Grace Wakulchik takes helm at Akron Children's

Staff report


Grace Wakulchik became president and chief executive officer of Akron Children’s Hospital, effective Thursday, and William H. Considine, who has served at the helm of Akron Children’s for nearly 40 years became CEO emeritus.

Considine is one of the longest-serving hospital chief executives in the nation. During his tenure, the hospital has grown into a nationally known and respected independent, integrated pediatric health system, hospital officials said.

“During [Wakulchik’s]26 years at Akron Children’s, she has held various leadership roles and was named president last year. We are extremely fortunate we have someone so well-prepared to take on this role,” said John Orr, chairman of the Akron Children’s Hospital board of directors.

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 emeritus Jan. 1, 2020, Orr said.

Considine was 32 when he was named president and CEO of Akron Children’s in 1979. At the time, the hospital had an annual operating budget of $35 million, 900 employees and one hospital building in downtown Akron.

Today, Akron Children’s has an annual budget of $1.8 billion, more than 6,000 employees, and two hospital campuses, including Akron Children’s Hospital Mahoning Valley Beeghly Campus in Boardman, which celebrates its 10th anniversary in December.

Three regional health centers are under construction, and the Considine Professional Building, which has been undergoing an $84 million addition, opened in October.

Considine, 71, and Becky, his wife of 46 years, have devoted countless hours to Akron organizations and civic causes. They donated $1 million in 2009 to create the Rebecca D. Considine Research Institute at Akron Children’s, officials said.

Considine will continue to work with the Children’s Hospital Association and the Ohio Children’s Hospital Association on child advocacy.

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 master’s degree in business administration 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. She has also played key roles in initiatives to improve patient access.

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