Sonya Zeller, DNP, MBA, RN

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  • 2007 Alumni
    Sonya Zeller

Vice President, COO & CNO

Indiana University Health Paoli

Paoli, IN


In her role as Vice President, COO and CNO, Sonya Zeller provides leadership, direction and administration of all aspects of hospital activities to ensure compliance with established objectives and the realization of quality, patient safety, patient satisfaction, risk management, survey preparation, and economical healthcare services.

During her professional career, Sonya has had regional cancer operations responsibility for twelve hospitals and one proton center. Other areas of responsibility include the Patient Family Advisor Council, Cancer Registry, Cancer Quality Improvement, accreditation for Commission on Cancer (CoC), National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC), American College of Radiology (ACR) for radiation centers, and Quality Oncology Practice Initiative (QOPI) certification at Indiana University Simon Cancer Center. Sonya works collaboratively to develop strategic vision, design services and programs, recruit and retain clinical staff, monitor clinical outcomes, and define and implement best practices that are evidence-based. Sonya has led the Journey to Preeminence effort and the Safe Patient Handling Program. Both major organization initiatives focused on patient care and satisfaction.  Her vision, leadership and guidance provided the foundation for a cancer service line to be created in a community hospital that grew to have a more regional focus.  She also was responsible for cancer registry, oncology research, and administrator for the Institutional Review Board (IRB) and laboratory services.  In addition, Sonya taught nursing school, designed, constructed and accredited an outpatient surgery center as the administrator, led a multiple physician practice, and held multiple positions as a registered nurse at bedside in medical-surgical, intensive care, and post-anesthesia care departments. She received the “Outstanding Professional Award” (1995) bestowed on a student elected by her peers. The following criteria were used in determining the choice for the one most outstanding professional: leadership, integrity, initiative, enthusiasm, character, achievement, cooperation, and trustworthiness. Sonya was also selected as one of twenty emerging leaders in Bloomington and participated in an intensive leadership training initiative in 2006. Additional recognition came from the Robert Wood Johnson Executive Nurse Fellows Program where she was appointed as one of the 2007 fellows. She completed her three year fellowship in April, 2010. In 2011, Sonya was awarded the Roland E. “Bud” Kohr Outstanding Leadership Award which honors and recognizes an outstanding member of the Indiana University Health Bloomington leadership who reflects outstanding leadership qualities.