Board of Trustees

Wilson Hall, Room 203
371 Wilson Boulevard
Rochester, MI 48309-4486
(location map)

Ora Hirsch Pescovitz

Meet OU's Seventh President

Ora Hirsch Pescovitz, M.D., has more than 30 years of experience leading change in academic health centers and universities, delivering innovations in bench-to-bedside discovery and facilitating collaborations between academic and community partners.

Elected to the National Academy of Medicine, she contributes to positive transformation in American education.

View C.V., Ora Hirsch Pescovitz, M.D.


Ora Hirsch Pescovitz, M.D., was Eli Lilly and Company’s Senior Vice President and U.S. Medical Leader for Lilly Bio-Medicines. She is a renowned pediatric endocrinologist and researcher who has published more than 190 papers and books. She also served as an adjunct professor of pediatrics at the Indiana University School of Medicine.

Dr. Pescovitz came to Lilly in October of 2014, bringing years of medical and business expertise, along with cutting-edge insights on healthcare and the challenges of serving patients in a fast-changing environment. She is a sought-after speaker on a range of topics, including healthcare, leadership, diversity and women’s issues.

Dr. Pescovitz earned her medical degree from the Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, where she earned Distinguished Alumni Awards from both the Feinberg School of Medicine and Northwestern University. Much of her work has focused on the physiologic and molecular mechanisms responsible for disorders of growth and puberty, and the development of novel therapies for these conditions. She has received numerous awards for her research, teaching and leadership.

During her extensive, 21-year career at Indiana University’s health system, she served as Executive Associate Dean for Research Affairs at the Indiana University School of Medicine, President and CEO of Riley Hospital for Children, and interim Vice President for IU’s Research Administration.

From 2009-2014, she was the University of Michigan’s first female Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs and Health System CEO. In this role, she led a system that included three hospitals, more than 120 health centers and clinics, and the University of Michigan Medical School. She oversaw $3.3 billion in revenue and $490 million in research funding. During this time, she was elected to the National Academy of Medicine.

Dr. Pescovitz serves on the University of Florida Health System Strategic Cabinet, the Anthem-Lilly Joint Research Governance Council, and the Advancement Council of the Indiana University Fairbanks School of Public Health.

She has served as president of the Society for Pediatric Research, the nation’s largest pediatric research organization; president of the Lawson Wilkins (North American) Pediatric Endocrine Society, and chair of the March of Dimes Grants Review Committee. She also previously served on the boards of the Hormone Foundation, the National Association of Children’s Hospitals and Related Institutions (NACHRI), the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, and National Institutes of Health (NIH) Advisory Board for Clinical Research and Life Technology, prior to its sale to Thermo Fisher. She also chaired the annual fundraising campaign for the United Way of Washtenaw County (Michigan), was on the United Way of Central Indiana’s executive committee, and served as Co-Chair of the Health Planning Committee for Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett’s Transition Team.

Dr. Pescovitz is currently chair of the Indiana University Center for Global Health/AMPATH-Kenya Development Board and on the Boards of the Indianapolis Opera and the Indiana University Borns Jewish Studies program.

Dr. Pescovitz grew up in a Washington, D.C. suburb during the 1960s where her father, a rabbi, was active in the civil rights movement. This formative period influenced her sense of social justice. Her mother was a nurse who grew up in Russia and instilled in Dr. Pescovitz a lifelong love of science and medicine. Her late husband, Dr. Mark Pescovitz, was a renowned transplant surgeon at Indiana University. She is a proud mother to three children, two in-law children and three grandchildren.



  • Strategic planning
  • Collaborations across hospital systems
  • Board governance
  • Physician relations and joint ventures
  • Leadership team development
  • Innovative approaches to problem solving
  • Commitment to diversity


  • Focus on quality, safety and access
  • Strong operational performance
  • Process improvement
  • Metric driven tactics
  • LEAN implementation
  • Evidence-based delivery

Senior Vice President and US Medical Leader, Eli Lilly and Company (2014-2017)
Responsible for medical affairs in the US Affiliate for Eli Lilly. A major focus of this work entailed the launch of new medications, research related to these medications (especially real world evidence-based research), relationships with large health systems, a focus on quality and value of medical care, and serving as a liaison to the Lilly business units on a variety of issues, including drug pricing.

Numerous novel award-winning programs were created by my Dr. Pescovitz’s team; many of these have received national recognition by the National Academy of Medicine, major health systems and others. These include programs in Health Literacy, Health Education, the Lilly Grants Office and our Patient Assistance Programs.

Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs, University of Michigan (UM), and Chief Executive Officer, University of Michigan Health System (UMHS) (2009 - 2014)
UMHS is comprised of three hospitals, more than 120 health centers and clinics and the U of Michigan Medical School. As CEO of a large, integrated academic health care system located in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Dr. Pescovitz was responsible for more than $3.3 billion in revenue, $466 million in research, 1.9 million visits and 45,000 hospital stays. Reporting to Dr. Pescovitz were the Dean of the Medical School, the CEO of the hospitals and health centers, the CFO of the Health System, the Associate Vice President for Medical Development and Alumni Relations, the Dean of the School of Nursing (for clinical activities only) and the Chief Administrative Officer and Chief of Staff.

At the time, the medical school was ranked eighth for research and eighth for primary care and was tied for second for desirability of its graduates by U.S. News and World Report. The Faculty Group Practice had 1,600 members. The hospital received a Top 100 Ranking and the Everest Award in 2013, and was ranked among the Top Five Safest Hospitals by the University Hospitals Consortium in 2013.

The Health System also included the clinical activities of the School of Nursing, and the Michigan Health Corporation, the legal entity that allows the Health System to enter partnerships, affiliations, joint ventures and other business activities.

  • Strategic Planning: Dr. Pescovitz initiated a system-wide strategic plan to create a “roadmap” for strategic action and to position UMHS to respond decisively, assertively and nimbly to the changing healthcare environment.  The plan had seven strategic goals:
    1. Create the Ideal Patient Care Experience
    2. Attain Market Leadership in Key Areas
    3. Generate Margin for UMHS Investment
    4. Translate Knowledge into Practices and Policies that Improve Health and Access to Care
    5. Engage in Groundbreaking Discovery and Innovative Scientific Collaboration
    6. Cultivate an Interdisciplinary Continuous Learning Environment
    7. Promote Diversity, Cultural Competency and Satisfaction among Faculty, Students and Staff

    The plan was ambitious, comprehensive and involved all aspects of the Health System. It was metric-driven with targets followed by individuals accountable for each target. For example, the metric of the first goal of creating the Ideal Patient Care Experience was patient satisfaction, which had reached an all-time high of 93% resulting from tactics that had been implemented as part of the strategic plan. Additional strategic financial, facilities and development campaign plans were developed and aligned with the overarching Health System plan.

  • Strategic Affiliations, Physician Relationships and Collaborative Partnerships:
    • Established UMHS as a more collaborative and expansive organization via new affiliations and partnerships with other health systems and hospitals in the state.
    • Created the Pennant statewide hospital network and the statewide Physicians Organization of Michigan (POM,
    • Developed new affiliations and partnerships to create an umbrella agreement with Trinity-Catholic Health East and Integrated Health Associates; equity interest in Mid-Michigan Hospital in Midland.
    • Developed diverse care strategies to create an Acute Care for Elderly (ACE) Unit at St. Joseph Hospital in Ann Arbor and a Family Medicine/Primary Care Unit at Chelsea Community Hospital

  • Population Management and Quality Improvement: UMHS is a national leader in Accountable Care Organizations (ACO) and Patient Centered Medical Home Care models.
    • One of ten institutions to participate in the original Medicare ACO demonstration project and one of only two to save Medicare money in each of the five years of the project (2005-2010).
    • UMHS leads the Michigan Primary Care Transformation project which is a three-year multi-payer project that is aimed at improving health across the state.  This project includes 1,900 primary care physicians and mid-level providers.
    • UMHS leads numerous collaborative hospital and physician quality and safety initiatives across the state of Michigan that collectively saved hundreds of millions of dollars; these are funded by several sources including Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and the Michigan Health Association.
    • Leader in LEAN transformation by using the Michigan Quality System to use quality improvement tools to ensure safe, effective, patient-centered, timely, efficient and equitable healthcare.

  • Financial Leadership:
    • Strong operational performance; numerous financial initiatives including process improvement models that align with Medicare cost rates, innovative funding strategies with Blue Cross Blue Shield Michigan, benefit redesign and supply chain initiatives.
    • Value-based purchasing, pay-for-performance and at-risk contracting.
    • Financial growth as measured by an increase in UMHS net assets from $3.4 billion to $3.8 billion (2009-2014).

  • Governance:
    • Directly report on a monthly basis to the Health Affairs Committee (HAC) of the Board of Regents of the University of Michigan; prepare the chair of the HAC before and after the meetings.
    • Directly report bi-annually to the Health System Advisory Group; provides advice and counsel to the Health System.
    • Co-Chair of the Hospitals and Health Centers Executive Board monthly meeting.

  • Philanthropy:
    • Restructured the UMHS Development Office to prepare for and execute an ambitious $1 billion capital campaign.
    • Raised $450 million toward the campaign fundraising $1 billion goal as of December 31, 2013.

  • Facility Development:
    • Opened the new 1.1 million square foot, $754 million C. S. Mott Children’s and $15 million Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospitals.
    • Developed the 2.1 million square foot, 28-building North Campus Research Complex, establishing the University of Michigan as a leader in translational research.
    • Opened 100,000 square foot interdisciplinary ambulatory facility in Northville in July 2014.
    • Launched Facilities Task Force to plan for future facilities planning.

  • Diversity:
    • Prioritized diversity as a strategic goal for the institution.
    • Creation of a UMHS Office of Health Equity & Inclusion and development of an institutional health equity and inclusion strategic plan.

President and CEO, Riley Hospital for Children, Indianapolis, Indiana (2004 –2009)
Riley Hospital is one of the three flagship hospitals of the IU Health (Clarian) Hospital System, originally part of Indiana University School of Medicine (IUSM). It became part of Clarian in 1997. When Dr. Pescovitz became CEO, she had already been a member of the executive leadership of the hospital, a member of the faculty at IUSM, director of Pediatric Endocrinology and Executive Associate Dean for Research.

  • Strategic Planning: Completion and implementation of an ambitious strategic plan to transform Riley Hospital for Children into one of the nation’s top children’s hospitals through excellence in clinical care, education, research and advocacy. Led a statewide strategy to provide tertiary pediatric services throughout Indiana using a hub and spoke approach keeping local care local and highly collaborative partnerships with community hospitals and physicians; advanced telemedicine throughout Indiana and obtained Medicaid funding for telemedicine.

  • Facility Planning: Planned and obtained funding for construction of a ten-story, $470 million, 675,000 square foot clinical tower as an addition to Riley Hospital for Children.

  • Clinical Operations: Focus on patient- and family-centered care resulting in numerous national recognitions; achievement of Magnet Status through the Clarian system; management of a profitable, well-run, prestigious clinical operation.

  • Governance: Past board member of the Clarian North Hospital Board of Managers; Founding member of the Indiana Clinic.

  • Philanthropy: Lead role with the Riley Children’s Foundation’s $250 million capital campaign; significantly enhanced fundraising success in two years leading to a 50% increase in philanthropic contributions.

Executive Associate Dean for Research Affairs, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, Indiana (2000 –2009)
Dr. Pescovitz was responsible for the entire research enterprise at the IUSM including all faculty, staff and student research, research facilities and creation of the school’s research agenda.  During her tenure, annual research funding grew from $133 million in 2000 to $231 million in 2009. This was exclusive of a $155 million grant that was received from the Lilly Endowment to create the Indiana Genomics Initiative (INGEN).

  • Strategic Planning: Oversight of strategic planning efforts to enhance clinical research resulting in creation of a new Office for Clinical Research and recruitment of an Associate Dean for Clinical Research.

  • Program Analysis: Overhaul of graduate and postdoctoral education resulting in the appointment of a new Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and a new gateway program for entering graduate students.

  • Major Projects: Creation and oversight of INGEN, which was made possible by a $155 million grant to IU School of Medicine from the Lilly Endowment. This was a transformational project that was the largest grant in Indiana University’s history.

  • Public Private Partnerships: The launch of INGEN led to creation of BioCrossroads, Indiana’s Life Sciences initiative, in which Dr. Pescovitz played a major leadership role. Today, this partnership is made up of the major universities (IU, Purdue, Notre Dame), industries (Lilly, Roche, Dow Agro, Covance), third-party payers (Wellpoint) and venture capital (Sofinnova).

Interim Vice President for Research Administration, Indiana University, Indianapolis, Indiana (2007 –2009)
Dr. Pescovitz was responsible for research administration at all eight campuses of Indiana University and reported to the University president including oversight of technology transfer, research compliance, animal research and human subjects research.

She restructured the Office for Research Administration to create a more streamlined infrastructure that enabled greater efficiencies and economies of scale, improvements in compliance and greater productivity from researchers. Researcher satisfaction significantly improved and grant support increased during this period.

Director, Section of Pediatric Endocrinology/Diabetology, Department of Pediatrics, Indiana University, Indianapolis, Indiana
 (1990 –2004)
Dr. Pescovitz trained and recruited 12 pediatric endocrinologists and diabetologists to the Section, which became nationally recognized for being successful in the clinical, research, financial and educational aspects of the mission; the fellowship became funded by an NIH training grant and the majority of the trainees went on to lead successful programs.

Education &
  • Doctor of Medicine, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Evanston, Illinois (1976-1979)
  • Bachelor of Medical Science, Honors Program in Medical Education, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois (1974-1978)
  • Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel (1973-1974)
  • Medical Staff Fellow, Endocrinology, Developmental Endocrinology Branch, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health (1982-1985)
  • Pediatrics Residency, Children’s Hospital National Medical Center, Washington, DC (1981-1982)
  • Pediatrics Residency, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota (1979-1981)
Awards &

Selected honors include:

  • Becker’s Healthcare Leadership Award (2014)
  • One of Twenty Hospital and Health System Leaders to Follow on Twitter, Becker’s Hospital Review (2013)
  • Mentor Recognition Program awardee, American Medical Association, Women Physicians Section
  • Northwestern University Alumni Merit Award (2012)
  • Election to the National Academy of Medicine (2011)
  • Robert H. Williams Distinguished Leadership Award, The Endocrine Society (2011)
  • Crain’s Detroit Business Newsmakers of the Year (2010)
  • Top 25 Women in Healthcare from Modern Healthcare (2009)
  • Sagamore of the Wabash Award for Excellence from Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels (2009)
  • President’s Medal, Indiana University (2009)
  • “Influential Women in Indianapolis,” Indianapolis Business Journal (2007)
  • Distinguished Alumni Award, Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine (2004)
  • Teaching Excellence Recognition Award, Indiana University (1999)
  • “Forty Under Forty,” Indiana Business Journal
  • Research Career Development Award from the NIH (1991-1996)
  • Outstanding Faculty Educator Award, Department of Pediatrics, University of Minnesota (1985 and 1986)
External Roles

Currently, chair of the Indiana University Center for Global Health/AMPATH-Kenya Program Board, which serves to advance Indiana University’s global health programs. Serve on the Strategic Cabinet of the University of Florida Health System and boards of the Indianapolis Opera and the Jewish Studies program at Indiana University. Until May 2016, served on the Advisory Board for Clinical Research for the National Institutes of Health, which is the principal group to advise the Clinical Director of the NIH.

Formerly, Director, Life Technologies, which was sold to Thermo Fisher for $13.6 billion in February, 2014 (Compensation and Regulatory Committees).

Previously, Member, Association of Academic Health Centers (AAHC) Board, (Audit Committee); Board, Center for Healthcare Research & Transformation; Vice Chair, University of Michigan Hospitals and Health Centers Executive Board; Ann Arbor SPARK Board.

Previously, President of the Society for Pediatric Research; President of the Lawson Wilkins (North American) Pediatric Endocrine Society; Program Chair of the Endocrine Society, Chair of the March of Dimes Grants Review Committee and a Member of the boards of the Hormone Foundation, the National Association of Children’s Hospitals and Related Institutions (NACHRI), Child Health Corporation of America (CHCA) Strategy, Research and Development and Performance Improvement Advisory Councils and the Board of the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals; Chair of the United Way of Washtenaw County’s annual fundraising campaign and on the executive committee of the United Way of Central Indiana.

Co-Chair of the Health Planning Committee of Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett’s Transition Team (2015-2016).