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Red Cross Announces New Indiana Regional Chief Executive

chad priest
Chad is a proven leader with a rich background in preparedness and emergency healthcare.

INDIANAPOLIS, IND., (September 22, 2015) – The American Red Cross is pleased to announce that Chad S. Priest, JD, MSN, RN will become the Regional Chief Executive Officer of the Indiana Region on October 19, 2015. Current Regional CEO John Lyter is retiring after 20 years in Indianapolis and 48 combined years of Red Cross volunteer and paid staff experience.

As Lyter states, “The Red Cross is such a good idea that if it didn’t exist, someone would create it. That good idea is a success because generations of citizens have volunteered to serve or built careers at the Red Cross, and then work in a unique partnership to help our neighbors. That spirit of volunteer and staff cooperation is at its zenith here in Central Indiana. As Chad Priest becomes our Regional Executive, I know that his wonderful experience will enable him to be the leader who will serve all of us and our community so well in the years to come.”

Priest is Assistant Dean for Operations & Community Partnerships at the Indiana University School of Nursing and Co-Director of the Disaster Medicine Fellowship at the Indiana University School of Medicine. He is also Director of the interdisciplinary Social Network Health Research Laboratory, is a Visiting Scholar at the IU Center for Law, Ethics and Applied Research in Health Information and is an affiliated faculty investigator at the IU Center for Bioethics. Priest is a frequent international speaker on issues related to healthcare emergency management and disaster healthcare. Priest will retain faculty appointments at Indiana University where he will continue to provide leadership to disaster health curriculum planning and research efforts.

“Whenever Indiana University has called upon Chad Priest he has responded with exceptional contributions on every occasion. As our Assistant Dean for Operations & Community Partnerships, his creative leadership has led to the development of innovative programs, exciting new opportunities for our students and faculty, and the advancement of disaster health education and research on our campus,” says Dean of the IU School of Nursing Robin P. Newhouse, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN. “A high energy visionary who understands the connection between human health and resilience to disasters, Chad will be an exceptional leader for the American Red Cross. He will be sorely missed at IU, but we look forward to a strong partnership with the Red Cross in the coming years and are excited to see our alum, our colleague, and our friend, assume this important post.”

“We are so fortunate Chad Priest has agreed to join the American Red Cross,” adds Red Cross Divisional Vice President Sue Richter, “He is a proven leader with a rich background in preparedness and emergency healthcare. As Indiana’s new Regional Executive, Chad joins a cadre of Red Cross field leaders who work hand in hand with our national colleagues to deliver the Red Cross mission in communities large and small. He will be a very welcome addition to our family.”

Prior to joining the IU School of Nursing, Priest was Chief Executive Officer of The MESH Coalition, an innovative public-private partnership that enables healthcare providers to effectively respond to emergency events and remain viable through recovery. He formerly practiced as an attorney at the law firm of Faegre Baker Daniels practicing public health and healthcare law in the Indianapolis and Washington, D.C. offices. Priest served on active duty as an officer in the United States Air Force with the 89th Medical Group, Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland.

Vice Chairman of the Central Indiana Red Cross Board and Eskenazi Health CEO Lisa Harris, M.D. says, "Chad's career trajectory, fueled by early experience as a youth volunteer with our Red Cross chapter and resulting in broad recognition as a visionary leader in disaster preparedness and response, positions him extraordinarily well to build on John Lyter's legacy and lead this strong team into the future. What is especially exciting about Chad assuming this important leadership role is his passion for building community resilience."

The Indiana Region serves 87 Indiana counties consisting of 10 Homeland Security Disaster Districts and six Red Cross chapters: Central Indiana (Indianapolis headquarters), Northern Indiana (South Bend headquarters), Northeast Indiana (Fort Wayne headquarters), Northwest (Merrillville headquarters), Southern Indiana (Evansville headquarters) and West Central Indiana (Terre Haute headquarters). For more information on the Indiana Region: Follow the Indiana Region at and