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Retirement of Dr. Keith Oldham

From Douglas B. Evans, MD, Donald C. Ausman Family Foundation Professor of Surgery and chair of the Department of Surgery; Jason Jarzembowski, MD, PhD, CEO of the Children’s Specialty Group and Senior Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs – Pediatric Practice; and Scott Turner, president and COO of Children’s Wisconsin Hospital Group

Keith Oldham, MDAfter more than 20 years of distinguished service at Children’s Wisconsin and the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW), Keith Oldham, MD, surgeon-in-chief and the Marie Z. Uihlein Chair in Pediatric Surgery at Children's, and professor of surgery (pediatric surgery) at MCW, has announced his plan to retire, effective June 30, 2022.

Dr. Oldham’s impact on our organizations and the care of kids from Wisconsin and beyond has been significant. He played a major role in Children’s verification as a Level I Children’s Surgery Center by the American College of Surgeons (ACS), the highest level of distinction for hospitals that perform surgeries in newborns, children and teens. He was instrumental in the inception of Children’s Specialty Group as well as in the development of the new affiliation agreement. Dr. Oldham led the expansion of surgical services to Fox Valley/Green Bay Region and Marshfield and developed the Pediatric Surgical Clinical Outcomes Registry at Children’s to measure and improve care of pediatric surgical patients here. He serves on the board of directors for Children’s Wisconsin and Children’s Specialty Group.

Among his many accomplishments, Dr. Oldham has made major contributions to improve the access to and care by pediatric surgical specialists at the national level and beyond. While serving in the prestigious role of president of the American Pediatric Surgical Association from 2012-2013 he expressed his vision “that every child undergoing surgery today receive care in the right environment to yield the best outcomes.” He was recruited by the ACS to author what is considered a definitive textbook for optimal surgical care for kids. Ultimately, he served as medical director and chair of the verification committee of the ACS’s Children’s Surgery Verification Program, developing the standards for Level 1 Children’s Surgery Center accreditation, an important mechanism to drive quality improvement for pediatric surgical patients. This national program has verified over 35 children’s surgical centers across the country. As a board member for the Global Initiative for Children’s Surgery, he has helped lead many programs to improve access to and quality of children’s surgical care across the world.

Dr. Oldham has advanced the academic mission at Children’s Wisconsin. He started the Pediatric Surgery and Pediatric Surgery Critical Care Fellowships at MCW, some of the most sought after in the country. He is the recipient of 19 National Institutes of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention research grants since 1986 and has been a visiting professor and invited speaker at more than 75 institutions nationally and internationally. Dr. Oldham played a major role in the development of the Children’s Research Institute and serves on its board of directors.

Dr. Oldham’s legacy as a leader is immeasurable. He leads by example, demonstrates utmost reliability, promotes others ahead of himself and instills trust. We are exceptionally fortunate for his compassion, skill and leadership in assembling one of the finest surgical teams in the United States. His qualities create a culture in which everyone can thrive.

We will begin the search to fill the surgeon-in-chief role that reflects not only Dr. Oldham’s outstanding contributions to medicine but also its place in Children’s culture. In retirement, we wish Dr. Oldham ample time for the travel, whitewater rafting and kayaking he enjoys. Please join us in thanking him for his long tenure of outstanding care and service to kids and families.