Shortly after the opening of the new C.S. Mott Children’s and Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital last month, the leader of the complex announced she will be retiring on her 67th birthday.

Patricia Warner, executive director of the hospitals who led the construction of the newly opened $754 million hospital, will officially retire on April 4. In an interview yesterday, Warner said her co-workers and patients have made her past 35 years at UMHS exceptional.

“Everyone gets to a point in their life where they feel fulfilled and move on,” Warner said. “I am looking forward to my retirement career after having been privileged to work with wonderful people and meet our families.”

Kelly Parent, patient-family coordinator at the Mott Children’s Hospital, said Warner had a lasting impact on the facility. Parent runs the Patient-Family Centered Care Program, where she took the position as coordinator after her daughter was diagnosed with a form of brain cancer in 2003. She said Warner’s confidence in the facility led her to seek treatment for her daughter and eventually apply for the position at the hospital.

“Pat ran this institution with heart and with intellect that enabled us to feel confident that we could stay here and provide our daughter with the best chance of surviving and thriving,” Parent said.

Parent commended Warner for giving her the support and independence to start a program that joins families and faculty.

“Families and staff adore her,” Parent said. “She’s there 100 percent of the time and makes herself available, as she is responsive and truly listens to their voice.”

Scott Newport, a UMHS volunteer and the parent of a former patient, said he has immense respect for Warner’s longstanding commitment to families over the years.

“It’s people like Pat Warner who are great leaders, and everything in those kinds of institutions depends on leadership,” Newport said.

Newport said his appreciation for Warner comes partly from his gratitude for the doctors who worked at Mott.

“We work with the doctors and nurses on a daily basis, and after all of the visits, we sit back and appreciate the leadership that they work under,” Newport said. “She encourages the staff to be the best they can be. I’m going to miss her.”

UMHS spokeswoman Margarita Wagerson said UMHS will hold a national search for Warner’s replacement.

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