Treuman Katz, president and CEO at Children’s Hospital and Regional Medical Center, recently announced his plans to retire at the end of September 2005. His 26-year tenure makes him one of the longest serving CEOs of any children’s hospital in the nation.
“Treuman has consistently provided vision and leadership,” said Kathy Randall, chair of Children’s Hospital Board of Trustees. “He has led many innovative initiatives here. His unwavering commitment to our mission has propelled the hospital to national prominence. His most recent contribution is the new vision for pediatric research and a goal of becoming one of the top five pediatric research institutions in the country.”
Katz’s career in health care spans nearly 40 years. He was an executive at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles for 13 years before joining Children’s in 1979. During his tenure Children’s has become recognized as one of the best children’s hospitals in the country by U.S. News & World Report and Child magazines. “Children’s national prominence among its peers is a testimony to Treuman’s strong leadership over many years, which has produced outstanding results,” said Randall.
“When we met Treuman in 1979, he was personable, positive, polite and persuasive,” recalled Kate Webster, a former board member who chaired the search committee that hired Katz. “We felt he would bring energy and a new perspective to Children’s. The rest is history.”
Longtime colleague Leo Greenawalt, president and CEO of the Washington State Hospital Association, said, “When those of us involved with medicine and health care in this region look around and view all that’s been achieved, we do so acknowledging the critical role cooperation has played.
Treuman brought to his job high intelligence, a confident and cooperative spirit, and a fierce and enduring passion for the work.
~ Leo Greenawalt
To create successful collaborative efforts like the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance or the Harborview Burn Center, you must have leaders who are strong, dependable and trustworthy partners. Treuman brought to his job high intelligence, a confident and cooperative spirit, and a fierce and enduring passion for the work. You can get a lot accomplished with a credible partner like that.”
Other key accomplishments under Katz’s leadership over the past 26 years:
An expanded commitment to the research mission of Children’s with a vision to become one of the top five pediatric research institutions in the country. Within the past year to research facilities have opened, including 50,000 square feet of bench laboratory space at 307 Westlake and more recently 40,000 square feet of clinical and health services research space at Metropolitan Park West.
Last November the hospital announced plans to establish the nation’s first Center for Pediatric Bioethics to address the complex ethical issues that affect patients, families, researchers and the community.
Medical School Affiliation
Creation of a model medical school affiliation with the nationally acclaimed University of Washington (UW) School of Medicine. The Department of Pediatrics has become one of the top training programs for pediatricians in the country as a result of excellent and collaborative leadership between the UW and Children’s.
Seattle Cancer Care Alliance
One of the most significant program developments and a long-term goal of Katz’s was the creation of the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA), formed with the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the UW, to speed the delivery of new treatments for cancer. Children’s is now the site of the bone marrow transplant program for the SCCA.
To meet pediatric specialty health care and accessibility needs of the community, Katz has overseen the development and implementation of a facility development plan that included an expansion to 250 beds, which allows for more single rooms, and a new Ambulatory Care Building that will open in late spring 2006.
The development of Children’s as the regional pediatric health care system. Extensive partnerships with health care providers in Puget Sound, as well as throughout the state and region, include Providence Everett Medical Center, Overlake Hospital Medical Center, Evergreen Hospital Medical Center, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Group Health Cooperative, Central Washington Hospital in Wenatchee, Children’s Village in Yakima and the Alaska Children’s Health Partnership with Providence Alaska Medical Center.
Under Treuman’s leadership Children’s also opened regional clinics to meet the specialty care needs of patients in Bellevue, Everett, Federal Way and Olympia. Telemedicine technology was also launched during Katz’s tenure, linking Children’s specialists to patients and families in Olympia, Spokane, Wenatchee, Yakima, and Anchorage.
Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic
Katz has been a longtime advocate of Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic, located in Seattle’s Central Area. The clinic provides medical, dental and mental health services to children, many of whom are covered by Medicaid.
Largely due to financial and administrative support from Children’s, the clinic has provided a quality medical home to thousands of children and their families over the years, with a mission tied closely to Children’s legacy of providing care regardless of the family’s ability to pay.
Surgery Program Development
He is responsible for the development of pediatric surgical programs and the subsequent recruitment of nationally recognized clinical and surgical experts, including transplantation (liver, kidney, heart and intestinal in the near future); cardiac surgery; general and thoracic surgery; neurosurgery; and plastic and reconstructive surgery.
Katz served as a founding consortium member of Airlift Northwest (ALNW), an emergency air transportation service that began in the early 1980s to provide a coordinated approach to airlifting from throughout the region critically ill patients—from newborns to adults—to the most appropriate hospital.
Children’s, University of Washington and AMR, a local ambulance company, have also collaborated to provide specially outfitted aid cars for transporting babies to the intensive care units.
Strong financial management coupled with nationally recognized philanthropy has formed the foundation for Children’s ability to thrive and prosper over the past 25 years, and will continue to be important in the years to come.
During Katz’s tenure the hospital has become one of the strongest pediatric centers in the country, which has provided opportunities for program growth and the development of excellent facilities and attracted the highest caliber expertise, all to provide the best possible care to patients and families.
Generous community support for the hospital has enabled Children’s to remain strong and independent, at a time when many children’s hospitals have been forced to close or merge, and also limit their uncompensated care levels to survive.
Significant relationships have been forged with elected officials at the federal, state and local levels as a part of Children’s mission to advocate on behalf of children’s health care. Katz has worked with every Washington State governor since the early 1980s to encourage an understanding and support of the uniqueness of pediatric patients and Children’s Hospital.
“I think we have a unique and cost effective system for caring for kids in this state,” said Katz, “and I’m grateful to everyone who has supported that system, from the five governors I’ve worked with to my colleagues at the hospital, to the volunteers, especially those who have served as board members during my tenure.
…until we’re able to eliminate pediatric disease, Children’s has an irreplaceable role in this region.
~ Treuman Katz
“Children’s is an extraordinary institution with so much left to do in the future. As long as there are kids living under the poverty line and kids facing illness and injury, and until we’re able to eliminate pediatric disease, Children’s has an irreplaceable role in this region.
The clinical care and research developments here haveï¿½and will continue to have— positive impacts on children all over the world,” said Katz.
Upon his retirement, Treuman will be recognized by Children’s Hospital Board of Trustees with the title of President Emeritus, in honor of his contributions and longtime service. “This is the first time an honorary title of this nature has been bestowed at Children’s,” said Randall, “and serves as an expression of how much he has meant to the hospital.”
The hospital board of trustees has retained Korn/Ferry International to assist in the search for a new CEO.
About Seattle Children's Hospital
Consistently ranked as one of the best children’s hospitals in the country by U.S. News & World Report, Children’s serves as the pediatric and adolescent academic medical referral center for the largest landmass of any children’s hospital in the country (Washington, Alaska, Montana and Idaho). For more than 100 years, Children’s has been delivering superior patient care and advancing new treatments through pediatric research. Children’s serves as the primary teaching, clinical and research site for the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine. The hospital works in partnership with Seattle Children’s Research Institute and Seattle Children’s Hospital Foundation. For more information, visit http://www.seattlechildrens.org.