Akron Children’s Hospital Appoints First Chief Quality Officer

Akron Children’s Hospital is announcing the hiring of an individual to fill a recently created position designed to lead quality, safety and patient experience to ensure the hospital consistently improves child health and delivers excellent patient care.

Michael Bigham, M.D., has been named Akron Children’s Hospital’s chief quality officer.

For 10 years, he has served as a pediatric intensivist in Akron Children’s Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU). In addition, he has been the hospital’s medical director of Transport Services, where he co-founded Akron Children’s Ground and Air Medical Quality Transport Database, which is the largest international repository of quality performance metrics for transport. Lastly, he has served the medical staff as chair of Medical Performance Improvement for the past three years.

After receiving his medical degree from the University of Toledo’s College of Medicine and Life Sciences, Dr. Bigham completed his pediatric residency and fellowship in pediatric critical care at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

In addition, Dr. Bigham received quality improvement certification from Salt Lake City’s Intermountain Healthcare Advanced Training Program in clinical quality improvement.

“Quality is at the core of our mission to become an innovative leader in providing high-quality care,” said Grace Wakulchik, president of Akron Children’s. “Dr. Bigham was an integral part of a multidisciplinary working group to expand our quality structure to one which is broader and better aligned with the Institute of Medicine’s working definition.” 

“The new structure is a wonderful step forward to align quality, safety and patient experience under a single umbrella in our organization,” she said. “While all of our staff is responsible for quality, it is important to our patients and families that we have a consistent voice at the executive table to advocate for quality, safety and patient experience in all of our hospital’s initiatives. We will now have that voice.”

Dr. Bigham will transition into his new role over the next few months — being mentored by Dr. Robert McGregor, Akron Children’s chief medical officer — but will continue to share his clinical expertise part-time in Akron Children’s PICU.

Dr. Bigham is board-certified in pediatrics and pediatric critical care medicine. He resides in Hudson with his wife and two children.

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