SHM’s Leadership Academies have been well received, with at least 1,200 having taken the courses so far. Some of those participants, though, craved something more—some recognition for the ways those lessons are being incorporated on the job in their hospitals.
So this year, for the first time, SHM is offering something beyond the third level of the Leadership Academies. Those who have completed all three levels in the academy can now seek Leadership Certification, based mainly on completion of a project to make a positive change at their hospitals.
Rusty Holman, MD, MHM, director of the academy program and chief clinical officer at Cogent HMG, says the impetus came from past participants.
“Those who have attended the Leadership Academies came forward and said, ‘You know, we’re doing some really important coursework, we’re investing in ourselves in both our knowledge and our skills as leaders. We are furthermore involved in a lot of change efforts within the hospital and improvement efforts—whether it’s related to quality or it’s related to some business function or it’s related to education and training. And wrapping all that together, wouldn’t it be nice if we had some certificate or something from the medical society saying that, yes, we completed this coursework and we have achieved a certain level of recognition and have that recognition come directly from the professional medical society?’”
The project for certification has to be approved, and a performance and growth evaluation has to be completed. Once a project is approved, participants will be connected with advisors to help them along. Those taking the Leadership Academy coursework will have five years to apply that coursework to the certification process. But to be fair to those who have already gone through the academy and may already be near the time limit, anyone can apply their coursework through January 2013.
SHM expects that the certification will take an average of 18 months to complete, but it can be completed in as little as one year or as many as five years.
There’s an age-old question: Are leaders born, or are they made? And to me, the answer to that question doesn’t matter. There will never be enough natural-born leaders to get all of this done.
—Rusty Holman, MD, MHM, chief clinical officer, Cogent HMG, director, Leadership Academy, former SHM president
Tina Budnitz, MPH, senior advisor to the CEO of SHM and a chief designer of the Leadership Certification program, says the main idea was to make it relevant and meaningful.
The program was crafted “with adult education principles in mind,” she says. “You get to design a project that’s going to be meaningful for you. We’re also trying to put you into small, networked groups of networked faculty and peers that can provide support for you along the way.”
When participants submit their projects, they’ll get “very detailed feedback” from experts on potential problems and will be directed to resources. If someone proposes a project on deep vein thrombosis (DVT) prevention, for example, they might be directed to webinars on the topic or other hospitals in their area where DVT prevention programs have been implemented so that the participants can contact them if they choose.
Budnitz says Leadership Certification is meant to plug a gap in leadership curriculum at business schools and in coursework in programs like the American College of Physician Executives.
“What they aren’t able to do is provide education in the context of hospital medicine,” she says.
The cost of the program is $2,500. That is in addition to the cost to participate in Leadership Academies, which range from $1,800 to $2,000 each.