Chair's Blog

By Diane Howard, PhD, MPH posted 02-16-2017 14:16


Redefining the “H”

In formal and information communications with students through local and national forums, they request information and guidance on what is next in the healthcare transformation and how should they prepare. Healthcare observers usually focus on providers that have the greatest impact on national healthcare expenditures as indicated by CMS – hospitals (32 percent share) and physicians and clinical services (20 percent share).

An internal American Hospital Association document that forecasts President/CEO Rick Pollack’s perspective on healthcare in ten years revealed six intriguing perspectives for academics to consider.  They include: 1) every individual will have access to affordable comprehensive healthcare services with no American living in fear of being bankrupted by the cost of illness or injury; 2) use of electronic medical records, telemedicine, data analytics, and other technologies will ensure care is provided in a systematic fashion; 3) a renewed focus on wellness and prevention with Americans leading healthier lives; 4) hospitals will no longer be viewed as institutions of sickness and death, but playing a critical role in advancing health; 5) hospitals will continue to provide trauma care, sophisticated surgeries, therapies and diagnostics that are on the cutting edge of scientific development, but they are also high reliability organizations that play a leading role as an access point for care; and 6) hospitals work together and are strategic partners facilitating same day appointments, and urgent care closer to homes and work with the cost of providing care on a per capita basis less than the GDP.

In the AHA 2017-2020 Strategic Plan, Advancing Health in America, the document redefines “H” to meet the demands that best serve patients and communities.  As we move our students through undergraduate and graduate programs, it is incumbent upon us that we look to other national associations to assess how they are moving forward as healthcare is being transformed and bring this knowledge into the classroom to better prepare the next generation of leaders. In Tribe, Sabastian Junger discusses crises in communities, be it war or natural disaster, which regardless of social divisions tends to inspire people to return to a more collaborative, tribal mentality by sharing their resources regardless of social divisions and by working to help each other. 

As academics, we should examine the AHA’s redefinition of “H” and work collaboratively to transform the learning experience of our students. The AUPHA Forums are tools to allow us to communicate and share.  Let’s use our tools wisely so we advance knowledge and not divisions among us.

AUPHA’s History Project Update

Cornell graduate Kathleen Vega has been hired as the book editor on our history book.  She was instrumental in developing Coming of Age: The 75- year History of the American College of Healthcare Executives. Mike Meacham, AUPHA board member who is chairing the initiative, has distributed a timeline of AUPHA activities over our 70-year history and, along with Jerry Glandon, has developed the book outline that covers critical historical events.  To our great fortune, Gary Filerman maintained a trove of important files and pictures that a team is combing through.  We plan to solicit contributing authors who were involved in our history and can speak to different points of view as the organization developed.  AUPHA has a rich history and we look forward to getting input from our members.

Kathleen will be meeting with the AUPHA board at our meeting prior to Leaders Conference in Chicago on March 27, 2017. We welcome her contributions to the project and look forward to getting feedback from you.

Congratulations to Thomas Dolan, PhD, FACHE, FASAE

Tom Dolan, president emeritus of the American College of Healthcare Executives, will be inducted into the Modern Healthcare Hall of Fame during the ACHE Congress on Leadership meeting on Sunday, March 26, 2017. Tom has been a major supporter and member of AUPHA over the years.  His 22-year history as ACHE president through its unprecedented growth, development of its ethics self-assessment, and work with the International Hospital Federation and Baldrige National Quality Award are testament to his contributions to the field.

 AUPHA congratulates Tom Dolan on this monumental recognition.


Diane M. Howard, PhD, FACHE