Laura Forese, MD, MPH, joins the AOA Lessons in Orthopaedic Leadership to discuss what orthopaedic leadership looks like from the C-Suite.

About Dr. Forese: Dr. Forese is the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of NewYork-Presbyterian, one of the nation’s most comprehensive, integrated academic healthcare systems. The only hospital in the country affiliated with two top-ranked medical schools, Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians & Surgeons and Weill Cornell Medicine, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital is consistently recognized as a top 10 hospital in the nation and the #1 hospital in New York by U.S. News and World Report, as well as a best place to work by Forbes, Fortune, and Glassdoor

Dr. Forese has ultimate operational responsibility for the NewYork-Presbyterian enterprise, including 10 hospital campuses, 200 primary and specialty care clinics and medical groups, more than 45,000 employees and affiliated physicians, and more than $9 billion in revenue. Her transparent and reassuring leadership as COO, including providing near daily video reports to the NYP workforce during the COVID-19 emergency, has been an important element of NYP’s efficacy in confronting the pandemic. 

Under Dr. Forese’s leadership, NewYork-Presbyterian launched an innovative suite of digital health services called NYP OnDemand, implemented groundbreaking employee programs for paid parental leave and respite care, and achieved significant gains in patient satisfaction scores as well as employee engagement and front-line empowerment by focusing on building a culture of respect. As President of the NewYork-Presbyterian Regional Hospital Network, Dr. Forese expanded the organization’s presence in Westchester County, Queens and Brooklyn, bringing high-quality community hospitals into the network, and she established the NewYork-Presbyterian Medical Groups to expand NewYork-Presbyterian’s primary and specialty care throughout the region. Among Dr. Forese’s top priorities and accomplishments is the regionalization and standardization of financial, operational, and clinical practices across the enterprise so that every patient receives the same exceptional standard of care no matter where they go in the NewYork-Presbyterian system.


Active in multiple healthcare and civic organizations, Dr. Forese chairs the hospital board of the NIH Clinical Research Hospital in Bethesda, MD; she is also a Trustee of Princeton University, a board member of the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation and of LiveOnNY, and previously served on the board of a healthcare related public company.  She has been named among the 100 most influential people in healthcare nationally, the top 25 women leaders, and the 50 most influential physician executives each by Modern Healthcare magazine. Dr. Forese has also been named among the 50 most powerful women in New York by Crain’s Business, and has been honored as Mother of the Year by the American Cancer Society.   


An orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Forese graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Princeton University and Alpha Omega Alpha from Columbia College of Physicians & Surgeons, and she holds a management degree from Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health.   She is married to Dr. Robert Downey, a thoracic surgeon and they have 3 adult children.