Nebraska children's hospital CEO Dr. Richard Azizkhan to retire amid legal troubles

Anuja Vaidya (Twitter) - Print  | 

Richard Azizkhan, MD, president and CEO of Omaha, Neb.-based Children's Hospital & Medical Center, is retiring, effective Aug. 16.

Dr. Azizkhan assumed the top post at the hospital in October 2015. A pediatric surgeon, he was surgeon-in-chief at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.

His tenure at the Nebraska hospital was marked by growth, including expansions and the addition of specialists. The hospital added 150 pediatric specialists, and it is currently building an attached nine-floor clinical facility. It also launched new pediatric subspecialty programs and services.

"Together, we have set the infrastructure, strategic path and trajectory for the organization for the next decade," Dr. Azizkhan said in a news release. "This is an appropriate time to ensure an orderly transition and allow Children's to reach its full potential and continue its life-changing work with fresh determination and energy."

Dr. Azizkhan's time as leader of the hospital also has been marked by legal troubles. In January, he was named in a lawsuit filed by two Children's Hospital & Medical Center surgeons alleging wrongful suspension for reporting concerns about the competency of a colleague. The subject of the competency concerns, Adam Conley, MD, also is leaving the hospital in August.

Dr. Azizkhan also has been named in more than a dozen lawsuits related to his time at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.

Rodrigo López, former chairman of the Nebraska hospital's board of directors, will serve as interim president and CEO while the board searches for a permanent successor to Dr. Azizkhan. Dr. Azizkhan will serve in an advisory role until a permanent leader has been selected.

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