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In Reply to Griffith

Egener, Barry MD

doi: 10.1097/ACM.0000000000001979
Letters to the Editor

Medical director, Foundation for Medical Excellence, Portland, Oregon;

Disclosures: None reported.

My coauthors and I thank Mr. Griffith for his comments on “The Charter on Professionalism for Health Care Organizations” as well as for his contributions to health care quality through advocacy of the Baldrige Model. We also agree that commitments to quality are not enough, which is why we framed them as specific behaviors—commitments to do things that further the four themes of the Charter.

We also agree that “rebuild[ing] our delivery organizations” to “support the commitment concepts” is a “complex problem.” Doing so will require health care reform at the national level (for which we have yet to see the political will), making a business case for these activities to health care organizations, and—not least—perseverance. We are taking the long view and focusing on what we have most control over: our sense of professionalism. It is in that vein that we offer the Charter as a road map, a guide for health care organizations aspiring to improve their systems and to promote population health.

But we are also developing plans to assist the implementation of the Charter commitments. To this end we:

  • Have a Web page that will be a repository for organizational professionalism activities (
  • Seek endorsement of the Charter by health care organizations.
  • Promote the Charter in print, on the radio, and at national meetings.
  • Showcase organizational projects inspired by the Charter.
  • Offer a nonmonetary annual award for the most effective and creative project.
  • Seek to convene a consortium of health care organizations to coordinate national research that will demonstrate the financial and health benefits of Charter implementation.

We encourage others to join in this effort to promote professionalism wherever they work or seek care.

John R. Griffith, MBA
Professor emeritus, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan;

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