A. Craig Hillemeier, M.D., was appointed chief executive officer of Penn State Hershey Medical Center and Health System, senior vice president for health affairs for Penn State, and dean of its College of Medicine in July 2014, succeeding Harold L. Paz, M.D., M.S., who served in the roles since 2006.
Dr. Hillemeier joined Penn State Hershey in 2001 as chair of pediatrics and medical director of Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital. He served as interim executive director of the Medical Center for nine months during 2006 and subsequently became vice dean for clinical affairs at Penn State Hershey. He also served as director and chief operating officer of Penn State Hershey Medical Group since its inception in 2008.
Dr. Hillemeier oversaw the development, construction, and opening in spring 2013 of the 263,000-square-foot, five-story freestanding Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital, a project that was supported by $87 million in private philanthropy and $94 million in state capital funding. Under his leadership, the Children's Hospital developed a quality and safety program that has resulted in the hospital regularly scoring greater than the 90th percentile on inpatient patient satisfaction surveys. The Children's Hospital also has been named among the nation's best since 2010, and is most recently ranked in six of 10 specialties on the U.S. News and World Report Best Children's Hospital list for 2014. Fundraising for the Four Diamonds Fund at Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital has grown to more than $12 million a year, and the Four Diamonds Pediatric Cancer Research Center has become one of foremost in the country in pediatric cancer research.
During Dr. Hillemeier's tenure as chair of pediatrics, faculty grew from 63 to 143 in 14 divisions. The newest division, Child Abuse Pediatrics, was formed in 2012 to support the Penn State Hershey Center for the Protection of Children, which helps put Penn State at the forefront of a handful of institutions nationwide seeking to address the important issues surrounding child protection.
As vice dean for clinical affairs, Dr. Hillemeier oversaw the growth of Penn State Hershey Medical Group to include nearly 900 physicians and 300 advanced practice clinicians, 64 practice sites across central Pennsylvania, and more than one million outpatient visits each year. Dr. Hillemeier was Instrumental in the founding and development of the University Park Regional Medical Campus in State College to help address a shortage of primary care health services in the State College area. Today, nearly 190 faculty and staff at 5 outpatient practice sites see about 110,000 patient visits each year. With the fall 2014 semester, 24 third- and fourth-year medical students from Penn State College of Medicine will receive their clinical training at the regional medical campus. A new Family Medicine Residency at the regional campus, in partnership with Mount Nittany Medical Center, will provide training to new physicians interested in primary care.
Dr. Hillemeier holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Iowa and earned his M.D. from Loyola University Medical School, where he then completed a residency in pediatrics. After a fellowship in pediatric gastroenterology at Yale New Haven Medical Centers, he took his first faculty position at Brown University, where he earned a prestigious FIRST grant award from the NIH for his research on gastroesophageal reflux in infants. He then moved to the University of Michigan where he served first as division chief of pediatric gastroenterology and then as associate chair in pediatrics. Hillemeier is board-certified in pediatrics and pediatric gastroenterology and is immediate past chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics. He is married to Marianne Hillemeier, who is the department head of health policy administration in the Penn State College of Health and Human Development.