Chief of Staff at Lurie Children's

August 24, 2020

The role of Chief of Staff to the President & CEO is relatively new at Lurie Children’s. Krista Tartoni joined the organization as Chief of Staff late last year and has since served as a strategic advisor to Dr. Tom Shanley. She also works closely with senior leadership to ensure their efforts are aligned to the key priorities and initiatives of the medical center, creating organizational cohesion and cooperation.

“Much of my role is acting as Tom’s ‘eyes and ears,’” explains Krista. “He’s only one person and has accountability for all of Lurie Children’s. I’m exposed to a multitude of perspectives that I distill to give him broad situational awareness of the medical center activities. He and I meet often so I can understand his views on various topics and the details of his vision. I’m then able to effectively represent him at different operational and strategic meetings when he can’t attend. Overall, I ensure that Tom’s focus, energy and influence are directed towards our strategic goals.”

As Chief of Staff, Krista also functions as a trusted sounding board and partner to Dr. Shanley and senior leadership in developing positions and plans on short-term and long-term priorities. She works closely with the Communications team to ensure important information from the Office of the CEO is disseminated effectively. In addition, she and Tom work together to provide thoughtful responses to comments and questions from faculty, staff and Board members directed to the Office of the CEO email inbox (   

Before arriving at Lurie Children’s, Krista was most recently at Children’s Health System of Texas in Dallas. Over her eight-year tenure there, she worked in strategy and operations, building and overseeing the service line development function. Here at Lurie Children’s, Krista sees her role as one where she must be highly adaptive as the medical center navigates its next chapter under Tom’s leadership.   

“The role of Chief of Staff in healthcare is still evolving,” says Krista. “Tom and I knew there would be a fair amount of ambiguity as we worked together to develop this role. But we knew from the beginning that creating relationships would be critical so I could function as a gateway to him. And it’s been great to see people use me in that way. COVID threw a big wrench into my ability to meet people in person, but thankfully video calls are the next best thing. I look forward to continuing to get to know more of my fellow Lurie Children’s teammates.”