Director, Division of Pediatric Pulmonology, Akron Children's

Chief, Pediatric Pulmonology
Pulmonology - Pediatric, Pediatrics - Pulmonology, Leadership
Akron, Ohio

Chief of Pediatric Pulmonology
Akron Children’s Hospital

Position Description
The Akron Children’s Hospital (ACH) is seeking a Division Director of Pediatric Pulmonology to oversee the Robert T. Stone Respiratory Center during a time of exciting growth. Ranked by US News & World Report as one of the nation’s best children’s hospital, the Akron Children’s Division of Pediatric Pulmonology is among the top 10% of pulmonary centers nationwide based on patient volume, complexity of cases, and number of pulmonologists. The Division is poised for exponential growth due to the expansive (and growing) network of ACH pulmonology specialty clinics and hospital locations throughout the region, and underscored by the $200 million expansion to the Akron Children’s Hospital completed last year. Serving over 800,000 patients annually, Akron Children’s is one of the largest pediatric healthcare systems in the U.S. with 2 free-standing pediatric hospitals, 20+ primary care office, and 80+ locations throughout Northeast Ohio. Recognized for their family-centered care and dedication to quality improvement, Akron Children’s is one of the most innovative and fastest growing free-standing children’s hospitals in the nation.

Qualified candidates will be experienced, board certified pediatric pulmonologists with demonstrated leadership experience. The incoming director will provide executive-level leadership, strategic vision, and mentorship for a pediatric pulmonology center that that is consistently recognized among the nation’s best by US News & World Report. The Akron Children’s Division of Pediatric Pulmonary Medicine includes a team of 9 doctors, a dually accredited pediatric and adult Cystic Fibrosis Center, a 6-bed Sleep Lab, state-of-the-art Pulmonary Function Lab, and a Cardiopulmonary Exercise Testing clinic, to name a few.




Key Faculty Members

Norman C. Christopher, MD

Chair, Department of Pediatrics

John McBride, MD

Director, Robert T. Stone, MD, Respiratory Center

Gregory Omlor, MD

Director, Lewis H Walker CF Center

Starla Martinez, MD, FAAP

Director, Medical Education

Rajeev Bhatia, MD

Director, Clinical Exercise Physiology Lab

Jyoti Krishna, MD, FAAP, FAASM

Director, Sleep Medicine

Neha Joshi, MD

Pediatric Pulmonologist

Heather Strawbridge, MD

Pediatric Pulmonologist

Debbie Toder, MD, FAAP

Pediatric Pulmonologist

Division of Pediatric Pulmonary Medicine
Pediatric Pulmonology Overview
The Akron Children's Division of Pediatric Pulmonary Medicine is ranked as one of the nation’s best pediatric pulmonary programs by US News & World Report. It is in the top 10% of pulmonary centers in the country based on patient volume, complexity of cases, and number of pulmonologists. The Division is part of the Robert T. Stone Respiratory Center and it is comprised of a team of 9 doctors, 3 nurse practitioners, nurse clinicians, pulmonary function technicians, dietitians, allied health therapists, social workers, and an operations manager. The team diagnoses and treats children, teens, and adults with lung disease such as asthma, bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), chronic respiratory failure, apnea, cystic fibrosis, reactive airway disease, and more. The Robert T. Stone Respiratory Center provides multiple subspecialty clinics and programs for patients that require the most complex and advanced care, including:

  • Cystic Fibrosis Center - dually accredited for pediatric and adult patients by the CF Foundation
  • Sleep Center – 6 dedicated beds, will expand to 6 beds in Q4 of 2015
  • Pediatric Pulmonary Function Lab – comprehensive, state of the art facility that is the only of its kind in a 23 county service area, registered by the ATS
  • BPD Clinic
  • Aerodigestive Clinic
  • Cardiopulmonary Exercise Testing
  • Asthma Education Program
  • Technology Dependent Center (TDC)


Lewis H. Walker, MD, Cystic Fibrosis Center
The Lewis H. Walker Cystic Fibrosis Center is recognized nationally as a leader in the improvement of clinical care systems for managing children and adults with CF. Accredited by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation for Care, Education and Research, the Center has well developed Pediatric and Adult Programs. The Center is a Therapeutics Development Network (TDN) site with an active research program that includes a nurse coordinator and data analyst. Both adult and pediatric programs are supported by strong and experienced nursing leadership. The Center provides care for over 80 adults and over 240 children with CF and is committed to developing innovative models for managing a large population of Amish patients with cultural sensitivity. The Center provides diagnosis and treatment to children and adults with CF, including respiratory therapy, physical therapy, genetic counseling and nutrition counseling. The center also actively participates in clinical trials to research new drug therapies to manage cystic fibrosis
Adult Cystic Fibrosis Program - The adult and pediatric cystic fibrosis programs are dually accredited by the CF Foundation, rather than each center being accredited separately. We have made the conscious decision to recognize that our journeys forward are best traveled together between adult and peds; collectively we can provide the best possible care for all ages of cystic fibrosis patients.

Pulmonary Function Laboratory
The pulmonary function laboratories at Akron Children's Hospital offer complete pulmonary function testing (PFT) to assist doctors in diagnosing and managing children and teens with diseases of the lungs. Located in Akron and Boardman, Akron Children's has the only pediatric pulmonary function laboratories in a 23-county primary service area. Our lab is registered by the American Thoracic Society and all tests are performed to standards set by the American Thoracic Society. Pulmonary function tests (PFTs) are interpreted by one of our pulmonary doctors, and a report is sent to the child's doctor within 48 hours.

Sleep Center
Akron Children's Sleep Center diagnoses and treats children and teens who suffer from severe sleep disruptions that may be caused by enlarged tonsils or adenoids, obesity, malformation in the face, or conditions such as Down syndrome or spina bifida. Our Sleep Center brings together a team of pediatric neurologists, pulmonologists, developmental-behavioral pediatricians, ear-nose-throat specialists and others to help children and families cope with, and often eliminate, severe sleep disruptions. We have 4 sleep testing suites, including 2 with showers so families can clean up in the morning after their child's sleep study. There's also a lounge area where parents can sit, relax, read or watch TV.

Cystic Fibrosis Research at Akron Children’s Hospital
Akron Children's participates in numerous clinical trials aimed at improving the quality of life for CF patients. For the fifth straight year, Akron Children's cystic fibrosis center was awarded a research grant from Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Therapeutics, Inc. The nearly $80,000 grant will allow Dr. Greg Omlor and his research team to continue clinical trials this year for new and existing therapies. The goal of the research is to improve the quality of life for cystic fibrosis patients and, ultimately, help find a cure. The CF center has 8 clinical trials running concurrently at any given time. In 2013, Akron Children’s increased the number of patients participating in CF studies by 19 percent. Most of the studies concentrated on medication that either treated the underlying causes of cystic fibrosis or treated infections caused by the disease.

Rebecca D. Considine Research Institute
Akron Children’s is dedicated to family-centered care, and improving the treatment of childhood illness and injury through research at the Rebecca D. Considine Clinical Research Institute. The Rebecca D. Considine Research Institute is the hub for research and innovation activity at Akron Children's Hospital. The institute facilitates sponsored clinical studies as well as internal investigator-initiated research programs across a spectrum of research subjects. The institute also offers research-oriented educational opportunities for fellows, students and faculty from around the globe. Institute staff assist the physicians in bringing studies from inception and provide assistance in protocol development, consent form authorship, ushering the study through the IRB and all support services to ensure study function and compliance.

In addition to supporting research projects spread across virtually every department and service area in the Akron Children’s health system, the institute consists of visionary centers in domains offering singular potential for novel discoveries.
• Center for Nursing Research
• Center for Patient Experience Innovation
• Center for Telehealth Service Design
• Center for Medical Device Validation

Akron Children’s Hospital

About Akron Children’s Hospital
Established in 1890, Akron Children’s Hospital (ACH) is one of the oldest and largest pediatric healthcare systems in the United States. From humble beginnings as a day nursery 125 years ago, the ACH organization has evolved into a pediatric health system that has more than 80 locations throughout the region - including 2 free-standing pediatric hospitals, 20+ primary care centers and nearly 70 pediatric specialty locations throughout Northeast Ohio. Our pediatric services draw nearly 800,000 patient visits each year from 45 states and 12 foreign countries. Akron Children’s was recently recognized as one of the Top 10 Pediatric Surgery programs in the country based on volume, with more than 15,000 pediatric surgeries performed annually. ACH is consistently ranked among the Best Children’s Hospitals by US News & World Report, including national rankings in 6 of 10 pediatric specialties. We're leading the way to healthier futures for children and communities through expert medical care, research, and prevention and wellness programs. As a teaching affiliate of Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED) and other universities, we train new generations of pediatricians, specialists and nurses every year.

Catchment Population
Akron Children’s Hospital provides services to 27 counties throughout Northeast Ohio with an estimated catchment population of 5 million people. Last year, aside from our immediate catchment area, Akron Children’s treated patients from 45 states and 12 countries.

Most Wired Hospital – ACH Healthcare Technology
In 2013 and 2014, Akron Children’s Hospital was ranked one of the nation’s Most Wired Hospitals by the healthcare industry’s Most Wired Survey, which is conducted in cooperation with the American Hospital Association, the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives and others. From the survey, a national benchmarking report is created comparing each hospital's IT solutions against others. Those with exceptionally high IT integration throughout their organization are recognized with the Most Wired award. “The Most Wired honor looks at an organization's entire information technology efforts," said Tom Ogg, chief information officer at Akron Children's Hospital. "This recognition reflects our dedication to providing the best technologies and resources that deliver high-quality and safe healthcare throughout the organization."

“The best hospitals today have strong IT cultures and I am proud to say Akron Children’s is now in that company,” says Grace Wakulchik, Akron Children’s chief operating officer. “It’s evident by the commitment of our Board to invest $50+ million in an EMR system and other technologies, by our recruitment of a chief medical information officer (Dr. Amy Maneker), a chief nursing information officer (Pam Baker) and by the efforts of our human resources and public relations staffs to use the latest technology, including social media, to communicate with our employees, patient families and the public. The fact that we have 29 nurses now working in our IT department is another good example of the integration we have achieved between our IT department and our clinical staff, and the value we place on using technology to improve care delivery.”

$200 Million Hospital Expansion

Kay Jewelers Expansion Pavilion

In 2012, we announced the launch of a $200 million expansion of our Akron campus to meet the current and future needs of children and their families. Called “Building on the Promise,” the expansion project is the result of significant growth in the hospital’s patient volumes and services. The campus expansion opened May 5th, 2015 and it includes:

  • A 100-bed neonatal intensive care unit with private rooms for each of our tiniest patients and their parents. The current Level III NICU is nationally ranked but has outgrown its space.
  • High-risk delivery area that includes labor, delivery and recovery rooms to keep at-risk newborns close to the high-tech care they need.
  • An emergency department with enough room to meet our current and future patient volumes. Annual ER visits of more than 60,000 to the Akron campus strain the hospital’s resources in a facility built to accommodate 44,000.
  • A new outpatient surgery center designed to accommodate a more than doubling of outpatient procedures in the past 20 years.
  • An enclosed concourse that takes patients and staff from the new 1,250-space parking garage to the new building and beyond into the existing hospital
  • At the same time we’re adding the new parking deck and building, the Ronald McDonald House of Akron will undergo an expansion project as well.

ACH Leadership
Akron Children’s has one of the most stable and tenured leadership teams in the country. The ACH organization has had 2 CEO’s since World War II. William “Bill” Considine, President & CEO of ACH is one of the longest serving hospital CEOs in the country. 2015 marks Mr. Considine’s 36th year as CEO for Akron Children’s. The stability of ACH credited in part to its longstanding 3 mission critical objectives: (1) follow the Golden Rule, (2) treat every child as your own, (3) no child will be turned away for economic reasons.

Norman C. Christopher, MD – Chair of Pediatrics
Dr. Norman Christopher is board certified in pediatrics and pediatric emergency medicine. He has extensive media experience - both in his previous role as the director of pediatric emergency medicine and his current role as the chair of the department of pediatrics. He has served as a spokesperson on a variety of healthcare topics, including business stories regarding physician recruitment and hospital expansion projects. He also has authored several studies that focus on dissociation in pediatric injury patients, teen depression and diversion tactics as a way to treat pain.

Dr. Norman C. Christopher
Chair of Pedaitrics

Lean Six Sigma Organization
Akron Children’s Hospital has utilized their lean six sigma certification to create efficiencies, save money, and improve quality of care. In 2008, Akron Children's Hospital created the Mark A. Watson Center for Operations Excellence, which utilizes Lean Six Sigma principles to improve the organization’s operational processes.
Our staff development program and Lean Six Sigma initiatives are key to our ability to enhance our patient experience, improve our working environment and continue delivering quality healthcare in a timely, efficient manner. Our lean initiatives have proven so successful that other healthcare organizations have joined us to learn about our program, and a number of publications have featured our efforts. Since its creation, Akron Children's Center for Operations Excellence has trained hundreds of employees and worked with hospital staff on initiatives that have:

  • Generated savings of nearly $13.4 million
  • Reduced patient wait times by more than 48,000 days
  • Cut non-value-added staff time by more than 41,000 hours
  • Other examples of Lean Six Sigma success at Akron Children’s

Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED) is a dynamic institution of higher learning. Established in 1973, the University trains physicians, pharmacists, researchers and other health professionals in an interprofessional environment. Serving more than four million Ohio citizens, Northeast Ohio Medical University College of Medicine has been an incubator of innovation since our founding in 1973. Whether it’s our accelerated Bachelor of Science/Doctor of Medicine (B.S./M.D.) program; our unique partnerships with multiple health systems and major universities in the region; or, our collaboration with the Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron — facilitating novel developments in biomaterials and skeletal biology, community health, health care simulation and commercialization efforts, the College of Medicine is known for balancing education, research, clinical care and service.

Residency & Fellowship Programs
ACH is a teaching hospital with an ACGME accredited Pediatric Residency, 12 separate fellowship programs, and 1 externship training program. The Akron Children's pediatric residency program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), and affiliated with Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED) in Rootstown, Ohio. The 3-year, ACGME accredited pediatric residency program adds more than 20 residents per year, with a program capacity for up to 63 residents. The fellowship and externship programs include:

  • Anesthesiology Fellowship
  • Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship
  • Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics Fellowship
  • Hematology-Oncology Fellowship
  • Neuropsychology Fellowship
  • Ophthalmology Fellowship
  • Palliative Care Fellowship
  • Pathology Fellowship
  • Psychology Fellowship
  • Radiology Fellowship
  • Sports Medicine Fellowship
  • Neuropsychology Externship

Location – Akron, OH

Location Overview
Akron Children’s Hospital is set in the beautiful Cuyahoga Valley, 40 minutes south of downtown Cleveland and located in the epicenter of the population of Northeast Ohio. From major league attractions to small-town appeal, the greater Akron area and Northeast Ohio has something for everyone. The area is rich in history and cultural diversity, and provides a stimulating blend of outstanding educational, cultural, culinary and recreational resources. In 2014, Akron was recognized by US News & World Report as one of the Top 10 Most Affordable Places to Live.

Akron Things to Do
There is always something exciting happening in Akron, Ohio. In the summer, enjoy The Road Runner Marathon, the Bridgestone Invitational Golf Tournament, an Akron Rubberduck's game (Akron’s minor league baseball team), and Summer Concerts. In the winter, enjoy First Night Akron, Holiday Concerts, and Ice Skating at Lock 3 Park. Year long, enjoy events at the many attractions including the Akron Civic Theatre, the Akron Art Museum, the John S. Knight Center, Canal Park Stadium, the Akron Zoo, the Akron-Summit County Public Library, E.J. Thomas Hall, Stan Hywet Gardens, Blossom Music Center, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Cleveland Zoo.

  • Ohio is a great place to enjoy parks and nature. Akron and the surrounding area are home to the Summit County Metroparks with 9,000 acres of parks, conservation areas, and 120 miles of trails.
  • Lock 3 Park offers year-round entertainment, festivals, and green space in the middle of downtown Akron.




How to apply

Akron Children’s Hospital has retained the services of the executive search firm, Academic Med Physician Recruiters. If you have interest or questions regarding this position please contact Soto Nikolopoulos, Search Consultant, Academic Med Physician Recruiters via email