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TEAM Update: Interim Institute Directors Announced

I am writing to update you on our transition to our patient-centered institute model. In this message, I will announce the interim institute directors; discuss institute affiliations for clinical faculty; share information for basic science faculty; and provide additional TEAM updates.

INSTITUTE INTERIM LEADERSHIP

After finalizing our 11 new institutes, I selected the interim institute directors who have agreed to serve in these roles until permanent directors are selected.  The process we will follow for selecting permanent directors will include getting input from faculty and staff. I appreciate the willingness of these interim institute directors to serve.

While the formal names of institutes have not been finalized, the interim institute directors are:

  • Howard Place, Neurological Diseases
  • Rick Lee and Michael Lim, Heart & Vascular
  • Bill Ferguson, Cancer
  • Mary McLennan, Women’s
  • Bob Wilmott, Children’s
  • Dan Hoft, Immunology
  • Chris Jacobs, Primary Care
  • Steve Lorber, Acute Care
  • Charlene Prather, GI/Liver/Transplant
  • Jastin Antisdel, Specialized Care/Surgery
  • Carole Vogler, Diagnostic Services

As I mentioned at our November Town Hall meeting, I sought interim institute directors who have experience in both clinical care and research.  They will lead clinical and research activity within their institutes and help guide our efforts to become a more patient-centered and integrated organization. Department chairs will continue to lead our education mission, and there will be no changes to departmental leadership at this time.  You will notice that some interim institute directors are department chairs; this dual role was expected in many cases as we make the transition.

We plan to launch the first two institutes by the end of March. We will assess those transitions, and gradually phase in other institutes until all have transitioned by January 2019. This approach allows us to ensure that the financial and support structures are in place for each institute as they launch.  It also allows for the appropriate review and adjustments to these structures as needed.

CLINICAL FACULTY INSTITUTE AFFILIATION

We have placed the highest priority on affiliating each faculty member with the right institute, and involving the clinical faculty in these decisions.  Last week, an institute affiliation survey was completed by clinical faculty, and I am pleased with both the level of participation and number of those who agree with their proposed affiliation:

  • Participation: 482 survey responses (72.5% of clinical faculty)
  • Agreement with Affiliation: 84.4%

This month we will have meetings with those who asked to discuss their affiliation further.  I appreciate all of those who have engaged in this affiliation process.  Final affiliation decisions and notification will take place in January.

BASIC SCIENCE FACULTY INSTITUTE AFFILIATION

As communicated previously, institute affiliations for our basic science faculty are on a parallel track of planning, but not on the same timeline as clinical faculty. We are moving that process along this month.

First, we will discuss how institutes will energize our research enterprise and answer questions from basic science faculty at a Dec. 11 Town Hall at 8 a.m. in the 9th Floor Conference Room of the Doisy Research Center.  

Second, within the next several weeks, we will email a survey about the affiliation process to all basic science faculty for input and comment.

In addition to the Town Hall and survey, we already have begun individual meetings with all basic science faculty.

I encourage each basic science faculty member to attend the Town Hall and complete the survey. Our intent is to have these affiliations completed early in 2018.

ADVANCED PRACTICE PROVIDERS

We are working on affiliations for our advanced practice providers.  We recognize the important role they play in our clinical practice and the assignments require thoughtful analysis of where each provider can best support a patient-centered model. We will be in communication directly with our advanced practice providers in the near future.

STAFF

As discussed at the November Town Hall, most staff will report directly to Business and Finance or Clinical Affairs.  Centralization of a number of support functions is expected in these areas.  At this time, no decisions have been made regarding staff alignment, and staff will be engaged as we move that part of our transition to the institute model forward after the first of the year.

OTHER INITIATIVES

As we transition to the institute model, we also are working on 21 other TEAM initiatives, which focus on driving quality and growth.  I am thankful for all of those faculty and staff who have volunteered to be a part of initiative teams, which will be inclusive and transparent about the work they are doing to move the initiatives forward.

As we finalize details, we will post information about each of those initiatives – including the names of those who are engaged as initiative team participants -- on our TEAM web page.

In closing, I want to reiterate our vision elements that drive this Institute TEAM initiative:

  • We will set the standard for quality patient-centric care and academic excellence.
  • We will become the desired destination for faculty, staff and students by ensuring they are developed and empowered.
  • We will grow to achieve leading financial results and a leadership position in the market, benefiting our mission, faculty and staff.

Thank you again for your thoughtful engagement in our TEAM initiatives.

Regards,
Kevin E. Behrns, M.D.
Vice President for Medical Affairs and Dean
Saint Louis University School of Medicine
1402 South Grand Blvd M268
St. Louis, MO 63104
Phone: 314-977-9801