Although new to the role of vice president of information services, Carole Ettinger is no stranger to Akron Children’s Hospital. She began her career in 2011 as a project manager after already having enjoyed a long career at Roadway Express/Yellow Roadway where she held several IT management positions. Most recently, she served as Akron Children’s senior director of the information services division.
Below she shares more about her current role and her life and hobbies outside of work.
What inspired you to want to work in a pediatric hospital?
I was born and raised in Akron and have always lived in the greater Akron area. Akron Children’s has an outstanding reputation in our community. When I heard the hospital was starting a Project Management Office I jumped at the opportunity. I feel fortunate to be a part of the Akron Children’s family in my role in ISD and volunteer work with the Chaplain’s office. I’m happy to be back onsite because it connects me with the mission of the hospital. When I see the patients and families watching the ball machine and walking through the halls, it connects me immediately with why working here is so fulfilling.
Tell me about the duties of your current role?
I oversee the implementation and support for clinical and administrative software applications, custom software development, system interfaces, vendor management, SharePoint and 0365, biomedical engineering, customer service and operations. ISD leaders work collaboratively so I am involved with our infrastructure, cybersecurity, EMR, EPMO and other teams. A major part of my role is developing our next generation of leaders. We are fortunate to have many smart, dedicated team members who can take us into the future.
If you didn’t work in health care leadership, what would your dream job be?
This could go in a few different directions. Both my mom and sister were nurses, so I’ve always been exposed to the joys and struggles of frontline health care and considered that line of work. Then again, I would also like to be a singer/songwriter and travel around the country playing gigs.
Tell us about your family.
I’ve been married for 37 years to my husband, Rich, who is a high school biology teacher. We met in a physics lab class at Kent State. We have an adult son, Aaron, who is a middle school science teacher in Akron Public Schools and 2 dogs, Lily, a 17-year-old Jack Russell, and Toby, a 1-year-old beagle/terrier/mutt. We enjoy attending baseball games and concerts, hiking, and vacations to the beach and Rocky Mountains.
What are your hobbies/things you enjoy doing outside of work?
I love to cook, try new restaurants, read, hike, play guitar, go to Cleveland Guardians games, and sing in the church choir. I love visiting The Last Exit used books and vinyl store in Kent. I can spend hours in there looking around. You just never know what you’re going to find, and it keeps me stocked with things to read and music to listen to.
What was your first paying job?
When my brother was in high school, he got a job cleaning an office building, but they needed another person so at 13 years old I started working beyond babysitting. In high school I worked at Dairy Queen. I had to learn to make the perfect Q at the tip of an ice cream cone before I could wait on customers. During college, I worked part time as a nurse assistant at St. Thomas Hospital which was an amazing learning experience about dealing with and caring for people. One of my most interesting jobs was working and living in a funeral home when I first got married. We only stayed a few months, but it gave us a lot of stories to tell.
Do you have a favorite quote or mantra you live by?
Act Justly, Love Mercy and Walk Humbly.
Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know.
I’ve just recently learned this about myself, but I absolutely love to dance. Not real dancing – more like jumping around, wedding reception or high school reunion type dancing to all the classics, rock songs and oldies. It’s so much fun!