Winter 2019

A New Leader at Tufts Medical Center

Michael Apkon has big plans for the Boston institution.

By Helene Ragovin

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Photo: Courtesy of the Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids)

In early 2018, Dana Apkon, M21, was sitting in class when the email blast went out advertising the search for a new CEO at Tufts Medical Center and the Floating Hospital for Children. She immediately texted her father, Michael Apkon, then-president and CEO of The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in Toronto. Dana’s impulse paid off: In November, after an international search, Apkon was appointed to the job.

“One of the real attractions is being part of a nationally ranked, world-class university,” said Apkon, a native of Framingham, Massachusetts. “The medical school and the medical center have a very strong alignment of interests and ambitions, and very complementary capabilities, to provide a home for scholarship and clinical care. Boston has one of the best med-ed ecosystems in the world, and there is an opportunity for us to have an even bigger impact.”

Apkon, who previously served in executive positions at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital, shared his goals for Tufts Medical Center with us.

Bolster quality and safety.
“As good as we are, I believe all organizations can continue to reduce preventable harm, and to increase reliability,” Apkon said.

Provide additional services and address unmet patient needs.
One way to achieve these objectives is more clinical integration with Tufts Medical Center’s other Wellforce hospitals—Melrose-Wakefield and Lowell General—as well as with other partner organizations, he said.

Stay buoyant in a turbulent industry.
“If we’re successful, we will increase our impact directly through patient care,” Apkon said, “and then amplify that impact more effectively through scholarship, both research and education.” One key benchmark to focus on? Higher rankings for the hospital and medical school by external agencies.

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