There have always been bricks and mortar in Lin Gentile’s life. Lin, vice president, construction & support services at Akron Children’s Hospital, comes from a family of builders, with both her father and brother involved in the construction and maintenance of buildings. When Lin began overseeing Children’s construction and expansion projects, the work came naturally to her, despite her years spent in the banking industry.
On March 29, Lin puts the finishing touches on her 18-year career at Children’s. She’s looking forward to sleeping in, working out, traveling to Cincinnati and Florida and golfing with friends.
What brought you to Children’s?
I worked as KeyBank’s Akron district president and Bill Considine (Akron Children’s CEO Emeritus) was on my advisory board. I knew Children’s reputation in the community, and through Bill, learned about the hospital’s mission. After I left Key, we went to lunch periodically and Bill sometimes said, “You should come work for us.” He was always forward-thinking and visionary about the hospital, and I liked what I heard. I eventually took Bill up on his offer.
What was going on in your life then?
I decided not to move to another city with KeyBank, left after 27 years and began looking for a new opportunity.
Have you always worked in the same department and role?
I started as a vice president overseeing home health, healthcare business solutions & Pediatric Clinical Trials, Inc. In 2002, I took on several large construction projects: the original Considine Professional Building; the north addition, where the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU), rooftop helipad, hematology-oncology unit and Burn Center are housed; and the east addition, which expanded Kids Café and added 4 operating rooms. Later, I oversaw professional & support services, encompassing the pharmacy, lab, radiology, social work, rehab, facilities, food service and environmental services and security. After Mahoning Valley Beeghly campus was acquired in 2007, I handled its renovation. In 2012, I dealt with some health issues, and to lighten the load, some of my responsibilities were shifted to other administrators. Currently, I oversee food services, environmental services, facilities, planning design and construction and public safety.
What have your biggest contributions been while here?
I get a lot of satisfaction from helping people succeed, and have developed strong, effective teams in many different areas. One example involved implementing the Integrated Lean Project Delivery (ILPD) process in the Kay Jewelers Pavilion construction project. I played an integral role in bringing ILPD to Children’s and developing teams consisting of hospital executives, physicians, nurses, clinical staff and even patient families, who met regularly with architects, builders and the hospital’s in-house Lean Six Sigma experts. We saved Children’s more than $60 million, opened 2 months earlier than planned and used 20% less building space.
How has Akron Children’s changed since you started here?
Our regional footprint has grown to around 90 facilities in 25 counties, allowing us to reach more patients and families. In 2015, Children’s was recognized as the fastest growing hospital in the country when Kay Jewelers Pavilion opened. As we increased in dimension, our national reputation grew, too.
What gave you the most satisfaction at work?
None of us knew for sure if the ILPD process would work. We had to convince a lot of people that it was a good idea. Then we started the process and saw we could drive down costs and deliver a high-quality building. From senior leadership to the board to employees to the tradespeople, we worked collaboratively to better the organization.
What’s your most memorable moment at Akron Children’s?
I enjoy opening new facilities that are designed through the eyes of a child so patients and families feel comfortable. In particular, leading the Beeghly campus and Kay Jewelers Pavilion projects were major moments for me.
What’s your idea of a perfect day?
Enjoying the beach in Hilton Head with my family.
Do you have any advice for people just starting at Children’s?
Embrace the culture of kindness and collaboration. Children’s is an amazing place to work.
What music do you like? Where and how do you listen to it?
I listen to country, pop, oldies and classical on the car radio or Alexa at home. I love live music of any kind, anywhere.
What’s the last book you read?
“Becoming” by Michelle Obama
What’s the last movie you saw?
What do you like to do when you’re not at work?
Group exercise classes, golfing, reading and volunteering on several boards in Akron