number of professional organizations, including the New York Academy of Medicine; the American College of Physician Executives; and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

"Both NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell and our Westchester Division have a long and distinguished history of patient care, research, medical education and community service. I look forward to working with my colleagues at the Hospital and our academic affiliate, Weill Cornell Medical College, to build upon this history," says Dr. Forese.

Dr. Forese is married to Dr. Robert J. Downey, a thoracic surgeon; they have twin daughters and a son.

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, located in New York City, is one of the leading academic medical centers in the world, comprising the teaching hospital NewYork-Presbyterian and its academic partner, Weill Medical College of Cornell University. NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell provides state-of-the-art inpatient, ambulatory and preventive care in all areas of medicine, and is committed to excellence in patient care, research, education and community service. NewYork-Presbyterian, which is among U.S.News & World Report's top 10 hospitals nationally, also comprises NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center and its academic affiliate, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.

Media Contact:

Kathleen Robinson