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All Children's names Dr. Jonathan Ellen as new hospital president

ST. PETERSBURG — Dr. Jonathan Ellen was chosen Thursday to be the new president of All Children's Hospital following a monthslong selection process.

Ellen, a 13-year veteran of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, previously served as vice dean and physician-in-chief for All Children's before assuming the role of interim president earlier this year.

"We have just been met with resounding enthusiasm for him" said Jack Kirkland, chairman of the hospital's Board of Trustees, which made the selection. "He is really going to help us maintain our momentum in converting All Children's into a physician-led research facility."

Members of the board noted that Ellen's background as a physician and style as a consensus builder made him the natural choice to lead the hospital's clinical, educational and research missions.

He came to St. Petersburg in the first months of the hospital's partnership with Johns Hopkins. His instructions were to build a world-class academic and research program.

Since arriving in 2011, Ellen has made key new hires, fast-tracked efforts for a new Hopkins pediatric residency program in Florida, and continued the hospital's work with the University of South Florida.

He assumed the role of interim president in February upon the retirement of former president Gary Carnes.

Carnes had led All Children's since 2001, during which he oversaw the building of the hospital's new facility, managed the long process of joining the Johns Hopkins family, and navigated the task of securing Medicaid funding, which pays for most of the young patients' care.

Ellen has praised his predecessor's accomplishments. He has also expressed the need for increased collaboration among the hospital's medical staff.

In searching for Carnes' permanent replacement, the Board of Trustees first sought to define the responsibilities of the hospital's president, Kirkland said. The best candidate would be one capable of wearing many hats, possessing a thorough understanding of medicine, hospital administration, fundraising and collaboration with other hospitals.

Placing Ellen's background and qualifications alongside those criteria made the decision a natural one, Kirkland said. The board also received enthusiastic feedback from All Children's employees and representatives from other Tampa Bay area hospitals.

"We realized the more we evaluated him that he was the best choice," he said.

The biggest changes that Ellen's presidency brings will be increased academic emphasis with greater input from doctors and further development of the hospital's research plans, Kirkland said.

Since April, the hospital has created new offices of medical education and research, started a clinical research mentorship program, and established new opportunities for collaboration between clinicians in St. Petersburg and Baltimore.

Such changes go hand-in-hand with being a physician-led hospital that is part of the larger Johns Hopkins organization, Kirkland said.

A Philadelphia native, Ellen graduated from Temple University Medical School before completing his residency in pediatrics at Children's Hospital Philadelphia. He also completed fellowships at the University of California at San Francisco, the San Francisco Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control.

Ellen joined the faculty of Johns Hopkins in 1999 and became vice chair of the university's pediatrics department and director of the Center for Child and Community Health Research in 2006. That same year, he became director of the Department of Pediatrics and Neonatology at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center.

He lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, lawyer Margaret de Lisser, and has a teenage son and daughter.

He was not available for comment Thursday evening, hospital officials said.

Times Staff Writer Richard Martin contributed to this report.

All Children's names Dr. Jonathan Ellen as new hospital president 07/26/12 [Last modified: Friday, July 27, 2012 12:01am]
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