Projects centered on quality improvement have an emphasis of putting processes in place to ensure the safest, most effective care for patients. Consistently measuring these processes and implementing new methods of structure improves outcomes for patients. New to leading this charge in the division of Hematology/Oncology is Dr. Hannah Elkus.
Dr. Elkus toured Akron Children’s during a residency interview in 2016. Impressed with the design of the facilities and the kindness that greeted her with each staff interaction, she kept up with the Akron Children’s community while living in Columbus. This summer, Dr. Elkus, her fiancé and dogs packed up and made the move north once the news came that she would join the Akron Children’s staff full time.
In addition to her leadership role, Dr. Elkus will see pediatric oncology patients and serve as a faculty member for the pediatric residency program.
“My primary goal is to serve as a trusted source of support and knowledge for my patients and their families as they navigate a childhood cancer diagnosis,” she shared. “I also love to teach and am excited to work with the amazing medical students, residents and fellows.”
What is your area of expertise and why did you choose it?
While in fellowship, I earned a master’s in healthcare quality and patient safety through the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University. My studies have given me the tools to enact change in a growing area for Akron Children’s (hematology/oncology). I am most proud of my empathy and ability to form strong connections with my patients and their families.
When I was a residential advisor in college, a leader at that time taught the advisors to “learn your students by name and story.” I think about that advice often and apply it to my patients. It is so important to me to learn not just the basic facts about my patients and their diagnosis, but also who they are as people.
How do you deal with the emotional impact of being a provider?
I have incredible family and friends who are the best support system. In my free time, I love to read, walk my dogs, and explore new restaurants around the Cleveland area. I also love traveling, both the planning process and the trip itself.
The best part of my day is cooking dinner at home. My fiancé and I both enjoy cooking as a nice way to relax and re-connect, especially after a long day.
Who makes up your family, including pets and their names?
My fiancé, Jeff and our two dogs, Izzie and Phife. Izzie is an eight pound tiny bernedoodle and Phife is a 60 lb lab mix. They are an odd couple, but we love them!
What achievements are you most proud of?
I am most proud of completing my pediatric hematology/oncology fellowship. I started in July of 2020, which was a challenging time to enter a new hospital system and ended up learning so much while forming amazing relationships with my co-fellows and faculty members. I have dreamed of becoming a pediatric oncologist for many years, and fellowship turned that into a reality.