Hanna Perkins announces new CEO

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Karen Baer

Karen Baer has been named CEO of Hanna Perkins Center for Child Development, capping an effort of more than a year to find the right person to take on the leadership role. She begins work immediately.

In making the announcement, Susan Y. Meisel, chairman of the Hanna Perkins Board, said, “We’re very excited to have Karen with us. Her background in managing non-profits in the health-care field will be very important as Hanna Perkins broadens its footprint to provide education and services on behalf of children and families across Northeast Ohio.”

Baer previously served as chief clinical officer of Lifebanc, the Cleveland-based organ and tissue procurement organization. Prior to that, she was Lifebanc’s director of tissue services, following its 2001 merger with Mid-America Tissue Center – of which Baer had been director and president.

Earlier in her career, she served as an on-site supervisor for Hope Homes, assisting mentally and physically challenged adults.

“It’s an honor to be able to serve Hanna Perkins and its mission,” Baer said. “It has something to offer, potentially, for every child and family in Northeast Ohio and I feel as though it’s one of the region’s best-kept secrets. I’m excited to be part of Hanna Perkins and am looking forward to increasing our collaboration throughout the community to enable us to provide our services to an ever-expanding group of children and families.”

Baer has held  a number of state and national appointments, including president of the Ohio Transplant Recovery Council and member of the American Association of Tissue Banks Accreditation Committee. She was appointed by Gov. Bob Taft to the Second Chance Trust Fund Committee. She is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives and the American Association of Tissue Banks.

She lives in Stow with her husband and two children.

Hanna Perkins Center for Child Development has operated Hanna Perkins School for more than 60 years, with toddler programs, preschool and kindergarten classes. Located in the historic renovation of the former Malvern School in Shaker Heights, Hanna Perkins is a direct descendant of the Cleveland Day Nursery Program, which ran one of the nation’s earliest nursery schools (opened in 1880) and which pioneered in the field of early child development.

Today Hanna Perkins serves as a leading resource of information to parents and providers alike. Through its community outreach programs, Hanna Perkins offers continuing education and professional development to teachers, day care providers, social workers and other child-care specialists across Northeast Ohio. Its Hadden Clinic for Children and Families provides a range of developmental guidance for children and adolescents, including the specialized technique of Treatment Via the Parent. And the Reinberger Parent Child Resource Center and parent/toddler groups offer programs that allow parents the chance to better understand the inner emotional lives of their children.

For a copy of the press release about this announcement: News release_Hanna Perkins_New CEO_062612

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