New year, next chapter

You need to own your own career and be open to the possibilities – this is the advice I have often given others over the years. It applies whether you are early, mid or late career.

I announced my resignation as CIO at the University of Michigan Hospitals and Health Centers this week. As you can tell from my profile, with 30 plus years in HIT management, I’m neither early nor mid-career.

I have considered for some time what I want my next chapter to be, in both my professional and personal life. I want to live close to my daughters and grandchildren in New England so I can spend more time with them. I want more flexibility in my work with the potential to work less than full-time over the course of a year, and I want to do work I really enjoy.

I’ve decided that this means a mix of consulting, coaching, and interim management work. The first opportunity to start a new chapter has presented itself so I’ve decided it’s time to make the change. In a few weeks I’ll be starting an engagement as interim CIO for a large health system working through Next Wave Health Advisors, an advisory services firm made up of established leaders in health information technology. As a founding advisor I have done a coaching engagement and spent a few hours advising technology start-ups this past year while still working full-time as a CIO.

Looking back over the past three years at UMHS, I am extremely proud of the significant work my team has done to serve our patients and their families. And I am very proud of the many changes we’ve made together to improve our IT department. This could not have happened without the dedication and talent of the entire team.

One of the key responsibilities of senior leaders is to build a strong leadership team – I have full confidence that our IT leaders will be able to build on the great work we’ve been doing in the coming year.  Our health system CMIO, Dr. Andrew Rosenberg, who also serves as an executive director for reporting and analytics on my IT team will serve as interim CIO when I leave. This continuity of leadership will be important for both the department and our internal customers.

I look forward to learning a new health system and working with their IT team while serving as their interim CIO for the next several months.  Following this first interim engagement, I expect to do more interim management work. I also look forward to doing leadership coaching as well as lean consulting and coaching – two of my passions.  I’m excited about the many innovations in health care and the great potential of applying technology solutions from other industries. I also plan to advise technology start-ups who are moving into health care. I will continue to speak where invited, and I will keep up my weekly blog.

A new year and a next chapter!  And many more blog posts to come!

46 thoughts on “New year, next chapter

  1. Dave Brudon on said:

    Hi Sue – while we didn’t work closely with each other at UMHS, every time our paths did cross left me knowing more than before and me taking your direction and advice to heart. I wish you every good thing in this next chapter of your journey; it sounds wonderful.

    Dave Brudon

  2. Jack Billi on said:

    Sue, we will miss you for your many contributions to your department and our health system. Your support for scientific problem solving at all levels (aka, lean thinking) has helped our organization make a lot of progress over the past 3 years. It’s what better looks like. We look forward to learning about your impact on the other organizations. Best of luck. Jack Billi

    • Sue Schade on said:

      Jack, thanks for the kind words. I’ve learned so much from you on many levels, especially lean. I will carry it all forward regardless where I’m working.

  3. Shon Dwyer on said:

    Thank you for all of your contributions to UMHS! It has been fabulous to work with you and I wish you continued great success!
    Shon Dwyer, Acting Executive Director, University Hospitals

  4. Mary Finlay on said:

    Sue-congratulations on this big decision. It will be great to see you contribute to the industry in new and different ways. Welcome to the world of “independents’!

    • Sue Schade on said:

      Mary, thanks much! You’ve been an inspiration for me the past few years. Looking forward to being part of the “independents” world – plenty to learn from you. See you in a few weeks.

  5. Mary Sheahen on said:

    Sue , this is exciting for you all!! I highly recommend the leadership coaching world!!! I know you will be as busy as you choose to be!!

    The other Mary Sheahen

    • Sue Schade on said:

      Mary, thanks for the positive reinforcement! Hope you are right on the coaching front. Let’s keep in touch on opportunities.

  6. Laurita Thomas on said:

    We will certainly miss you and all of your support for leadership development, employee engagement and Voices of the Staff. Thank you so much Sue for being exemplary in your commitment to professional development. Any organization you lead will be left better than when you arrive. I hope to stay in touch as your blog will continue. Thank you too for describing your next chapter, its a model for all of us in our career journey. Congratulations and all the best, Your fan.

    • Sue Schade on said:

      Laurita, thanks for the kind words. Those programs are near and dear to me — as you know, I’m committed to developing the next generation of leaders. We have to walk the talk! Blog will continue, hope you will continue to make time to read it!

  7. Natalie Underhill on said:


    I wish you all the best in the future and the next exciting steps that lay ahead of you. Even though we did not get to work together much, I have found you an inspirational leader and your blog posts have provided good food for thought.

    All the best,
    Natalie Underhill

  8. Teresa Sannes on said:


    Best wishes in your new endeavors. I reflect on the opportunity I had to chat with you and albeit brief, I still to this day reflect on insights you shared with me.

    So thank you for the impression you left and who knows where our paths may someday cross.

    Blessings to you and all who you serve.

  9. Well said and I know well done!!! It was great working in Boston and it has been great following you in Ann Arbor. Look forward to your great joy and success on the next part of your journey. Best to all. See you in Boston soon
    Best wishes

  10. Sue,
    I admire your leadership and tenacity. You have been a great colleague and ally. You will make a terrific coach and leadership consultant. Best wishes on the next phase of your career.

    • Sue Schade on said:

      Laura, thanks for the kind words. I’ve enjoyed working as colleagues and feel good about the progress we’ve made together in a relatively short time.

  11. Allison Benoit on said:

    You never have ceased to amaze me Sue! I think of you often and all that you have taught me and helped me with in my healthcare career. Would love to see you in Boston sometime. Enjoy the ‘next chapter’ and those adorable grand babies!

    • Sue Schade on said:

      Allison, so good to hear from you! I use your career story as an example when I talk about women being able to make choices that are right for them relative to their young families and their future career options. Would love to catch up in Boston at some point.

  12. Jeanne Kin on said:

    Best of luck to you in your new ventures. You’ve been a role model of effective leadership during your time at UMHS.

    • Sue Schade on said:

      Jeanne, thanks for the kind words. Working with MQS team on our lean journey has been some of the most rewarding work for me here.

  13. Paul Brian Contino on said:

    Sue – you will be joining an esteemed group at Next Wave Health Advisors. Wishing you great success and happiness. This is an opportunity to share your knowledge, wisdom and passion with an even bigger circle and the next generation of healthcare leaders.
    Life balance is so important, enjoy those grandchildren!

  14. congratulations Sue! Sounds very exciting. I can’t wait to read about your adventures! ( and continue learning from them) I’m glad you are figuring out the balance- it’s hard! Big Hug!

    • Sue Schade on said:

      Bela, thanks much! You’re right, the balance thing is hard. Hope you’re making it work these days. Let’s connect when I’m back in the Boston area.

  15. Jay Roberts on said:


    It’s been an absolute pleasure getting to know you and working with you over the past few years. We’ll miss you and I wish you nothing but the best in your next chapter. I applaud you for making the work / family balance in your life happen.

    Good luck. I hope our paths will again cross.


    • Sue Schade on said:

      Jay, thanks for the kind words. Been great getting to know you as well. Health care world is small, I’m sure our paths will cross again.

  16. Mary Claire on said:

    Good luck Sue! I know it was only a short time that us interns got to work with you, but it was a privilege. Thank you for your kind & encouraging words to the interns and me as we started our professional life. Best of luck to you on your new journey!

    Mary Claire

    • Sue Schade on said:

      Mary Claire, thanks for the note. Working with the interns was a highlight for me at Michigan. Great to see so many smart, talented young people getting ready to launch their careers. If I can be helpful in any way, please be in touch.

  17. Dennis F Thompson MD FACS CPHIMS on said:

    Congratulations. Well deserved. Iam looking to move my career in a similar direction for similar reasons. Thank you for blazing the trail. Best wishes for success and satisfaction in this new phase.

  18. Patrick Mergler MBA PMP CPHIMS on said:

    Sue, I am at the “large health system” you reference in your post. From your blog it appears we will be in excellent hands and I look forward to working with you more. Even more exciting is it looks like I will get an opportunity to learn from a great teacher and seasoned HIT CIO expert. I support our Cancer Center and we have so many exciting projects.

  19. Cherie Holmes-Henry on said:

    Sue, sounds like a great new adventure and excited to hear the girls have given you and Tom grandchildren!
    Hope to see you at HIMSS. Cherie

    • Sue Schade on said:

      Thanks Cherie. Yes, exciting new adventure for us. Will be at HIMSS — speaking at a Views from the Top session on Weds – “Shattering the Glass Ceiling – Lessons for Aspiring Female Executives”. Should be fun!

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