Meet the hospital executive honored as West Chester businessperson of the year

Tom Daskalakis’ mission is connecting with the community.

He started serving UC Health West Chester Hospital in 2011 as chief operations officer and was promoted to his current role of chief administrative officer in 2015. His focus is on the overall operations of the hospital, including the development, implementation and management of key performance, quality and growth strategies.

“Health care is such a complex system to maneuver and I like breaking down barriers and I like connecting with the community so the community’s more in touch with their health care needs,” Daskalakis told the Journal-News.

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The Dayton native was honored by the West Chester-Liberty Chamber Alliance at its Annual Celebration March 5 with The Carlos Todd Businessperson of the Year Award.

Under his leadership, West Chester hospital has been recognized for numerous national, state and regional awards. They including:

• being recognized by U.S. News & World Report in 2019 for heart failure and nephrology services;

• receiving the Healthgrades America’s 250 Best Hospitals Award, for five consecutive years, placing the hospital within the top five percent of 4,500 hospitals assessed nationwide (2016-2020) for clinical excellence;

• being named to The Cincinnati Enquirer’s 2019 Top Workplaces list, which recognizes companies with the most engaged, satisfied workforces, for the sixth consecutive time;

• receiving recognition as one of Ohio Business Magazine’s “Best Workplaces in Ohio,” for three consecutive years (2017-2019); and

• becoming the youngest U.S. hospital to receive Magnet Status from the American Nurses Credentialing Center, a prestigious award for nursing excellence that only 8 percent of hospitals in the U.S. receive.

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Additionally, Daskalakis oversees compliance initiatives to meet regulatory quality and safety requirements, and manages a wide variety of patient, employee, community and physician programs.

He said he heard “loud and clear” from residents in the community who were concerned that West Chester Hospital did not initially offer a maternity unit.

“That’s how we started working with doctors to bring that service” to the hospital five years ago, he said.

He also helped create the hospital’s epilepsy monitoring unit, giving people from as far away as Dayton a closer option than the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.

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Daskalakis said he is a firm believer in the power of collaboration, reveling in the relationships that he has developed with community partners and colleagues in leadership positions.

Within the past few years Tom has coordinated a wide variety of creative collaborations with local organizations on behalf of West Chester Hospital and the community that he serves.

That includess establishing connections with area cultural and religious organizations to help patients receive medical care in a manner respectful of religious culture and personal preferences.

“By working with the different centers, religious organizations and all that, we’re better able to make those patients feel more comfortable,” he said. “When a patient comes to a hospital, they’re scared, they’re nervous. What you want to do is better connect with their culture, their religion to make the experience much better.”

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That includes receiving iPads upon admission to the hospital to help patients select their appropriate ethnic, kosher or hallal meal and to aid with translations.

Daskalakis also launched an improvement program with local extended care facilities to enhance care and helped establish job shadowing programs with 10 local schools with more than 350 students participating each year.

“We’re developing the next generation of health care professionals,” he said of the program, which he oversees. “We try to connect with area schools and help kids identify what their true passion is in health care and … start the recruitment process.”

Daskalakis also integrated his management team to assist with local non-profit organizations including Project Search, Boys & Girls Club, YWCA of Butler County and Junior Achievement, to name a few.

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Daskalakis earned his bachelor’s degree in biology at the University of Cincinnati and a master’s degree in hospital health administration from Xavier University, has more than 30 years of healthcare leadership experience.

That includes serving as vice president of business development for Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton. Prior to that, he served as chief operating officer for Garden City Hospital in Garden City, Michigan. His extensive experience as a hospital administrator also includes service as network vice president of clinical support services, and as vice president of clinical services for Kettering Health Network located in Kettering.

He serves as a board member for the West Chester/Liberty Boys & Girls Club, serves as board chair for the Butler/Warren County Junior Achievement organization, and for the Mason-Deerfield Chamber of Commerce, serves on the OKI (Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana) Junior Achievement Board and serves on the Women Walking West board.

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