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Faculty development program provides leadership training, opportunities

Niki StecklerThe School of Medicine’s Division of Management has launched a pilot program called Paths to Leadership. The program is designed to tap internal faculty resources in order to address complex organizational issues. The first pilot cohort is underway, with participants slated to complete their projects in September.

“The people who take this program are OHSU’s future leaders,” said Jim Huntzicker, PhD, Head of the Division of Management. “They will be critical to how we transform this organization.”

Patricia Hurn, PhD, MN, Associate Dean, Faculty Development and Faculty Affairs and Professor, Department of Anesthesiology & Perioperative Medicine, was instrumental in the formation of Paths to Leadership. “I believe inherently in the value of shared experience,” said Dr. Hurn. “Paths to Leadership is directly in line with our mission in that it promotes a learning culture.”

Paths to Leadership consists of a five-month course built around an action learning model that challenges faculty participants to address a real organizational issue that will deliver value to the participant and the institution. Groups meet weekly in either 90-minute or 2.5-hour sessions that focus on themes like change management, collaboration-building and forming a leadership mindset.

Two teams in this first pilot Paths to Leadership project are tackling both business and financial aspects of a particular issue.

The first team, comprised of Daniel Handel, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine; Timothy Smith, MD, MPH, FACS, Professor, Department of Otolaryngology, Head & Neck Surgery; Timothy Liem, MD, Associate Professor, Department of Surgery; and Joseph Hardman, MD, Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, are creating the business case for implementing best practices in quality and patient safety across the clinical enterprise. Their project is sponsored by John Ma, MD, Professor and Chair, Department of Emergency Medicine. The faculty team acts as a consultant to the project sponsor.

“The quality movement is a hotbed of activity in health care,” said Dr. Handel. “It’s rewarding to collaborate with fellow OHSU faculty members in creating a plan that will ultimately benefit patients, while simultaneously moving the organization forward.”

The second team – made up of Elizabeth Bower, MD, MPH, Assistant Dean, Continuing Medical Education and Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine; Seshadri Balaji, MD, Professor, Department of Pediatrics; and Dan Guillaume, MD, Assistant Professor, Department of Neurological Surgery – aims to create a financially sustainable business model for the School of Medicine’s Continuing Medical Education program. Donald Girard, MD, Associate Dean, Graduate and Continuing Medical Education, and Irene Barhyte, CPA, CTP, Senior Associate Dean, Finance and Administration, are sponsors of this project.

Each project team is responsible for their work schedule. “We introduce them to the sponsor and ask them to negotiate the scope of the project themselves,” said Dr. Huntzicker.

The weekly small group discussions are based on material developed by Division of Management faculty as well as the CoachingOurselves model developed by Philip LeNir, Henry Mintzberg and colleagues. This philosophy focuses on managers learning through reflection on workplace experiences, in conjunction with discussion of concepts.

Paths to Leadership is the latest program offered by the Division of Management. The division also offers three healthcare management degrees: a master of science, a graduate certificate and a joint OHSU-Portland State University master of business administration, as well as many short, intensive professional development courses.

Faculty members interested in applying for the next Paths to Leadership cohort convening in late fall may contact Dr. Huntzicker directly at The details of the application process will be announced in October.


Pictured: Niki Steckler, PhD, Associate Professor, Division of Management, leads a Paths to Leadership session with participant Joseph Hardmann, MD, Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine
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