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Hopkins Medicine Magazine - All Children's New Chief

Hopkins Medicine Winter 2013

All Children's New Chief

Date: February 1, 2013

Ellen has already seen “tangible improvements” in quality of care and productivity.
Ellen has already seen “tangible improvements” in quality of care and productivity.

Named president of All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, Fla., last July, Jonathan Ellen had already begun to make his mark in Florida many months earlier.

All Children’s became the first Hopkins Medicine family member outside of the Baltimore-Washington region in April 2011, shortly after the opening of its new $400 million, 259-bed medical center.

Ellen, formerly vice director of the Department of Pediatrics and director of pediatrics and neonatology at Johns Hopkins Bayview, served first as “implementation coordinator” of the impending connection with All Children’s, then as its vice dean and physician in chief, and finally as interim president before landing in the top spot last summer.     

Ellen says his ultimate aim is to transform All Children’s into a national model by creating a robust academic medical center for pediatrics, with full research and translational medicine capabilities, an innovative new pediatric residency program, and superlative child-focused medical and specialty care.

He’s pleased with what has been accomplished so far on all fronts. “We were approved by the American College of Graduate Medical Education—the ACGME—in July of 2012 to have a new residency program,” he says. “The core of the curriculum will emphasize individualized learning plans, with early opportunities for research and mentoring and an emphasis on factors that are critical to maintaining health and preventing hospitalization.” Recruitment is under way for the first class, which will start in July 2014.

Ellen is also proud of the Designing Clinical Research Program that has been developed by Tina Chang, director of general pediatrics and adolescent medicine at Hopkins, and All Children’s vice president for medical affairs, Michael Epstein.

They recruited a cohort of 12 All Children’s clinical staff to participate in an 18-month effort that involved the mentoring of the Florida physicians by Hopkins pediatricians; the collaborations produced a dozen research projects that were presented at national and international meetings. One of the projects “involved ways to reduce blood transfusions in infants in the neonatal intensive care unit, which also will have an impact on practice,” Ellen says. “So there are tangible improvements both in quality of care but also in academic productivity.”

Ellen’s third major initiative involves “having the physicians become more engaged in the leadership of the hospital and of their clinical practices,” he says.

The medical staff bylaws were changed, enabling creation of a chairmanship of medicine and a chairmanship of surgery, which will be jointly held between the hospital and medical staff.  “That’s a real big accomplishment because it allows us to have alignment of the leadership of both the medical staff and the hospital,” Ellen explains.

The 170-member employee physicians’ group also has been re-structured “so that they have more ownership and responsibility for their practice plan,” he adds.  Neil A. Grauer

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