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KC Business Journal: Children's Mercy CEO considers how COVID-19, $200M building have changed hospital's trajectory

Paul Kempinski

By Grace Mayer

When Paul Kempinski took over the helm of Children's Mercy in 2018, the $200 million Children’s Mercy Research Institute was only a shell.

In the five years since, the state-of-the-art pediatric research facility was finished, becoming a nine-story mainstay of Kansas City's skyline. And that was only part of the sea change Kempinski has witnessed as CEO.

In his first year, Kempinski and his team laid out a strategic plan that would take Children’s Mercy into the future, which included the multimillion-dollar research institute. But he didn't account for the Covid-19 pandemic, which struck in March 2020.

It overwhelmed hospital systems in Kansas City and across the world, but Children’s Mercy fared differently. Most children who contracted Covid-19 showed no symptoms and avoided hospitalization. As it shifted its clinics to telehealth services, hospital patients at Children’s Mercy plummeted. So did finances.

“We had empty hospitals, empty clinics. We were struggling financially,” Kempinski said. “We were struggling to ensure we could provide care to the kids that needed it, while still respecting the need for (social) distancing and safe care.”

The hospital eventually recovered, but the pandemic helped Kempinski uncover additional priorities.


Read the full article via The Kansas City Business Journal

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