Michelle Blakely, PhD, was placed as the president of Aurora Medical Center in Grafton, Wisconsin. Part of the Advocate Aurora Health system, AMC Grafton opened in 2010 as a 127-bed hospital that is the only "green" medical center in Wisconsin, serving the northern part of the Milwaukee metro market. Providing Level II NICU and eICU care, AMC Grafton has been named among U.S. News & World Report's "Best Regional Hospitals" and ranked highly in a number of specialties by the publication. In her role, Dr. Blakely will provide strategic direction and leadership for medical center operations while ensuring high-quality care, sound fiscal operations, and compliance, and will ensure that services and the overall patient experience are delivered in a manner consistent with Advocate Aurora Health's service, financial, and operational initiatives.
Dr. Blakely comes to AMC Grafton from Norwegian American Hospital in Chicago, where she served as chief operating officer. In this capacity, she was the executive sponsor and leader of a cultural transformation to create a respected patient-centered hospital for providers, staff, and the community, with a patient satisfaction vision that defined expectations for optimal care and inspired physician clinical champions. She was able to achieve a measured increase of over 100% in employee confidence in leadership by engaging staff in defining hospital-wide actions, and reversed the trajectory of staff turnover and organizational uncertainty. In addition, Dr. Blakely partnered with three local community health providers to secure a grant to combat the opioid crisis in the area, collaborated with other hospitals in the community to identify opportunities for partnership, and developed a relationship with a local nursing school to provide medical supplies and serve as a training site.
Dr. Blakely began her career with the Veterans' Health Administration, where she spent 30 years rising through the ranks in roles including regional chief operating officer in Minneapolis, chief operations officer in Nashville, interim chief executive officer in North Chicago and Hines, Illinois, and chief operating officer and associate medical center director for Jesse Brown Medical Center in Chicago. During this tenure, she spent a year in Washington, DC as a senior advisor in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health for the National Vaccine Program.
Dr. Blakely holds a bachelor's degree in psychology from the Univ ersity of Illinois, a master's degree in health services administration from the University of Michigan, and a PhD in organizational leadership from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, and is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives. Outside of work, Dr. Blakely has a passion for community involvement; she has previously served as a court-appointed advocate for children and is currently mentoring mothers through the Safe Families program. She also enjoys reading and cooking.
Quick Leonard Kieffer's Mike Quick led the search to recruit Dr. Blakely to Aurora Medical Center in Grafton.