DHR International Fills Chief Research Post at Akron Children's Hospital

May 9, 2017 | Hunt Scanlon Media

DHR International has placed Dr. Michael Kelly as chief research officer of Akron Children’s Hospital. Scott Sette, North American leader of the firm’s healthcare services & solutions practice, led the search. In his new role, Dr. Kelly will oversee the Rebecca D. Considine Research Institute and research activities conducted enterprise-wide, directing the process to define the vision, clinical trial strategy, and management of research studies conducted within the Akron Children’s system.

“I am excited to have Dr. Kelly join us,” said Dr. Robert McGregor, chief medical officer for Akron Children’s. “His successful recruitment followed a national search which led to his selection as our No. 1 choice from a talented pool of candidates. Our internal search team believes he has not only the right skill set, including prior experience as a funded researcher and research program developer but is a great cultural fit to drive and support our research enterprise.”

Accomplished Leader

Dr. Kelly comes to Akron Children’s with more than 30 years of experience in pediatric research and oncology. He is a board-certified pediatric oncologist with special interests in pediatric research and the care of children and young adults diagnosed with leukemia, lymphoma and vascular tumors/anomalies. He most recently served as medical director of the pediatric cancer program at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and associate professor at the Medical College of Wisconsin.

Actively involved with investigator-initiated and industry-sponsored research studies, Dr. Kelly was previously research unit leader for the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin Research Institute and co-director of the Pediatric BioBank and Analytical Tissue Core at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. He also served as director of the pediatric cancer clinical trials office for the Department of Pediatrics, Hematology / Oncology / BMT at the Medical College of Wisconsin and member of the clinical research executive committee for the Medical College of Wisconsin’s Cancer Center. Previously, he held research appointments as institutional principle investigator for Children’s Oncology Group (COG) and the COG Phase 1 and Pilot Consortium.

A Unique Role

“Something that makes this role unique is the fact that the chief research officer will be responsible for building and developing a brand-new research institute at Akron Children’s,” said Mr. Sette. “While the Rebecca D. Considine Research Institute at Akron Children’s Hospital already exists, it lacks a lot of the infrastructure, the funding, and the branding of the larger, more established pediatric research institutes. You might call the Research Institute at Akron Children’s a start-up with a running start.”

It was crucial to find a leader, he said, “who has enough personal accomplishments and experience in the research community to know how to build out the infrastructure of the Research Institute, while also possessing the leadership style and the vision to focus on the development of the entire organization and not just on his or her personal research projects,” said Mr. Sette. “Additionally, it was exciting to lead a search in an area that has developed such strong interest across the industry.”

In the last few years, many pediatric hospitals have taken steps to develop affiliated research institutes, Mr. Sette noted. “While most of these hospitals are clinically successful, they realize that improved research capabilities present many different opportunities for their organizations to grow — clinically, financially, in terms of marketing and brand awareness, rankings, etc.”

The Recruiter

DHR’s healthcare services and solutions’ team is comprised of consultants that come from hospitals, health systems, and other healthcare services executive ranks. Clients include hospitals and health systems, managed care organizations, medical group practices, healthcare products and services companies, venture capital- or equity-backed firms, insurance companies, integrated delivery systems and end-of-life care businesses.

Mr. Sette was assigned to the North American leader post in March. Since joining DHR in 2014, he has been a leader in the practice, filling key executive level positions at prestigious healthcare organizations across the country, as well as collaborating with fellow DHR partners to bring a ‘best team’ approach to his clients.

He specializes in senior level executive searches for integrated health systems, academic medical centers, children’s hospitals, and large physician group practices. During his tenure at DHR, he has completed C-level searches at many prominent healthcare organizations, including Memorial Hermann Health System, University of Florida Health Shands Hospital, Children’s Mercy Kansas City, and The George Washington University Medical Faculty Associates.