Medicolegal Issues

New Voice for HM Administrators


Non-physician administrators are an integral part of most hospital medicine practices. SHM has recognized that the rapidly increasing size and complexity of hospital medicine practices demands increasingly sophisticated administrative capabilities, and that practice administrators bring a unique perspective to the field.

In an effort to better support and integrate this population of its membership, SHM has launched the Administrators’ Task Force.

The task force met at the SHM Annual Meeting in San Diego and was introduced at the Administrators’ Open Forum there.

SHM’s Membership Committee spent a good deal of time scrutinizing similar programs in comparable medical organizations. This included analyzing applications and other collateral materials.

The task force seeks to identify the needs and interests of hospital medicine practice administrators, as well as the ways this demographic can enhance and assist hospital medicine growth.

Important goals of the task force include identifying educational opportunities and programs for administrators, encouraging other administrators to join SHM, strengthening relationships between administrators and hospitalists, and defining ways to enhance and assist hospital medicine growth. Throughout the coming year, the task force will be striving to carry out its charge. It welcomes the feedback and participation of SHM’s full membership.

Members of this year’s Administrators’ Task Force are as follows:

  • Daniel Owens, MBA, chairman of the task force. He is administrative director for the Department of Internal Medicine at Emory Healthcare in Atlanta;
  • Jodi Braun, hospitalist program manager at Theda Clark Medical Center in Neenah, Wis.;
  • Kim Dickinson, vice president of operations with Cogent Healthcare Inc.;
  • Sandy Folkenson, RN, BSN, director of hospital medicine service at St. Joseph’s Hospital, HealthEast Care System, St. Paul, Minn.;
  • Mary Germann, RN, MN, FACHE, executive director for physician services in Mt. Laurel, N.J.;
  • Ellen Hearne, associate vice president of medical services at McLeod Regional Medical Center in Florence, S.C.;
  • Ajay Kharbanda, MBA, CMPE, practice administrator at Harris Methodist Medical Foundation in Fort Worth, Texas;
  • JoAnn Weissberger, PHR, hospital medicine practice manager at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C.;
  • Jeannine Ramsey, RN, MBA, director of operations for hospitalist services in Nashville, Tenn., and Bowling Green, Ky., with HCA Physician Services;
  • Leslie Flores, director of SHM’s Practice Management Institute, is the staff liaison for the task force.

The panel is listed on the SHM Web site ( in the committees section, along with contact information.

We invite you to contact us with your thoughts about how the task force can best serve the interests of SHM and its practice administrator members. TH

Administrators’ Task Force at a Glance

Reports to: Board of Directors;

Composition: Chair (appointed by president of SHM) and six to eight at-large members;

Terms: Chair shall serve for two years, with reappointment once (maximum four years). Members at large shall serve for one year, with possible reappointment up to four times (maximum five years); and

Charge: Develop initiatives and programs to promote and define the role of non-physician practice administrators in hospital medicine, facilitate and enhance the integration of administrators into the society, and strengthen the ability of SHM to fulfill its mission by developing and using the talents of current and future administrative leaders.


  • Assess and define the roles, competencies and needs of practice administrators, recognizing the great diversity of hospital medicine practices that exists across the country;
  • Advance the recognition of practice administrators as a distinct SHM membership constituency with specific interests;
  • Foster the effective integration of practice administrators and their interests into SHM’s planning, decision-making and operational activities;
  • Enhance and build on the education, tools, and services available through the society for practice administrators;
  • Increase opportunities for peer-to-peer networking and benchmarking through the society;
  • Reach out to practice administrators nationwide to build awareness of the value and pertinence of SHM resources, activities, and to encourage SHM membership;
  • Promote greater collegiality and collaboration between practice administrators and physician practice leaders;
  • Identify ways in which SHM can support and guide the evolution of the practice administrator role to promote effective administrative support for hospital medicine practices; and
  • Work with and through SHM to advance the field of hospital medicine.

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