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.
During the Thursday edition of the Jasen Sokol Show Podcast, Jasen spoke with Jon Husted, GOP Candidate for Lieutenant Governor 23 seconds in.
He also spoke with Grace Wakulchik, new CEO of Akron Children's Hospital (12:59)
And he also spoke with Robert Sprague, GOP Candidate for Ohio Treasurer. (19:27)
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.”