All Together Now

If there is one word that best represents the tenure of Michael Fisher as president and CEO, it is "together." Working as One Cincinnati Children’s was a cause he championed from his earliest days. It became such a part of our culture that it influenced a change in our brand tagline from "Change the Outcome" to "Changing the Outcome Together." This subtle revision signified a philosophical shift that informed how we approach everything we would do. Here’s a look back at some of the challenges and triumphs of Fisher’s tenure that we experienced together.

We Became Safety Leaders

A pivotal moment for our culture came in August 2010 when patient Tressel Meinardi died following a Serious Safety Event. The response championed by Fisher ensured that safety became our foundational responsibility. Since then, we have made significant investments to ensure the safety of all who pass through our doors. Our SaferTogether program created an environment where employees are expected to look out for each other, speak up, listen when concerns are raised and respond with grace and gratitude. These efforts—along with the expansion of Solutions for Patient Safety—have made a significant and lasting impact on Cincinnati Children’s and other hospitals. READ MORE

We Grew to Advance Our Vision and Mission

Patient demand and our drive to lead change in children’s healthcare led to significant investment in programs and facilities. We opened Green Township, acquired practices, and entered into partnerships to bring quality care closer to families. We opened Locations S and T to conduct groundbreaking research. We opened our Proton Therapy Center in Liberty and invested $600 million to build Location G for critically ill patients. And this year we broke ground on our new 160,000-square-foot Behavioral Health facility in College Hill so that we can continue to improve mental healthcare.

We Enhanced Our Reputation

For 11 consecutive years we made U.S. News & World Report’s Honor Roll and were in the top five in the nation among all pediatric hospitals. We are also highly regarded as an employer, winning numerous best-place-to-work awards, the most recent being Great Place to Work in 2021. To help further distinguish ourselves, we underwent a rebranding in 2016, introducing a new logo and set of inspirational guiding beliefs.

We Transformed Patient Care

Even with high national rankings and numerous recognitions and awards, Fisher pushed the organization to be even better, to help all children and families thrive so that they can live their best lives. Population health became a top priority, and we adjusted our offerings accordingly. Likeminded initiatives led to our launch of HealthVine, a network of pediatric care providers and organizations that connect to help children be healthier, more effectively and affordably. We expanded the use of Telehealth in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout this era, we personalized treatment and brought the most appropriate care to our patients, wherever they were.

We Accelerated Discovery

With approximately 1.5 million square feet of dedicated research space, we have one of the largest pediatric research facilities in the country and are consistently ranked in the top three for National Institutes of Health funding among all U.S. pediatric institutions. In fiscal years 2018 and 2019, we set new records in securing extramural funding that now exceeds $240 million a year. Our dedicated research faculty and staff have made powerful discoveries that touch every field of pediatric and developmental science. We are known for our global leadership in vaccine development, groundbreaking advances in lab-grown organoids from human stem cells, genomic research that drives customized cancer care and sheds light on the causes of preterm birth, potential gene therapy for sickle cell disease, promising new treatments for rare conditions and more.

We Supported Our People and Enhanced Our Culture

Our people make us successful, so it’s essential that we continually invest in their success and well-being. And in these years, we saw significant investment in recognition and appreciation programs, career development, Total Rewards, and health and wellness. Support of our people helped drive continually strong scores in annual employee surveys, numerous awards (such as Forbes “Best Large Employers”), and our being named a Great Place to Work in 2021.

We Strengthened Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

We are committed to ensuring that every patient, family, employee and visitor feels welcome and safe. Fisher joined more than 1,000 CEOs of the world’s leading organizations to sign the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion pledge, and in 2021, we launched our DEI Strategic Plan and Better Together training, which focuses on cultural competency. Our efforts have been recognized with numerous awards and honors, including four consecutive years among Forbes “Best Employers for Diversity” and “Best Employers for Women, as well as four CLIMB (Cincinnati Lifts Inclusion and Minority Business) awards in four years from the "Cincinnati Business Courier."

We Invested in Our Community and Strengthened Relationships

We’ve built relationships with our community through ongoing dialogue, growing volunteerism, and sustainable investment. The construction of Location G inspired our $11.5 million investment in the Avondale community, as well as our partnership with the Urban Workforce Development Initiative that will result in 50 residents gaining full-time careers in construction by the end of the year. READ MORE.

We Increased Philanthropy

All that we have achieved for children has been accomplished in partnership with supporters who share our vision. We doubled philanthropic support for the medical center, now raising more than $40 million annually. The creation of our Foundation Board and the successful execution of our $250 million Change the Outcome campaign—the organization’s first comprehensive fundraising campaign—fueled this growth. We also received our largest single contribution, a $36 million commitment for mental health, and 102 seven-figure gifts--more than had been received in our history.

We Responded to COVID-19 In Extraordinary Ways

The pandemic tested us like nothing ever had before and changed how we work. We responded—individually and collectively—with extraordinary strength, dedication, compassion and resilience. We were supported by leadership who authorized Temporary Emergency Pay for those without work, and an enhanced Employee Emergency Fund. To keep employees informed about our continuing efforts, Michael implemented two new communication channels—Leadership Rounds for managers and leaders, and "Minutes with Michael" for all employees. These communications continue today, as do our remarkable efforts to battle COVID-19.

We Aspire to an Even Brighter Future

Strategic planning during these years grew more focused and measured, but always with the ultimate goal of achieving our vision: being the leader in improving child health. With our current plan, Pursuing Our Potential Together, we have new and ambitious goals to celebrate our 150th birthday in 2033 and to improve the lives of kids everywhere.

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