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Building Towards the Future

We are building the future of a University-wide clinical enterprise by making some foundational changes.

You are probably aware that we completed a University of Minnesota Health Fairview non-binding Letter of Intent with the approval of all parties. This significant step forward sets in motion an intense summer of work to create an aligned care delivery system that will satisfy both partners and allow us to reach a definitive agreement in September.

In an equally transformative move, President Kaler has restructured the Academic Health Center to move from a system where schools and departments are vertically siloed, to a connection that flows horizontally across disciplines and is connected by our mission focus. This brings all clinical work, including clinical research and clinical training, together under a single structure that allows an interdisciplinary approach and provides increased leverage to navigate the complex health markets of today.

Our goals are simple, but ambitious:

  • Organize and promote team science.

  • Create Minnesota-wide impact that connects our regional campuses.

  • Offer interprofessional education and clinical care.

Change is not perfect, and early on we have the opportunity to improve the process. I have already received valuable and actionable input from the AHC community. Here is a sample:

  • Help researchers see the implications of the work on applications in human health…then give them the avenues to pursue those applications.

  • With the AHC being so spread out…it can be hard to collaborate.

  • The concept of service lines and disease-based organization in health care is the future.

  • Bringing behavioral economics into health sciences can lead to measurable improvements in service delivery and patient outcomes.

  • Include non-faculty members of the team in discussions and decisions. Staff at all levels are vital to the AHC being able to truly make progress. Collaborate in these clinical and educational areas, including medical research, with regional and national partners, not just within the confines of "umn.edu."

  • The medical and nursing schools need to collaborate to move nursing practice out of hospitals to patient homes and outpatient settings.

This is the kind of engagement that makes the difference between success and failure. Talk to others and think hard about how we can improve. Then please share your ideas, comments, and concerns with me.

Through the Fairview negotiations, we have adopted some principles that I think will be equally helpful as we work to implement the new AHC structure:

  • Think like partners.

  • Take personal responsibility for the success of this effort.

  • Assume good intentions.

  • Show mutual respect.

  • Hear everyone.

I’m listening.

We are building the future of a University-wide clinical enterprise by making some foundational changes.

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