WMS to Use Grant to Fund Wyoming Physician Leadership Program

CHEYENNE – The Wyoming Medical Society will use a $150,000 grant from The Physician Foundation to fund a leadership program for Wyoming physicians. The program will allow a cohort of between 15-and-20 Wyoming physicians to take part in the program each year.

The program will offer Wyoming physicians the opportunity to learn more about public policy processes and the healthcare landscape in Wyoming, while receiving high level training in leadership training and advanced critical thinking skills.

“Wyoming physicians are expected by the communities they serve to take a leadership position as the discussion of healthcare reform continues around our state and the nation,” said Wyoming Medical Society Board of Trustees President Paul Johnson, MD. “This program will prepare our state’s physicians to frame that discussion based on best practices and public policy that is patient-centered.”

In developing the program, The Wyoming Medical Society will partner with Leadership Wyoming, The University of Wyoming School of Health and Sciences, WWAMI, and The Wyoming Hospital Association who will join the program’s Advisory Council which will be made up predominantly of Wyoming physicians.

“As we were developing the grant application, we spoke with a number of other state medical societies who have been successful in developing physician leadership programs,” said Wyoming Medical Society Executive Director Sheila Bush. “The best advice we received was to make sure physicians’ voices are paramount during the development of the program. It is very important to the success of the program that this is a leadership program for physicians developed by physicians.”

The Wyoming Medical Society has contracted with FutureSync, International, a Montana firm which was key in the development of the Montana Medical Association’s successful physician leadership program. FutureSync, with direction from the program’s Advisory Council, will develop modules to provide physicians with the tools, skills, and learning opportunities to engage effectively to influence the future of healthcare.

The program will be broken up into seven two-day sessions which will be delivered in various locations around the state to allow for observation and debate on healthcare delivery models and public policy. The weekend will be broken into time spent touring and discussing specific healthcare topics with state subject matter experts as well as taking part in FutureSync leadership modules.

The Wyoming Medical Society and FutureSync will offer more details on the program, including timeline, and a name for the program’s first cohort and physician selection process, during a presentation during the Wyoming Medical Society’s Annual Meeting June 4 at Jackson Lake Lodge in Grand Teton National Park.

The $150,000 grant comes from the Physician Foundation, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization and has been accepted by The Wyoming Medical Society’s Scholarship Foundation in an effort to empower physicians to lead in the delivery of high-quality, cost-efficient healthcare. The Physicians Foundation pursues its mission through a variety of activities including grant making, research and policy studies.

The Physician’s Foundation provides grants to nonprofit organizations, universities, hospital systems and medical society foundations that support its mission and since 2005, has awarded numerous multi-year grants totaling more than $40 million. The Foundation is committed to identifying how the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) impacts physicians and what needs to be re-assessed or changed in order to achieve the following goals:

  • To educate physicians on the leadership skills necessary to drive healthcare excellence;
  • To understand physician practice trends and help physicians deliver quality care to their patients;
  • To meet the current and future needs of all patients by assessing the supply of physicians;
  • To provide practicing physicians with resources and support to manage healthcare reform and succeed in today’s challenging healthcare environment.

While the grant is a two-year grant, the Physician Foundation points out that subsequent funding for this program is contingent upon the submission of satisfactory progress reports that includes project activities, outcomes, and a budget.

Physician leadership training is available to different physician groups, but this is the first state-specific physician training program in Wyoming. Among the advantages of such programs are documented benefits to patient care brought on by stronger physician engagement. The American College of Physician Executives includes physician leadership as one of its nine essential elements required to provide optimal patient-centered care.

Physicians and patients are not the only members of the healthcare continuum seeking such training. In 2011, The American Hospital Association asked its regional policy boards, governing councils, and committees to identify skills they felt physicians needed to practice and lead in a reformed medical environment. The top skill requested was leadership training.

The Wyoming Medical Society was founded in 1903 to provide representation, advocacy and service to Wyoming physicians. We strive to be an efficient, member-driven, responsive organization, capable of anticipating and responding swiftly to the changing health care environment. WMS serves our membership, and their patients, and works to improve the health of Wyoming’s citizens. The Wyoming Medical Society is, and always will be, a staunch advocate for physicians. This is our core. All of our other activities revolve around this core.

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