Research Horizons


Chief-of-Staff Wheeler to Become CMO at Lurie Children’s

Derek Wheeler, MD, will be leaving his role as Chief of Staff at Cincinnati Children’s effective Feb. 21, 2020, to become Chief Medical Officer at Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.

During his time at Cincinnati Children’s, Wheeler has been a champion of safety and has led countless improvements to support staff needs in the delivery of care. He also has been a trusted friend and mentor to many.

Prior to his Chief of Staff position, Wheeler was medical director of the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit and Associate Chief of Staff.

“It has been a gift to work alongside the talented faculty and staff at Cincinnati Children’s. This community has been home to me and my family for many years now, and I feel honored to have had the opportunity to serve Cincinnati’s children,” Wheeler says. “I look forward to reuniting with longtime friends, to bringing my wife, Cathy, closer to family, and to starting this next chapter in my career.”

Wheeler graduated from Purdue University in 1990 with a bachelor’s of art in movement and sports science and a bachelor’s of science in biology. With the help of a Navy scholarship, he earned his medical degree from the Indiana University School of Medicine, completing his residency at the U.S. Naval Medical Center, San Diego.

He served as a pediatrician at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Guam and at the U.S. Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune. He followed up with a fellowship at Cincinnati Children’s in critical care medicine (2000-2003) then worked for a year at the Medical College of Georgia’s Children’s Medical Center. He returned to Cincinnati Children’s in 2004 and was named Chief of Staff in July 2015.

“Derek’s outstanding clinical expertise is matched by his kindness and deep commitment to giving his best to his patients, families, and colleagues. Cincinnati Children’s has benefited from his leadership, and I have no doubt that Derek will continue to have an impact in Chicago,” says Steve Davis, MD, Chief Operating Officer.

Leaders at Cincinnati Children’s seek to fill the role by the first of the year to have as much overlap with Wheeler as possible.