Physician Pathway

The AHA Physician Alliance brings physicians and their hospitals and health systems resources, services, and experiences to transform health care. The Alliance is framed by three fundamental values that foster shared decision-making and forge a common language among all health care leaders – Lead Well. Be Well. Care Well.

• Lead Well focuses on improving the health of the enterprise and developing collaborative teams to move organizations forward

• Be Well is about improving the health of the clinicians

• Care Well prioritizes better health for patients and communities.

Through unique immersion experiences, virtual expeditions and webinars, podcasts, issue briefs, guides and toolkits, as well as dedicated education tracks at AHA flagship meetings, developed specifically for physicians within AHA-member organizations, the Alliance supports physician leaders in improving care for their communities. Furthermore, it helps clinical and administrative leadership collaborate effectively for better health of communities. Visit for more information and to sign up.

AHA Physician Alliance-supported sessions at the Leadership Summit are listed below.

Thursday, July 26, 7:30-10:00 am
Pre-Summit Workshop #3
The Essential Role of Leaders in Addressing Persistent Behaviors that Undermine Team Performance and Patient Safety

Gerald B. Hickson, MD, Senior Vice President for Quality, Safety and Risk Prevention, Joseph C. Ross Chair for Medical Education and Administration, Vanderbilt University Medical Center and William O. Cooper, MD, MPH, Cornelius Vanderbilt Professor of Pediatrics, Director of Center for Patient and Professional Advocacy, Vanderbilt University Medical Center

What do you do with Dr. X, a professional who persistently undermines your safety culture even after he's made aware that he stands out? Sometimes these individuals seem recalcitrant and "untouchable" for a variety of reasons. Through case-based learning and simulated encounters, we will provide a toolkit for leaders who want to pursue a safety culture and promote joy and meaning to the workplace by addressing Dr X's behaviors in ways that maximizes the probability of success for everyone. Understand the critical infrastructure needed to support sustained accountability for individuals who fail to self-regulate and learn to utilize a toolkit for developing and implementing corrective action plans under authority.

Thursday, July 26, 4:15-5:30 pm
Building Physician Resilience in the Changing Health Care Environment
Lisa Laurent, MD, MBA, CPE, President Advanced Radiology Consultants, President-elect of the Medical Staff, Advocate Lutheran General Hospital; Mila Felder, MS, MD, Vice Chair, Emergency Department, Advocate Christ Medical Center and Advocate Children's Hospital; Assistant Clinical Professor, U of I School of Medicine, Advocate Christ Medical Center, Advocate Children's Hospital; and Rev. Kathie Bender Schwich MDiv, CHA, FACHE, SVP, Mission and Spiritual Care, Advocate Health Care

Participants will learn about Advocate Healthcare’s Physician Wellness journey which combined research-driven and system-based improvement approaches with a combination of wellness activities and resilience strategies. An inter-disciplinary, multi-system approach to physician wellness, the initiative has included education, measurement, intervention, and reassessment tools and techniques.  You’ll hear how a multi-specialty team in a coordinated, continuous effort that is promoted equally by physicians and senior leadership is achieving greater awareness and its goal of sustained improvement.

Friday, July 27, 11:00 am-12:15 pm  

Emotional Intelligence in Your Organizational Culture, Patient Safety and Patient Experience

Patrice Weiss, MD, Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, Carilion Clinic

Health care leaders are challenged to optimize the Triple Aim of Improved Quality of Care, Decreased Cost of Care and Improved Patient Experience. The principle of Emotional Intelligence (EI), when well embedded in an organizational culture, can be a driving force in achieving the three aims.  This session will explore and detail the domains of EI and its effect on safety, culture, communication, and the patient experience.  You’ll gain tools to increase your organization’s emotional intelligence and learn how to enhance the patient experience and improve safety through EI principles.

Saturday, July 28, 8:30-9:45 am   
Succeeding at the Move from “Fee for Service” to “Fee for Value”
Akram Boutros, MD, FACHE, President and CEO, The MetroHealth System and Nabil Chehade, MD, MSBS, Senior Vice President, Population Health, The MetroHealth System

The MetroHealth System in Cleveland isn’t just talking about moving from “fee for service” to “fee for value.” It’s doing it–and succeeding like never before. In 2017, MetroHealth achieved shared savings in risk contracts in Commercial, Medicare and Medicaid populations, with nearly 50% of its 2017 operating margin attributed to incentive and risk-sharing payments.  In this session, participants will learn hear how MetroHealth is collaborating with employers and insurers, engaging patients and involving the community.  You’ll understand how your organization can move to new market solutions that focus on accepting the cost risk for an increasing number of patients.  

Thursday, July 26, 4:15-5:30 pm   
Entangled Epidemics: Transforming Substance Use Care at the Nation’s Largest Municipal Health Care System
Luke Bergmann, PhD, Assistant Vice President, NYC Health + Hospitals

While the current opioid epidemic has brought unprecedented attention to addiction issues within mainstream health care settings, the broader range of substance use disorders (SUD) have long had a devastating impact on our most vulnerable and highest utilizing populations.  At NYC Health + Hospitals, a multi-pronged approach to fighting the opioid epidemic and substance use disorder is anchored in the strategic priorities of better identification of SUD across all settings, making population-level data on SUD accurate, accessible and actionable across the system; instilling clinical accountability across services for SUD; and strategic deployment of SUD focused resources and capacities. Learn how one system is transforming how it cares for patients with addiction issues, resulting in improved patient care, better population health and reduced costs.

Thursday, July 26, 4:15-5:30 pm  

Integrating Population Analytics and the EMR Environment  
Nina Taggart, MD, Senior Medical Director, Population Health and Payer Relations, Lehigh Valley Health Network and Sameera Ahmed, Manager, Clinical and Business Analytics

Lehigh Valley Health Networks is a pioneer in the use of analytics. Today it is transitioning to value-based care on a grand scale having embraced the philosophy of the changing care continuum and merged its clinical and claims data into a powerful analysis of its practices and costs.  Quality and utilization measures are aligned through a physician incentive program, analytics that target and stratify patients for intervention, and a coordinated and collaborative care management strategy. Participants will understand the connection between analytics and success under risk-based contracts, learn how physicians can be engaged with actionable data to improve outcomes, and realize the benefits of organizations helping physicians engage with data and analytics through the EMR environment.

Friday, July 27, 4:00-5:15 pm  
Helping Everyone Live a Longer, Happier, and Healthier Life By Preventing Disease
Allen Weiss, MD, President and CEO, NCH Healthcare System

Our community—the places we live, work, and play—controls 80% of our health. Unfortunately environments have evolved in ways that make healthy choices more difficult, resulting in poor health and well-being.  As a health system caring for the people of Southwest Florida, NCH Healthcare is improving well-being, not only by managing illness and injury, but also by identifying ways to create a healthier and more active community for all residents.  Learn how they are bringing together schools, grocery stores, restaurants, employers, civic organizations and other groups in a true cross-community collaboration that boasts 15,000 early adopters joined in this grassroots transformation to create the momentum that underscores residents’ commitment to living their healthiest lives.  

Saturday, July 28, 8:30-9:45 am
Mind the Gap: A Cost-Effective and Innovative Program to Advance Wellness and Health  
Nasim Afsar, MD, MBA, Chief Ambulatory Officer and CMO for ACOs, UC Irvine Health

Struggling with the most effective and efficient way to deliver population health, UCLA Health’s Department of Medicine designed Mind the Gap, an innovative, resource-conscious and effective program based on the belief that delivering population health is everyone’s responsibility, that it requires a culture of collective accountability, and that it must be delivered in a standard manner across all clinic sites during the patients’ clinic visit. Mind the Gap is a simple process wherein everyone, from the front desk staff, medical assistants, physicians, and the patients, is involved in completing a standard form that captures all elements of age appropriate cancer screening, immunizations and diabetes care and then records the updates in the EHR. Implemented in 21 clinics, the process has led to addressing 40,000 care gaps in less than six months. In this session you’ll learn how to leverage a simple tool to create a culture of accountability that sustains long-term results.