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Christopher A. Gessner is the president of Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC and Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic (WPIC) where he provides executive leadership to all areas of hospital operations including nursing, ancillary services, ambulatory services, physician practice plans, facilities/maintenance, clinical programs and community based services.
His leadership stint at WPIC began in July 2014 and since that time his major areas of focus have been: negotiating higher reimbursements from third party payers, right sizing WPIC inpatient capacity, building a regional community based behavioral health network and improving access to care by integrating behavioral health services into medical practices.
During his tenure with Children’s Hospital, Mr. Gessner’s leadership has been instrumental to the success of many initiatives, including the integration of Children’s administrative services with UPMC; the design, construction and relocation to a new 10-acre, $625 million hospital and research campus; the transition to a fully automated, paperless hospital that incorporates an unprecedented level of technology to improve patient safety and quality outcomes; and the growth and development of numerous clinical service lines.
Mr. Gessner brought a wealth of knowledge and experience in hospital operations, business development, strategic planning, and group practice management to Children’s Hospital when he joined the staff in 2000 as the president of Children’s Community Pediatrics (CCP). His expertise and guidance led to the financial turnaround of the CCP an operation which has grown to become the largest pediatric and adolescent primary care medical network in Western Pennsylvania.
In 2001, he assumed the additional role as vice president of ambulatory and professional services. Under his leadership, Children’s Hospital experienced a significant expansion of its outpatient services and improved access to pediatric specialty care in Western PA.
In 2005, Mr. Gessner’s responsibilities expanded when he was appointed to serve as the hospital’s chief operating officer. As the COO, he oversaw all aspects of the hospital’s day-to-day operations including execution of the hospital’s strategic plans, operating and capital budgets, and facilities planning.
Prior to joining Children’s Hospital, Mr. Gessner served for two years as the vice president of health services administration for Highmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield where he created strategic business relationships with key primary care groups and integrated health systems throughout Western Pennsylvania.
Mr. Gessner serves on the boards of the Pennsylvania Trauma Systems Foundation, the University of Pittsburgh Physicians, the Center for Emergency Medicine, the Hospital Association of Pennsylvania and the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation.
Mr. Gessner holds master’s degrees in business and health care administration from the University of Pittsburgh and a bachelor’s degree in economics from the College of William and Mary where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s oldest academic honor society.
Mr. Gessner lives in Pine Township, Pa. with his wife, Jane, and their children, Cole, Sam, and Kendall.
Children's Hospital's main campus is located in the Lawrenceville neighborhood. Our main hospital address is:
UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh
One Children’s Hospital Way
4401 Penn Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15224
In addition to the main hospital, Children's has many convenient locations in other neighborhoods throughout the greater Pittsburgh region.
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Interested in giving to Children's Hospital? Visit Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation's website to make a donation online.