Craig Deao

MHA Contact Craig Deao

Craig Deao

Craig is a senior leader at Huron, and a highly regarded national speaker on leadership, engagement, quality and patient safety. He works with healthcare executives to create highly reliable organizations where employees want to work, physicians and nurses want to practice, and patients want to receive care.

About Craig

Transformation isn't just at the organizational level. Owning the future starts with each leader acting differently.

Since 2006, Craig has led Huron’s speaking team. He also co-led the organization’s journey to become a recipient of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award in 2010. In addition to his full-time work with Huron, he serves as faculty for the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE).

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 LeadershipSM principles Huron teaches its partners. He’s seen firsthand the power of hardwiring a handful of practices that align goals, behaviors and processes, evidenced by Huron’s employee engagement and customer loyalty, both ranked in the top 1% nationally

Craig’s fieldwork focuses on partnering with senior leadership to achieve breakthrough, sustainable transformation. 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 Huron, 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.

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 has served on the quality committee of his local health system. He is married to Julie and is the proud father of Sam and Jack.

Areas of Expertise

  • Organizational Design and Alignment
  • Cultural Change
  • Engagement


  • Healthcare

Education & Certifications

  • MHA, University of Minnesota
  • B.A., Louisiana State University
  • B.S., Louisiana State University
  • Crew Resource Management trainer
  • Lean for Healthcare Certification
Book this Speaker


  • Addressing Workplace Mental Health and Well-Being With Purpose

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    Three steps leaders can start taking now that have a big impact on employee wellness and morale and will initiate lasting change within their organization.

  • Filling the Leadership Gap: Creating Your Organization's Next Generation of Leaders

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    Prepare your organization for the future by ensuring it has the leadership needed to succeed amid significant workforce shortages.

  • Managing Multiple Generations in Your Healthcare Organization

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    For the first time, five generations are working alongside each other. Learn how to align and motivate your organization's generationally diverse staff.

  • Patient Safety and High Reliability: Getting the People Part Right

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    Discover how predictable behaviors and consistent processes underpin a culture of excellence.

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Available to Purchase

  • Craig Deao Book

    The E Factor: How Engaged Patients, Clinicians, Leaders, and Employees Will Transform Healthcare

    Healthcare must provide higher quality care at a lower cost. Understand how Huron | Studer Group's Engagement Model can help drive engagement and transform healthcare.

    Purchase on Amazon

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