07 Top Leadership Teams Annual Conference and Awards

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Christus Health, Irving, TX
Hospital Systems/Large Hospitals (500 or more beds)

Cabell Huntington Hospital, Huntington, WV
Community and Mid-Size Hospitals (100-499 beds)

Wright Medical Center, Clarion, IA
Small Hospitals (Less than 100 beds)

Erickson Advantage, Baltimore, MD
Managed Care Plans

Radiological Associates of Sacramento Medical Group, Sacramento, CA
Medical Group Practices

Some of the healthcare industry's most prominent leaders gathered in Chicago to swap strategies for improving care delivery, enhancing quality, and establishing state-of-the-art business practices.

At HealthLeaders Media's Top Leadership Teams in Healthcare Conference, held at the Drake Hotel Oct. 11 and 12, attendees heard leadership lessons from more than 40 C-suite executives and the 2007 Top Leadership Teams award winners.

"Fostering teamwork is creating a work culture that values collaboration," said Gordon Clark, a judge in the Top Leaderships Teams awards and the former president and chief executive officer of The Governance Institute. "In a teamwork environment, people understand and believe that thinking, planning, decisions and actions are better when done cooperatively. People recognize and have a belief that one of us is not as good as all of us."

This year's award recipients upheld the high standards of Top Leadership Teams, but each one had a different reason for being selected and a different story to tell. The leadership team at Wright Medical Center in Clarion, IA, for example, said they grew tired of employee infighting and seeing locals leave town for care. CEO Steven Simonin was determined to transform the 25-bed critical-access hospital into the best place for patients to receive care, employees to work, and physicians to practice.

A system of training, goals and accountability was put in place for each of the hospital's 300 employees. Today the Top Leadership Teams award winner in the small hospital category is starkly different than it was just a few years ago. Wright Medical Center ranks among the top 1 percent nationally by Press Ganey for patient satisfaction and among the top 2 percent nationally for employee satisfaction."We're truly blessed to have such a special group of senior leaders who on a daily basis put me in my place to help Wright Medical Center become such an amazing organization," said Simonin in his acceptance speech. He recognized his leadership team by bringing them to the awards luncheon and asking them to stand up for the audience.

In addition to the awards ceremony, the conference included five peer-led panel discussions on quality, physician relations, governance, financial strategy and winning teamwork. Barry Arbuckle, PhD, one of the experts on the finance panel, said the conference provides a "completely different" experience from many other events. "You get to hear so many strategies unfiltered from healthcare leaders," said Arbuckle, CEO of Long Beach, CA-based MemorialCare Medical Center.The December issue of HealthLeaders magazine will feature detailed coverage of each Top Leadership Team panel discussion.
-Rick Johnson




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