Dr. Harris’ latest challenge may prove to be the most rewarding. As medical director of CHOC Surgical Services, his goal is to make Orange County’s first all-pediatric operating rooms among the best in the nation. Having been a member of the CHOC medical staff for more than 20 years, Dr. Harris has a definite vision in mind.
“For our Surgical Services team to align with CHOC’s vision to be a leading destination for children’s health, four key elements are required: clinical excellence, efficient management, research and teaching,” Dr. Harris said. “Our approach to these elements can be found in one of my favorite quotes, ‘Teams that want to succeed maximize every asset and resource they have for the organization.’ Each one of the four elements stated requires team collaboration with physician leadership, administration and nursing.”
Dr. Harris is well aware of how CHOC Surgical Services ultimately impacts each member of the CHOC medical staff. His goal is to create a service-oriented environment that meets the needs of surgeons, as well as all hospital specialties to ensure patients and their families are well cared for. His plans also encompass supporting the hospital’s teaching goals and non-surgical specialty needs. Dr. Harris is particularly excited by the prospect of bringing research capabilities into the OR, and eventually using those capabilities to guide clinical decisions and future research.
“Doing What’s Right For Kids”
Board-certified in anesthesiology and specialty board-certified in pediatric anesthesia, Dr. Harris’ medical career took a slight detour before he came to CHOC. He joined the U.S. Navy shortly after beginning medical school at Georgetown University. He received deferments for his internship at Los Angeles County + USC Medical Center and residency at UCLA Medical Center.
After his residency, Dr. Harris was set to develop a pediatric cardiac surgery program for the National Naval Hospital in Maryland. But Desert Storm intervened, and Dr. Harris spent six months deployed with the Second Marine Division instead.
Back on the home front, Dr. Harris and his wife face the everyday excitement and challenges of raising six children, ages 3 to 18. He has made a point to coach their soccer teams and serve on the AYSO regional board.
All those years of coaching have made him a highly recognizable figure to many Orange County children. And Dr. Harris appreciates the additional insights that come from community involvement.
“It makes me feel like being part of the whole picture for the kids of Orange County,” Dr. Harris said. “It is about doing what is right for the kids, which is what is right for CHOC.”
To contact Dr. Harris, please call 714-560-1580. Click here to learn more about surgical services at the Tidwell Procedure Center at CHOC.