The cover article of the April issue of The Hospitalist was a message from the SHM president, Dr. Kris Rehm. In her article, she outlined the recently completed vision and mission statements developed by the SHM Board of Directors:
Vision: To be the professional home of hospitalists dedicated to exceptional and equitable care for acutely ill patients
Mission: As the home for hospitalists, SHM activates and engages our community to:
- Advocate for our specialty, our members, and the diverse patients we serve
- Promote high-value care and optimal outcomes for acutely ill patients
- Meet the evolving educational needs of a dynamic specialty
- Cultivate an inclusive community for hospitalists and support career growth and well-being
- Advance the research and innovation of health care delivery, quality, safety, and experience across the care continuum
As the CEO of SHM, it is my job to put the Board’s vision and mission into action. To that end, the Board and SHM staff collaborated with membership to develop four strategic goal areas:
- Invest in a diverse, equitable, and inclusive culture
- Advocate for members and for the field of hospital medicine
- The SHM community—a place to belong, grow, and partner
- Advance health care delivery, quality, and experience through science and innovation
You can find the vision and mission statements, along with these goals, and the statements of desired achievement for each on our website.
I want to share with you the concrete and tangible ways SHM is working to realize those four goals.
Goal: Invest in a diverse, equitable, and inclusive culture
SHM has always prided itself on its inclusive culture, both in terms of professional background and personal background. I believe the composition of our Board of Directors is the ultimate testament to that. Recently we have been even more deliberate about investing in the infrastructure that supports diversity, including a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. This DEI committee resulted from the recommendations from a Board-appointed DEI Task Force assembled in 2021. The DEI committee has made impressive accomplishments since its inception less than two years ago, including mentoring and sponsoring students from Meharry Medical College as well as students from underrepresented groups in medicine from the University of Texas at Austin’s Dell Medical School.
Another very impressive accomplishment for SHM has been the launch of a competitive medical-student education-assistance scholarship. Now in its second year, this scholarship awards one third-year medical student $25,000 towards tuition. We launched this scholarship in 2022, with Andrea Martinez, a medical student from Emory Medical School in Atlanta, as the inaugural recipient. This year, Cedric Mutebi from Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit was awarded the $25,000 scholarship. Both recipients were chosen for their commitment to their respective communities and for their academic accomplishments. We could not have made these scholarships possible without the generous support of Vituity, which sponsored both through the Hospital Medicine DEI Scholarship Fund!
Goal: Advocate for members and the field of hospital medicine
The SHM Public Policy Committee, partnering with the staff in SHM’s advocacy department, are the most powerful advocates hospitalists have. Whether it’s your paycheck or your patients, SHM is there advocating for hospitalists’ interests. A partial list of “wins” includes eliminating the X-waiver—you know that pesky rule that required a day of training for you to be able to prescribe buprenorphine? That training requirement no longer exists because SHM was a key leader in getting the X-waiver repealed, an important tool for fighting the opioid epidemic. SHM was a leader in mitigating Medicare payment cuts, extending Medicare incentives for advanced payment models, and keeping telehealth as a reimbursable service. Without SHM, hospitalist paychecks would be a bit lighter. Our advocacy group has also made important progress on wellness by supporting the Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Act, and we have advocated for our internationally trained colleagues by successfully lobbying for the Conrad State 30 extension, and helping J-1 visa holders.
Goal: The SHM community—a place to belong, grow, and partner
I know how important meaningful relationships were (and are) to my own professional growth. Collaboration through a supportive community of peers can provide guidance and belonging. That’s why events like Converge are so rewarding and important. Yes, we get to learn about medicine, but we also get to connect with more than 3,500 like-minded hospitalists, learn from our peers, and get support when we need it. To continue expanding the SHM community, SHM course directors are retooling our specialty meetings, like the Leadership Academies, the Quality & Safety Educators Academy, and the Academic Hospitalist Academy, to meet the needs of learning and connecting in a post-pandemic world. In addition, SHM is expanding chapters, chapter engagement, and chapter staff to support your SHM community at the local level, so you don’t have to travel to stay connected.
Goal: Advance health care delivery, quality, and experience through science and innovation
SHM has a long history of innovation and advancing science. This is especially true in quality improvement (QI) where our Center for QI has been partnering with academicians on dozens of government grants to improve quality and safety in the hospital for more than a decade. This year, the Center for QI will convene hospitalist researchers to explore both the role SHM should play in advancing that research agenda and also how SHM can positively influence areas that are important to define the profession. There remain important questions around workload, burnout, and our role in the continuum of patient care, as well as a number of other topics. SHM can, and should, play a leadership role in this assessment through active collaboration with our membership.
The SHM staff and I look forward to implementing these goals and furthering the strategic work of the Board of Directors. I have seen the positive impact on our members. I believe the mission, vision, and goals will advance the profession. These goals are not static, but working, flexible goals that will be continuously reassessed by the Board and SHM leadership, with the best interests of our members and our field in mind.