Elizabeth Sysak, PhD, joins Blue Cottage of CannonDesign as Behavioral Health Consulting Leader

Elizabeth Sysak, PhD

March 8, 2024

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As the mental healthcare landscape continues to grow and evolve with demand across the country, we are glad to welcome Elizabeth (Liz) Sysak, PhD, to Blue Cottage of CannonDesign as a Behavioral Health Consulting Leader.

In this role, Liz will leverage our Living-Centered Design approach by bringing a unique strategic vision and focus on mental health design solutions for the most complex projects, collaborating on integrated teams across all markets and typologies. She will work with C-suite leaders to translate operations and system level strategy into a plan informed by patient experience, workflow, staffing, licensing, and key discussions with administration and clinicians.

She brings 19 years of experience working in mental healthcare to this role, bringing a wealth of viewpoints and lessons learned to our projects and clients. Most recently, Liz served as CEO at Fairmount Behavioral Health System, part of Universal Health Systems, in Philadelphia.

“My drive is to solve problems and innovate solutions in healthcare and educational environments that promote wellbeing and holistic health,” said Liz. “Joining the Blue Cottage team, who tackle problems of all shapes and scale, seemed like a natural fit for my experiences. I can’t wait to partner with clients who are open, curious and creative and committed to bettering their communities and the individuals they serve.”

Liz has played a vital role in establishing, sustaining, and expanding mental health crisis, inpatient/outpatient, and emergency services and facilities across Pennsylvania. While at Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania (CHOP), she was integral in expanding their pediatric behavioral health services. While there, Liz successfully created space and workflow operations that improved access to quality care.

She also worked for more than a decade at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), where she co-led the reconstruction of the psychiatric emergency department and developed a mobile therapy program to bridge the gap between crisis and treatment for patients and families.

“Dr. Sysak adds not only depth in knowledge that will benefit our clients, but she is also a creative problem solver,” said Juliet Rogers, PhD, MPH, President of Blue Cottage of CannonDesign and Executive Director of Strategy for CannonDesign. “Liz is curious. She wants to understand everything; wants to look at the problem and then turn the kaleidoscope to explore the same problem from a new angle. That's inspiring and I know our clients will appreciate it.”

Liz is based in the Philadelphia area and enjoys reading and all types of problem solving outside of work.