Retirement Announcement: Richard J. Brilli, MD, FAAP, MCCM

(From the November 2019 Issue of Medstat


Written by Tim Robinson, CEO

It is with both sadness and the deepest admiration that I announce Dr. Richard J. Brilli will be retiring as our Chief Medical Officer in June 2020.  I am happy to report that following his retirement Dr. Brilli will continue working onsite five days per month assisting with special assignment projects and supporting the onboarding of our new chief medical officer.

There simply is not room in this announcement to fully capture the impact Dr. Brilli has had on Nationwide Children’s since he arrived in 2008. His vision for “Zero Hero” has transformed not only our organizational perspective on patient safety and health care quality but the perspective of the global pediatric community.

His legacy will live on through the audacious, transformative goal he set forward in 2008: eliminating all preventable patient harm. In doing so, he launched a journey that has resulted in a 70 percent reduction in all harm events and a national movement around zero preventable harm. The five-pillar foundation for quality and safety that Dr. Brilli and his colleagues established (Do Not Harm Me, Cure Me, Treat Me With Respect, Navigate My Care and Keep Us Well) has served as an exemplary model replicated by numerous quality and safety efforts worldwide. For this, and so much more, Dr. Brilli holds a deep and lasting place in our hearts and the history of Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

Always the collaborator, Dr. Brilli has worked tirelessly to spread Nationwide Children’s learnings around the world. He is an inaugural member of the clinical steering team for the Solutions for Patient Safety (SPS) National Harm Reduction Collaborative, which now includes 135 hospital systems, and most recently he Co-Chairs the 50-hospital Children’s Hospital Association Improving Pediatric Sepsis Outcomes Collaborative to bring more children the benefit of high-quality care. His desire to spread knowledge is also evident in the number of professionals he has mentored during his career and the creation of the world’s first peer-reviewed journal focused only on pediatric quality of care. Dr. Brilli is Co-Editor in Chief of this journal.  

Rich has also been a role model for our One Team values, and has relentlessly credited his colleagues and peers with many of these accomplishments.   He has always acted in a manner consistent with his belief in the importance of elevating institutional capacity both at Nationwide Children’s and other children’s hospitals nationally -- insisting that a rising tide of collaborative efforts is essential for the safety and quality movement. A movement which has ultimately made health care safer for children everywhere.

I will miss working with Dr. Brilli, and I know many others will as well, but I am grateful he will still be with us part-time. And, of course, I am glad that he will be able to spend more time with his wife Cindy, their children and grandchildren. I am equally grateful to them for sharing Dr. Brilli with us for so many years and we wish them all well in this next exciting chapter of their lives.

More details to come on our search process and more importantly, the well-deserved celebrations for Dr. Brilli.  Please join me in congratulating him for his transformational service.