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A Conversation With Philip GoropoulosPresident, CHI St. Joseph Children's Health

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Philip Goropoulos, 41, has been president of CHI St. Joseph Children's Health since May 2014. He has almost two decades of experience in nonprofit, community-based health care and social services in the region.

Goropolous has a bachelor’s degree in English and American studies from Dickinson College and a master’s degree in nonprofit management from Regis University in Denver. He also completed the Johnson & Johnson Healthcare Executive Leadership Program at the University of California-Los Angeles.

He and his wife, Amy, and daughters Elena and Maya recently moved to East Hempfield Township.

Q: What are some of the needs that CHI St. Joseph Children’s Health addresses for children in the community?

A: We have focused on trying to find gaps where other providers needed assistance or there was a lack of services or support available to families in our area. One area is children’s health education; we focus on oral health, overall wellbeing, and have added a behavioral health component that works with kids of all ages and their parents. We’re doing some intensive work around educating people about understanding their own health needs and the role they play in addressing those needs. We have what we call a family wellness case manager program, which works with families to help identify health benefits and services. A lot of times, families were getting signed up for insurance but didn’t really understand what it meant to have health benefits, to engage with a primary care physician, to have a lasting relationship that could result in improved health outcomes.

Then we focused on two clinical areas where we found significant gaps in the availability of services for children. The first was children’s dental services and oral health. We began with a mobile program that used to go to all the school districts and connect kids with dentistry and oral health services, provide some service and then refer them for ongoing care. There was a shortage of places to refer children, so we ended up creating our own dental centers. The final clinical area is behavioral health. There was a real shortage and a waitlist for psychiatric care for children.

Describe what role a nonprofit should have in the community.

Nonprofits as a sector are committed to improving the overall environment of the communities we serve. Sometimes it comes back to: How do you promote and strengthen the common good? How do we create that culture that raises everybody up and brings us to the next level?

If you could share a “wish list” with local businesses to help your programs, what would it be?

People sometimes forget children’s health is a major issue, that children are uninsured at a much higher rate in Lancaster County than the rest of the state. What we look for is to help spread awareness of what is available through nonprofits such as ours, so they can connect their employees and their family members to our services. Of course, we also rely on financial donations and other mechanisms.

What is your favorite fall activity with your daughters?

Both my girls are completely fascinated with animals. We really enjoy a lot of the fall festivals that are around so they can interact with nature and animals. It’s such a joy to see their faces light up when you introduce them to an alpaca or a horse.

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