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Children’s CEO Wins Regional Ernst & Young Health Care Entrepreneur of the Year

July 07, 2014 - DMagazine

When Christopher Durovich took over as CEO of Children’s Medical Center in 2003, Dallas’ pediatric hospital wasn’t the system it is now. But Durovich knew it needed to develop into that: According to U.S. Census figures, 1 in 11 children under the age of 18 lived in Texas in 2000. In 2010, that number was 1 in 9.

“It was a big question of demography,” he says. “When you think about that kind of growth in this part of the world and you think about Dallas as one of the three fastest growing in the state of Texas, there was an opportunity for us to meet the need for patients and family by expanding our existing portfolio.”

And expand it did. Children’s Health System of Texas is now the seventh-largest pediatric care provider in the country. Its ER is the second busiest pediatric emergency department. It’s doubled its real estate portfolio and now has two full-service hospitals, the flagship in Dallas’ Medical District and another in Plano. It also has a specialty care hospital in Southlake.

And Durovich, more than a decade after taking the reins at Children’s, was selected as Ernst & Young’s 2014 Health Care Entrepreneur of the Year for the Southwest region. D CEO profiled him here among the 48 other finalists in the July/August issue. The overall winner will be named in November during a gala in Palm Springs.

Revenue at Children’s under Durovich is 257 percent higher than it was in 2003 because of the system’s expansion plan. For one, each patient has a system-wide electronic medical record or medical home, which details all the procedures the child has undergone or medications he or she has been prescribed. If they visit one of the 16 clinics dotting neighborhoods throughout North Texas, the doctors can immediately have access to the patient’s medical history.

Those 16 MyChildren’s primary care practices didn’t exist in 2003. Neither did the Children’s Research Institute at UT Southwestern or the Wellness Alliance for Children, a pairing of community stakeholders who join together to tackle issues that affect children, such as asthma.

“Our reality outstripped our aspirations,” Durovich says. “It’s given us a chance to refine our focus and broaden our impact.”

In order to broaden, Children’s has seen a 65 percent increase in staffing, going from 3,400 employees in 2002 to 6,000 in 2014. As health care delivery increases its focus on quality of care and backs away from volume, Durovich says he believes the Children’s system is poised to continue the innovation that landed him on the Ernst & Young list while still providing top care for the pediatric patients.

“We consider it a sacred trust when a patient and a family invites us to participate in their health,” he said. “We treat each child as the unique human being that they are so that we, as an interdisciplinary collective, can help get that child back to normal or find their new normal as soon as possible so they can create the future that they want to live in.”

 
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