President & CEO's Blog

By Gerald Glandon, PhD posted 02-15-2017 12:37


A Public Good

We are now a little more than a month from the 2017 Leaders Conference in Chicago. This conference is one of the many AUPHA sponsored events designed to enable us all to learn from one another. Faculty Forums, Open Forum and the Annual Meeting all have essentially the same goal. How do all of these work? The simple answer is that you as members make it possible. Your time, expertise and energy produce a public good for the benefit of all our members and indirectly for our students. AUPHA strives to create a safe and productive environment for everyone to share but most of the input comes from members. You all benefit by extracting new knowledge and similarly provide knowledge for others. Because our membership is highly heterogeneous, all of these venues for learning cannot be totally without oversight. Staff monitor and protect these diverse platforms by enforcing guidelines. It is essential that we successfully foster tempered and focused platforms for learning. I hope that everyone understands and agrees for the need for and complexity that this oversight entails.

Getting back to the 2017 Leaders Conference, the committee that put this year’s conference together, the Graduate Program Committee, led by Cindy Watts, has exceeded expectations. They used their expertise and listened to input from past attendees to shape the program. The program this year is designed to enable greater engagement by participants and help us all share in the learning experience. The keynoter will be Halee Fischer-Wright, MD,  President of Medical Group Management Association. She is a well-known speaker and leads one of the leading professional organizations in our field. She also brings a wide range of professional experiences to the table from a private pediatric practice, a group practice leader, and a management consultant prior to her role as association executive. She has proven expertise in financial services, education, high-technology, healthcare, and entrepreneurial ventures. This varied background provides her with a valuable and unique perspective on the leadership of healthcare organizations in the U.S. Her book, Tribal Leadership, explores the challenges of managing and leading in the complex healthcare world.  Dr. Fischer-Wright stresses the development of values-based initiatives and specializes in developing “high-performance teams with energy, purpose, and motivation.” The book and her professional experiences will be at the core of her presentation in March. You will find her a captivating speaker with a vital message for us both individually and for our educational endeavors.

Leaders has a full slate of exciting programming planned beyond our keynote, however. These are driven mostly by volunteer efforts of our members. We start with considerations of an ongoing challenge in health management education of utilizing practitioner faculty. Dennis Stillman will lead a panel on practitioner faculty in education and then Brad Beauvais will moderate a panel examining engagement of practitioners in research. These are both designed for questions and interaction with participants. We then shift gears to examine the roles of mindfulness in helping employees manage change. Finally, Leah Vriesman will direct a set of breakout/table discussions of hot topics.

The Public Good that Leaders and our other efforts provide are essential as healthcare continues to become more complex. Peter Drucker called hospitals one of the more complex organizations over 50 years ago. Nothing has made that assessment less true today. Current repeal and/or adjustments to ACA provide evidence of macro complexity we must address as educators. Continued development of medical and information technologies present other continued complexity enhancements. The internet of things, for example, is just beginning to rock our graduates’ world as our students will be inundated with data that they must synthesize with appropriate analytical capacity to make informed healthcare business decisions. Leaders 2017 should be highly relevant and enable you to engage in the learning process. You should all gain insight and leave with strategies that will enable you to understand and explain healthcare complexity to your peers, your students and even your friends.

See you in Chicago.