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Penn State Executive Programs Develops Leadership Academy with Hershey Medical Center and College of Medicine

Penn State Executive Programs in the Smeal College of Business, in partnership with the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and Penn State College of Medicine, has developed a weeklong program to provide strategic leadership and management acumen to academic medical center professionals.
June 26, 2014

Penn State Executive Programs in the Smeal College of Business, in partnership with the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and Penn State College of Medicine, has developed a weeklong program to provide strategic leadership and management acumen to academic medical center professionals.

“We have a proven track record of helping a broad range of global organizations address their most pressing business problems, and we’re excited to now bring that experience and skill set to Penn State Hershey and the College of Medicine.”

About 30 professionals—a mix of physicians, scientists, nurses, and administrators from Penn State Hershey—participated in the inaugural program last fall to increase their knowledge and skills in leadership and management—skills that health care professionals don’t typically receive in a formal way.

The Leadership Academy also develops participants’ skills in collaboration and negotiation, teambuilding and teamwork, organizational operations, and effective communications. Participants apply these skills working in project teams to analyze strategic operational challenges such as the organizational decision-making process, improving the patient experience in clinical care, and integrating the research, education and clinical missions.

“People who understand the principles of leadership are advantageous to the organization as a whole,” said previous participant Henry J. Donahue, vice chair for research and the Michael and Myrtle Baker Professor of Orthopaedics. “Leadership training is for everyone, not just organizational leaders. Everybody can be a leader, and everybody can benefit from thinking strategically.”

Another objective of the program is to give participants a better understanding of the economics and politics of health care delivery as well as the funding environment of academic health centers.

“It’s no secret that health care is in crisis right now, and it’s very challenging—everything is coming under fire, and everything is changing.” said previous participant Joe Wiedemer, who directs the new Family Medicine residency program at Mount Nittany Medical Center. “We have to strike the balance between medicine as a profession and medicine as a business.”

“Leadership training is for everyone, not just organizational leaders."

Networking opportunities among participants are an important aspect of the program’s delivery, with the goal of establishing a multidisciplinary network of academic health center leaders.

“This program offered a unique way to gain insight into the perspectives of and connect with other physician leaders,” said participant Gil Pak, operations director at the Penn State Hershey Department of Pediatrics. “This common foundation will help us to have better, more useful conversations.”

This custom learning initiative is one example of how Penn State Executive Programs works closely with organizations to help them meet strategic objectives and increase performance through relevant and practical program offerings.

“We have a proven track record of helping a broad range of global organizations address their most pressing business problems, and we’re excited to now bring that experience and skill set to Penn State Hershey and the College of Medicine,” said Maria Taylor, managing director of Penn State Executive Programs.

The next Penn State Hershey Leadership Academy is slated for Oct. 13-17. Interested Penn State Hershey faculty and staff, as well as professionals at Penn State Hershey-affiliated health care organizations, should visit www.pennstatehershey.org/web/opd/leadership-academy for more information about the course and enrollment.

For more information on custom learning initiatives through Penn State Executive Programs, visit www.smeal.psu.edu/psep/custom/client-examples.

About Penn State Executive Programs
As part of the Smeal College of Business, Penn State Executive Programs builds leadership and organizational capabilities to address organizations’ most pressing challenges. Custom and open-enrollment programs are offered in strategy and leadership, supply chain, and finance. Penn State Executive Programs works with major multinational organizations and offers programs both on Penn State’s campus and all over the world. Learn more at www.smeal.psu.edu/psep.

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