Following a comprehensive national search, Brigham and Women's Hospital has named Sonali Desai, MD, MPH, its new Chief Quality Officer (CQO) and Senior Vice President (SVP), effective Sept. 1, 2022. In this role, Desai will oversee the Brigham’s Department of Quality and Safety, leading the hospital’s critical role in delivering high-quality, safe, and compassionate care to patients and families.
“Sonali’s obvious dedication to quality, safety, and exceptional patient care, combined with her extensive leadership and operational expertise, make her an excellent choice for this vitally important role at the Brigham,” said Robert S.D. Higgins, MD, MSHA, president of Brigham and Women’s Hospital. “Sonali has served remarkably as interim CQO since January and during this time has led the department with effective, collaborative, and transparent leadership. I’m delighted to have her officially take over this role.”
“I’m so pleased to be able to serve the Brigham community in this position and am excited to collaborate with the incredible professionals here as we continue to deliver the top-quality patient care that the Brigham is renowned for,” said Desai.
A practicing rheumatologist and associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, Desai has worked at the Brigham for 16 years and within the Department of Quality and Safety for a decade. During this time, Desai has led a variety of novel and innovative safety programs using artificial intelligence and electronic medical records that have been scaled across the hospital and Mass General Brigham as a whole. She has also spearheaded department-wide quality programs on preventive care, chronic disease management, high-risk readmissions in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and heart failure, opioid use, and health equity. Additionally, she has created an infrastructure for ambulatory patient safety and a portfolio of initiatives that have advanced safety reporting and culture.
As a researcher, Desai focuses on evidence-based interventions for improving the quality of care and patient safety, with a focus on ambulatory care, and has published more than 40 peer-reviewed publications. In 2019, she received the Donabedian Award in Quality & Safety from the American Public Health Association for Ambulatory Safety Nets and Diagnostic Error Reduction. She has also taught internationally in quality and safety and was a founding program director at Harvard Medical School for the Safety, Quality Informatics and Leadership program.
Desai attended both college and medical school at Brown University. She obtained her master’s in public health from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. She completed her internal medicine residency and chief residency at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston and her rheumatology fellowship at the Brigham.