Akron Children’s Hospital has named a new top doctor to work with physicians and oversee quality and patient safety initiatives, recruitment, research, medical education and other key areas.
Dr. Robert S. McGregor joined Children’s this week in the new position of chief medical officer.
McGregor, 57, previously served as pediatrician-in-chief — the equivalent of chief medical officer — and interim chair of pediatrics at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia. He also was a professor of pediatrics at the Drexel University College of Medicine.
In his new role, McGregor reports directly to Akron Children’s Hospital President and Chief Executive William Considine and serves as a voting member of the hospital’s board of directors.
McGregor said he was attracted to the opportunity because his research showed him Children’s is “an incredible organization” and “rising star” that can be a dominant provider of pediatric health-care services.
“Having spent most of my medical education and medical career on the East Coast, I knew of Akron Children’s but I didn’t see the depth and quality that we have here,” he said.
As chief medical officer, McGregor said, he’ll serve as “a voice at the administrative table” for the hospital’s estimated 400 staff physicians as Children’s moves forward with strategic growth plans, quality and safety improvements and other initiatives.
Children’s decided to add the chief medical officer role to the senior executive staff to ensure strong relationships with the medical staff, board of directors, patient families and the community as the hospital continues to grow, Considine said. Children’s now provides services in 90 locations throughout eastern Ohio.
The new position also enables the hospital to shift some administrative oversight duties among its top executives as the institution gets larger, he said.
McGregor stood out as Children’s pursued a chief medical officer during a national search because of his experience with leadership roles at pediatric hospitals, Considine said.
“Having an M.D. who has a high degree of credibility, who’s highly respected, that complements the team we take out to share the Children’s story,” he said.
McGregor's salary wasn't disclosed.
Over the next several months, McGregor said, he plans to learn more about the culture and staff at Children’s, in part by taking shifts treating hospitalized patients on a limited basis.
“I think it is important for a physician leader,” McGregor said. “If I’m going to advocate or understand some of the physicians’ concerns, I think I really need to have some front-line exposure to the systems that are in place.”
McGregor earned his medical degree from Pennsylvania State University and completed his pediatric residency at the University of Pittsburgh’s Children’s Hospital. He also completed post-doctoral training at the Harvard School of Public Health in physician leadership development.
In addition to his role at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia, McGregor also previously worked at Pittsburgh Children’s Hospital and Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, Pa.
Medicine apparently is a family affair for McGregor.
McGregor’s wife of 32 years, Sharon, also is a pediatrician. The couple now resides in northern Summit County.
Their oldest daughter, Ali, 26, is finishing medical school and wants to become an obstetrician-gynecologist. Their younger daughter, Abby, 24, plans to pursue a degree in nursing.
Cheryl Powell can be reached at 330-996-3902 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Powell on Twitter at twitter.com/abjcherylpowell.