A full plate. That’s what the evening offered Tuesday, March 19, for the Quarterly Faculty Meeting of the University of Arizona Department of Medicine, with the new CEO of Banner – University Medicine as well as updates on cultivating relationships with potential donors, P&T application changes, the clinical mission and “the overlap” all on the agenda.
An Internist at the Top
Chad Whelan, MD, who has spent his whole career in academic medicine, offered a frank, down-to-earth assessment of the opportunities and challenges behind and ahead for the clinical partnership between the UA and Banner Health, noting that “We need to think of it not really as a hospital and a practice plan, but as an integrated delivery model across the entire continuum (of care) so that we can, ultimately, become the providers of choice for Southern Arizona and beyond.”
An internist, Dr. Whelan began as head of Banner Health’s academic division last fall, serving previously as chief medical officer, senior vice president and president of Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, Ill., which includes a 550-bed hospital and 25 ambulatory care clinics with 700 employed physicians and 4,500 employees. Earlier, he held leadership positions at Loyola University Health System and the University of Chicago Medicine. His medical degree is from the University of Illinois at Chicago, he completed his residency in internal medicine at the University of Minnesota, where he was chief resident. And he holds a master’s degree in health management from the University of Michigan.
Dr. Whelan added that the grand opening of the new, nine-story hospital tower, which coincides with the spring Cyclovia event on April 7, offers an excellent chance to reset the relationship between the physicians and the hospital and the community.
“A task I have for everyone—whether it’s from the operations team, finance team or physician team—is let’s try to assume the best of intentions when we sit down in a room together,” he said. “(That’s) because a fundamental belief I’ve had is almost anyone who decides to go into health care goes into it for the right reasons…. The career you chose, obviously, is all about trying to take care of people. That’s in the hearts of almost everyone who chooses this as a career.”
Among comments/questions posed to Dr. Whelan:
- TIME: 06:32 | Joe Alpert, MD – Commentary on historic relationship between UA College of Medicine dean, head of hospital/clinical operations and practice plan leader…
- TIME: 9:15 | Steve Knoper, MD – Will there be better co-branding of clinical operations as Banner – University Medicine rather than Banner Health to underscore connection to academic medicine and the University of Arizona?
- TIME: 12:00 | Monica Kraft, MD – Is acquiring community practices part of Banner’s plan to increase its market share in Tucson area?
- TIME: 15:20 | Monica Kraft, MD – Does Banner still aim to promote key clinical services in Tucson (such as solid liver transplant, end-stage heart and lung disease, etc.) as a “destination medicine” model as was discussed a few years ago?
- TIME: 17:35 | Monica Kraft, MD – Speaking of transplants, what is the future of solid liver transplant in Tucson versus Phoenix?
- TIME: 19:45 | Amy Sussman, MD/Joe Alpert, MD – Commentary on importance of promoting the “university-based” nature of residency/fellowship training programs in branding to differentiate them and attract the best candidates to Tucson as the only true “university hospital” in the state…
For detailed responses Dr. Whelan provided during the Q&A portion of his 20-minute talk, click below to:
Other Agenda Items
Among other matters on the evening’s itinerary:
- Promotion & Tenure Updates (TIME: 21:19) – Terri Buchanan, Personnel Coordinator, Department of Medicine, and Joe Alpert, MD, P&T Committee Chair | see supporting documents below:
- Accolades & Awards (TIME: 42:10) – Monica Kraft, MD, Chair, Department of Medicine | see mini-photo gallery below or click below:
○ Accolades & Awards Slideshow (abridged for space): 2019-03-19_generalfacultymtg-dom_accolades-n-awards_final.pdf
○ Complete List of Accolades & Awards: 2019-03-19_generalfacultymtg-dom_kudos-handout_final.pdf
- “Physician Training for Philanthropic Support” (TIME: 56:08) – Manon O'Connor, Acting UAHS Associate Vice President and Chief Development Officer and Sr. Development Director, UA College of Medicine – Tucson.
- Clinical Affairs Update (TIME: 69:32) – Tammy Ojo, MD, Associate Chair, Clinical Affairs, Department of Medicine, and Executive Medical Director, Ambulatory Care, Banner – University Medicine (Tucson).
○ Dr. Ojo thanked all physicians for the successful rollout of Phase One of the Fast Pass Program (clinical appointments within 3 days for Banner employees with Aetna insurance that began in January). She added, “We are rewarded by the second phase of Fast Pass Go-Live, which will occur on March 25. That will include all employees at the University of Arizona—14,000—as well as all remaining Banner employees.”
○ She also reminded physicians present or viewing online about administrative privileges penalties for those who do not complete patient encounters on a timely basis: “As of April 11, we will be going into Phase Two (of this documentation program), which will include timely closure of all dictation within 24 hours. Coding queries must be addressed within seven days of receipt in our in-basket inter-message centers. And all procedure notes should be closed within 24 hours.”
○ And Dr. Ojo pointed out Parking Garage A will revert from Banner to the UA soon and, as of April 2, physicians need to respond to emails as to whether they’re interested in having a permit to park there. If that does not occur, then they’ll be assigned to Parking Lot C on the west side of the main hospital and a farther walk from academic offices. Physicians who haven’t received such an email ought to email Dr. Ojo.
- Educational Update (TIME: 79:12) – Amy Sussman, MD, Associate Chair, Education, Department of Medicine.
○ Dr. Sussman noted Julie Jernberg, MD, new to the Division of Geriatrics, General Internal Medicine and Palliative Medicine (who was in the audience) accepted the role of director for the Ambulatory Medicine Rotation, which began with the Class of 2021 medical students.
○ She complimented all physicians who’d stepped up to handle the increase of 30 to 66 students per month on clinical rotation due to curriculum changes resulting in an “overlap” through July between the Classes of 2020 and 2021, singling out general internal medicine specialists like Serena Scott, MD (director, Medicine Subinternship Program), and hospitalists like Dalia Mikhael, MD (assistant director, Medicine Subinternship Program).
○ Dr. Sussman also lauded successful “match” events for the internal medicine and dermatology residency programs and 15 fellowship programs in the department.
Mini-Photo Gallery of Meeting
Click images to enlarge:
“Packed House, Agenda Make for Eventful Fall 2018 DOM General Faculty Meeting” | Posted Nov. 9, 2018
“First Half of 2018 a Whirlwind of Accomplishment by DOM Faculty, Slideshow Attests” | Posted June 26, 2018