Akron Children’s Hospital is pleased to welcome Matt Groninger back to the family. Matt, who began his career at the hospital in 2010 as administrative director of the Heart Center and Surgical Subspecialties, most recently served as vice president of ambulatory services for Children’s Hospital of New Orleans.
Matt says he is honored to come back to Akron Children’s and assume the newly created role of vice president of medical and surgical services.
“Akron Children’s is a very special place – its mission, the 3 promises, arguably the most beautiful campus and facilities of any children’s hospital, its drive to be the best, and mostly importantly its dedicated and passionate staff are what make this place so special,” he said. “Of course none of this is possible without a great leadership team. The opportunity to work with ─ and continue to learn from ─ this team in this awesome setting made coming back so attractive.”
Tell us a little about your new role?
I see my role as partnering with our specialty physicians and advance practice providers to lead the growth and operations of their practices to ensure we are consistently delivering the highest quality care to our patients and families.
What are you looking forward to and what do you think some of the challenges will be?
I’m looking forward to reconnecting with old friends and making new ones. I’m also looking forward to rolling up my sleeves and getting to work to help improve the already great care we deliver. There will be challenges associated with this work. One is to make sure we don’t remain satisfied with past successes. To quote Mr. (Bill) Considine (CEO Emeritus), “The status quo is our worst enemy.” We need to celebrate our successes, but continually find ways to build on them. The work we are doing is too important not to be in a state of continual improvement. Another challenge will be maintaining the Akron Children’s culture that makes this place special as we continue to grow. Lastly, and maybe the biggest challenge, is how we navigate and change the way we deliver care in the midst of macro health care system changes and associated cost and reimbursement pressures.
Tell us about your family?
I’m very happily married to the smartest, most beautiful woman. To those who know Michelle, everyone agrees she is my much better half. We have 4 great kids: our oldest is our only daughter (12) along with 3 very active boys (10, 8 and 7). We’re temporarily in the sweet spot with no diapers and no teenagers.
How do you relax?
It may not be considered relaxing, but I’ll play with my kids, find a DIY project around the house or occasionally exercise (need to start doing more of this – need to train for the Akron Marathon Relay).
Favorite place or most interesting place you’ve traveled?
Michelle and I traveled to Europe before children and really enjoyed Florence, Italy. One day we’ll get back.
Last DIY project and how did it turn out?
I built a pergola a few months ago. I must say, it turned out pretty great.
What was your first paying job? What are some lessons you took from it?
My first paying job was working at a driving range. I was the kid who drove the caged cart that picked up all the range balls. I learned that I’d rather be playing golf than working at a golf course. I also don’t aim for that cart when I’m hitting balls on a driving range, as it can be quite startling when a golf ball hits the cage.
If you could make a rule everyone had to live by what would it be?
Cell phones wouldn’t work while a car is moving.
Favorite quote or mantra you live by?
I had a leader who encouraged me to define leadership in my terms and to write it down. I still have it memorized: “Leadership is the power of influence developed through relationships. Those relationships will be centered on glorifying God, by loving Him and loving and serving others.” When I find myself in challenging leadership situations, I know I need to lead how I was created to lead.
Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know.
I’ve lived in 7 different states, only one of them twice – Northeast Ohio – because it’s the best! Also, you can follow me on Twitter @MLG_ACH.