Health Care

After 10-month nationwide search, Children’s Mercy names new CEO

Paul Kempinski took over as CEO of Children’s Mercy Hospital on Nov. 1.
Paul Kempinski took over as CEO of Children’s Mercy Hospital on Nov. 1. .

After searching the nation for 10 months, Children’s Mercy Hospital has named its next president and CEO: Paul Kempinski, the president of a children’s hospital in Wilmington, Del.

Children’s Mercy announced Thursday that Kempinski will take over on Nov. 1. He will replace Randall O’Donnell, who will retire after leading the hospital since 1993.

“The year ahead will be one of great change and, more important, of great success,” O’Donnell said in a statement released by the hospital. “Thanks to our employees, Children’s Mercy is well positioned for a bold new future, and our patients and families will be the better for it.”

Before becoming president of Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Kempinski worked in leadership roles at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital in Darby, Pa., ViaHealth in Rochester, N.Y., Jefferson Regional Medical Center in Pittsburgh and Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.

Paul Kempinski Submitted photo

In Wilmington, he oversaw a 450,000-square-foot hospital expansion in 2014. Nemours hospital now has 200 beds.

Kempinski said in a statement that said he’s thrilled about taking the new job and called Children’s Mercy “a valued and respected resource for the Kansas City community and beyond.”

Kempinski will take over at Children’s Mercy at a time of growth and also new challenges. The 300-bed hospital has embarked on its own major expansion project, a nine-story research tower.

It’s also facing a class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of 60,000 people whose private medical information may have been compromised when hospital employees were taken in by an email “phishing” scam.

Hospital officials have also requested higher reimbursements under Kansas Medicaid, or KanCare, which last year led one state agency spokeswoman to say Kansas would audit the hospital’s costs. A hospital spokesperson said Children’s Mercy would welcome the audit.