Children's Mercy CEO ends 25-year tenure sooner than expected due to health challenges

Randall L. O'Donnell, PhD, president and CEO of Children's Mercy Kansas City (Mo.), is retiring sooner than expected, stating that he has been "having some health challenges."

In July, the hospital appointed Paul Kempinski president and CEO, effective Nov. 2. However, now that Dr. O'Donnell plans to leave the position before November, the hospital selected Jo Stueve, executive vice president and COO, to serve as interim leader. Ms. Stueve has worked at Children's Mercy for more than 30 years.

Dr. O'Donnell said in a statement furnished by the hospital that he hasn't "bounced back as quickly as expected" from his health problems.

"I am grateful that the board has entrusted the position to Jo and that she is willing to step into this role for Children’s Mercy. I am looking forward to focusing on my health and getting myself back in the groove soon!" he said in the statement.

Dr. O'Donnell became president and CEO of the hospital in 1993. Since then, the hospital staff grew from 1,768 to 8,100-plus and net revenue increased from $167 million to $1.4 billion. He also spearheaded the construction of Children's Mercy Hospital Kansas in Overland Park.

"When [Dr. O'Donnell] arrived at Children's Mercy 25 years ago, the hospital was an oft-overlooked children's hospital," said Ms. Stueve in the statement. "Today, it is one of the top-rated pediatric medical centers in the nation and a crown jewel of our community."

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