Every level

Leadership Occurs at Every Level

November 19, 2010

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader”
–John Quincy Adams

Dear Colleagues and Friends:

Last Friday, over 150 of our institution’s leaders came together for an off campus Leadership Retreat which included the President, leaders from the hospital, clinics, schools, departments and community. We were fortunate to have Regent Dink NeSmith as our keynote speaker. Regent Nesmith gave an inspiring presentation on communication and leading in excellence. We also had Dr. Pat Cawley from MUSC in Charleston who gave us insights into clinical service development and how we can better serve our region’s health needs. Our colleagues had the opportunity to hear Dr. Azziz (a powerful speaker) articulate principles of leadership and excellence. He also addressed the pressing need for us to grow our philanthropic support in order to grow and develop our university. We also had presentations by the Enterprise Strategic Planning (ESP) steering committee members and colleagues who show-cased the culmination of several months of hard work by – yes … all of you. ESP … Many Minds, One Mission. We reviewed the product from 90 days (yes, we made it within 90 days!) of strategic planning that engaged our community, faculty, staff, patients and students. At the retreat, we heard the feedback from each one of the ‘Pillar Teams’ who collected external and internal input from emails, a dedicated website, internal and external departments and organizations (e.g. Richmond and Columbia County Commissions, Chambers of Commerce of Augusta, Columbia County, and North Augusta, North Augusta City Council, and the Richmond County Board of Education), and from ‘Pillar Talks’ that happened all over campus. All-in-all, this was a major planning feat and over these 90 days there were 12,000 Enterprise e-mail recipients, 168,000 ESP e-mail messages sent, 429 E-mail/Web comments, 1, 219 Sticky notes/suggestions received and 89 direct participants. Our rapid engagement process (actually delivered ahead of time by 4 days) came up with a range of opportunities in each of the 4 areas. These included:

Clinical Solutions – 50 short term; 39 long term
Education Solutions – 32 short term; 24 long term
Research Solutions – 39 short term; 32 long term
Workforce Solutions – 34 short term; 25 long term
Total Solutions – 155 short term; 120 long term
Opportunities galore!! The specific opportunities and tactics were described at the retreat. They have also been detailed in prior emails and they are now also readily available at the ESP website. I will not detail each recommendation here, but do please take a moment to check out all of these recommendations. We were fortunate to have had the broad input and involvement from our institution and from the community as well. Ms. Karyn Nixon from the Augusta Mayor’s office was an extraordinary contributor who helped us engage with our community in a way that would not have been otherwise possible. We are so thankful to have her support as well as the support of our community. We are also most grateful to Joseph Thornton and the entire ESP team for their leadership.

Just to keep everybody informed, we are now at a stage of ‘taking stock’ of these ESP recommendations (i.e., which ones to implement first, who will do it, how will we oversee to insure we deliver on this initiative). This thoughtful review is occurring also with the ESP Steering Committee and leadership as well as with the President’s Executive Cabinet. Like all stages before in this process we welcome your feedback, and you can post feedback by email atesp@georgiahealth.edu. (However, you gotta read the ESP recommendations report first – see the Summary report on the ESP home page. We also anticipate that many of the ESP recommendations will flow into and be incorporated in a longer range strategic planning process. (We will provide more details later on this). This was one of the original goals of ESP. The other 2 goals of ESP were to generate short term strategic opportunities (and we have come with lots of these – please see the report) and to engage our broad community … which we have done – for sure!!

On that Friday evening we all got together for the long-awaited Enterprise-Wide Family Celebration. As many have said during the week, this was the first time they could remember an event of this magnitude at MCG. It was exciting and thrilling to see people from all ‘areas’ of the institution in one location with their families having a wonderful time, mingling with colleagues and friends, fantastic entertainment and enjoying great food. We appreciated the presence of colleagues in our community who shared this event with us. Finally, we are grateful to Dr. Azziz for his vision and leadership in conceptualizing the ESP and also in his guidance on how to throw a good party! It was a great event. Congratulations and thanks to all involved.

We also had a (1 year) celebration this week of another key partnership. Our leadership and the leadership of Georgia’s Department of Mental Health got together this week to celebrate the one year anniversary of the partnership of MCG and East Central Regional Hospital as well as the dedication and unveiling of a newly renovated building that will become an education unit for students, residents, interns, and fellows. This partnership was developed to improve mental health care for our region and to be able to hire and retain the best staff to support the turnaround of clinical care for mental health patients as well as provide an academic setting for the student, residents, interns, and fellows. We offer sincere congratulations to Nan Lewis and her team for their steadfast and outstanding leadership. We have been most fortunate to also have the unwavering support of Commissioner Frank Shelp in assuring that this partnership advanced toward success. The benefits for both MCG and the State in having this affiliation were wonderfully described in the Augusta Chronicle article. It is so gratifying to observe the real progress over the past year. Congratulations to all!

In last week’s Dean’s Diary, I described our growing involvement in The CSRA Research Consortium. This important consortium is drawing on our region’s leadership to support better care and novel approaches in support of our veterans and their families. I also had the opportunity to appreciate better the sacrifices of our nation’s soldiers and their families – true leaders in our community – as I attended the program, Conversations at the Carter Center. The conversation was After the War: Mental Health and a Veteran’s Journey Home. This conversation flowed around the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and how they pose a unique set of psychological challenges to the troops and their families. These discussions are open webcast live and archived at www.cartercenter.org/conversations. It was an inspiring and informative event and it is well worth reviewing the archived webcast. Also this past week, several of us were fortunate enough to be able to hear Mrs. Holly Petraeus, wife of General David Petraeus, as the keynote speaker at the Women in Business dinner series. Mrs. Petraeus gave us insights into the life of ‘military families’ as she described her own program with the Department of Defense that fosters outreach to the military communities across the United States. This was a great event and a reminder to all of us of ongoing sacrifices that are being made for the greater benefit of all of us in our region.

Our region also benefits when healthcare innovations occur through planning and leadership. Our clinical and administrative leaders have worked very hard jointly to deliver excellent patient care at the new Heart Rhythm Center which had its grand opening on the 8th floor of the hospital. The center-piece of the Heart Rhythm Center is the magnetic navigation (robotic) Cardiac Electrophysiology Lab. This lab has the latest technologies for the diagnosing and treating of complex heart rhythm disorders with a special focus on atrial fibrillation. We congratulate Drs. Sorrentino, Berman, and Mehta and their entire team on this new, state-of-the-art lab.

We also learned of pioneering research leadership and a new partnership between MCG and Emory University Winship Cancer Institute on a five-year $7.6 million award from NASA. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration will consist of researchers from Emory and MCG who will study a possible link between a component of space radiation and lung cancer. Congratulations to those involved in the study from both MCG and Emory.

Leadership is not just observed at national or administrative levels and we are particularly pleased that our own medical students are developing some leadership skills and community-centered values so early on in their careers. We had the chance to review all the community activities of students and residents this week – very impressive. Thanks to all of you and to our faculty for their guidance and mentorship. We are glad that these activities and their impact on our region are highlighted from time to time. For example, our medical students have received The American Psychiatric Foundation Helping Hands grant to screen the homeless at several shelters for mental illness. We want to share with you the inspiring article entitled On the Street by Stacey Eidson that the Metro Spirit recently published. We congratulate our students on such a worthy project. Our medical students also hosted a golf tournament last Saturday to benefit the Children’s Medical Center (CMC). Our thanks to Dr. McKie and the students for putting on such fun event and for supporting our CMC. Congratulations as well to Brett Heimlich and Russell Kirks (Class of 2013) for assuming leadership roles in the AMA Medical Student Section. We appreciate your leadership. Dr. Kevin Frazier, (VP for Student Services and Development) directs the inaugural MCG Student Leadership Institute (MCGSLI). The MCGSLI is a six week program and is designed to provide health professional students with the opportunity to interact with leaders and other students from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines in order to gain insights about several important healthcare and societal topics and issues. Congratulations to the following students who represented SAHS in the inaugural class this fall: Shirley Bassey PA, Jon Kruse PT, Patrick Jackson BRT (NMT), Linsay Lee OT, Brittany Wilkes DH, Anjoli Badall HI, Himanshu Kumawat RT. These colleagues are tomorrow’s healthcare leaders. Congratulations and thanks to Dr. Frazier and to our faculty and staff for this innovative new program.

By the way, although we take our training seriously, we also take time off for some fun and creativity … Did you know that MCG had a racquetball team? Did you know that MCG swept the 1st annual UGA collegiate racquetball tournament in both singles and doubles? Congratulations to the team!! We also enjoyed the Lady Antebellum charity concert on Monday and we appreciated the support of our CMC. All proceeds from the concert are going to the CMC … around $15,000 … what fantastic support. Finally, the MCG Arts Council will hold its holiday concert on Tuesday November 23 in the Lee Auditoria Center from noon – 1 pm. The lunch available to the first 150 people and program are being hosted by Dr. Connie Drisko and the College of Dentistry. There are some very talented performers lining up to take the stage. We welcome our community families, friends, and colleagues to spend your lunch hour enjoying a wonderful holiday performance. Please see our campus map for the location of the Lee Auditoria Center. Visitor parking is available in the parking deck on 15th Street. We hope to see you there!

Thank you for your leadership and for what you do every day for our institution and our community.