Getting to know Mary Ottolini

July 22, 2019
Mary Ottolini, MD, MPH, MEd, joined MaineHealth as the George W. Hallett MD Chair of Pediatrics at Maine Medical Center on June 1. She oversees The Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital and the MaineHealth pediatric service line. Dr. Ottolini comes to Maine from Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. where she worked for 26 years and served in numerous clinical care and leadership roles, most recently as Vice Chair of Education.

Why become a pediatrician?
I grew up in Michigan and after finishing my pediatric residency at Children’s Hospital of Michigan I started my career as a primary care pediatrician at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. Caring for children provides an amazing opportunity to change the trajectory of a life. Healing children and seeing them bounce back to health is the ultimate reward. Caring for a child with a chronic condition gives you an opportunity to build a long-term relationship with their family that is similarly rewarding, but also drives you to be a better doctor because that family will always be pushing you to provide the very best care.

What’s your passion?
Teaching, education and education research. Helping providers learn, engage, grow and contribute to a culture of care focused on improving the health of children is important to me. I’ve been an educator my entire career. I am particularly interested in using technology to innovate the learning process.

What made you move into leadership roles?
I love caring for patients and teaching at the bedside. I also enjoy problem solving with my colleagues on behalf of patients. Administration and leading clinical care efforts was a natural way for me to make a more lasting impact.

What drew you to Maine Medical Center and MaineHealth?
I came here for the ACGME conference a year ago. I loved what I saw – the medical education program, the gemba walks, the iPACE unit, the commitment to patient care. It felt like a great place to me. It didn’t hurt that I have one daughter in Boston and that my other daughter’s husband loves Portland.