I am a board certified Family Physician. I began my transition into management and administrative medicine early in my clinical career. The journey started by volunteering for committees at my local hospital and coordinating CME courses for my colleagues. I soon began working outside my practice at the local health department, hospital-based family planning and occupational medicine clinics.
Those activities culminated in my becoming medical director for each of the clinics. In the mid-1990s, while working full-time, I obtained a master’s degree in public health at the Medical College of Wisconsin.
Boards and Committees
During this time I served on several boards. I was one of the physician members of my hospital’s Board of Directors. I currently serve as the vice president of Hospice of Kankakee Valley. Two other boards on which I serve are the Kankakee County Medical Society Board and the Kankakee County Board of Health.
Through my involvement as chair of our hospital CME Committee, I was appointed to the Illinois State Medical Society’s Committee on CME Accreditation. For five years, I served as chair. I was later appointed to the Accreditation Review Committee of the Accreditation Council on CME, which accredits national providers of CME. I continue to serve as a surveyor for both the ISMS and ACCME.
In 1998, I suggested to the local hospital CEO that he needed a formal physician executive. I was hired part-time as its first Vice President for Medical Affairs. It was very exciting to work as the primary liaison between the hospital and its medical staff. I quickly tried to hone the skills needed to be a manager, administrator and leader. Over the next several years, I gradually increased my responsibilities in that role, and was subsequently promoted to full-time Senior VP and Chief Medical Officer.
During my tenure, I was administratively responsible for many of the hospital departments (albeit, not all at the same time!). Those departments included:
- Quality Improvement
- Physician Services
- Patient Safety
- Infection Control
- Case Management
- Laboratory Services
- Imaging Services
- Home Health Care
- Medical Group
- Provider Contracting
- Continuing Medical Education
- Graduate Medical Education
- Clinical Informatics
I helped to grow the medical group from about 30 providers to over 80. I did much of the interviewing of the candidates and helped to redesign employee agreements. I worked closely with all of the members of the executive team, including the CEO, COO, CFO, CMIO, and VPs of Human Resources, Strategic Planning, Clinical Services, Senior Services, Finance and Support Services. And through it all, I continued to be the primary liaison to the physicians on the medical staff and in the community.
With all of my attention focused on being an effective manager and leader, I continued to cultivate my skills in those areas. I completed the requirements for designation as a Certified Physician Executive (CPE) from the Certifying Commission on Medical Management in 2012.
I have been an active participant in lifelong learning. Over the years, I have been the beneficiary of excellent mentoring and coaching. But when I looked for practical, easily accessible (i.e., Internet-based) advice and tools for the developing physician executive, I found very little.
In almost every other field, from gardening to building custom automobiles, from photography to parenting, there are dozens of blogs and websites with helpful free and low-cost advice. But not so in this professional domain.
So, I decided to launch The VITAL Physician Executive to fill this gap. My goal is to produce regular actionable content that helps new and developing physician executives. Initially, I will be providing information based on my experiences. But the site will evolve based on input from readers.
Additionally, I will serve as curator of useful information. I will include posts and comments on useful articles and books, and present other publications, blogs, websites, podcasts and membership organizations promoting physician leadership and management.
Finally, I will post interviews with other physician executives, such as the one with Jeremy Blanchard in January, 2017. And, I intend to interview CEOs of healthcare organizations to find out their expectations when hiring a VPMA, CMO or Chief Quality Officer.
My wife, Kay, is my biggest supporter. We’ve been married for 17 years. She is an entrepreneur and owner/operator of an in-home care company called Home Helpers of Bourbonnais. She and I have five grown children. We live outside of Chicago.
My other interests include competing in track and field events (the 50-, 100-, and 200 meter dash) through the National Senior Games and USATF Masters events, playing bluegrass guitar, and studying foreign languages (I’m working on Spanish now).
You can contact me via email me at email@example.com.
I look forward to hearing from you!