However, Muller believes that Legacy's readiness to become certified as an NCQA patient-centered medical home would not have happened without Legacy's Physician Leadership Academy. Legacy has applied for, and believes it will attain this year, PCMH status for all 23 of its primary care clinics. It piloted the medical home model at five sites from 2007–2010. That number quickly grew to 18 by 2011.
"Once we got the model down, figured out what it was, we were able to roll it out to other sites," she says. "As we've opened new clinics, we've opened them in the model. Part of the reason we've been able to push it quickly is because of the training and coaching.
A key ingredient to Legacy Health's Physician Leadership Academy is that the classes are taught by leaders of the organization. The CEO teaches, but more than that, he leads by example, which underscores the value an organization places on leadership attributes. Developing physician leaders, or any leader, is more than throwing a few buzzwords around in a memo or meeting. Real leadership skills are learned over time, and by example.