Paul Oliver may not be a native of the Mahoning Valley but he says the 20 years he has lived there is the longest he has resided in one place. He credits his strong ties to the area as one of the reasons he was selected to succeed Sharon Hrina as vice president of Akron Children’s Mahoning Valley, where he will oversee operations in Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana counties.
Prior to joining Akron Children’s, Paul served as chief network integration officer for the Great Lakes Group of Bon Secours Mercy Health (BSMH). With Bon Secours Mercy Health Youngstown, he held roles including senior vice president of physician enterprises and business development, as well as chief network integration officer and chief quality officer.
A fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives, Paul earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Providence College in Rhode Island, and his master’s in health services administration from the George Washington University in Washington, D.C. He also completed an administrative residency at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital in California during his master’s program.
Below Paul shares a little more about himself and his life outside of work.
What attracted you to this position at Akron Children’s?
First and foremost, it was the hospital’s mission and dedication to children and teens. I worked at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. prior to moving to Ohio, so I have experience working in pediatric health care. Having worked at BSMH over the years, I was involved in early discussions with Akron Children’s leaders as we crafted the working relationships between BSMH and Akron Children’s in the Mahoning Valley. I have always been impressed with the culture and energy of Akron Children’s leaders, so to have the opportunity to join an organization dedicated to caring for children in my adopted hometown is very exciting.
If you didn’t work in health care leadership, what would your dream job be?
I really enjoy health care, especially caring for vulnerable populations like children. If I didn’t work directly in health care but still wanted to have an impact on community health, I would work in policy making or advocacy roles. But I’ve played drums longer than the 27 years I’ve been in health care, so my dream job would be playing drums in a rhythm and blues band.
Tell us about your family.
I met my wife, Laura, in D.C. We have been married for over 20 years. We have 2 daughters: Anna,18, a freshman in college, and Catherine, 14, a freshman at Boardman High School. Both girls have had great experiences going through the Boardman school system, and we are particularly happy that Boardman has had in-person schooling throughout the pandemic.
How do you relax?
I play the drums and enjoy music. Running is another favorite way of relaxing. I was very happy this past summer when my daughter started running with me in the park. We live near Mill Creek Metro Park, which is the ‘jewel’ of the Mahoning Valley and a great place to run.
Most interesting place you’ve been and why?
A few years ago, my wife learned of an annual Caribbean music cruise called Cayamo where several dozen musicians play concerts daily from noon until midnight. We had never been on a cruise and were a little skeptical but ended up having such a great experience we have gone 3 times! The ship stops at different ports in the Caribbean, but those were not the point of the trip. It was nonstop performances with passengers (most of whom attend every year) all there to enjoy music performed by singers/songwriters like Lyle Lovett, Bruce Hornsby, Brandi Carlile and Red Wanting Blue. The ship, the Norwegian Pearl, is the best place I have ever been. For me, it’s the journey, not the destination.
What was your first paying job?
I grew up in New England, and my first real job was working at Davy’s Locker seafood restaurant as a bus boy. It was a fun job, but my clothes smelled like fish every night!
What would you change about yourself if you could?
I wish I had fewer gray hairs, but I blame those on my children,
Do you have a favorite quote or mantra you live by?
Greasy luck. I grew up near New Bedford, MA which at one time was the whaling capital and was the site where Melville wrote Moby Dick. Greasy luck was an expression of good luck to the whalers as they went out to sea. I think it is a fun and somewhat unique expression.
Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know.
I was on a plane from Boston to Halifax, Nova Scotia and sat among World Wrestling Federation wrestlers. I was seated next to “Leaping Lanny” Poffo and directly behind Jesse “The Body” Ventura and Randy “Macho Man” Savage. They were a fun group!