Clinical integration

January 25, 2013

Steven Stites
Steven Stites Acting Executive Vice Chancellor, Acting Dean, KU School of Medicine

This week, Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little, Dr. Doug Girod and I had the honor of representing the University of Kansas Medical Center at an important event with Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback and Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer, hosted by Bob Page, president and chief executive officer of The University of Kansas Hospital. Also joining us were Kirk Benson, M.D., in his role as president of The University of Kansas Physicians, and Bob Honse, chair of The University of Kansas Hospital Authority Board, and many of the chairs of our clinical departments.

The occasion was to formally announce something many of us have been working on for nearly two years: an agreement to formally work toward a closer clinical partnership. Our goal is to establish a new, more integrated clinical enterprise that would further enhance health care delivery while ensuring the best quality environment for educating future health care leaders.

Everyone on this campus knows how complex our organizations are. We routinely excel at providing high-quality education for medical professionals and excellent patient care despite the fact that our schools are separate from our independently governed hospital and UKP and the fact that our 18 clinical departments operate their own foundations.

Our new vision is to develop a streamlined model for accomplishing our missions and sustaining our future growth. Our goals are to:

•·     Organize more multi-disciplinary programs around specific diseases

•·     Enhance the growing national reputation of the campus

•·     Enhance recruitment of high-caliber physicians and faculty members

•·     Promote collaboration, reduce duplicate services, consolidate billing to patients and minimize costs

•·     Enhance education and training of physicians

•·     Ensure even more high-quality physicians will choose to maintain their practices locally

•·     Enable health education, patient care and research to come together for the benefit of patients and community, setting academic medical centers apart from other providers.

Other leading health systems and academic medical centers across the country are taking similar steps as they work toward a more integrated, cost efficient and quality-driven environment for education and patient care. Greater alignment among all of our partners will simplify the flow of costs and revenues, resulting in benefits for the funding of graduate medical education and other university priorities.

Coming to agreement on this concept has taken two years of talks and strategic planning, led by Dr. Girod. Now comes the hard part: All of the details remain to be worked out.

In the next six months, dozens of our clinical faculty and others, working with our partners at the hospital and UKP, with the help of ECG consultants, will hammer out details of our new enterprise, which will require approval of the university, the hospital, UKP and each of the 18 clinical departments. Our expectation is that the work is ready for signatures by mid-2013.

I know this will require many long days, early mornings and late nights. Ultimately, however, we will be doing the right thing for patients and future health care professionals.


In past issues of News from the Leadership Team, we have included items about campus events, faculty news and other happenings in these blue boxes. However, with the launch of our new internal newsletter this week, KUMed Central, we have a great new publication to keep you informed about what's going on around KUMC. I strongly urge you to read KUMed Central every Monday to keep up with our vibrant and rapidly changing institution.

Last modified: Jan 31, 2013