Cindy Hupke, BSN, MBA

Health Policy & Management
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Former Director
Institute for Healthcare Improvement

Cindy Hupke is a change agent who has tirelessly worked for almost 50 years of her professional life to find ways to improve patient care. Recently retired from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) where she served for 18 years as a Director, she is recognized and trusted throughout the US as a leader, facilitator of change, and mentor in the health care industry.  

She began her career in the health care industry as a clinical nurse, advancing to vice president of a multi-hospital healthcare system, and successively became a change agent and improvement expert who has contributed to reshaping the American health care system.  As a Director at IHI, Cindy’s work focused on leading large, strategic population health initiatives with a particular emphasis on reducing disparities and inequities. These initiatives included the US Department of Health and Human Services Health Disparities Collaboratives and the Indian Health Service’s Improving Patient Care Collaboratives.

As a Director at IHI, Cindy led the design and management of the United States Health Resource and Services (HRSA) Administration’s work to reduce inequities and provide access to high quality healthcare.  In that role, she had a major impact on the health of sixteen million of the most vulnerable people in the United States and her efforts contributed to the underpinnings of the current Affordable Care Act. She also led an initiative with the Indian Health Service which led to dramatic improvements in the health and well-being of Native American populations from multiple Tribes across the United States.

Ms. Hupke developed and led the IHI seminar on Transforming Primary Care Practice and she was an active participant in ongoing development of leadership and spread content within IHI prior to her retirement in 2018.  She is entering her third year as co-director for Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health’s International Leadership Development Program for Physicians.