New chief operating officer begins at Stanford Health Care

Quinn McKenna is responsible for overall operations of the health care system, reporting directly to president and CEO David Entwistle.

- By Grace Hammerstrom

Quinn McKenna

Quinn McKenna joined Stanford Health Care as chief operating officer on Jan. 3. 

In this role, McKenna is responsible for overall operations, reporting directly to president and CEO David Entwistle. McKenna takes over from former COO James Hereford, who left Stanford Health Care after nearly four years to become president and CEO of Fairview Health Services in Minneapolis.

McKenna previously served as COO of the University of Utah Hospitals and Clinics and as executive director of the University of Utah Hospital, with an annual budget of $1.7 billion and more than 10,000 employees. For nine years, he worked with Entwistle to lead the University of Utah system to national preeminence in quality, patient satisfaction and employee engagement, while simultaneously improving the efficiency of its staff and operations.

McKenna said his decision to join Stanford Health Care was motivated by the conversations he had with its staff and faculty. “They are extremely intelligent, with a high degree of curiosity,” he said. “When you get buy-in and focus from that caliber of person, you can solve problems that other organizations can’t even touch.”

McKenna has also served in executive positions at the University of Washington in Seattle and at Providence Health System.

He earned a master’s degree in health administration from the University of Washington and a bachelor’s degree in business finance from Utah State University, with a minor in economics. He raised his four children in the Seattle area and is now a grandfather of three. An avid hiker, he said he is looking forward to the Bay Area’s year-round outdoor opportunities.

McKenna joins Stanford at a time of increased competition in the health care marketplace. He said one of his first priorities will be to bring focus and prioritization to Stanford. That, he said, was the key to his success in Utah. “My mantra has always been: We can solve any problem, but we cannot solve every problem at the same time,” he said.

About Stanford Medicine

Stanford Medicine is an integrated academic health system comprising the Stanford School of Medicine and adult and pediatric health care delivery systems. Together, they harness the full potential of biomedicine through collaborative research, education and clinical care for patients. For more information, please visit

2023 ISSUE 3

Exploring ways AI is applied to health care