SEATTLE — Nov. 15, 2016 — Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and its patient care partner, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, today announced that Lynne Kornblatt will be the organizations’ new vice president and chief human resources officer effective Jan. 3.
In her new role, she will lead human resources for both organizations, supporting more than 4,300 employees, including researchers, technicians, physicians, scientists, medical workers, administrators and more.
Photo by Robert Hood / Fred Hutch News Service
Kornblatt, who is also trained as a registered nurse and a lawyer, is currently the chief human resources officer at Einstein Healthcare Network in Philadelphia, where she oversees human resource operations for a 9,000-person employee network.
She was hired after a national search and will report to Steve Stadum, Fred Hutch’s executive vice president and chief operating officer.
“What set Lynne apart in a very competitive search were her warm, authentic and direct leadership and communication style and her wide-ranging human resources experience, including in the most senior HR position,” Stadum said.
Fred Hutch President and Director Dr. Gary Gilliland said he’s looking forward to having Kornblatt lead the Human Resources Department at the Hutch and SCCA. “She’s incredibly talented and I’m thrilled to have someone of her caliber at the helm of Human Resources,” he said. “She brings a wide range of knowledge and expertise and will be critical in helping us hire the right people — and support those who are here — as we work toward cures for cancer.”
For Kornblatt, the decision to work in support of organizations focused on cancer was fueled, in part, by her personal experience. Her partner of 17 years, Yael Schuman, died of complications from multiple myeloma a decade ago at the age of 49. During Schuman’s illness, Kornblatt saw firsthand the importance of medical research.
The chance to work for organizations with the mission of “changing the course of medicine and curing cancer – it’s pretty motivating,” said Kornblatt, who last winter married her longtime partner, Cathrael "Kate" Kazin, an educator and attorney.
Norm Hubbard, executive vice president of SCCA, said Kornblatt’s experience, both professional and personal, gives her a unique perspective.
"At SCCA, we are known for providing the best care for patients,” he said. “That means hiring excellent people to help us do that. Lynne’s unique education and background, informed by her own bedside experiences of being a nurse and having a loved one with cancer, gives her special insight into what key traits, abilities and skills are needed. She will play a vital role in finding outstanding candidates to hire and supporting our employees as we focus on caring for patients and working toward cancer cures.”
Kornblatt began her career as a nurse by working in the medical-surgical intensive care unit of Einstein Healthcare Network before moving into the area of hospital risk management. That sparked an interest in health care law and she returned to school to earn a law degree, all the while working full time.
She earned her Juris Doctor degree from Temple University and later wrote her thesis, "First Do No Harm," as a Master of Laws student at Widener University, where she earned a master’s degree in health care law.
Kornblatt moved into human resources at Einstein in 1998, applying her training as both a nurse and lawyer to a variety of roles. She has held the top position in HR there since 2003, when she became vice president. Her title changed to chief human resources officer in 2013.
She said she sees her work in human resources as an extension of the care she gave as a nurse. Hiring great people to do and support medical research and care means better options for patients.
“Miracles happen and will continue to happen at Fred Hutch and SCCA, not only in laboratories and clinical settings,” she said, “but also in the ways we care for, engage and develop the organization’s most miraculous asset: our people.”
At Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, home to three Nobel laureates, interdisciplinary teams of world-renowned scientists seek new and innovative ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer, HIV/AIDS and other life-threatening diseases. Fred Hutch’s pioneering work in bone marrow transplantation led to the development of immunotherapy, which harnesses the power of the immune system to treat cancer. An independent, nonprofit research institute based in Seattle, Fred Hutch houses the nation’s first cancer prevention research program, as well as the clinical coordinating center of the Women’s Health Initiative and the international headquarters of the HIV Vaccine Trials Network.