Wednesday, October 21, 2020
Mark Jahnke became chairman of the board of trustees of Cincinnati Children’s on Oct. 20, succeeding Jane Portman.
Jahnke, a lawyer who is a member of the board of Katz Teller and served as CEO and president of the law firm from 2000 to September 2020, had been chair-elect of the board of trustees of Cincinnati Children’s. A trustee for eight years, he was elected as chair at Tuesday’s meeting of the board of Cincinnati Children’s.
“I’m very excited about the opportunity to lead our board,” Jahnke said. “Everything at Cincinnati Children’s, in my mind, starts with the word ‘together.’ We change patient outcomes together. We pursue our potential together. And our board is really a collaborative group of people who work to guide the hospital together. So, I’m thrilled to have the support of my fellow board members as I start this great challenge.”
Portman, the first woman to serve as board chair, will continue as a trustee. She has been on the board of Cincinnati Children’s since 2004 and served as chair of the Patient Care Committee for many years.
“Jane Portman is truly one of the warmest and most caring human beings,” Michael Fisher, Cincinnati Children’s president and CEO, said. In addition, “Jane has always been a trailblazer here at Cincinnati Children’s.”
Described by her fellow trustees as a person of strength and vision, Portman always asks tough questions about important issues and gives great thought to what she says.
That stems from Portman’s passion for ensuring the best care for children who are patients, as well as her commitment to the medical center’s mission of leading the way in scientific research.
“I often say that Cincinnati Children's is a place of heart, smarts and dedication,” Portman said. “We care for the whole child and the whole family. We offer comfort to children and their families. We heal them when they’re sick. We help them thrive when they are healthy. And we make research discoveries that help children here in our own backyard, around the country and across the world.”
Jahnke said his focus as board chair will be not only on patients and their families but also the more than 16,000 employees of Cincinnati Children’s.
“We know the patients and families are the people we serve,” Jahnke said. “We’ve learned that if our employees are in the right place, if they feel the right way about our organization and our mission, we will achieve the results we want to achieve with our patients and families. And I never cease to be amazed, never cease to be inspired, by the amazing people who work here.”
Jahnke applauded Portman for her leadership of the board. He noted that during her three years as chair, Cincinnati Children’s has made significant advances in diversity, equity and inclusion.
Important progress also has been made in construction of the Critical Care Building on the Avondale campus as well as in enhancing and expanding mental health services at the College Hill campus.
“Jane has made such great strides and such great improvements in her tenure as chair,” Jahnke said. “I hope to come close to making similar strides and improvements in mine.”
Barrett J. Brunsman