TEAM Update: Institute Model Under Development

09/15/2017

I want to provide an update on the activities of our TEAM Program.  The Steering Committee and Medical Advisory Council (MAC) have been working diligently to further develop planning around the 22 initiatives that TEAM will address.  The transition to an institute model has been the focus of much discussion. 

I appreciate hearing the concerns of the faculty and staff.  I want to keep hearing from you and so does the MAC.  

Based on the feedback received to date, there seems to be widespread agreement that maintaining professional identity through affiliation with an academic department is important to our faculty.  Therefore, we are committed to a matrix organizational model that includes both institutes and academic departments.  This will likely mean all faculty members will work and practice through an institute and still belong to an academic department.  Practically speaking, academic department affiliations and titles will not change; faculty career progression will not be impacted.  The School of Medicine will continue to have academic department chairs.

It is important to know that this organizational design is under development.  There are many details to work out.  In carefully working through these details, we will follow these core design principles:

  1. setting the standard for high-quality, patient-centric care across our missions;
  2. becoming the destination for empowered faculty, students, and staff to advance healthcare; and
  3. delivering financial results that will position us as a market leader.

I am grateful to the MAC for their assistance in refining the design principles. I welcome questions and feedback on the design principles as well as the directions they can take us in our efforts to be a more collaborative and more integrated academic medical center.

Throughout this process, we plan to make it easy for you to provide feedback as we keep you abreast of our progress. During October and November, there will be multiple opportunities for you to ask questions and let us know what you think. We are committed to hearing your concerns and being open about the benefits and risks associated with advancing the School of Medicine and SLUCare.

We will continue to regularly communicate updates through emailed messages and on our TEAM website. We will kick start this conversation about TEAM initiatives by hosting two town halls on Wednesday, October 4 at 7:00 AM and 5:00 PM, in the LRC. Save the date. More details will follow.

But these first two town halls are just one way to learn more and share your ideas, comments and concerns. The TEAM initiative welcomes opportunities to visit with your departments or divisions and engage in focused topic conversations and one-on-one dialogues. I will set aside regular office hours to discuss your concerns and will circulate signups for those early next week. Everyone is welcome. Many of our conversations will be guided by topics and questions that have been compiled and submitted by the Faculty Assembly. I am grateful for everyone who took their time to complete that survey and I appreciate the leadership of the Faculty Assembly for gathering honest, direct comments.

I also want to emphasize that our staff are integral to our patient care, research and education missions. We will continue to seek your feedback and look for opportunities to share your ideas which will be important to the success of the TEAM initiative.

I understand that change, although needed, is difficult. The MAC and I have heard your concerns, are listening intently, and adapting the model while adhering to design principles.

I invite you to be active participants in the process, and I look forward to working with you as we move forward together on this journey.

Best wishes,

Kevin E. Behrns, MD
Vice President of Medical Affairs and Dean
Saint Louis University School of Medicine