Carolyn Jack­son, 40

CEO St. Christo­pher’s Hos­pi­tal for Chil­dren, Philadel­phia

Modern Healthcare - - UP & COMERS - —Paul Demko

In 2010, Carolyn Jack­son was CEO of Lake Pointe Health Net­work, a 112-bed hos­pi­tal in Rowlett, Texas. Dur­ing her ten­ure, neonatal ad­mis­sions in­creased by more than 60% and the fa­cil­ity opened a pe­di­atric-care pro­gram.

Those ex­pe­ri­ences helped Jack­son re­al­ize that she wanted to fo­cus her ca­reer on chil­dren’s health­care. So when there was an open­ing for the top job at St. Christo­pher’s Hos­pi­tal for Chil­dren in Philadel­phia, another Tenet Health­care Corp. fa­cil­ity, she jumped at the op­por­tu­nity. As an added bonus, it was near her home state of Delaware. “The stars aligned,” Jack­son said. St. Christo­pher’s is now in the midst of some ma­jor changes un­der Jack­son’s guid­ance. Last month, the hos­pi­tal opened its new 30,000square-foot Cen­ter for the Ur­ban Child fa­cil­ity. The pro­gram is de­signed to meet the health chal­lenges of kids in one of the poor­est neigh­bor­hoods in the coun­try by cen­tral­iz­ing ser­vices—from do­mes­tic vi­o­lence coun­sel­ing to den­tal care—at one lo­ca­tion.

Pre­vi­ously, hos­pi­tal staff wor­ried that fam­i­lies wouldn’t follow up on nec­es­sary care be­cause of trans­porta­tion prob­lems or other hur­dles that fre­quently con­front poor house­holds. “We want to make it as easy as pos­si­ble for th­ese kids to have a bet­ter life,” Jack­son said.

St. Christo­pher’s is also in the midst of build­ing a 110-bed crit­i­cal-care unit, slated to open in 2016. That will in­clude 60 beds for neonatal ad­mis­sions and 50 beds for pe­di­atric pa­tients.

Jack­son earns plau­dits for her stew­ard­ship of St. Christo­pher’s from other lo­cal health­care lead­ers she has worked with. “She is con­fi­dent, but hum­ble,” said Barry Free­man, CEO of the Ein­stein Health Net­work in Philadel­phia. “I also think she’s a first-class cit­i­zen.”

Jack­son has an un­der­grad­u­ate de­gree in chem­i­cal en­gi­neer­ing from the Univer­sity of Delaware and an MBA from Har­vard Business School. Her first health­care job was work­ing as an as­sis­tant man­ager at a phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal pro­duc­tion fa­cil­ity in Florence, S.C. After com­plet­ing a man­age­ment train­ing pro­gram run by Tenet, she joined Lake Point Health as its chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer in 2003.

Jack­son serves on the boards of the Greater Philadel­phia Cham­ber of Com­merce and Health Part­ners Plans.

FIRST JOB: Life­guard for five sum­mers work­ing at a com­mu­nity pool start­ing

at age 16.

PUZZLING HOB­BIES:

En­joys jig­saw puz­zles and

build­ing Lego mod­els. NO. 1 PRI­OR­ITY NOW:

Her 5-year-old twin daugh­ters. “Hav­ing hob­bies and re­lax­ing isn’t re­ally syn­ony­mous with hav­ing 5-year-old twins.”

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