Akron Children’s Hospital has appointed a longtime employee and former nurse as its new chief operating officer.
Grace Wakulchik, who started her career with Akron Children’s in 1992 and had been chief nursing officer since 2003, will take over the COO role from Mark Watson, according to a statement from the hospital.
Watson will take on the newly created position of president of Akron Children’s regional network. In his new role, Watson will focus on coordinating programs between the hospital’s locations throughout the state. He’ll also continue to oversee physician recruitment and the hospital’s transition to electronic medical records.
Watson joined Akron Children’s in 1965, and has led various initiatives at the hospital, including several expansions of its main hospital and the creation of its primary care office network.
Akron Children’s operates a 253-bed pediatric hospital in downtown Akron and 32-bed inpatient unit in Boardman, Ohio. The hospital recently opened a general pediatrics practice in Brecksville, its 16th in Northeast Ohio.
The new appointments come as things appear to be looking up financially for Akron Children’s. Last month, a national debt rating firm changed the hospital’s credit outlook from negative to stable. Moody’s Investors Service revised the outlook based on Akron Children’s improved financial performance and enhanced cash flow in 2009.
The hospital posted an operating margin of 1.4 percent last year on revenue of $438 million, compared to a break-even margin on revenue of $387 million the previous year.