With the growing demand for pediatric specialty services in the tri-county area, Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital is poised for continuous growth and expansion. As its new Chief Executive Officer, Caitlin Beck Stella, MPH, is ready for the challenge with commitment and dedication to leading the Children’s Hospital into the future. Stella replaces the recently retired Chantal Leconte, FACHE, who led the children’s hospital for the past five years.
“I am honored to join this remarkable organization and privileged to continue its work in delivering the region’s highest quality pediatric healthcare services, always with love for our patients and families at the center of everything we do,” said Stella, who began her healthcare career as a volunteer at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in her hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Stella comes to Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital with an impressive background and experience in children’s healthcare and professional highlights that have allowed her to build a legacy early in her career. After completing her undergraduate degree in Child Development at Virginia Tech, she headed to Los Angeles to complete an internship in Child Psychiatry at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Later, she began working in clinical research administration at the institution currently known as the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA Medical Center, overseeing the start-up of a multi-million-dollar clinical research Center of Excellence funded by the National Institutes of Health. By integrating clinical services, clinical trials and multidisciplinary research, this program became known as the UCLA Center for Autism Research and Treatment (CART), which is now recognized as an international leader in autism research.
During her time at UCLA, she also completed a Master’s in Public Health in Health Policy and Management, which led her to pursue a management consulting career in the healthcare advisory practice of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. She worked on various national engagement focusing in operational performance improvement, revenue cycle management, information technology implementation and compliance.
Before joining Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, Stella was the Chief Administrative Officer for UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital and Women’s Health. She led efforts to affiliate with Miller Children’s and Women’s Hospital and developed a system-wide strategy for the joint expansion of children’s health services in Southern California. Always committed to also impacting the lives of children who are hospitalized, she created a special program while at Mattel Children’s Hospital called, “Everyday Wish Fund.”
A spin off to the Make a Wish Foundation concept, she often pulled internal and external resources to grant daily wishes to children in the hospital, even if these wishes meant redecorating a hospital room to reflect and capture the imagination and wish of a patient.
“Caitlin’s expertise and experience will be critical as we expand Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital and its footprint in South Florida,” said Aurelio M. Fernandez, III, FACHE, Memorial Healthcare System President & CEO. “Her contributions will be significant and impactful for the organization, the patients and the communities we serve for years to come.”