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Healthcare Professionals / Progress Notes / Staff Transitions / Pediatrics Department Chair Dr. Attila Devenyi reflects on his varied work background, opportunities

Pediatrics Department Chair Dr. Attila Devenyi reflects on his varied work background, opportunities to enhance the Department
4/11/2012 – Dr. Attila Devenyi, Pediatric Department Chair, met with Progress Notes’ managing editor Roxanne Bolinger on February 24 to discuss opportunities he see for the Pediatrics Department at LG Health.

What is your practice location, work history?

I have been at Regional Gastroenterological Associates of Lancaster since 2000. Previous to that, I was Chief of the Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology at Hershey beginning in 1991. I started my academic career at Cornell University in 1978 as a chemical engineer and worked for several years at Eastman Kodak. I then decided to go to medical school at Penn State and went on to The Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center in Boston for internship and residency. (The curious name, “floating hospital,” originated with the practice of putting patients with diseases such as Ricketts on the hospital boat in Boston Harbor under the belief that sea air and sunlight would be beneficial to the illness.) In 1999, I went back to school for my MBA at the University of Tennessee.

Why are you interested in assuming the Department Chair role?

I have been LG Health Pediatric Department chair for the last several years, where my duties were to review credentials and conduct meetings. However, it was not a strategic planning or program development role as it will become now. 

What are your goals for the department over the next one to three years?

I would like to develop pediatric specialties in cardiology, gastroenterology, neurology, pulmonary, behavioral health and a high quality inpatient pediatric hospitalist program. We want to become the place where we would send our own kids.  This will require more patient satisfaction metrics to drive higher quality.  One way to do this is to align ourselves with organizations such as a cardiac quality improvement project, Standardized Clinical Assessment and Management Plans (SCAMPs), developed by the Children's Hospital of Boston, which uses targeted data collection to reduce practice variation, improve care and reduce unnecessary utilization over time. Another program we are planning to work with, Improve Care Now, is dedicated to improving the care and outcomes of kids with Crohn's Disease and ulcerative colitis.

What opportunity do you see for medical staff with regards to restructuring and the increased responsibilities for the Department Chairs?

We will be able to more easily collaborate among different departments. For instance, we want to become a “Baby-Friendly Hospital,” following a standard of care that promotes breast feeding. Since maternity care begins in the obstetrician’s office, I now can sit down with Dr. George Olt (LG Health’s new Obstetrics and Gynecology Department Chair) to collaborate on this as he knows how OB works. 

What challenges do you foresee in your department area?

My time is limited, personally and on an institutional level. So I will have to decide where we will get most return for our time efforts and capital.  Another challenge is the rapidly changing regulatory/insurance landscape.  I will need to manage that to stay focused on the primary issue which is always quality patient care.  People need to know that there can’t be a separation between what you say and what you do.

What is the best way for dept members to reach you?

The best way is contact me is via email at AGDeveny@lghealth.org.

Anything else you would like to add?

There is an opportunity here within the context of the medical staff restructuring to give physicians more of a leadership role.  There are good times ahead of us – challenging -- but good times ahead.

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Attila G. Devenyi, MD


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