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News Room: Press Releases

Ninfa Saunders named President and Chief Operating Officer of Virtua

Ninfa Saunders

Ninfa Saunders, RN, MSN, MBA, PhD, has been promoted to President and Chief Operating Officer at Virtua. Saunders previously served as Virtua’s Executive Vice President for Health Services and Chief Operating Officer.

Richard P. Miller will continue to serve as Virtua's CEO.

Saunders is responsible for healthcare operations at Virtua's four hospitals, rehabilitation centers, senior services, home care, ambulatory and outpatient services. She has more than three decades of clinical nursing and hospital administrative experience.

“Ninfa’s promotion is reflective of her tremendous work ethic and pursuit of excellence in all that she does,” said Miller. “As Virtua continues to grow, so will Ninfa’s responsibilities. I know that I can count on Ninfa to meet any challenge.”

Since joining Virtua in 2002, Saunders has been instrumental in leading efforts to redefine the way health care is delivered. Using metrics for measuring performance, including Six Sigma, she implements Virtua’s vision of bringing the best care to patients and the best resources to physicians, nurses and employees.

“I am honored to accept this expanded role,” Saunders said. “It is an exciting time for Virtua as we prepare to open the new hospital in Voorhees and continue growing our world-class services for South Jersey residents.”

Saunders is recognized nationally and internationally for her healthcare business acumen and operational excellence. She is in demand as a speaker for healthcare and business conferences and as a consultant for healthcare decision making. In 2009 she was nominated to Modern Healthcare’s “Top 100 Most Powerful People in Healthcare”. Along with other faculty appointments, she serves as a Dean’s Professor at the Mayer School of Business at the University of Sciences in Philadelphia.

Saunders began her career at St. Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston. She held numerous nursing and systems management positions with Emory Hospital in Atlanta and was also an associate professor at the Graduate School at Emory University. Before returning to New Jersey, Saunders was chief operating officer and administrator of patient care services for DeKalb Medical Center in Decatur, GA.

She earned a Master of Science in Nursing from Rutgers University in Newark, and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Concordia College in Manila, Philippines. Saunders earned her Master of Business Administration from Emory University in Atlanta, GA., attended the Healthcare-Executive Program at Wharton School-University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and the International Business Program at the London School of Business in London, England. In 2006, she completed her Doctorate in Healthcare Administration at the Medical University of South Carolina.

As one of New Jersey’s largest health systems, Virtua helps people be well, get well and stay well through a comprehensive range of health care services. Services are delivered through three health and wellness centers, three fitness centers, four acute care hospitals, primary and specialty physician practices with more than 240 physicians, urgent care centers, seven ambulatory surgery centers, home health services, two long-term care and rehabilitation centers, 12 paramedic units and a wide range of outpatient services. A leader in maternal and child health services, Virtua delivers more than 8,000 babies a year. Virtua also provides employment and wellness services to 1,700 businesses and corporations. An innovator in clinical and information technology such as electronic medical records, Virtua is recognized for its ground-breaking partnerships with GE Healthcare, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and the Fox Chase Cancer Center. It is the official orthopedic provider for the Philadelphia Flyers. Virtua employs more than 8,400 people and has been honored as the #1 Best Place to Work in the Delaware Valley for seven consecutive years. It is the recipient of the Consumer Choice Award from the National Research Corporation. For more information, visit or