Philadelphia – After serving as the first and only chief executive officer of the Society of Hospital Medicine since January of 2000, Laurence Wellikson, MD, MHM, has announced his retirement effective on Dec. 31, 2020. In parallel, the SHM Board of Directors have commenced a search for his successor.
“When I began as CEO 20 years ago, SHM – then known as the National Association of Inpatient Physicians – was a young national organization with approximately 500 members, and there was minimal understanding as to the value that hospitalists could add to their health communities,” Dr. Wellikson said. “I am proud to say that, nearly 20 years later, SHM boasts a growing membership of more than 17,000, and hospitalists are on the front line of innovation as a driving force in improving patient care.”
SHM has not only grown its membership but also its diverse portfolio of offerings for hospital medicine professionals under Dr. Wellikson’s leadership. Its first annual conference welcomed approximately 300 attendees; the most recent conference, Hospital Medicine 2019, saw that number increase more than tenfold to nearly 4,000. Its conferences, publications, online education, chapter program, advocacy efforts, quality improvement programs, and more have evolved significantly to ensure hospitalists at all stages of their careers – and those who support them – have access to resources to keep them up to date and demonstrate their value in America’s health care system.
During Dr. Wellikson’s tenure, SHM launched its peer-reviewed Journal of Hospital Medicine, the premier, ISI-indexed publication for the specialty, successfully advocated for a Focused Practice in Hospital Medicine certification option and C6 hospitalist specialty code, and earned the John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Award for its quality improvement programs. These are just a few of the noteworthy accomplishments that have elevated SHM as a key partner for hospitalists and their institutions.
To assist with the search for SHM’s next CEO, the society has retained Spencer Stuart, a leading global executive and leadership advisory firm. The search process is being overseen by a diverse search committee led by the president-elect of SHM’s Board of Directors, Danielle Scheurer, MD, MSCR, SFHM.
“On behalf of the society and its members, I want to extend a sincere thank you to Larry for his years of dedication and service to SHM, its staff, and the hospital medicine professionals we serve,” said Christopher Frost, MD, SFHM, president of SHM’s Board of Directors. “His legacy will allow SHM to continue its growth trajectory through key programs and services supporting members’ needs for years to come. Larry has taken the specialty of hospital medicine and created a movement in SHM, where the entire hospital medicine team can come for education, community, and betterment of the care we provide to our patients. We are indebted to him beyond words.”
Those who are interested in leading SHM into the future as its next CEO are encouraged to contact either Jennifer P. Heenan ([email protected]) or Mark Furman, MD ([email protected]).