DENNIS LEARY Biography - Other artists & entretainers


Biography » other artists entretainers » dennis leary


Dennis S. O’Leary, M.D., is president of the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations.  Under his leadership, the Joint Commission has successfully modernized its accreditation process to focus on the actual performance of individual health care organizations and to emphasize the use of measurement to drive continuous improvement in organization performance.  In recent years, he has overseen the introduction of cutting-edge standards relating to patient safety, pain management, use of patient restraints, and emergency preparedness, and he has led the formulation of National Patient Safety Goals which have also been incorporated into the Joint Commission’s accreditation process.


During Dr. O’Leary’s 19-year tenure as its president, the Joint Commission has expanded its programmatic purview to encompass the mainstream of the U.S. health care delivery system.  Beyond its original hospital base, the Joint Commission now accredits managed care plans and a full range of extended care and ambulatory care services.  Its growing business portfolio now also encompasses international accreditation and consultation services, including a series of projects with the World Health Organization.  This progressive growth has led to a quadrupling of the Joint Commission’s budget and staff since 1986.


Prior to joining the Joint Commission, Dr. O’Leary served as dean for Clinical Affairs at the George Washington University Medical Center and vice president of the George Washington University Health Plan, an academic HMO.  During his 15-year tenure at George Washington, he achieved the faculty rank of Professor of Medicine, and served for a decade as Medical Director of the University Hospital.


Dr. O’Leary is highly active in a variety of professional activities.  He earlier served as president and chairman of the board of the District of Columbia Medical Society, was a founding member of the National Capital Area Health Care Coalition, and became one of the initial Fellows of the American College of Physician Executives.  Since coming to the Joint Commission, he has become a Master of the American College of Physicians; an Honorary Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives; an Honorary Member of the American Dental Association; and a Member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.  Dr. O’Leary is currently a non-voting Liaison Member of the Board of Directors of the National Quality Forum and recently completed a term of service on the National Advisory Council of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.  In 2000, he was selected by Modern Healthcare as "one of the 25 most influential leaders in health care" during the last quarter of the 20th century, and in 2003, Modern Healthcare identified him as the 10th most influential individual in health care.


Dr. O’Leary earned his bachelor of arts degree from Harvard College and his doctor of medicine degree from Cornell University.  After two years of internal medicine training at the University of Minnesota Hospital, he completed his residency and hematology fellowship at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, New York.  He is board certified in Internal Medicine and Hematology.