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Executive Fellowship Mentor Team

David Loffing, Chief Operating Officer 
David Loffing is the current Chief Operating Officer for the University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System. David started his career out as a Clinical Engineer, working with artificial hearts, technology management and various healthcare construction projects at the University Medical Center in Tucson Arizona. David joined the University of Illinois Medical Center in 1995 and has experienced a long and successful tenure progressing from the Director of Clinical Engineering to the most recent promotion to COO in 2009. David remains dedicated to serving the University of Illinois Health & Health Sciences System in achieving its strategic vision for the future.

David received his Bachelors of Science in Biomedical Engineering at Wright State University as well as his Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering from the Ohio State University. David enjoys traveling and playing basketball in his free time.

Mary-Jo Smith, Hospital Human Resources Director
Mary-Jo Smith attended UIC as an undergrad and went on to earn a Master’s degree, in Organizational Leadership, from Lewis University in Romeoville, Illinois. She arrived at UIC from her previous position as Director of Human Resources at Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital after spending the bulk of her career so far as the Human Resource Manager at Advocate Christ Medical Center.

As a mother of two young children, including her son who has spent countless days in hospitals, Mary Jo Smith has an intimate understanding of how quality care affects every patient and their family. It’s with that same resolve and determination to educate that she approaches her professional life.

Planning for the future of the hospital, she says: “It’s all built around patients-- what we do has to result in exceptional patient care.” She says that her vision entails building a stronger HR infrastructure that’s integrated with the campus and aligned with the goals of the UI Health System. To accomplish this, she says that HR has to “be a strategic business partner with the leadership team and the staff.”

Dr. Airica Steed, RN, MBA, Ed.D
Airica Steed currently serves at the Enterprise Chief Experience Officer (CXO)/Faculty at the University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System based in Chicago, Illinois. She is charged with spearheading an enterprise-wide cultural transformation effort to elevate the customer experience (patients, families, physicians, and employees) and leading large-scale strategy initiatives across the health system and university using lean management and other process improvement tactics. In her previous role, she served as the Vice President of Professional Services & Operations Excellence for Advocate Healthcare. Her experience includes leading large-scale change transformations, strategic and tactical planning, operations improvement, organizational and leadership development, project management, and service excellence. She is a seasoned transformation expert utilizing various methodologies including Lean Six Sigma, Change Leadership, and Malcolm Baldrige framework. Dr. Steed has published book chapters and peer reviewed articles and has been an active speaker in the industry at regional, national, and international conferences and seminars. Additionally, she has served several terms on the Board of Examiners for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. Dr. Steed has achieved a BSN in Nursing from the Rush University, a MBA from Governors State University with a specialized certificate in leadership and organizational development, and a Doctorate in Ethical Leadership from Olivet Nazarene University in addition to numerous credentials and certifications, including a Master Black Belt in Lean Six Sigma.

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