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Hospital Leaders: The Next Generation
Driving key projects, our administrative trainees are learning the ropes from the ground up


Administrative fellows and residents, back row from left, Bill Bates (HR), McKinley Glover (finance), Anu Gupta (fellow), Jason Richter (military), Caroline LeGarde (fellow), Christopher Hawley (fellow), Rita Cardim (OI), Tom Berlin (OI), Nicole Banister (OI), James Adwell (military). Front, Chenille Hoolomon (Bayview), Tam Nguyen (fellow), Melissa Kalil (fellow), Sagine Gousse (Bayview), Ashlea Barrett (OI), Asha Kumar, (Howard County). Not present: Paul Atkins (fellow), Genelle Hou (CPA).

They’re young, smart and well-educated. They seem to pop up all over this far-flung enterprise, working on projects, making things happen. They are our administrative fellows, residents and summer interns—the hospital leaders of the future.

These young men and women have come to Johns Hopkins from all around the country to take part in several well-structured training programs. Master’s-prepared fellows spend two years rotating through various areas. Residents, here for one year, are linked to one department like Operations Integration. Their residencies generally are requirements of graduate programs related to health care management.

These trainees can go far. Some have landed in top positions at other institutions. One former fellow, for example, now is vice president for medical affairs at Northwestern. Another is president of a hospital in the St. Louis-based Barnes system. Yet another is president of The Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System. That person, of course, is none other than Ron Peterson.

Just weeks after arriving here in 1973 for a one-year residency, a requirement of his master’s program at George Washington University, Peterson found himself immersed in key projects. He relocated people just days before a building was demolished to make way for Nelson. He dealt with trustees to determine the fate of the old Sheraton hotel on the corner of Broadway and Orleans. He ran the year’s United Way campaign.

Peterson was exposed to so many people and projects that even before his residency was over, he was tapped to be administrator of the Phipps Psychiatric Clinic. “It was a baptism by fire,” he recalls, “but the high-level leaders who gave me the opportunity to get actively involved in real issues during my residency kept an eye on me and gave me pointers.”

“Today,” Peterson continues, “these programs have become an increasingly important pipeline to leadership positions within Hopkins Medicine.” Former trainees are currently administrators of dermatology, Bayview Medical Center’s Department of Medicine, and Howard County General Hospital’s diagnostic imaging.

As in Peterson’s time, the issues that residents and fellows tackle are real, not contrived. In Operations Integration, resident Nicole Banister teamed up with clinical leaders to establish a rapid-response team. Now up and running in neuro-critical care, the team, which rushes to the bedside at the first sign of trouble, has significant implications for patient safety.

Most students in her master’s program in health care administration at Trinity University, says Banister, “were just shadowing and observing. At Hopkins I got to lead.” She’s now the division manager for cardiac surgery.

Fellows rotate through about a dozen different areas. They take turns staffing Hopkins Hospital’s Executive Management Committee and drive numerous institutional projects. “They get an incredible opportunity to observe senior administrative leaders in action. They get to see how they interact, what their styles are,” says Conan Dickson, administrator of operations support.

Dickson, himself a former fellow, is part of the fellowship steering committee. Members serve as preceptors for each of the rotations. “These senior administrators are willing to spend time mentoring trainees,” says Dickson. “They are a part of our teaching mission. Just as we prepare the next generation of doctors, we also prepare the next generation of administrators.”

“It’s a wonderful opportunity for the trainees and the institution,” says Peterson. “Through these programs, we are investing in the future leadership of the organization.”

—Anne Bennett Swingle

 

 

Johns Hopkins Medicine

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