A Publication of WTVP

40 Leaders Under Forty


Sara Caruso, Age 39

Director of Nursing for Emergency Departments at Carle Health Methodist Hospital, Carle Health Proctor Hospital, and Carle Health Pekin Hospital

Sara Caruso
Sara Caruso

“Sara is a servant leader and focuses on empowering her staff and giving them the autonomy to make decisions about their work and delivery of care. Sara is humble, compassionate and extremely empathetic,” said her nominator. “She is a very positive force in Carle Health Greater Peoria emergency departments.

“Sara is a big reason why Pekin ED is in the top 10% for care experience in the nation. Sara’s leadership has extended to Methodist and Proctor, both of which excel in patient experience.”

Outside of work, Caruso is active in her church, serving as a group leader for marriage and parent counseling. She has worked with many children and their athletic activities at Peoria Christian Center.

Childhood ambition: “I wanted to own my own business such as a coffee shop or a bakery. I have always loved to cook.”

Advice to 20-year-old self: “To not be so hard on myself. … I need to learn to forgive and love myself first before I can give to others.”

Hobbies: “Cooking, gardening, canning, going to my children’s various sports/teams, baseball.”

Unknown to colleagues: “Not a lot of people know that I lived in Italy for a short time. I was married there in a castle in Tuscany.”

Bucket list priority: “Visit Egypt to see the pyramids.”

Best advice: “To ask myself when stressed or worried if this is really going to matter in a week, month or a year to help me gain perspective of what really matters.”

Favorite cause: “Center for Prevention of Abuse.”

Book recommendation:Emotional Intelligence 2.0.”

Peoria needs: “IKEA.”

‘Sara is a big reason why Pekin Emergency Department is in the top 10% for care experience in the nation’
— Sara Caruso nominator