Cherilyn G. Murer received the Top Women in Healthcare Legacy Award from PR News at an awards luncheon at The Yale Club in New York City in July 2019.
The president and CEO of CGM Advisory Group, Murer is an internationally recognized advocate for the advancement of quality, cost-effective health care. As founder and president of Murer Consultants for 35 years, she advised multi-hospital health care systems, academic medical centers and large physician group practices on matters including complex regulatory, strategic and financial issues. When she sold the firm in 2017, Murer Consultants had more than 500 clients in 42 states, Europe and the Middle East, employing 40 people, 28 of whom were lawyers
Murer serves on several boards of directors, including Surgical Solutions, a healthcare portfolio company owned by the private equity firm of Sterling Partners. She has a long history of supporting professional and civic organizations. She is First Vice President of the 24-member Board of Trustees of the Lebanese American University, and a member of the Board of Governors of The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She also serves on the board of the Union League Club of Chicago and is President of Luminarts Cultural Foundation.
From 2017-2019, she served, by gubernatorial appointment, on the Illinois Board of Higher Education. Previously, she was a member of Northern Illinois University’s Board of Trustees where she was elected Chairman for two consecutive terms (2007-2009 and 2011-2013).
A resident of Chicago and Downers Grove, Ill., Murer has authored seven highly-acclaimed healthcare industry books, written more than 180 medical trade articles, and delivered presentations to nearly 100 healthcare organizations. She wrote a column on women and leadership for Chicago Woman magazine. She was recognized in 2018 as a Woman of Influence by Chicago Business Journal and has won other awards including induction into the Chicago Area Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame.
Born Cherilyn DiSpirito, Muren credits her Italian upbringing with instilling in her a love of family, respect for duty, a devotion to community and a strong commitment to loyalty.
Cherilyn’s heritage is 50% Italian and 50% French. Her father, Arthur DiSpirito — the third oldest of nine children — was born in the U.S. to Italian immigrants who moved here from Naples, Italy. Arthur was a young Marine fighting in the Pacific during World War II before coming home to marry Noella Lagace in a wedding ceremony that included dress blues and crossed swords.
The couple had three daughters and raised them in Cumberland Hill, Rhode Island, in proximity to the Italian neighborhood of Federal Hill. Among Cherilyn’s fondest childhood memories are the aroma and taste of her grandmother’s wedding soup made with escarole and served with homemade pepper biscuits.
Her Italian heritage instilled in her a love of family, respect for duty, a devotion to community and a strong commitment to loyalty. “Our family always had a sense of optimism – that each tomorrow would be better than the next,” she states. “Hard work, optimizing one’s talents, and kindness to others were expected. I have always kept those family values close to my heart.”
Partly as a way to reclaim their Italian heritage, Cherilyn and her late husband Michael secured their Italian passports 15 years ago. She recalls her surprise at discovering her passport only had her maiden name, DiSpirito. The Italian consulate explained this was standard procedure for married women. Therefore, when she uses her Italian passport throughout the European Union, she carries a copy of her marriage license and birth certificate to reconcile her maiden and married names. The spirit of Italy is alive and well in the Murer family with traditions handed down to her three grandsons, Cameron, Nate and Jake, who love spaghetti Bolognese on a Sunday afternoon.