Geisinger President and CEO Dr. Glenn Steele to Give Commencement Speech
Published on April 22, 2014
SELINSGROVE, Pa. – Geisinger Health Systems president and chief executive officer, Glenn D. Steele Jr., M.D., Ph.D., will serve as the speaker at Susquehanna University’s 156th commencement to be held at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, May 11 in the field house of the James W. Garrett Sports Complex.
Dr. Steele is in his 13th year as president and CEO of Geisinger, an integrated health services organization in central and northeastern Pennsylvania nationally recognized for its innovative use of the electronic health record and the development and implementation of innovative care models. The Geisinger model has been noted by President Barack Obama as a standard to which the rest of the country can aspire.
Leaders from Susquehanna University and Geisinger Medical Center collaborated in recent years on an innovative approach to providing health services on a college campus by constructing a new health center on University Avenue. The Geisinger-Susquehanna University clinic, which opened in 2010, provides both the student body and the community access to a wide range of services.
During the ceremony, Dr. Steele will receive an honorary Doctor of Science degree. Additionally, Ruth Eleanor McCorkill, a 1943 Susquehanna graduate, will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters.
Approximately 500 students are expected to graduate this spring. They represent the second class to graduate from Susquehanna University having completed the Global Opportunities (GO) requirement for cross-cultural learning. Students spend at least two weeks off campus, living and studying in an unfamiliar culture, followed by a credit-bearing critical reflection course during which they consider how the experience changed them.
Commencement day will begin with a Baccalaureate service, a festive ecumenical event of praise and thanksgiving, scheduled for 10 a.m. in Weber Chapel Auditorium. A commencement luncheon for graduating students and guests will be held from 11 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. in the Charles B. Degenstein Campus Center’s Evert Dining Room. Commencement coverage will be available on www.facebook.com/susquehannau and by following #susqu2014 on Twitter. The ceremony will be live-streamed at www.susqu.edu/gradvideo.
Dr. Glenn Steele
Before his tenure at Geisinger, Dr. Steele served as the dean of the Biological Sciences Division and the Pritzker School of Medicine and vice president for medical affairs at the University of Chicago, as well as the Richard T. Crane professor in the Department of Surgery. Prior to that, he was the William V. McDermott professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School, president and chief executive officer of Deaconess Professional Practice Group, Boston, Mass., and chairman of the department of surgery at New England Deaconess Hospital (Boston, Mass.).
Steele is past chairman of the American Board of Surgery. His investigations have focused on the cell biology of gastrointestinal cancer and pre-cancer and most recently on innovations in healthcare delivery and financing. A prolific writer, he is the author or co-author of more than 483 scientific and professional articles.
Steele earned his bachelor’s degree in history and literature from Harvard University and his medical degree from New York University School of Medicine. He completed his internship and residency in surgery at the University of Colorado, where he was also a fellow of the American Cancer Society. He earned his Ph.D. in microbiology at Lund University in Sweden.
A member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, Steele serves as a member on the Roundtable on Value and Science-driven Healthcare, was recently appointed to the Committee on the Governance and Financing of Graduate Medical Education and previously served on the Committee on Reviewing Evidence to Identify Highly Effective Clinical Services (HECS). A fellow of the American College of Surgeons, he is a member of the American Surgical Association and the American Society of Clinical Oncology, and past president of the Society of Surgical Oncology.
Steele serves on numerous boards and national committees including Agency for Integrated Care (AIC) Singapore, Bucknell University Board of Trustees, Congressional Budget Office Panel of Health Advisers, Weis Markets Inc., Wellcare Health Plans Inc., Healthcare Innovation Program (HIP) External Advisory Board (Emory University), Institute for Healthcare Optimization Advisory Board and the State Health Care Cost Containment Commission.
He is the recipient of several awards, including the CEO IT Achievement Award (2006); AHA’s Grassroots Champion Award (2007); 8th Annual (2010) AHA Health Research & Education Trust Award and HFMA Board of Directors’ Award (2011). He has been named consecutive times to Modern Healthcare’s 50 and most recently was named to the Becker’s Hospital Review’s list of “40 of the Smartest People in Healthcare” for his work in healthcare reform.
Ruth Eleanor McCorkill
Ruth Eleanor McCorkill has a long and varied history at Susquehanna University. A native of nearby Northumberland, Pa., she is a 1943 graduate of Susquehanna. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, she worked for 10 years as the university’s alumni director and sports publicist, a position held by few, if any other, women at the time.
A trendsetter in a male-dominated field, McCorkill blazed a trail for women in the field of sports information. She learned the business from a local sports editor, got story ideas from the (Newark, N.J.) Star-Ledger, and before long, was traveling to Susquehanna University games with the legendary Stagg family. Amos Alonzo Stagg, an innovator in the development of college football, was head coach at the University of Chicago from 1892 to 1932. Known as the “grand old man of football,” he co-coached Susquehanna’s football team with his son, Amos Alonzo Stagg Jr., from 1947 to 1952.
McCorkill also wore other hats at Susquehanna. She organized alumni events and produced the alumni magazine, for which she wrote every story. She also handled the university’s mail, assisted the business director with correspondence, and wrote letters to Susquehanna University servicemen fighting in World War II.
After a decade at Susquehanna, McCorkill continued her career in public relations and sports information at Upsala University in New Jersey. From there, she worked for The Salvation Army of New Jersey and Old First Presbyterian Church in Newark.
McCorkill stayed connected to Susquehanna through the years and, to this day, remains an influential presence on campus. She attends nearly every home football game and special event. In 2002, she established the William Garver and Mary Jane McCorkill Scholarship Fund for deserving students in loving memory of her parents.
Known across campus, McCorkill continues to be one of Susquehanna’s best cheerleaders. A key figure in the rejuvenation of the alma mater, she is a cherished member of the Susquehanna University community.