About Our Founder, Donna M. O’Brien, MHA

Donna O'Brien headshotDonna M. O’Brien is Founder and President of Strategic Visions in Healthcare, LLC, (SVH) a healthcare consulting firm specializing in healthcare strategy, population health, cancer programs, and translational research program expansion. Building upon her extensive healthcare management experience, she launched this firm in 2005. SVH has clients across the U.S. including health systems, academic medical centers, research institutes, and government.


Donna has over 25 years’ experience working in executive positions in healthcare including serving as an executive at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and as Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer of Catholic Health Long Island (a $2 billion health system) where she led the formation of the health system, its regional service line strategies, and its acquisitions. She served on the team that led the design and implementation of the 10-hospital Long Island Health Network – the first hospital-to-hospital clinically integrated JV in the U.S.

In recognition of her contributions while serving for nine years as a Special Advisor to the Director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI), Donna received the National Institutes of Health Director’s Award for her work on the development of a new program model for cancer care delivery and research and its implementation in 30 hospitals in 22 states across the U.S.

She is sought after for cancer program strategic planning and is co-author of the book Managing Disruptive Change in Healthcare: Lessons from a Public-Private Partnership to Advance Cancer Care and Research (with A. Kaluzny, Oxford University Press 2015) with the proceeds directed to the National Cancer Institute for cancer research. (See also other Publications.)

Healthcare and Higher Education Board Activity

Donna has extensive healthcare board experience with service on three national health system Boards of Directors. She is also active in the higher education community. She served on the Merger Steering Committee to form Christus Health and on the board of two other national health systems. She served on the Board of Fidelis Care, the largest Medicaid Managed Care plan in New York State.

She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Washington D.C-based International Cancer Expert Corps (ICEC) and on a global team with representatives from CERN (Geneva) that is working to develop new technology to expand access to cancer treatment and support value imperatives. She is a Member of the Board of Trustees of the College of the Holy Cross, where she also serves as Co-Chair of the President’s Council. As a Member of the Board of Regents of Seton Hall University for nine years, she chaired the Audit Committee and served on the Medical School Development Task Force.

Education and Certifications

Donna is a graduate of the College of the Holy Cross, with a Masters in Health Administration from St. Louis University. She is Board certified as a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives.

“I have worked with Donna O’Brien from SVH on several strategic projects. Donna uses a unique approach that brings national expertise, applies that national experience locally and delivers value. She is a trusted partner with the ability to bring interested parties together to realize a common goal where all parties benefit. Donna is a catalyst for change who always delivers a positive impact and outcome.”

~ Sr. Vice President, Clinical Service Lines Health System