Alumni Feature: Dr. Katalin Koranyi

Katalin Koranyi, MD began her residency training in Cleveland in 1970. Two years later, she found herself married, moving to Columbus to join her new husband, and transferring her training to Columbus Children’s Hospital, now known as Nationwide Children's Hospital. For some residents, a transfer that far into residency training can be difficult, but Koranyi shares that she quickly felt at home. In fact, Koranyi never left her “home” at Nationwide Children's until she retired in 2017.

Katalin Koranyi, MDKoranyi enjoyed several of her rotations at Nationwide Children's, but the one she truly “fell in love with” was Infectious Diseases. So, following her residency training, she stayed on to pursue a pediatric infectious diseases fellowship under the directorship of Dr. Ralph Haynes. One of Koranyi’s most memorable experiences during her fellowship training was watching over patients with Reye Syndrome, a hepatic encephalopathy condition. While rarely seen today, in the early 1970’s the illness had a high mortality rate. Koranyi shares that there were only two fellows at the time, so she and Dr. Dennis Burech took 12-hour shifts at the bedsides of children and teens afflicted with the deadly illness.

When asked about the mentors who had a positive impact on her training and career, Koranyi lists several: Dr. Ralph Haynes, Dr. Parvin Azimi and Dr. Milo Hilty. She shares that the trio inspired her through their dedication and love for children, humanism, skilled teaching and intellectual prowess.  She became dedicated to following their examples to serve her patients; teach medical students, residents and fellows; and to never lose her intellectual curiosity.

After completing her infectious diseases fellowship, Koranyi remained at Nationwide Children's as the director of the Pediatric Clinic, now known as the Primary Care Clinics. She enjoyed the opportunities it gave her to follow patients for several years while also teaching medical students and residents. During the 15 years Koranyi was the director of the Primary Care Clinics, she also served as an infectious diseases attending physician 1-3 months a year until Dr. Dwight Powell invited her to officially join the Section of Infectious Diseases. Koranyi shares that this was during the era of HIV/AIDS and when Dr. Mike Brady had been the sole physician caring for these patients. She remained a member of the HIV program, known as the FACES Clinic, until her retirement.

As a member of the Section of Infectious Diseases, Koranyi served as an attending physician on the inpatient ward as well as for the Infectious Diseases Clinic and Consult Service. When Dr. Powell established the International Adoption Clinic, she joined as the co-director and served in this capacity for five years. Koranyi also became the medical director of the inpatient infectious diseases ward and of the infectious diseases clinic.

During her tenure at Nationwide Children’s, Koranyi’s collaborations with medical students, infectious diseases fellows, faculty physicians and pharmacists resulted in 50 articles published in peer-reviewed journals. She also received an array of awards from Nationwide Children's, The Ohio State University and from The Ohio State University College of Medicine. She ended her 44-year career at Nationwide Children's in 2017 to become a fulltime babysitter to her grandchildren.

When asked what the “today” Dr. Koranyi would say to the “resident/fellow” Dr. Koranyi, she responded, “Even when you are tired and sleepy or frustrated by perceived non-essential duties, remember the reasons why you chose medicine as your profession. You did it because of your love for people, desire to help others and your thirst for medical discovery. Medicine is a unique profession. You can truly make a difference in people’s lives – make them better! It is not an easy life, but it is a privilege to care for others, particularly for children. There are few other professions where you get to go down on your knees at a child’s eye level and make funny faces. Medicine is a difficult path, but the rewards are immense.”

Nationwide Children’s CEO News

Steven J. Allen, MD, MBA, Nationwide Children’s Hospital CEO, announced his plans for retirement in March 2018, effective June 30, 2019. Nearly one year after his announcement, and following a comprehensive national search, The Board of Directors of Nationwide Children’s Hospital announced Tim Robinson, the organization’s current executive vice president and chief financial and administrative officer, will serve as the new chief executive officer effective July 1, 2019.

Steve AllenAllen has served as chief executive officer at Nationwide Children’s, which includes The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital, Nationwide Children's Hospital Foundation and The Center for Family Safety and Healing at Nationwide Children's Hospital, since 2006.  Many significant hallmarks have established Nationwide Children’s Hospital as a treasure of the Central Ohio community and as a pre-eminent pediatric healthcare and research since Allen took office. To name a few:

  • Patient visits doubled from 711,000 to over 1.4 million with families traveling from every state and more than 50 countries worldwide for sub-specialty care. 
  • Staffing grew to meet the demand; doubling in size from 5,822 in 2006 to more than 13,219 today. 
  • NIH research funding rose to $81.7M, a more than 51 percent increase.

Dr. Allen commented on his retirement, “I am deeply grateful to our talented staff and incredibly supportive community. With their collective support, Nationwide Children’s Hospital has achieved new heights in patient care, research, quality, education and community involvement; all with the goal of improving healthcare outcomes for children everywhere. This splendid state of affairs combined with the fact I will be 67 all point to this being the most appropriate time for me to help us transition to my successor. With my affection for Nationwide Children’s Hospital and the transformative impact we are having on children’s healthcare, I am gratified that I will continue to serve this organization as Emeritus Executive following my retirement.” Read more.