After a half-decade of successful leadership at Golisano Children’s Hospital (GCH), Patrick Brophy, M.D., chair of the department of Pediatrics and physician-in-chief of GCH, has been appointed to serve as the provincial head of Child Health and Pediatrics for the Canadian province of Saskatchewan.
This position will build on Brophy’s track record of implementing best practices in pediatric care and population health management. During his tenure at GCH, Brophy led the development of a five-year strategic plan, which made critical investments in behavioral health, quality improvement, faculty recruitment, equity and inclusion efforts, and community outreach.
“Dr. Brophy’s vision and commitment have bolstered GCH’s reputation and increased our capacity to provide the highest quality of care,” said Mark Taubman, M.D., CEO of URMC and dean of the School of Medicine and Dentistry. “We are proud that his achievements here at URMC have been recognized with this extraordinary opportunity to manage the care of all children in Saskatchewan.” Brophy’s official departure is tentatively planned for May 15.
“My tenure here at GCH has been an amazing experience. Every day I’ve been inspired by the tireless efforts of faculty and staff to help all children thrive in our region and beyond,” said Brophy.
Brophy joined GCH and the department of Pediatrics in 2018. He previously served at the University of Iowa for more than a decade, where he was the Jean E. Robillard, M.D. Chair in Pediatric Nephrology and a professor in the university’s Carver College of Medicine.
Shortly after his arrival at GCH, Brophy secured widespread commitment for the formulation of a strategic plan focused on patient care, research, education, culture, digital health, population health, and community outreach. The plan launched in January of 2020, but was interrupted with the arrival of the COVID crisis several months later. Brophy and his leadership team effectively pivoted to maintain comprehensive pediatric services to the Finger Lakes community. As a result, children in the region were able to maintain their routine immunizations and wellness visits in 2020, when many other health systems struggled.
Despite the challenges of COVID, the department of Pediatrics and GCH achieved their strategic goals under Brophy’s leadership. The department recruited 61 new faculty members and launched several programs, including a regional cardiology partnership between GCH and Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital in Syracuse and Oishei Hospital in Buffalo, as well as a new division of Breastfeeding and Lactation.
The department of Pediatrics research enterprise also grew during Brophy’s tenure. Federal funding of pediatric research and publication output increased by 10 percent in the last year alone, and the department was able to secure federal support for a ‘rising stars’ program to train young researchers. Researchers in the department have also emerged as national leaders in infectious disease, allergies, and lactation. GCH researchers led trials for multiple pediatric COVID vaccines, and a study published in 2021 about the COVID mRNA vaccine’s interaction with breast milk was one of the top-ten most talked about articles in the prestigious JAMA Pediatrics publication in the past year.
In addition to research and patient care, Brophy helped expand GCH’s community outreach efforts and devoted resources to promoting equity and inclusion in both the clinical and educational areas. Brophy led engagement in initiatives with over 70 community partners across the continuum from prenatal to young adulthood, including organizing collaborative efforts to secure more than $25 million in new public funding to improve the lives of children. Thanks to an investment in quality improvement (QI) initiatives, GCH clinical teams have also solicited community feedback to provide more equitable treatment for under-served populations faced with long-term stays in the hospital.
Perhaps the most significant accomplishment under Brophy’s tenure was the implementation of successful, multi-tiered investments to address the pediatric behavioral health crises. These resources include a new Behavioral Health & Wellness Center, expansion of the Mobile Crisis Team and school partnerships, and the recent announcement of the region’s first pediatric walk-in behavioral health center. Thanks to these programs and facilities, the number of emergency room visits for pediatric behavioral health has held steady during the past years, despite a sharp increase nationally.
In the months ahead, URMC and GCH leadership will work to identify an interim chair and form a search committee to identify the next chair of Pediatric and physician-in-chief of GCH.