Dr. Donna Gentile O’Donnell, a highly regarded health care executive, most recently (May, 2023) served as special assistant to Dr. Stephen K. Klasko, former president of Thomas Jefferson University and CEO of Jefferson Health, and was senior vice president of the organization’s innovation pillar. Under her leadership, Jefferson entered into partnership with Independence Blue Cross to create an entrepreneurs-in-residence program; worked with MIT to implement the “Jefferson Health Hack,” a spinoff from the MIT Grand Health Hack; and constructed and opened the Health Design Lab. She led the development and implementation of events, courses and lectures around innovation and entrepreneurship.
Earlier in her career, O’Donnell spent nine years as managing director of the Eastern Technology Council and was a limited partner in PA Early Stage Partners. While President of Franklin Health Trust, Dr. O’Donnell led the negotiations for the merger of $50 million of the foundation’s assets into the Drexel University College of Medicine. She also served as Deputy Health Commissioner for policy and planning for the City of Philadelphia in the mid-1990s under former Mayor Ed Rendell. She earned her doctorate at The University of Pennsylvania, and is also the author of Provider of Last Resort: The Story of the Closure of the Philadelphia General Hospital. In 2005, Dr. O’Donnell was named by Philadelphia Business Journal as a Woman of Distinction. In 2020, Dr. O’Donnell was inducted as a Fellow into the prestigious Philadelphia College of Physicians. Governor Tom Wolf appointed her to serve on the Commonwealth Universal Research Enhancement (CURE) Board, and she has served on the boards of many non-profits and advisory councils. Dr. O’Donnell is also well known for her mentorship of hundreds of students and aspirational professionals, describing mentorship as “increasingly necessary in this increasingly complex world”.