Skip to main content

Analysis

St. Christopher's Hospital for Children Names New CEO

By John Commins  
   July 09, 2020

Donald Mueller, who begins his tenure later this month, now serves as CEO at Children's Hospital at Erlanger in Chattanooga.

Veteran pediatric healthcare executive Donald Mueller has been named CEO of the financially troubled St. Christopher's Hospital for Children, Drexel University and Tower Health announced jointly this week.

Mueller, 49, who for the past five years has served as CEO at Children's Hospital at Erlanger in Chattanooga, Tennessee, will take the reins at the Philadelphia-based, 188-bed, pediatric hospital on July 27.

He replaces Maria Scenna, who left St. Christopher's last September to become COO of Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Philadelphia.

Reading, Pennsylvania-based Tower Health and Drexel University bought the bankrupt St. Christopher's for $40 million last fall from Philadelphia Academic Health System, a subsidiary of California-based American Academic Health System.

"It is an honor to join the amazing team at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children and I am thrilled for the opportunity to strengthen and grow one of the most important healthcare facilities in the Philadelphia region," Mueller said in a media release.

While at Children's Hospital at Erlanger, Mueller led one of four Comprehensive Regional Pediatric Centers in Tennessee, providing the region's only full-service hospital with a dedicated 65-bed Level IV Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, a Pediatric Trauma Team, an Emergency Department, and Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.

He recruited more than 50 subspecialty physicians to the hospital, and oversaw the strategic planning, coordination and design of the new 100,000 square foot ambulatory center, and helped raise $46 million to update facilities. In 2019, Children's Hospital at Erlanger achieved Leapfrog Top Children's Hospital status.

Before Erlanger, Mueller served in various executive leadership roles for Children's Healthcare of Atlanta – Emory University for 15 years.

"Don is a highly skilled and experienced executive, with an extensive and successful background in developing high-quality pediatric clinical programs; recruitment of physicians and researchers; strengthening nursing; and building effective partnerships with the community," Clint Matthews, president and CEO of Tower Health, and John Fry, president of Drexel University, said in a memo to staff announcing Mueller's appointment.

“It is an honor to join the amazing team at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children and I am thrilled for the opportunity to strengthen and grow one of the most important healthcare facilities in the Philadelphia region.”

John Commins is a content specialist and online news editor for HealthLeaders, a Simplify Compliance brand.


KEY TAKEAWAYS

Mueller will take over leadership at the Philadelphia-based, 188-bed, pediatric hospital on July 27.

 While at Children's Hospital at Erlanger, Mueller led one of four Comprehensive Regional Pediatric Centers in Tennessee.

Before Erlanger, Mueller served in various executive leadership roles for Children's Healthcare of Atlanta – Emory University for 15 years.


Get the latest on healthcare leadership in your inbox.