A steady transformation has taken shape among CUMC and P&S administration in recent months. With the arrival in June of EVP Lee Goldman, M.D., strategic priorities are being refined and a new administrative leadership team assembled. The goal is to solidify CUMC among the very top tier of academic medical centers and to improve the daily quality of life experience for the medical center’s faculty, staff and students.
A number of newcomers have joined the leadership team Tom Jackiewicz (overall operational responsibility for CUMC), Joanne Quan (finance), Paul Alexander (human resources), Mike Duncan (faculty practice organization) and Patsy Sachs Catapano (legal) augmenting a group that already included Steve Shea (health affairs, clinical operations), Marian Carlson (research), Ron Drusin (education), Richard U. Levine (faculty practice organization), Susie Stalcup (development), Marilyn Castaldi (communications and external relations), Ross Frommer (government and community affairs), and Bob Lemieux (facilities). This expanded team oversees the entire range of CUMC’s operational areas.
Finance is high on the list of medical center priorities, and Joanne Quan, chief financial officer, was appointed in January to lead the effort to secure CUMC’s financial future. With a track record of fiscal innovation in government, nonprofit and academic health care, Ms. Quan was for the past three years vice dean for finance and administration at the Mailman School. She is now assembling a staff with the financial expertise to move CUMC rapidly toward a balanced budget. Anthony A. Pramberger Jr., a seasoned health care administrator and manager, was named Mailman’s senior associate dean of finance and administration upon Ms. Quan’s move.
"We have legions of talented and loyal people here who care deeply about CUMC...”
“One of Joanne’s top priorities is building a strong financial team. The team will develop and implement a realistic and transparent funds-flow model. I believe it is critical that schools and departments understand where they stand financially and how monies are being allocated,” says Mr. Jackiewicz, who joined CUMC as chief operating officer in January.
Steve Shea, M.D., vice dean for P&S and the Hamilton Southworth Professor of Medicine in the Department of Medicine, is responsible for structuring relationships with hospitals and affiliates, overseeing compliance, operations and services that affect clinical practices and physicians’ management of patient care.
As vice dean for research, Marian Carlson, Ph.D., professor of genetics & development and microbiology, oversees issues and administrative matters supporting research at P&S.
Ron Drusin, M.D., interim senior associate dean for education and professor in cardiology, focuses on education he oversees the task force working on revision of the P&S curriculum, as well as alterations and upgrades of the Health Sciences Library in Hammer to accommodate more classrooms and expand user space. Dr. Drusin also helps guide the Garvey Academy, a multi-school initiative launched last year that recognizes excellence, rewards achievement, and promotes innovation in the education of health professionals.
Space is another area receiving significant attention.
“We are dealing today with an aging infrastructure throughout our medical center that requires a great deal of attention. The School of Nursing, the College of Dental Medicine, P&S and the Mailman School all require more and better space,” Mr. Jackiewicz says. Bob Lemieux, deputy vice president, facilities management, leads the facilities management operation that is front and center in helping to manage and respond to both short-and long-term space needs. He also oversees the Wayfinding program and other measures under way to improve the CUMC physical environment.
“A great deal of thought has been devoted to this issue for many years,” Mr. Jackiewicz says. “Now it’s time to evaluate our various space options, develop a plan and move forward.” A preliminary space advisory committee composed of members from all the schools is being formed to evaluate the options.
A strong human resources department is considered vital to CUMC’s drive toward greater excellence. In October, Paul Alexander, an HR professional with 30 years of experience in the corporate and academic sectors, became associate vice president of HR.
“Any organization is only as good and as strong as its people,” Mr. Jackiewicz says. “Moving forward, HR will assume more of an operational role in retention and recruitment, ensuring that the right people are in the right jobs and that they are properly promoted and rewarded. When employees feel their work is recognized and appreciated, productivity goes up, strengthening the organization.”
Strategic communication of Columbia faculty’s clinical, research and health sciences achievements is important to reputation building. Marilyn Castaldi, chief communications officer, focuses on external relations outreach, as well as internal communications to bridge our vast medical center. A news bureau was established to work proactively with faculty in media relations; and internal communications including publications, online and email information, and other services to support multiple initiatives by helping explain operations and sharing news of achievements.
The goal of Ross Frommer, head of government & community affairs, is to strengthen CUMC’s relationships with local, state, and national government and to advocate on issues important to the medical center. His department’s agenda also includes cultivating greater visibility for the medical center’s resources and services in Washington Heights and providing counsel and oversight for our important community programs and relationships.
Susie Stalcup, vice president of development, is at the helm of the successful CUMC campaign. Begun in July 2003, the “Defining the Future” campaign has raised more than $750 million in gifts and pledges toward its $1 billion goal. Dr. Roy Vagelos is chairing both the capital campaign and the CUMC Board of Visitors, whose membership is expanding. The Board of Visitors are advocates on behalf of the medical center mission and help to position Columbia University Medical Center through patient referrals, fund raising and assistance with board enlistment. Faculty involvement in the campaign has been critical to its success. A faculty development advisory committee is providing additional input on types of gifts, thematic priorities, financing, coordination and patient care.
Mike Duncan, executive director of the faculty practice organization (FPO) who came on board this past June, and Richard U. Levine, M.D., president of the FPO and clinical professor of ob/gyn, together oversee the largest multi-specialty medical group between Boston and Baltimore. The restructured FPO of the past year is moving aggressively to enhance practice management support for our clinicians, dealing with such issues as technology applications, patient services, malpractice insurance, and staff training.
Rounding out the leadership team is Patsy Sachs Catapano, associate general counsel, from Columbia’s Office of the General Counsel. She spends a portion of her time at the medical center, providing counsel on central administrative issues and coordinating services among the full legal staff at Morningside.
Internal customer service and responsiveness across our administrative functions are key priorities for Dr. Goldman, Tom Jackiewicz and their leadership team.
“We want to make CUMC work for everyone faculty, staff, students, patients and visitors so we need to improve our infrastructure and customer service,” Mr. Jackiewicz says. “This should be a great place to work, and it should be a place that works well for everyone.”
As an organization with about 8,000 employees, and an operating budget of $1.4 billion, CUMC can be about as tough to steer as an oceanliner. But with clear goals on the horizon, and concerted effort, it should be possible to navigate into calmer waters.
“We have legions of talented and loyal people here who care deeply about Columbia University Medical Center,” Mr. Jackiewicz says. “There’s no reason why all of us pitching in together can’t enhance the efficiency of our administrative operations.”