Leadership named for Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands


112614woodlandsadmininside175Two seasoned Texas Children’s leaders have been charged with heading the organization’s second community hospital – Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands.

Michelle Riley-Brown will become president of the new hospital and Dr. Charles Hankins will become chief medical officer of the institution, which will open its doors to outpatient care in the fall of 2016 and inpatient services the following year. Riley-Brown and Hankins will assume their new roles in January.

The leadership announcement was made November 20 to about 500 guests at The Forum Luncheon in The Woodlands, an event hosted by the Development Department.

“It’s amazing what we are allowed to do here at Texas Children’s,” CEO Mark A. Wallace said at the forum after talking to the audience about The Woodlands Campus and its leadership. “We are going to start out with the A team and then build from there.”

Riley-Brown and Hankins will come to The Woodlands with a wealth of experience in running a community hospital since both helped open and are currently leading Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus.

Riley-Brown, who joined Texas Children’s 15 years ago and has a Masters of Health Administration from Washington University, is the current president of West Campus, which opened in 2011 and has become a staple in pediatric health care for those who live in the area. Hankins, who has been with Texas Children’s for 11 years and specializes in neonatology, is the current chief medical officer at the hospital.

In addition to their experience in leading a community hospital, both Riley-Brown and Hankins will come to The Woodlands with a good understanding of the community, which sits about 30 miles north of Houston. Riley-Brown helped open and managed Texas Children’s Health Center – The Woodlands in 2003, and Hankins lives in The Woodlands community.

“I feel like I’m coming home,” Hankins said, adding that he is extremely excited to be heading up the medical team at Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands.

Riley-Brown said she, too, is excited about coming to The Woodlands.

“I am looking forward to working with Dr. Hankins to ensure the success of Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands,” Riley-Brown said. “As we expand our services in this community, we will continue to bring high-quality care closer to our patients.”

Leadership at West Campus

Taking Riley-Brown and Hankins’ places at West Campus will be Chanda Cashen Chacón as president and Dr. Jeanine Graf as chief medical officer.

Chacón has been with Texas Children’s Hospital for more than a decade in leadership roles in ambulatory operations, pharmacy, the Heart Center and the Fetal Center. Currently, she is the vice president for Women’s Services at Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women. Chacón has a Master’s Degree in Public Health Administration from Yale University.

Graf, who was recently named a 2015 Catalyst Leadership Award recipient and president of the medical staff at Texas Children’s, is currently the medical director of the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Main Campus and of Pediatric Transport and Respiratory Care. She also is an associate professor of pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine, where she did her residency after earning her medical degree from Ohio State University College of Medicine.

“I am more than pleased to be taking on this new role at Texas Children’s,” Graf said. “I believe we have an obligation to support all children in the community and that this is a great new avenue through which I can accomplish that goal.”

Chacón said she is honored to have been chosen to lead West Campus.

“The hospital is a wonderful asset to Texas Children’s and to Houston’s pediatric community,” Chacón said. “I want to continue to grow and nurture that asset so it can benefit the patients and families we are honored to serve.”

About the community campuses

West Campus employs about 650 full and part-time workers and is home to a comprehensive array of pediatric specialty services including cardiology, gastroenterology, pediatric surgery, as well as occupational, physical and speech therapies.

Last year, the hospital saw more than 1,500 admissions and 37,000 emergency room visits. In addition, almost 4,000 inpatient and outpatient surgeries were conducted at the West Campus.

Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands will open with 500 employees and will include 24 emergency room beds, 74 outpatient exam rooms, four operating rooms, 30 acute care beds, 12 intensive care beds, five radiology rooms and a helipad.

Ample free parking will be available with 1,000 spaces planned. Along with serving families throughout The Woodlands Area, Texas Children’s anticipates serving families in counties throughout Greater North Houston, including Montgomery, Walker, Grimes, Liberty, Harris, Polk, San Jacinto and Hardin.

“You will never hear us refer to the West Campus or The Woodlands as satellites, because that’s not the way we look at them,” Wallace said during a 2013 interview about the announcement of The Woodlands campus. “We have one standard of care at Texas Children’s Hospital, whether it’s here or at the West Campus, it’s all the same.”