Introducing our new president and CEO

On November 22, Steve Davis, MD, MMM, MS, succeeded Michael Fisher as president and CEO­—marking a new chapter in Cincinnati Children’s history.

As our chief operating officer for the past seven years, Steve Davis is well prepared to take Cincinnati Children's into our next era. He helped develop our strategic plan, played a key role in the planning and construction of our new Critical Care Building, helped increase accessibility to care for at-risk kids and led our response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A pediatric critical care doctor by training, Dr. Davis has an impressive background. In addition to his medical doctorate, he has master’s degrees in both medical management and strategic leadership. Yet he says it’s not about being able to put letters behind his name. What matters to him is the learning.

“I am a learner and a teacher, a husband, a father and a pediatrician,” he says. “Those five words encompass everything I have done, am doing and will do in the future. They are at the core of everything I am.”

Tell us a bit about your family.

I’m married and have four children and two grandchildren. My wife Denise is a nurse practitioner and such a strong partner. I wouldn’t be here if she hadn’t been by my side, encouraging me, believing in me every step of the way.

You are a critical care doctor. How did you end up in hospital administration?

I didn’t set out to be an administrative leader. The more patients I treated, though, the more I began to realize how many kids had preventable problems and that if we did a better job—as pediatricians, as a hospital, as a society—of protecting our kids, they wouldn’t need to be here in the first place. I began to realize that I wanted to play a bigger role in helping them.

Is it true you saved your first paycheck after med school?

Yes! I couldn’t believe I was being paid to do something that I absolutely loved. And I’ve kept that excitement and joy around what we do for children for the 35-plus years since then.

What do you like to do for fun?

I grew up in a restaurant family and have a wood-fired pizza oven in my yard. So I love to make pizza and entertain friends and family. And luckily, I also love to exercise. Otherwise, I’d have a problem because of all the pizza I like to eat!

How are you approaching your new role?

I see my job as helping to put everybody in the organization in the best position possible to take great care of our patients, to continue learning and teaching, and to advance research that will benefit kids in the future. I want to ensure we exude compassion in every corner of the medical center, maintain our unwavering commitment to safety, and continue to deliver the best possible outcomes for families.

What would you like to say to our donors?

Cincinnati Children’s is truly a special place, and we make such an impact on children and families. And our donors are a part of every achievement, every advancement we make. I am so grateful and humbled by that. I’m going to work hard to share the story of the incredible innovation and collaboration happening here. And I know, together, we will continue to convert amazing science into science that changes lives.