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Groundbreaking Healthcare Leadership Program Launches at Massachusetts General Hospital
Supported by a $3 million grant from the Ruderman Family Foundation, ELEVATE cultivates essential communication skills, emotional intelligence, and leadership management practices.
BOSTON, MA, January 17, 2023 — The Ruderman Family Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) have today launched the first cohort of ELEVATE, a groundbreaking program that helps skilled, passionate, and dedicated clinicians grow into the next generation of leaders in medicine.
Thanks to a $3 million grant from the Boston-based Ruderman Family Foundation last year, the hospital has expanded and evolved its leadership training infrastructure through ELEVATE, a 12-month mentorship and scholar program for junior faculty members who have displayed notable leadership potential and interest.
“We are deeply grateful for the forward-thinking support of the Ruderman Family Foundation, which has allowed Mass General to design a program that strategically prepares our leadership pipeline,” says David F. M. Brown, MD, president of Mass General. “The ELEVATE program is the type of opportunity that talented, enthusiastic early- and mid-career clinicians seek to build leadership and communication skills, helping Mass General attract exceptional talent and create an environment that inspires leaders to remain here throughout their careers.”
By collaborating on this much needed program, the foundation made it possible for ELEVATE to kick off its journey with the inaugural 15-member cohort in a three-day intensive offsite meeting, starting with an opening dinner on January 19. Participants will delve into a comprehensive curriculum developed and led by internationally acclaimed Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) lecturer Aithan Shapira, MFA, PhD, who has pioneered progressive curricula at the edge of leadership and skills retraining at MIT Sloan School of Management, Harvard Innovation Labs, Stanford University, and the Berklee Institute for Creative Entrepreneurship.
“We are highly gratified to witness the foundation’s vision for ELEVATE now come to fruition in a tangible way this month,” said Jay Ruderman, President of the Ruderman Family Foundation. “The program’s inaugural participants possess a tremendous opportunity to pioneer a transformative model of leadership training for healthcare institutions to adapt across the country.”
The Mass General program’s launch comes at a fateful crossroads for healthcare leadership nationwide, as workers spend 34% less time on training per year than professionals in other industries, according to the Association for Talent Development. The seismic events of recent years — most notably the strain on the healthcare system that resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic — have highlighted that for medical professionals, the current way of working is not sustainable, and that transformative developmental change must come from the clinicians themselves.
“This training will provide major benefits in how to better adapt and operationalize my leadership style, so it may be more efficiently applied across a large clinical division,” said ELEVATE cohort member Eric Schmidt, MD, who works in MGH’s Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine and has won several awards for his scholarship and research in pulmonary circulation and respiratory physiology.
ELEVATE cultivates within clinicians the maturing communication skills, growing emotional intelligence, change and leadership management practices, and self-directed new initiatives that are needed within the healthcare system now more than ever. The program’s curriculum leverages expert facilitation and guidance to develop an effective learning environment for these high-performing professionals. This includes dedicated time to reflect and experiment together with new skills and models, while individually and collectively integrating new skills into practice to become better leaders. ELEVATE places participant challenges and leadership at the center of all learning. The closed, confidential, and safe nature of the cohort will directly support the transformational learning that the program aims to achieve.
“As I grow and develop as a leader, I am seeking to capitalize on the advantages of my style while minimizing the disadvantages,” said cohort member Dr. Kevin Ard, a practicing clinician and faculty member in MGH’s Division of Infectious Diseases, who also serves as medical director of the National LGBTQIA+ Health Education Center at The Fenway Institute.
Ruanne Barnabas, MBChB, MSc, DPhil, and Chair of Mass General’s Division of Infectious Diseases —as well as an advisor to the World Health Organization and UNAIDS on cervical cancer elimination and treatment and prevention of HIV — said she welcomes “the opportunity this program offers to learn how to use narrative and data to have an impact on individuals and on the division overall.”
The program features intensive seminars, practice groups, coaching and mentorship, and a capstone project.
“This leadership training opportunity will provide me the opportunity to further develop my leadership skills to realize my long-term goals,” said Colin Weekes, MD, PhD, director of the Medical Oncology Research for Pancreatic Cancer and Grand Rounds Program at the Mass General Cancer Center.
James Fattal, J Cubed Communications