President and CEO, Froedtert Health
Catherine Jacobson assumed her current position as president of Froedtert Health in June 2011. Catherine joined Froedtert Health as executive vice president for Finance and Strategy/chief financial and strategy officer on September 1, 2010. She came here from her position as senior vice president for Strategic Planning and Finance and chief financial officer at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. Her proven fiscal, operational and strategic planning skills in health care and academic medicine from almost 14 years of growing experience across the spectrum of finance and strategy in successive roles at Rush were key to her appointment at Froedtert.
Cathy arrived at Froedtert having just completed a one year term as national chair of the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA). She credits that very demanding experience for creating a growing realization that she wanted to do more. As she traveled the country for HFMA she began to see countless opportunities for creating more successful and effective healthcare organizations. She determined to find a situation she could embrace to use her leadership skills to make a more profound difference.
While she was still in the midst of her HFMA duties the prospect of a position at Froedtert Health emerged and she discovered an opportunity that matched her plans. She saw in Froedtert a highly-effective and top-quality organization well-positioned for continued growth. “Froedtert’s collaborative approach to partnerships resonated with me,” she explained. “I saw the organization as one that provides patients with the best-of-both worlds as it combines the benefits of community-based care with the comprehensive services of an academic health center. It is a system well-grounded in what it takes to grow and it has a highly qualified financial team and support systems in place. Froedtert Health is soundly positioned to move to the next level of growth and excellence. I am excited to help lead that journey.”
As chief financial officer, Cathy is responsible for overseeing the continued development and implementation of Froedtert’s strong financial and investment plans in conjunction with Jeff Van De Kreeke, senior vice-president for Finance and his finance team. As chief strategy officer, she has responsibility for all new major growth initiatives and strategic positioning and for achieving the long term regional objectives of Froedtert Health’s members and its aligned partners. In those efforts, she will work closely with Peter Pruessing, executive vice president and senior advisor to the Health System CEO and CEO of Quality Health Solutions, who is leading the community physician strategy and alignment with strategic partners. Through the complementary functions of finance and strategy, Cathy will further clinical integration among Froedtert Health members, develop strategies that strengthen the Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin partnership and lead the continued development, strengthening and enhancement of financial and strategic initiatives.
According to Cathy, in her move to Froedtert she has found not only a role and organization she can embrace, but a community she thoroughly enjoys. She, her husband and their three children reside in Brookfield. Activities with her family, visiting relatives and friends who reside within easy reach in Wisconsin and Illinois and traveling on family vacations are tops on Cathy’s list of things she enjoys most outside of her work and professional organizations.