Children’s Hospital takes big-picture view of mission
President/CEO describes it during Concordia event

By Gary Achterberg

May 30, 2018

Peggy Troy, president and CEO of Children’s Hospital and Health System, spoke May 24 at the Leadership Series breakfast at Concordia University Wisconsin.
Photo courtesy of Concordia University Wisconsin

MEQUON — Peggy Troy started her career while a Marquette University undergraduate as a nursing intern at Children’s Hospital.

She has made several stops along the way — including leading children’s hospitals in Tennessee and Texas — but has ended up right back where she started. This time as the first female president and CEO of Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.

Troy spoke May 24 at Concordia University Wisconsin’s twice-a-year Leadership Series breakfast. The event was attended by 275.

The mission of Children’s Hospital runs much deeper than addressing immediate medical problems, she said. It stretches to families who often are stressed over a sick child and advancing the field of pediatric medicine through research.

“Yes, we’re the fixer-upper shop, but we do it in such a way that we wrap ourselves around families,” she said. “We’re meeting the medical needs of families, but also their holistic needs as well.”

Children’s Hospital has a reach all over the state and is the only health system in Wisconsin solely focused on kids, she said.

In addition to a clinic in Mequon that has been open for nearly three years, Children’s Hospital has more than 25 primary care locations and more than 100 primary care pediatricians.

Mental health services and more

But their reach does not end with doctors’ offices and two hospitals — one on the Medical College of Wisconsin campus in Wauwatosa, the other in Neenah.

They’re involved with foster care and adoption programs, dental services, an ambitious school-based program aimed at combating bullying and mental health services.

“We have kids who are growing up who don’t have a home environment with the right stability,” she said. “If we really want kids to flourish, mental health needs have to be addressed as well.”

Troy said Wisconsin has the second-highest teen suicide rate in the nation. Children’s Hospital has started an active screening program that involves its primary care physicians who identify children with needs, she said.

“The access to services needs to be ramped up mightily,” she said, adding steps are being taken to embed mental health services in its primary care clinics.

She added the impact of bullying is huge.

“We’re also working with the schools,” she said. “We’re touching about 90,000 kids a year with an anti-bullying campaign.”

The trend of health-care consolidation is not necessarily a good thing for an institution such as the one she leads, she said.

“We’re independent, self-governed and need to stay that way,” she said.

Troy said Children’s Hospital needs to have a skilled staff to perform many high-end procedures. Children’s relies on referrals from providers all over the state for complex cases. If Children’s were to align with a provider, it’s less likely others would refer patients, she said.

“It’s in our best interest to keep partnerships going that you have every incentive to use us,” she said.