Each year, I am delighted when Jim Conway invites me to be a guest lecturer in a class on Physician Leadership at the Harvard School of Public Health. The attendees are senior doctors from institutions around the world who come to Boston several times over two years for four-day weekends of classes. Jim, as many of you know, served from 1995-2005 as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. After leaving that position, he was senior vice president and senior fellow at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. During my tenure as CEO of BIDMC, he was a true mentor to me in learning about the process of quality and safety improvement. He also played a key role in helping our hospitals' boards learn how to exercise strong governance over clinical matters. To the extent we were successful as an institution in reducing preventable harm, he was a major contributor.
Jim is accompanied in this teaching course by Ron Goodspeed, former President of the Southcoast Hospitals Group. Another committed practitioner of process improvement, Ron was highly regarded throughout the state. For example, in 2006 he was named President of the Board of Directors of the Massachusetts Coalition for the Prevention of Medical Errors. As noted by Paula Griswold, president of the coalition, he was selected because his "credentials, experience and dedication to quality patient care [were] invaluable as the coalition worked to educate the health care industry about best practices in preventing medical errors."
The topic of the day was the case study written at Harvard Business School about my arrival as CEO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in 2002 and actions thereafter. As is my practice, I warned class participants that I would take pictures of those who asked really good questions or made particularly insightful remarks. There were many and I don't have space here for them all, so I can only offer prominence to a few. I am especially pleased, though, to include Dr. Holmes (above), who was born at the Beth Israel Hospital and who confirmed again my assertion that all of the babies born in that hospital and the successor BIDMC are above average!