October 26, 2006
The Hottest 25 People of Orange County (2006)
From the OC Metro October 26, 2006
Who’s hot? And why? You need only look at what you’re wearing, what you’re reading and even what you’re drinking to understand the "why" behind the names on our annual list of the Hottest 25 People of Orange County. Are you wearing the same T-shirt Oprah wore on the cover of O Magazine? (Hint: Three Dots’ Sharon Lebon made our list.) Did you follow the Enron case? OC’s own John Hueston led the task force that convicted Enron’s Skilling and Lay. And when you had your last lemon drop martini, did you toast Michael Cho, the Orange County attorney who brings more liquor licenses to local restaurants than any other?
KIMBERLY CHAVALAS CRIPE
President and CEO, Children's Hospital of Orange County
Residence: San Juan Capistrano
Family: Husband Glenn; 3 children Hobbies: Family, horseback riding, walking, hiking and reading
When Kimberly Chavalas Cripe took on the role of president and CEO of Children's Hospital of Orange County in 1997, her efforts focused on keeping the hospital alive. The pediatric healthcare organization, on the verge of closing, had suffered a $48 million loss over a three-year period.
Today, CHOC, which has a second location at Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo, is the 11th largest and 15th busiest children’s hospital in the nation.
"I would say about 50% of our success was really about building the programs and building the market share," Chavalas Cripe says of the strategy to revitalize CHOC. “A lot of it was just really good old-fashioned hard work and really getting our arms around our expenses.”
Though her expertise lies in business development, the Golden Gate University graduate never loses sight that behind each number there is a real child who needs care.
The mother of three boys, she aims to provide the best care available for each child in need.
"The main focus today is moving the organization closer to becoming a nationally recognized premier children’s hospital," she says.
To keep up with the demand for services 30% of Orange County’s population is under age 20 the hospital opened a pediatric emergency department last year at CHOC at Mission. A $55 million remodel and expansion plan is underway, which includes 30 additional intensive care beds, as are discussions for a $500 million patient tower.
Already, the Adolescent & Young Adult program boasts higher survival rates than the national average among children’s hospitals. The program gives cancer patients in their teens access to the latest treatment alternatives.
"I would love to see us be the absolute best children’s hospital in the world," she says of her ultimate goal.
- Sandy Bennett