Organization: La Rabida Children’s Hospital

Location: Chicago, IL

Express Interest!

About La Rabida Children’s Hospital:

La Rabida Children’s Hospital (La Rabida) is the only hospital of its kind in Chicago providing interdisciplinary, specialized, family-centered care, across the healthcare continuum, to children with medically complex conditions, disabilities and chronic illness. Through expertise, compassion, and advocacy La Rabida helps children and their families reach their fullest potential, regardless of their ability to pay.

Located on Lake Michigan in Chicago’s Jackson Park, La Rabida’s provides a unique array of services to children with complex conditions but who also are the most vulnerable, coming primarily from low income, minority communities. The hospital insures that not only do these children receive high quality healthcare but also that they and their families receive the wrap around support that is needed for the best outcomes. This includes behavioral health services, education and nutrition support to name a few.

Inpatient care is provided for children with acute exacerbations of their chronic conditions including sickle cell disease or diabetes children who need rehabilitation after surgery, burns, brain injury, stroke or trauma; or those who depend on technology or are transitioning from a neonatal or pediatric intensive care unit at another hospital to home. La Rabida’s team provides coordinated care from admission through discharge.

La Rabida offers a wide range of outpatient services as well. This includes providing a patient centered medical home for children chronic conditions and disabilities, specialty care, care coordination, behavioral health and developmental and rehabilitative therapies.

La Rabida is committed to innovation in its care delivery. Programs include the Chicago Children’s Trauma Center and La Rabida Children’s Advocacy Center for children exposed to trauma or abuse; Child and Family Connections, the system point of entry for early intervention services for 900 children who reside on Chicago’s Southside and most recently its Care Coordination Entity, providing support services to 3,000 children with complex medical needs and their families as well as their primary care physicians

La Rabida is a very special place. Triumphs occur here. Children overcome odds and excel beyond hope. This is where those who serve gain more than they give. The staff truly understands the impact that illness and disability can have on a family, which is why the comprehensive approach to a child’s treatment is empowering. La Rabida is multidisciplinary, family-centered and designed to nurture the well-being of the child’s body, mind and spirit. For 120 years, La Rabida has been helping Chicago’s most vulnerable children achieve their fullest potential.

For more information on La Rabida Children’s Hospital, please visit

The Opportunity:

The Vice President, Development & External Affairs (Vice President) is La Rabida’s top development and public relations leader, reporting directly to Brenda Wolf, President & CEO. Through this hire, La Rabida will reach a new and aspiring level of philanthropic success that will advance the reputation and awareness of the organization.

S/he will oversee, manage and grow the development team, currently consisting of nine development and communications professionals. The Vice President will actively manage a donor portfolio by personally participating in cultivation, solicitation and stewardship. As a hospital leader and member of the senior team, s/he will lead strategy and planning creating a culture of stewardship and philanthropy organization-wide.

Specifically, the Vice President will work to establish and execute a comprehensive development and public relations/marketing program to accommodate the short and long-term service, and facility needs of the Hospital. The Vice President is responsible for establishing, evaluating and administering specific plans in the following areas: major gifts, corporate and foundation giving, planned giving, direct mail, support groups, special events, public relations, marketing initiatives and volunteers. This position works as a key member of the senior leadership team to move the advancement program forward.

Key metrics for success of this role include:

  • Developing strategic initiatives to raise awareness of La Rabida which will result in philanthropic support for programs and services;
  • Providing leadership and support to the Senior Team and Board of Directors, specifically the Development committee; creating an approach that builds a true culture of philanthropy throughout the organization;
  • Achieving strong fundraising success for La Rabida through a robust and permanent major gift program;
  • Planning and coordinating special events to increase awareness and funding of La Rabida;
  • Building a vibrant network of major gift donors who feel connected to and supportive of the mission of the La Rabida and are appreciated for their generosity; and
  • Overseeing the creation and implementation of public and community relations initiatives.

Candidate Profile:

The Vice President, Development & External Affairs, along with the President & CEO will develop a vision for La Rabida’s public relations and development strategy, inspiring the support of the entire organization. S/he will be a creative, strategic and collaborative leader with an inquisitive and analytical mindset.

The ideal candidate will have the following personal competencies and characteristics:

An Expert in Development

In consultation with the President & CEO, Board of Directors and the Development Committee, the Vice President will develop and oversee the implementation of a comprehensive and prioritized annual and multi-year development plan. An experienced leader in the field of development, s/he will have demonstrated expertise with a wide range of fundraising channels with particular focus on major gifts. S/he will partner closely with the Board of Directors through the Development Committee to leverage relationships with current and prospective donors. S/he will flourish in a diverse community and be energized by the prospect of overseeing a development and public relations department, implementing processes and best practices. S/he will have a strong data and analysis orientation and a proven ability to use metrics to drive development decisions and achieve strategic objectives.

Relationship Building and Collaborating

The Vice President will be skilled at building and sustaining excellent relationships at multiple levels with varied constituencies internally and externally. S/he will be a confident and articulate communicator with the ability to work fluidly across all levels. The Vice President will have an inspirational approach to building collaboration and buy-in and generating support from all stakeholders. S/he will be a high-energy leader who can talk with all constituents and successfully convey La Rabida’s objectives. Collaborating closely with the President & CEO, the Vice President will implement a comprehensive and multi-faceted donor communication and stewardship strategy ensuring donor satisfaction. S/he will have a strong working relationship with key leaders and will be a proactive communicator at all times.

Strategic Leadership and Management Acumen

The Vice President will be a strategic and results-oriented leader who, along with the President & CEO, sets and articulates a vision for the organization’s next fundraising and communication chapter, builds and executes the strategy and evaluates outcomes with a metrics based approach. The Vice President will have a proven record of converting strategy into effective execution. S/he will have experience affecting change in an organization, strong organizational and process management skills and the proven ability to coordinate across departments. S/he will assess, direct and build the development and public relations staff. The Vice President will be an approachable leader who supports a culture of collaboration among the development and public relations team, senior team, medical professionals and Board as well as La Rabida’s other diverse stakeholders.

Public Relations and Communications Expertise

La Rabida’s Vice President will be an experienced leader with a curious mindset and a proven track record of setting and implementing innovative marketing strategies. S/he will serve as a catalyst and leader within the organization. S/he will have an expert understanding of public relations, digital marketing, social media, web and mobile development and management. S/he will be analytical and data-driven, able to conceptualize and analyze both problems and solutions and identify key metrics that will help La Rabida work towards its strategic objectives.

Passion for the Mission

The Vice President will have a passion for La Rabida’s mission and a commitment to the low-income community of children and families the organization serves. S/he will embrace La Rabida’s culture, while continually innovating to help expand its brand and reach. The Vice President will be an empathic, charismatic leader, treating others with respect and will have strong faith in humanity. S/he will be an individual of unquestioned integrity, ethics and values; someone who can be trusted without reservation.

A Bachelor’s degree is required; an advanced degree in a related field is preferred.


Marissa Martin and Turner Delano of Koya Leadership Partners have been exclusively retained for this search. To express your interest in this role please submit your materials here or email Marissa and Turner directly at All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.

La Rabida Children’s Hospital is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, and LGBT applicants.

About Koya Leadership Partners:

Koya Leadership Partners is a national retained executive search and human capital consulting firm that works exclusively with nonprofits and social enterprises. We deliver measurable results, finding exceptionally talented people who truly fit the unique culture of our client organizations and ensuring that organizations have the resources and strategies to support them. For more information about Koya Leadership Partners, visit