Chief Executive Officer
Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital
Distefano has served as the chief executive officer of the Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital since 2011. In this role, she oversees operations for the 308-bed hospital and women's services, and is responsible for setting the strategic direction to ensure growth, quality and operational excellence, as well as patient, employee and physician satisfaction. She also serves as leader for children's services across the Memorial Hermann Health System and assistant clinical professor in the Nursing Graduate Program at The University of Texas School of Nursing and Texas Women's University.
Under Distefano’s leadership, the hospital opened The Texas Center for Maternal and Fetal Treatment with specialists with expertise in high-risk pregnancies and expanded women's services to better serve the Greater Houston community.
Distefano has spent much of her career working in a range of leadership roles in healthcare. Prior to being named CEO, she served as the senior vice president of patient care services and chief nursing officer at Texas Children's Hospital. She played an instrumental role in a $145 million building expansion and $575 million building project while leading Texas Children's Hospital through Magnet Recognition Designation in 2003 and again in 2007.
Before joining Texas Children’s Hospital, Susie was a research officer at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center, where she oversaw clinical research studies in close collaboration with The University of Texas Office of Research. In this position, she served as a member of the U.T. Institutional Review Board. Earlier in her career, she also served as nurse manager in Memorial Hermann-TMC’s neonatal intensive care unit, as well as a neonatal Life Flight® transport nurse and team coordinator, and a nurse in the NICU.
Susie graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a bachelor’s degree in nursing and continued her studies at UTHealth School of Nursing, where she earned a master’s degree. She also completed the Wharton Fellows Program in Management for Nursing Executives at the University of Pennsylvania and the Intermountain Health Advanced Training Program.
Currently, she is a board member of DePelchin Children’s Services, Children's Defense Fund and The Joy School. Susie also is actively involved with a number of healthcare organizations including the Children's Hospital Association and the American College of Healthcare Executives, Greater Houston Chapter. Susie has been honored with numerous awards over the years, and most recently in 2012 she was recognized as one of ten Women on the Move by Texas Executive Women (TEW).
Distefano lives in Houston with husband Iggy and children Nicholas and Nina.