Pediatric Surgeon, Dr. John Draus, selected as interim ACMO of Kentucky Children’s Hospital

Dr. John Draus, pediatric surgeon with the UK Department of Surgery, accepted appointment earlier this September as the interim Associate Chief Medical Officer (ACMO) for the Kentucky Children’s Hospital (KCH).

Dr. Draus was asked to step in to the position when the former ACMO, Dr. Scottie Day, agreed to serve as interim chair of the UK Department of Pediatrics. Day is taking the place of Dr. Carmel Wallace who retired as pediatrics chair this year.

According to Dr. Draus, the offer to take over as interim ACMO came as a surprise, albeit a welcome one. “I appreciate the opportunity,” he commented. “It’s a privilege to be able to represent the needs of our clinical pediatric physicians and help them provide the best possible patient care during this period of significant growth at KCH.”

Dr. Draus has been a member of the UK Department of Surgery faculty since 2010. In 2015, he became medical director for UK’s pediatric level 1 trauma center.

He represents Kentucky Children’s Hospital to the Kentucky Trauma Advisory Committee and sits on the Kentucky State Committee on Trauma. He also serves as an officer in the Kentucky State Chapter of the American College of Surgeons.

Seven years ago, it was the future development plans for Kentucky Children’s Hospital which drew Dr. Draus to establish his surgical practice at UK HealthCare. In a meeting with Dr. Michael Karpf in 2010, Dr. Draus saw construction of the new UK hospital tower outside the CEO’s window. Meanwhile, Dr. Karpf outlined the vision for Chandler Hospital and KCH. Draus has since enjoyed being part of the effort to fulfill that vision.

He has seen the clinical pediatric faculty double, the KCH facility expand its acute care capabilities, the hospital environment become even more welcoming to families, and the addition of specialists and many new advanced care services to KCH that the region sorely needs, he said.

Accepting the ACMO position at this time, Dr. Draus has been thrust into the middle of a very important stage in KCH’s growth. In addition to extensive renovation completed last February, there is ongoing construction of the new Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), which is scheduled to open in 2018.

Advanced pediatric congenital heart care at KCH continues to grow, providing advanced services to families in a multi-state region, Draus said. The program is being given an additional boost through the shared vision of a one program, two sites partnership with the Cincinnati Children’s Heart Institute.

Pediatric orthopedic surgery and physical rehabilitation has also been enhanced with the re-location of Shriner’s Hospitals for Children to its new home on the UK medical campus. UK and Shriner’s have enjoyed a long and mutually supportive relationship which will only be enhanced by the close proximity of both facilities, said Draus.

As the appointment was effective immediately, Dr. Draus said he has already received a great deal of support from faculty and lots of advice on finding the balance between his surgical practice and the expectations of being a medical officer.

He also expressed appreciation for the support of Dr. Day; Dr. Phil Chang, Chief Medical Officer for UK HealthCare; Dr. Jay Zwischenberger, Chair of the Department of Surgery; Dr. Joe Iocono, Division Chief of Pediatric Surgery; and Bo Cofield, Chief of Clinical Operations.

“Everyone has been great helping me make the transition to this new role,” Draus said.