You could be reading the full-text of this article now if you...

If you have access to this article through your institution,
you can view this article in

Reinventing the Academic Health Center

Kirch, Darrell G. MD; Grigsby, R Kevin DSW; Zolko, Wayne W. CPA; Moskowitz, Jay PhD; Hefner, David S. MPA; Souba, Wiley W. MD, ScD, MBA; Carubia, Josephine M. PhD; Baron, Steven D. MHA

Academic Medicine:
Article
Abstract

Academic health centers have faced well-documented internal and external challenges over the last decade, putting pressure on organizational leaders to develop new strategies to improve performance while simultaneously addressing employee morale, patient satisfaction, educational outcomes, and research growth. In the aftermath of a failed merger, new leaders of The Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine and Milton S. Hershey Medical Center encountered a climate of readiness for a transformational change. In a case study of this process, nine critical success factors are described that contributed to significant performance improvement: performing a campus-wide cultural assessment and acting decisively on the results; making values explicit and active in everyday decisions; aligning corporate structure and governance to unify the academic enterprise and health system; aligning the next tier of administrative structure and function; fostering collaboration and accountability—the creation of unified campus teams; articulating a succinct, highly focused, and compelling vision and strategic plan; using the tools of mission-based management to realign resources; focusing leadership recruitment on organizational fit; and “growing your own” through broad-based leadership development. Outcomes assessment data for academic, research, and clinical performance showed significant gains between 2000 and 2004. Organizational transformation as a result of the nine factors is possible in other institutional settings and can facilitate a focus on crucial quality initiatives.

Author Information

Dr. Kirch is senior vice president for health affairs, Pennsylvania State University; dean, Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine; and chief executive officer, Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Hershey, Pennsylvania.

Dr. Grigsby is vice dean for faculty and administrative affairs, Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine and Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Hershey, Pennsylvania.

Mr. Zolko is associate vice president for finance and business and controller, Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine and Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Hershey, Pennsylvania.

Dr. Moskowitz is vice dean for research and graduate studies, Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine and Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Hershey, Pennsylvania.

Mr. Hefner is executive director and chief operating officer, Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Hershey, Pennsylvania.

Dr. Souba is professor and chair of surgery, Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine and Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Hershey, Pennsylvania.

Dr. Carubia is chief academic liaison officer, Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine and Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Hershey, Pennsylvania.

Mr. Baron served as executive director and chief operating officer of the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. His untimely death occurred prior to final submission of this manuscript. His vital contributions to its contents, however, merit his inclusion as a named author.

Please see the end of the report for information about the authors.

Correspondence should be addressed to Dr. Kirch, Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine and Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, 500 University Drive, H162, Hershey, PA 17033; telephone: (717) 531-8323; fax: (717) 531-5351; email: 〈dkirch@psu.edu〉.

© 2005 Association of American Medical Colleges