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William Isenberg, MD, PhD


Dr. Bill Isenberg serves as the Chief Medical & Quality Officer for Sutter Health, a not-for-profit system providing for the healthcare needs of more than 3.5 million Californians.

In his almost 30 years with Sutter, he has had the privilege of witnessing the miracle of childbirth many hundreds of times as an attending obstetrician / gynecologist. For good outcomes in this specialty, there is a critical reliance on high reliability, a robust safety culture, teamwork, and technology. Thus, as Dr. Isenberg has taken on leadership roles within the organization—hospital departmental, medical staff, medical informatics, patient safety, and quality—he has regularly helped teams and individuals focus on “Zero Harm” tactics and practices.

Only through constant attention to error-proofing systems and human factors engineering-focused design, can practitioners hope to achieve the Institute of Medicine’s 1999 challenge to Build a Safer Health System. He currently oversees Sutter’s quality, safety, and bioethics efforts, as well as the Institute for Advancing Health Equity.

Dr. Isenberg received his undergraduate degree with honors in zoology from the University of Michigan. He earned his PhD in experimental pathology from UC-San Francisco and completed his postdoctoral fellowship at the Gladstone Foundation for Cardiovascular Research. He completed medical school training at UCSF, where he graduated with AOA honors.His residency in OB-GYN and subsequent fellowship were also completed at UCSF.

He is a prior board member and board chair of the Hospital Quality Institute, the quality and safety arm of the California Hospital Association; the chair of the healthcare committee of the Bay Area Council; and a frequent health and safety advisor at the county, state, and national level.