AU introduces first graduate cohort from the Dean’s Physician Leadership Academy

Thanks to teamwork and innovation, Augusta University welcomes its first graduate cohort from the new Dean’s Physician Leadership Academy.

Created through a collaboration between the James M. Hull College of Business and the Augusta University Medical Center, the program works to train physicians on the business side of health care.

“Just like any other business, health care is a business,” said Dr. Richard Franza, dean of the Hull College. “Doctors are involved in not just administering care but also managing the processes and the business of medicine.”

Franza worked with Drs. Michael Hocker and Lance Evans to develop the Dean’s Physician Leadership Academy to bring more leadership development for physicians at Augusta University.

Team-taught by leaders from both Hull College and the medical center, the six-month program covered a range of topics from business acumen to leadership and finished with a final capstone case study that brought all of the information together in one project.

“A unique piece of this program was in the three first sessions that were taught by an academic from Hull, along with someone from the medical center,” Franza said. “The first class I taught with Lee Ann Liska from the medical center, and the second class I taught with both Dr. Phillip Coule and Anthony Horton.”

With the third class dealing primarily with finance, Hull College’s Dr. Peter Basaciano teamed up with Greg Damron, the former head of finance for the medical center.

The first graduate cohort functioned as a pilot group and consisted of 12 participants recommended by their department chairs. The group was intentionally kept small, and those chosen were either in leadership positions or had exhibited high leadership potential.

Looking ahead, the Dean’s Physician Leadership Academy is hoping to offer the program more broadly to positions within the AUMC.

“The more doctors who understand the business side of medicine, the larger pool there will be for potential leadership in the medical center, plus I think it will help them to do their jobs better,” Franza said.

At Augusta University, health care is about providing quality care and safe outcomes, and this program works to bridge the gap between physicians and business.

“At AU Health we strive to offer the best treatment and care at the lowest possible cost,” said Lee Ann Liska, chief executive officer at Augusta University Medical Center. “While this is simple economics for customer service and satisfaction, it may not be top of mind for all clinicians. It was a pleasure to partner with Leadership Development, MCG, Dr. Franza and other Hull College of Business experts to better position our physician leaders and managers for achieving economic success as well as quality outcomes.”

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Emily Lacey

Emily Lacey is a writer in the Division of Communications & Marketing at Augusta University. Contact her to schedule an interview on this topic or with one of our experts at 706-721-6144

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Written by Emily Lacey

Jagwire is your source for news and stories from Augusta University. Daily updates highlight the many ways students, faculty, staff, researchers and clinicians "bring their A games" in classrooms and clinics on four campuses in Augusta and locations across the state of Georgia.

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