Wednesday, February 25, 2015

MedStar Physician Leadership Development Program

“MedStar’s goal is to develop transformational leaders, who as physicians, become integral to the development of the vision and strategy of MedStar Health’s future and assume key roles in the execution of that plan.”—MedStar Leader of the Future Physician Advisory Council

MedStar is investing in its physician leaders through the MedStar Leader of the Future: Physician Leadership Development program. Uniquely equipped with clinical experience, administrative acumen, fiscal intellect, vision, and charismatic leadership skills, these physician leaders will drive adoption of a multitude of new requirements in publicly-reported physician and hospital performance metrics, standards for Accountable Care Organizations and population health, clinical quality and outcome improvements, and team-based, patient-centered care.

Under the direction and leadership of Dr. Steve Evans, EVP of Medical Affairs and Chief Medical Officer for MedStar Health, this program kicked off with a 2 day retreat in January with subsequent monthly sessions.  
I had the honor of co-chairing the Advisory Council (with Michael Sachtleben, Chief Operating Officer at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital). We worked with Dr. Evans and Healthy Companies to help create the leadership training program. As such, I was able to take part in the welcome reception and kick off for the first day. A highlight for all in attendance was an overview of MedStar's strategic plan by Ken Samet and his perspective on the changing landscape of healthcare.

Last Friday, the group met again and will soon be integrating their work on leadership with lectures on finance and administration from professors from the Wharton School of Business.  This is a great program that will undoubtedly add to the depth and breadth of physician leaders at MedStar and works so nicely to capitalize on the fundamentals of a healthy leader discussed in the book Grounded.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Hungry Harvest For a Good Cause

Yesterday, I saw these bags of fresh fruits and vegetables at people's desk - "what is this all about?" I asked.

MedStar Health Research Institute has recently partnered with Hungry Harvest, who recovers the agricultural surplus and delivers it right to you at affordable prices. For every bag they deliver, they make a matching donation to someone in need. In fact, did you know 6 billion pounds of edible produce are wasted each year in the U.S? This program helps to make sure less food is wasted and gets to people that  need it.
A sample Hungry Harvest delivery

The first MedStar Health Research Institute sites piloting this program are University Town Center and MedStar Washington Hospital Center.
Assorted bags of produce are delivered every week and the company offers 10-week subscriptions with 2 size options:

Full share- $17/week  10-14 pounds of produce
Half share-$12/week  5-7 pounds of produce

They'll even send you recipes to go along with your weekly delivery.  

MHRI Associate Patricia Evans with her sauteed
brussel sprouts,bacon, and sweet potatoes made from 
her Hungry Harvest delivery! 
The co-founder and CEO, Evan Lutz, a recent University of Maryland graduate is also the son of MHRI associate Helene Lutz RN, MSN, Research Coordinator. 

To date, MHRI employees have:

-Reduced 400 pounds of produce from going to waste

-Donated 200 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables to hungry families in need, feeding over 25 families

From this program, this past week, donations were made to Manna Food Center of Montgomery County on MHRI's behalf.

To learn more about this program, visit: 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

MHRI Receives AAMC's Prestigious Pioneer Award

I just returned from the AAMC (American Association of Medical Colleges’) Learning Healthcare System research awards kick-off meeting. Besides being a brand new, state-of-the-art building downtown DC across from the convention center (see picture below), it was a very proud moment for MedStar Health and MedStar Health Research Institute. Why?  Because we were awarded the 'Pioneer Research Award' for being a learning health care system.

The Pioneer Research Awards recognize innovations and collaborations among medical care delivery systems and research to create a learning environment. The awards recognize institutions that have implemented innovative, system-wide processes that improve opportunities for research.  It is one of five national awards presented by AAMC. 

MedStar Health Research Institute investigator Kelly M. Smith, PhD, Scientific Director of Quality and Safety Research, submitted her study “Implementation of a Communication and Resolution Program – an Innovative Approach to Creating a Continuously Learning Healthcare System” which evaluates the relationship between a patient and a provider in the wake of preventable harm or medical error.The AAMC felt that this study exemplified how research can intersect with healthcare to improve the entire healthcare system.

This national award will foster ongoing efforts in support of MedStar Health’s High Reliability Organization journey to enhance transparency, patient engagement and patient safety event reporting and catalyze health services and implementation research throughout the health system.

Congratulations to Dr. Smith and her team and thanks for bring MedStar Health to national recognition! 
AAMC's new headquarters at 655 K Street

Monday, February 9, 2015

Research Brings Hope Expands to Second MedStar Hospital

Research Brings Hope is a simple phrase that conveys an important message about the  importance of clinical research for our community.  This phrase was created several years ago at the Washington Cancer Center at MedStar Washington Hospital Center and posters were created to raise awareness of this concept.

Over the  last few months, we have created several new 'posters' with investigators from around the system, patient advocates and recognized celebrities with quotes about the importance of research from their perspective.  These posters have been displayed at MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital for the last few months and just went live at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital recently.  Attached are images from the plasma monitors in the hospital and a poster in the main professional building hallway.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Go Red for Women

Today, February 6th is 'Go Red for Women' organized by the American Heart Association and aims to bring awareness to and prevent heart disease in women.  While this is a serious topic (one in three women dies of heart and stroke), at MHRI we both took part in this national event and had some Friday fun with it.  Across the organization, people came to work in red and took pictures to see which group could demonstrate the most spirit.  Here is the first picture I saw, from the UTC (Univ Town Center) offices.  Share your pictures by emailing them to The deadline is next Friday, February 13th to be entered to win a prize for the most creative team photo! 

Monday, February 2, 2015

MedStar at Precision Medicine

On Friday, President Obama rolled out his precision medicine (#precisionmedicine) initiative at the White House. In reading about the event, I am proud that the MedStar-Georgetown research community was among those invited for this historic event. The director of the MedStar Georgetown Cancer Nerwork's Lombardi Center, Dr. Lou Weiner and MedStar Health Research Institute Board member Craig Lipsett, head of Pfizer's Clinical Innovation, were among those invited.