New Physician and Administrative Leaders Bring an Innovative Management Model to The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio

By Tiffany Parnell
Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Charles Hankins, MD, MBA, and Cris Daskevich, MHA, MBA, recently joined The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio and CHRISTUS Health System teams, ushering in a new era of leadership and growth.

Dr. Hankins, who fulfills the roles of President and Chief Medical Officer of The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio and Senior Vice President of Pediatric Services for CHRISTUS Health, began serving in an administrative capacity in January 2018. Daskevich, the Chief Executive Officer of The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio and Senior Vice President of Maternal Services for CHRISTUS Health System, arrived soon after in mid February.

Though new to San Antonio, Dr. Hankins and Daskevich have more than 55 years of combined healthcare leadership experience and worked together at Texas Children’s Hospital since 2003. For nearly 15 years of their Texas Children’s Hospital tenure, they partnered to enhance maternal-child health by developing a robust neonatology program and expanding access to specialties, such as maternal-fetal medicine and neonatology, across Greater Houston. Both Dr. Hankins and Daskevich are committed to the CHRISTUS Health mission of extending the healing ministry of Jesus Christ.

Two Visionary Leaders, One Shared Goal

Daskevich and Dr. Hankins come from different professional backgrounds and bring varied perspectives to The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio.

Dr. Hankins completed his medical degree at The University of Tennessee Health Science Center before relocating to San Antonio and performing his internship and residency in pediatrics at Brooke Army Medical Center. His fellowship took him to Washington, D.C., where he trained in neonatology at the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. He then cared for patients at hospitals in Killeen and San Antonio until he left the service in 1992 and began private practice in Memphis, Tennessee. In 2003, Dr. Hankins was recruited to Texas Children’s Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, marking the beginning of his career in academic medicine.

“This combination of government, private and academic medicine led me down a leadership path,” Dr. Hankins says. “While in Memphis, I developed a particular interest in administration and completed a physician executive MBA program in 1998, which accelerated my transition into administrative roles.”

A native Texan, Daskevich holds an undergraduate degree in psychology from Texas Christian University and Master of Healthcare Administration and Master of Business Administration degrees from the University of Houston–Clear Lake. She began her administrative fellowship at Texas Children’s Hospital in 1996 and worked at the hospital for over 21 years.

While at Texas Children’s Hospital, Daskevich served in a variety of operational leadership, business development and strategic planning roles. She helped expand the hospital’s pediatric subspecialty services across Greater Houston and led the development and ongoing operations for Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women and the nationally recognized Texas Children’s Fetal Center.

Though their areas of expertise differ, Dr. Hankins and Daskevich share one goal: enhancing the standard of care for mothers, babies and children in San Antonio, South Texas and beyond. To achieve this objective, the two will partner in a unique dyad leadership model that was recently implemented at The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio.

An Innovative Partnership

The healthcare dyad leadership model pairs an administrative or nursing leader with a physician leader, and each leader brings complimentary skill sets to the partnership. Physicians, for example, bring clinical expertise and the ability to relate with physician peers, while administrators have the ability to oversee day-to-day operational management, according to the Advisory Board.

Dr. Hankins and Daskevich have worked together in a dyad leadership model since 2003. Their working relationship emphasizes joint decision-making, strategy, and performance responsibility and accountability.

“Through our maternal-fetal medicine and outreach program, we care for the entire family. Many of the mothers we see have babies with complex medical diagnoses, so we are with them on their journeys from initial diagnosis through the creation of their care plan and delivery. Once their babies are born, they often have congenital anomalies and chronic healthcare needs for which only a comprehensive children’s hospital can care. We have the medical expertise and resources to serve these patients and make a lifetime commitment to these families.”
— Cris Daskevich, MHA, MBA, Chief Executive Officer of The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio and Senior Vice President of Maternal Services for CHRISTUS Health System

“The dyad leadership model brings depth and breadth to the table,” Daskevich says. “My experience and expertise in operations, strategy, advocacy and communication, as well as my focus on maternal health, complements Dr. Hankins’ experience and expertise very well. While I have an advanced understanding of health care, I do not have a medical degree. Dr. Hankins can delve deeper into the details of complex medical care, which gives us a better understanding to make better decisions together.”

At The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio and in their Senior Vice President roles for CHRISTUS Health System, the pair will jointly address needs for maternal-fetal health and pediatrics across the communities CHRISTUS Health System serves in the United States and Latin America.

Building on a Strong Legacy

The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio has a rich heritage — the hospital’s origins date almost 60 years when the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word opened a pediatric unit within the Santa Rosa Infirmary, which later became Santa Rosa Hospital. In recent years, The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio has become San Antonio’s first freestanding children’s hospital, formed strategic partnerships with Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital, and embarked on a $150 million renovation project, which is nearing completion.

“You can’t argue there’s great history here,” Dr. Hankins says. “What I have assessed is a combination of historical strength, excellent talent, a superb vision and a team that is willing to move forward. Health care is a team sport, and we have to work together each and every day to create quality outcomes, efficiency and stewardship. The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio team is willing to embrace this teamwork.”

“The San Antonio and South Texas communities deserve the highest level of patient care, education and research focused on improving women’s and children’s health,” Daskevich adds. The passion is here to build upon this incredible foundation — you can feel it when you walk down the halls and meet with community and organizational leaders.”

The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio already has many high-quality service lines in place — Dr. Hankins names the ICU, the oncology program and the collaborative NICU and maternal-fetal medicine program as particular areas of strength. The building blocks for a leading pediatric cardiac center are also coming together. Moving forward, the new leadership team hopes to position the hospital as a regional thought leader and destination for maternal-child health care and extend the hospital’s outreach, making it easier for communities to access subspecialty care. These outreach efforts have already begun.

“We are excited to join the healthcare community in San Antonio, Bexar County and South Texas, and we look forward to getting know and working side by side with our colleagues to address healthcare needs. Health care has a reputation for being competitive. Delivering exemplary specialty care to pediatric patients and high-risk mothers requires mutual respect and a group effort. We hope to encourage more collaboration in local healthcare delivery.”
— Charles Hankins, MD, MBA, President and Chief Medical Officer of The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio and Senior Vice President of Pediatric Services for CHRISTUS Health System

In March 2018, The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio celebrated the opening of The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio – Stone Oak Pavilion. This facility houses a pediatric primary care clinic and a KidSTOP clinic, which allows children to receive diagnostic imaging services, physician-ordered lab work, IV infusions and respiratory therapy services. Additionally, The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio – Stone Oak Pavilion is home to the hospital’s third affiliated freestanding pediatric emergency department and also offers families access to specialty care clinics representing a variety of pediatric subspecialties, including otolaryngology, audiology, orthopedics, cardiology, gastroenterology, neurology and hematology/oncology.

“Across many parts of the country, it is a challenge for families to access pediatric subspecialty care and maternal-fetal medicine,” Daskevich says. “Our overall vision for The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio is to continue to create greater access to these services in the communities where our families live.”


For more information about the services available at The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio or to refer a patient for specialty care, visit chofsa.org or call 210-704-2011.