On May 17, 2014, Susan Ott (HPM ’76) was honored with the Dean's Special Achievement Award for Service to the Profession at the annual Pitt Public Health Alumni Awards dinner.
Ott is president of Susan Ott Associates; attorney with Rhoades & Wodarczyk, LLC; and acting executive director for The Foundation to Advance Public Health through Certification. Now a practicing attorney associated with Rhoades & Owen, LLC, she has a strong background as a former hospital administrator and nonprofit executive in western Pennsylvania. Ott has served as president of a hospital system foundation and research institute and president of her own management consulting company. She is a recognized expert in the areas of grantsmanship and of resource development strategic planning, especially relating to healthcare and medical research. She now concentrates her legal practice in tax exempt organizational and business law and spent several years at UPMC, as a patient advocate, a legal intern, and as an attorney in both the corporate legal and physician services divisions. Ott has had legal experience in physician contracting, credentialing, business transactions, tax exempt issues, conflict of interest management, accreditation, regulatory and academic medical matters, and in corporate mergers, acquisitions, and affiliations. She holds Bachelor of Science and Master of Public Health degrees from the University of Pittsburgh and a JD from Duquesne University School of Law. She has served on many area boards, and is currently a member of the Pittsburgh Planned Giving Council and Vice President of the ACBA Health Law Section. She does significant pro bono legal work for the ACBA and for Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, most recently having developed a curriculum and presentation on "Choice of Corporate Form" for that organization. Ott is a frequent lecturer and writer on various healthcare and nonprofit law subjects. She is a published author on quality assurance, has won a prize from the Pennsylvania Bar Association for her paper on the legalities involved in electronic medical records, and is a contributing writer for "Jack Owen’s Tax-Exempt Alert". Susan is often a guest lecturer on tax exempt law and ethics at Duquesne University School of Law. Ott also acts as the executive director of The Foundation to Advance Public Health through Certification, one of her nonprofit clients.