Dr. Thomas N. Hansen, CEO of Seattle Children's, to Retire in 2015

Board of Trustees initiates national search for replacement


Seattle Children's announced today that CEO Thomas N. Hansen, MD, will retire in 2015 as part of a long-planned transition of leadership. The Seattle Children's Board of Trustees plans to initiate an extensive, nationwide search for Hansen's replacement, beginning immediately with the appointment of a Search Committee.

"We are extremely grateful for Tom's leadership and dedication to Seattle Children's for the last 10 years," said Judy Holder, Chair, Seattle Children's Board of Trustees. "We'll be searching for a new CEO with the same passion and dedication to our mission of preventing, treating and eliminating pediatric disease."

Hansen, 66, who came to Seattle Children's as CEO in 2005, said he plans to spend more time on research, particularly developing low cost ventilators for premature infants born in low and middle income countries.

"I've celebrated the 100th anniversary of our organization; watched our research institute grow from less than 100,000 square feet with $15 million in NIH funding to 330,000 square feet and nearly $45 million in NIH funding; launched the new name and brand of Seattle Children's; opened our first major outpatient expansion in Bellevue, and saw the completion of the beautiful new Building Hope expansion at the hospital; watched our Foundation funding increase 66%; and so much more," he said. "Now it is time for me to transition to the next phase of my life."

Before becoming a hospital CEO more than a decade ago, Hansen spent the majority of his time in the laboratory trying to find ways to save the lives of premature babies with lung disease. He continued to spend one day a week at Seattle Children's Research Institute even while serving as CEO.

Though he left full-time work in the lab behind, his passion for developing low-cost ways to help premature infants never waivered. He was instrumental in developing Seattle-PAP, an affordable device intended to provide breathing support to premature infants in developing countries, which is now moving into clinical trials with the generous support of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

"I know it sounds grandiose, but I think research is the key to eliminating all childhood diseases," Hansen said. "I truly believe that research breakthroughs in our lifetimes will allow us to see the end of childhood diseases like cystic fibrosis, immune-deficiencies, and childhood cancer - just like our parents or grandparents saw an end to the polio epidemics of their generation."

A Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine, Hansen received his medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine, with postdoctoral fellowships in neonatal medicine at Baylor and in pediatric pulmonary disease at theUniversity of California, San Francisco. Prior to joining Seattle Children's, Hansen served as CEO of Columbus Children's Hospital (now Nationwide Children's Hospital) and was Chair of the Department of Pediatrics at the School of Medicine of the Ohio State University.

About Seattle Children’s

Seattle Children’s mission is to provide hope, care and cures to help every child live the healthiest and most fulfilling life possible. Together, Seattle Children’s Hospital, Research Institute and Foundation deliver superior patient care, identify new discoveries and treatments through pediatric research, and raise funds to create better futures for patients.

Ranked as one of the top five children’s hospitals in the country by U.S. News & World Report, Seattle Children’s serves as the pediatric and adolescent academic medical center for Washington, Alaska, Montana and Idaho – the largest region of any children’s hospital in the country. As one of the nation's top five pediatric research centers, Seattle Children’s Research Institute is internationally recognized for its work in neurosciences, immunology, cancer, infectious disease, injury prevention and much more. Seattle Children’s Hospital and Research Foundation works with the Seattle Children’s Guild Association, the largest all-volunteer fundraising network for any hospital in the country, to gather community support and raise funds for uncompensated care and research.

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