Vice president of emergency services operations, Cincinnati Children's
Megan Elam started her healthcare career at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital in 2010 as an educator, working to ensure children with special needs received the right tools and care at school.
She studied educational outcomes for students with chronic healthcare conditions. In Elam’s roles as a school intervention specialist and director of school services and educational research, she helped develop a risk-stratification tool that provided support and advocacy services for children based on their health conditions.
“We tend to underestimate that school and healthcare go hand in hand,” she said.
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Elam has since transitioned to vice president of emergency services operations. Her day starts with a briefing, dealing with questions and concerns about projected patient volumes over the next 24 hours, wait times and capacity at emergency departments and urgent care centers, among other matters.
She works in a triad model, collaborating with physicians and nurses to help manage day-to-day operations, she said.
“Access is a wildly important goal at Cincinnati Children’s,” Elam said. “Emergency departments and urgent care centers are the front door to the health system, so we want patients and families to have safe and timely access that is warm and welcoming.”
Elam never envisioned that she’d be leading healthcare operations, but Cincinnati Children’s mission and colleagues inspired her to do more, she said. “I have had the good fortune of many leaders investing in me,” Elam said.