Championing Children

Rainbow’s New President: Is Anything More Important Than the Health of our Children?

UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital has served Northeast Ohio families for 125 years. As it begins its next 125 years, its President, Patricia DePompei, RN, MSN, shares her vision for the revered community jewel.

On the future of pediatric health care

Rainbow is changing the health care delivery system through Rainbow Care Connection, the pediatric Accountable Care Organization we launched in 2012. Through it, Rainbow and a rich network of community care providers will reach out to 68,000 youngsters with a comprehensive system to deliver primary care, behavioral health services and other resources. Patients will receive care in their own homes and communities through electronic technologies that connect them to physicians and nurses, 24/7. If we can improve the physical and emotional health of these children – especially the ones with multiple complex chronic conditions – we’ll achieve the so-called “triple aim”: a healthier population, a better patient care experience and cost management.

On the importance of delivering an exceptional patient experience

Data show us that patients who enjoy better care experiences tend to have better clinical outcomes. Also, how well we fare on patient-satisfaction surveys and certain quantitative outcome measures will influence reimbursements under new health care reform provisions. We’re so fortunate to have such a dedicated staff. Every day, I witness the profound effect our compassionate and talented caregivers have on the lives of patients and their families. I am humbled to be a part of that culture.

On intensifying the focus on childhood and young-adult cancer

We began creating our Angie Fowler Adolescent & Young Adult Cancer Institute in 2012, which will include a new dedicated outpatient treatment facility, and a new inpatient unit for both pediatric and young adult patients, along with a rooftop respite garden. We’ll open our expanded outpatient unit in 2013, and the inpatient unit is projected to open in 2014. The institute will focus on a new environment that will benefit the field of pediatric oncology across the country. We will offer art and music therapy, quiet spaces and workout rooms, plus a range of age-appropriate diversions. The institute will leverage the strengths of Rainbow and UH Seidman Cancer Center to focus on early diagnosis and treatment of cancers in adolescents and young adults, and on researching new cures with Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine for patients in age groups that have seen little survival-rate improvements during the past three decades. Our patients will have the most talented researchers and caregivers, and more opportunities to benefit from breakthrough medicines in clinical trials.

On the community’s continued philanthropic support

People naturally identify with the mission of Rainbow. Is anything more important than the health of our children? They are our most precious assets and our hope for the future. Our community recognizes that Rainbow offers a depth and breadth of quality care, and a culture of compassion, that are unsurpassed anywhere. The legacy of Rainbow would not be what it is today without the support of our community.

Patti DePompei, whose career at UH spans more than two decades, was appointed President of UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital and UH MacDonald Women’s Hospital in October 2012.