More changes at the top for Akron Children's Hospital Monday morning, just a few days after President Bill Considine stepped down, and Grace Wakulchik moved into the President and CEO role.
The hospital announced Monday that James Brazeal was named Vice President of research administration in the Rebecca D. Considine Research Institute, after only joining the hospital October 29th, before which he was with Geisinger Health System in Pennsylvania.
See the full press release below:
(CHILDREN'S) AKRON, Ohio (Nov. 5, 2018) -- James Brazeal has been named Akron Children’s Hospital’s vice president of research administration in the Rebecca D. Considine Research Institute. He joined the hospital Oct. 29.
In the newly created position, Brazeal is responsible for ensuring that the institute’s research facilities and scientific operations efficiently support investigators and their scientific pursuits. Brazeal, who reports to Chief Research Officer Dr. Michael Kelly, will also work with Kelly to establish strategic goals for the Research Institute.
“With projected growth in the scope and number of research studies at Akron Children’s, we needed someone with James’ experience to provide administrative direction as we grow,” Kelly said. “James has the administrative expertise necessary to lead change initiatives necessary to build and maintain a world class research institute. He will be a terrific asset to our team.”
Before joining Akron Children’s, Brazeal served as chief administrative officer for research for Geisinger Health System in Danville, Pennsylvania. Prior to that, Brazeal was the executive director of technology development, transfer and commercialization for Geisinger. He also previously was the director of technology commercialization at The University of Missouri-Kansas City, where he also worked as a licensing and business development associate.
He graduated from Kansas State University with a degree in biology and holds a juris doctor from The University of Missouri-Kansas City.
Brazeal lives in Copley with his wife, Mary, and two sons.
The Rebecca D. Considine Research Institute is the catalyst for research and innovation at Akron Children's Hospital, northeast Ohio's largest pediatric healthcare provider. It facilitates industry sponsored clinical studies and supports investigator-initiated research programs across a broad spectrum of research subjects and medical disciplines, and is working to build a research community that transforms pediatric care and improves health outcomes through disease prevention and the development of better, safer therapies. The Research Institute also offers educational opportunities for students, fellows and faculty, and is advancing collaborative research and educational partnerships by providing access to the highest quality equipment, latest techniques and expert professional mentorship.
A major announcement from Akron Children's Hospital Wednesday, as Bill Considine, long-time CEO says he is stepping down, effective Thursday, and that hospital president Grace Wakulchick is taking over.
Considine, who's been at the helm for nearly 40 years, named CEO at the age of 32, will now move into the CEO Emeritus role through January, 2020.
See the full press release from Akron Children's Hospital below:
Grace Wakulchik assumes the title of president and CEO of Akron Children’s Hospital, effective today (Thursday), as William H. Considine becomes CEO Emeritus. Wakulchik has been president of the enterprise since July 2017.
Considine, who has served at the helm of Akron Children’s for nearly 40 years, is one of the longest-serving hospital chief executives in the nation, and during his tenure, the hospital has grown into a nationally-known and respected independent, integrated pediatric health system.
“As president and CEO, Grace Wakulchik assumes full responsibility for the operations of the hospital enterprise,” said John Orr, chairman of the Akron Children’s Hospital Board of Directors, in an announcement to employees. “During her 26 years at Akron Children’s, Grace has held various leadership roles, and was named president last year. We are extremely fortunate that we have someone so well prepared to take on this role. Grace has both a clinical and business background, which will serve the hospital well. She has enormous credibility with the Children’s family, and embodies the hospital’s culture, heritage, mission and family-centered care.”
In his new role as CEO Emeritus, Considine will focus his attention throughout 2019 on child advocacy, in particular, continuing his work with state and federal lawmakers to establish stable and equitable funding for children’s hospitals through Medicaid and other programs. He will retire from his role as CEO Emeritus on Jan. 1, 2020.
Four decades of growth
When Considine, at age 32, was named president and CEO in 1979, Akron Children’s had an annual operating budget of $35 million, 900 employees and the geographic footprint of one hospital building at the corner of Bowery and Exchange streets in downtown Akron.
Today, Akron Children’s has a budget of $1.8 billion, more than 6,000 employees, two hospital campuses (Akron Children’s Mahoning Valley in Boardman celebrates 10 years this December), and 60-plus locations, including a network of 28 primary care offices, four urgent care centers, affiliations with 30 school districts and dozens of special care nurseries and pediatric specialty care clinics throughout Northern Ohio. The clinical staff provides care in more than one million patient encounters annually.
Three regional health centers are under construction, and the Considine Professional Building, which has been undergoing an $84 million addition, opened in October. This follows the Kay Jewelers Pavilion, which opened in 2015, in reshaping the downtown Akron campus.
This growth – coupled with enviable financial stability – has continued during a climate when other hospitals have closed their doors or merged. But Considine’s steady leadership and commitment to keeping Akron Children’s an independent, locally-governed children’s hospital has not only set it apart, it has become the key to its success.
Considine and Becky, his wife of 46 years have devoted countless hours to Akron organizations and civic causes. Hoping to make an impact on children not only now but in the future, they donated $1 million in 2009 to create the Rebecca D. Considine Research Institute at Akron Children’s.
The Year Ahead
As Considine, 71, moves into his role as CEO Emeritus, he will continue to work with the Children’s Hospital Association and the Ohio Children’s Hospital Association on child advocacy. Events at Akron Children’s throughout 2019 will celebrate his four decades of service, including a child advocacy conference in June and a gala celebration in October at Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens.
Wakulchik, 62, began her career as a registered nurse. In addition to receiving her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing from Case Western Reserve University, Wakulchik earned a MBA from Kent State University and completed the Johnson & Johnson Wharton Fellows Program in Management for Nurse Executives at the Wharton School and Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics at the University of Pennsylvania.
As chief operating officer, she oversaw the construction of Akron’s Children’s $200 million Kay Jewelers Pavilion, featuring a new emergency department, neonatal intensive care unit and outpatient surgery center. Using Integrated Lean Project Delivery, the building was complete two months ahead of schedule and $60 million under budget.
She guided the installation of Akron Children’s electronic medical record transformation and MyChart patient portal with an investment of $47 million in 2012. She has also played key roles in initiatives to improve patient access, guide regional growth and help the organization achieve the highly-respected designation as a Magnet facility from the American Nurses Credentialing Center.
According to Orr, the Board of Directors has worked diligently with Considine in developing a seamless transition plan throughout the past three years.
“This plan will build on the hospital’s enormous growth and success and maintains our special workplace culture and focus on family-centered care,” said Orr. “The board is very pleased with the manner in which everyone is embracing the transition. Bill Considine and his wife, Becky, have given their all to Akron Children’s and this community. Words will never capture our admiration for his leadership and service. This transition is a testament to his values and belief in the Akron Children’s mission. He and Grace have seamlessly realigned responsibilities and the hospital’s momentum has not missed a beat.”
North High School's Academy of Health and Human Services got a big boost from Akron Children's Hospital this week.
The hospital pledged $400,000 to the Akron Public Schools. $250,000 of that will go to the health care academy, while the other $150,000 will come in the form of internships, teacher externships, and other experiential learning opportunities.
Children's Hospital President and CEO Bill Considine joined Jasen to talk about the donation and the business community's thoughts on the career academy model being rolled out at North.
Get ready for a mouthful; The Akron Children's Hospital Akron Marathon Race Series Marathon, Half-Marathon and Team Relay will become the Akron Children's Hospital Akron Marathon Race Series Marathon, Half-Marathon and Team Relay presented by FirstEnergy. And that's a good thing.
It may take a few breaths to get the name out, but it does show the deep level of support and backing one of the premier events showcasing Akron enjoys locally from the Akron business community. Two of the business community's heavyweights reinforced that message as Bill Considine, CEO of Akron Children's Hospital and Chuck Jones, CEO of FirstEnergy, teamed with Akron Mayor Jeff Fusco and Akron Marathon founder Steve Marks to announce the event's new sponsorships.
Akron Children's Hospital stepped in last month and FirstEnergy signed up as a presenting sponsor, something the Akron-based utility wanted to do before Time Warner first led as presenting sponsor in 2003. Jones said the utility sees the sponsorship as continuation of what it's done giving back to the communities it serves across it's five-state footprint.
"Our headquarters is here, this will always be our home, it's been our home for over a hundred years," Jones said. "Akron's a great community...I'm proud of the growth that it's seen, how it's transformed itself from the rubber capital of the world to a vibrant city."
Considine is a key player among Akron's corporate and community leaders.
"We're pretty excited about it. It unites the community," Considine said. "It's a national event...we're a national hospital, seeing patients from all 50 states at Akron Children's Hospital. An event like the Akron Marathon shows the community cares." Considine called Akron a "champion city" and said the Marathon is an "image builder" for Akron.
"The Akron Marathon has always been about community, and we're extremely happy one of the largest employers in Summit County has stepped up," said Marathon founder Steve Marks.
The Akron Marathon drew more than 20,000 participants during it's events in 2015 with events including the full marathon, half-marathon, relay and other races.
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(Akron Marathon)FirstEnergy Corp. has signed a three-year agreement with the Akron Children's Hospital Akron Marathon Race Series to serve as the presenting sponsor of the Marathon, Half Marathon and Team Relay held each September. The announcement was made Tuesday at a special event at Cascade Plaza in downtown Akron.
FirstEnergy replaces Time Warner Cable, which had served as presenting sponsor since the Akron Marathon's inception in 2003.
"The Akron Marathon has always been about community and we're extremely happy one of the largest employers in Summit County has stepped up to become presenting sponsor," said Steve Marks, Akron Marathon founder. "At the same time, we'd like to thank Time Warner Cable for being a great partner for the first 13 years of the event."
Headquartered in Akron, FirstEnergy has more than 15,000 employees who serve six million customers across six states.
"We're thrilled to partner with Akron Children's Hospital to increase our sponsorship of the Akron Marathon," said Chuck Jones, president and CEO of FirstEnergy. "This race has become a nationally-respected event, both because it's so well-organized and because of the tremendous ways this community has embraced it. Many of our employees and customers run, volunteer and cheer for this event every year, making this a perfect fit for FirstEnergy."
FirstEnergy has been a major sponsor of the Akron marathon since its inception in 2003.
The inaugural Akron Marathon featured 3,775 participants and has grown to more than 14,000 across the weekend's events. The marquee event generates more than $6 million in economic activity and generates thousands of dollars more in contributions to countless charities.
"FirstEnergy has been a longtime partner of Akron Children's Hospital, and we are delighted that they accepted our invitation to step up to presenting sponsor of the marathon as we become the race's title beneficiary in 2016," said Bill Considine, Akron Children's Hospital president and CEO. "We are grateful to FirstEnergy and all the individuals and organizations who are so civic-minded and make Akron such a great place to live."
Known as the Akron Marathon Rubber City Race Series in 2015, more than 20,000 runners participated across the three events. The series dates were developed to help guide runners through a typical training schedule leading up to the marquee events. The 2016 events will be held June 25 (8k & 1-Mile), August 13 (Half Marathon & 10k) and Sept. 24 (Full Marathon, Half Marathon, Team Relay & Kids Fun Run). Registration is scheduled to open this winter.