Trish O’Keefe has been an RN her entire professional life, and today is President of nationally top ranked Morristown Medical Center, and a recognized leader in cardiovascular medicine, orthopedics, geriatrics, pulmonology, and nursing.

Trish began her career in 1981 as a nurse at Morristown Medical Center, then Morristown Memorial Hospital, and over time was promoted into increasingly senior roles, until she was named President in 2016.

Trish is known for her advocacy for nurses and speaks regionally and nationally about nursing’s role in delivering compassionate and professional care, and in delivering exceptional patient experiences and outcomes. She is passionate about the culture of healing, about preparing for the “greying” of society as an expert in geriatric care including medication management.

She is also deeply involved in nurse education through her work at Morristown Medical Center, which is a teaching hospital and a key part of the Atlantic Health System.

After working at Vanderbilt’s Regional Burn Center, “She has dedicated her career to our patients and the community, and cares deeply about our staff, physicians and volunteers,” said Brian Gragnolati, President and CEO, Atlantic Health System “Her collaborative spirit, positive outlook and true sense of purpose inspire all of us to do better."

“As so many have said, Trish is the ‘guardian angel’ of Morristown Medical Center and its patients,” said Bill Bruen, Jr., trustee, Foundation for Morristown Medical Center. “Morristown Medical Center could not be in more capable, caring, and compassionate hands.”

Progressing from bedside nurse to administrative director, she has held leadership roles in Surgical Services, Trauma Program, Critical Care and Emergency Department, and multiple inpatient, outpatient, and other departments.

Under O’Keefe’s leadership, Morristown Medical Center received the prestigious designation as an American Nurses Credentialing Center Magnet Hospital for Nursing Excellence in 2001. Her continued passion for expertise in nursing led to a re-designation in 2005, 2009 and 2014—one of only 24 hospitals internationally and nationally to receive the award four times.

An important mission for Trish is making easy access to high-quality health care possible for all. This means providing easy-to-find health care services, earlier detection of health problems through screening programs, education programs, and responding to the needs of their communities to promote wellness.

Trish is also an active community volunteer, spending time supporting underserved communities, while also advocating for animals, and creatively bringing animals together with people for healing experiences. She is a board member for Morris County Chamber of Commerce and the NJ Sharing Network, and recently served as the Advisory Board Chair for the Salvation Army of Morris County. She is also the recipient of the Mary A. Mulholland Service Award from the Boy Scouts of America.

Trish was also active in helping nurses at Morristown Medical Center raise money for Hurricane Sandy relief. In 2016, Trish was named to Irish America’s Healthcare and Life Sciences 50. O’Keefe is a second-generation Irish-American, and her family hails from County Cork, Ireland.

We’re so fortunate to welcome Trish as one of 2018’s honorees at the Nurses With Global Impact celebration of International Nurses Day at the United Nations on May 11.

She is living proof that women can rise to the highest leadership roles, running one of the top fifty hospitals in the US, while still finding time to volunteer as a nurse for life in the communities she and her team serve.

– Deb