Congratulations to Tina Sanzone, MHA, BSN, RN, the hospital’s new vice president of access and patient navigation. Tina is responsible for patient access and referral management with oversight of the appointment center, communications center, critical care transport and language access services.
Lisa Aurilio, MSN, MBA, chief operating officer, says, Tina’s clinical and operations background make her an excellent fit for the position.
“Tina’s long career at Akron Children’s has given her a unique perspective on the needs of patients and their families,” Lisa said. “She knows how much patient families value convenience and ease of access when scheduling appointments and navigating our locations and will use this knowledge in her new role.”
Tina earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Kent State University and her master’s degree in health administration from the University of Phoenix.
Below she shares more about herself, family and hobbies.
Tell us a little about your background at Akron Children’s?
I worked for 15 years in the post anesthesia care unit (10 years as a staff nurse and 5 years as a clinical coordinator). After completing my master’s degree, I accepted a role as an operations manager for our ENT, Pediatric Surgery and Vision Center practices. I was promoted into an administrative director role and was responsible for the development and oversight of the dental clinic along with supporting Anesthesia and Pain Medicine, the Heart Center, ENT, Children’s After Hours, Maternal Fetal Medicine and Pediatric Surgery practices. In 2021, I accepted a director role that focused on the Akron Children’s Centers of Excellence Programs (Spine, Mitochondrial and Vision) and furthering their development.
Tell us about the duties of your current role? Also, what do you enjoy most and what are some of the challenges?
My job focuses on all aspects of ‘how’ our patients access care. Access touches virtually every area of the organization. I work with many different departments and teams to strive to provide care to our patients when they need us and to anticipate the needs of our patients for the future. One of the challenges is ensuring we can provide high-quality care to our patients while navigating the ever-changing health care and consumer landscapes and to work to bring together all the work that is already underway. There are a lot of dedicated teams doing great work to improve access. We need to ensure that everyone is aligned and not competing for the same resources.
If you didn’t work in health care leadership, what would your dream job be?
I think it would be exciting to be a travel reporter. I love the thought of seeing the sights and eating great food for a living!
Tell us about your family.
I’ve been married to my husband, Gregg, for 25 years. My son, Dominic, is 22 and lives in Hollywood, California. He recently completed the guitar performance program at Musicians Institute. My daughter, Isabella, is 19 and a sophomore at Ohio University. She is a plant biology major (which is a good thing because I have a black thumb).
Hobbies/things you enjoy doing outside of work?
I love long motorcycle rides (as the passenger, it’s my therapy), kayaking and cooking/entertaining.
What was your first paying job?
My first paying job was at my local library. I worked there from age 15 ½ until I graduated with my nursing degree. I worked in the Children’s Room as the assistant to the children’s librarian. I also handpicked and delivered books to senior citizens, assisted living facilities and nursing homes in the community I grew up in. I knew the Dewey Decimal system like the back of my hand!
What keeps you passionate about your job?
I have always loved working at Akron Children’s. It’s the people that make it fun and the dedication to continuous improvement and growth that make it exciting.
Do you have a favorite quote or mantra you live by?
I love quotes (you can ask my kids). I don’t have a single favorite (different quotes fit different areas of my life) but for work I would say, “No one can whistle a symphony; it takes a whole orchestra to play it.”