Since 2006, Craig Deao, MHA, has been an integral part of Studer Group, a Huron solution, as a senior leader for the organization’s speaking and conferences teams, and he now directs thought leadership across Huron’s broader healthcare business. Craig is a highly regarded national speaker on leadership, engagement, quality and patient safety. He works with medical staffs and healthcare executives to create highly reliable organizations where employees want to work, physicians want to practice and patients want to receive care. He also co-led the organization’s journey to become a recipient of the Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award in 2010. In 2016, Craig harnessed his field experience in healthcare to author the book, “The E Factor: How Engaged Patients, Clinicians, Leaders, and Employees Will Transform Healthcare.” In addition to his full-time work with Studer Group and Huron, he serves as faculty for the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE).
Born and raised in New Orleans, Craig received two bachelor’s degrees from Louisiana State University. He received a master’s degree in healthcare administration from the University of Minnesota. Craig now lives in Pensacola, Florida, where he serves on the quality committee of his local health system. He is married to Julie and is the proud father of Sam and Jack.
Craig’s career has been a blend of operational leadership and hands-on experience in the field. As a result, he’s been able to use within the company the same evidence-based leadership principles Studer Group teaches its partners. He’s seen firsthand the power of hardwiring a handful of practices that align goals, behaviors and processes with employee engagement and customer loyalty for Studer Group, both ranked in the top 1% nationally. His fieldwork focuses on partnering with senior leadership to achieve breakthrough transformation that actually sustains. He is an author of numerous articles in healthcare publications, as well as a book on engagement, and speaks to tens of thousands of leaders annually. Prior to joining Studer Group, Craig served in several capacities for VHA (now Vizient), including patient safety improvement and executive networking, connecting 2,000 nonprofit health system members across the nation.
Awards & Recognition
2011 Healthcare Philanthropy Journal Award
Recipient of Studer Group’s highest recognition for employees, the Flame Award
“Performance-Driven Giving”, Trustee magazine - Publication of the American Hospital Association, July 2012
"The E Factor: How Engaged Patients, Clinicians, Leaders, and Employees Will Transform Healthcare", Studer Group, 2017
“The Data Is In: Service Excellence Cultivates Giving”, Healthcare Philanthropy - Publication of the Association of Healthcare Philanthropy, Spring 2011
Patient and Caregiver Engagement
MHA, University of Minnesota
BA, Mass Communication, Louisiana State University
BS, Animal, Dairy, and Poultry Science, Louisiana State University
Crew Resource Management trainer
Lean for Healthcare certified