"Be worthy to Serve the Suffering" Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society Key Background

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12635 E. Montview Blvd., Suite 270
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P: (720) 859-4149
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2016 Medical Student Service Leadership Project Award winners

Alpha Omega Alpha is committed to preparing future leaders in medicine and health care. Leadership is about making a positive difference, and is learned through education, observation, and experience, and working with leader mentors. Service leadership may develop an excellent opportunity for students to develop as servant leaders. The most effective leaders are well grounded in and committed to positive professional values.

AΩA developed this award to support leadership development for medical students through mentoring, observation, and service learning.

Amount of the award: $5000 for the first year, $3000 for the second year, $1000 for the third year

The winners of this year's award are:

click on the title for a summary of each project.

Implementation of an Innovative Healthcare Delivery Science and Leadership Curriculum: The Healthcare Delivery Science and Management Distinction Track
University of Iowa

  • Student leader David DeMik
  • Student leader Michael McHugh
  • Student leader Joseph Nellis
  • Student leader Charles Paul
  • Student leader Sebastian Sciegienka
  • Mentor Alan Reed MD, MBA (AΩA, Weill Cornell Medical College, 1984)
  • Mentor Jeff Emrich MS

Mount Sinai Leaders in Health Policy
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

  • Student member Allie Dembar
  • Student leader Ben Graif
  • Student leader Taylor Miller
  • Student member Jake Prigoff (AΩA, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, 2016)
  • Mentor Andrew Coyle
  • Mentor Yasmin Meah MD (AΩA, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, 2005, Faculty)
  • Mentor David Muller MD (AΩA, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, 1995, Resident)
  • Mentor David Reich

Implementation of an Innovative Healthcare Delivery Science and Leadership Curriculum: The Healthcare Delivery Science and Management Distinction Track

The University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine (CCOM) offers supplementary training programs in the form of distinction tracks (longitudinal programs in research), teaching, global health, service, and humanities. Using this model, our team developed a new program, the Healthcare Delivery Science and Management Distinction Track.

A weekend long, pilot seminar in February 2015 demonstrated that medical students have a strong desire for training in healthcare delivery science and leadership. Topics such as developing strategy, getting good information from financial statements, leading highly functional teams, and leading change were presented. Student interest and response was overwhelmingly positive and served as a proof of concept moving forward.

Our program consists of a 3-year didactic curriculum organized into twelve, two-month content blocks. The blocks consist of preparatory independent study, an in-person didactic session, and post-session application exercises with supplemental reading. The group sessions are designed to promote interaction and a working understanding of the material. The following topics are representative of the blocks:

  • Negotiations
  • Human Resources
  • Marketing
  • Economics of Chronic Disease Management
  • Law and Malpractice
  • Government Policy
  • E-Health
  • Managerial Accounting
  • Insurance and Healthcare Financing
  • Data and Decisions
  • The Healthcare Team
  • Quality and Safety

Students are required to complete nine blocks but are strongly encouraged to complete all twelve. In order to provide our students with the highest quality programming, we developed a novel partnership with the university’s Tippie College of Business (TCOB) to deliver half of the content while CCOM faculty with advanced leadership, population health, and healthcare specific experience will deliver the other half. To reinforce the knowledge and skills taught through the formal curriculum, students will identify a mentor and complete an enterprise level project specifically geared towards one or more of the subject areas. The projects are intended to provide experience managing real issues faced by healthcare enterprises. Lastly, distinction track achievement requires completing a 4th year elective entitled, “Leadership for Future Healthcare Professionals.” This course consists of formal study of leadership and challenges faced by leaders in healthcare.

Our goal is for students to become more effective leaders, better educated in topics of management and health care delivery in a rapidly changing environment, and better equipped to assume leadership roles within healthcare organizations. Early exposure to these topics is likely to encourage students to complete further training (masters level training in business, hospital administration, or health care delivery sciences) or inspire students to pursue administrative roles in their future careers.

The funds awarded by this grant will be used for some planned endeavors, but to also expand into new opportunities. We will fund course materials for the didactic sessions so participants have the highest quality cases and resources at their disposal. We can move beyond instruction and into action by funding student projects completed as part of this track. These projects will help students develop skills and will ultimately improve our institution on an enterprise level. We will now be able to encourage and fund students’ participation in regional and national conferences to showcase their work throughout the track. Finally, we hope to implement future projects that make physician leadership training more accessible for medical students throughout their training. This could be accomplished through programming directed for students outside the track or possibly through a regional conference bringing together multiple institutions. Ultimately, our goal is to help train future physicians who will have the skills and knowledge base necessary to navigate and lead in our current healthcare environment.

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Mount Sinai Leaders in Health Policy

The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai is located in East Harlem, and its community is among the most affected by health policy decisions made at the national, state, and municipal level. Mount Sinai medical students are acutely aware that physicians have a vital role to play as advocates for vulnerable patients and leaders in health policy, where decisions can have a major impact on our patients’ lives. Yet, health policy and leadership are not significant parts of medical education. When they are taught, it is often from a big ¬picture view, with little discussion of the impact of policy decisions on the lives of patients.

The Leaders in Health Policy track at Mount Sinai has a triple aim: to create leaders in health policy innovation, to expose students to the effects of health policy on the lives of patients, and to use students to improve outcomes for at¬ risk patients in an organization at the forefront of healthcare reform. The Leaders in Health Policy track will integrate a health policy and leadership curriculum with an exposure to the impact of policy on patients’ lives by imbedding students in the Preventable Admission Care Team (PACT). PACT is an innovative program born out of the Affordable Care Act’s Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program that coordinates care for vulnerable patients to improve quality and reduce readmissions. Students will have the opportunity to work at the forefront of national healthcare reform as they partner with physicians and patients to improve the quality of care delivered to the most at ¬risk of the East Harlem community. This program will have four components: community health worker training, health policy didactics and leadership seminars, faculty mentorship, and a longitudinal service experience.

Community Health Workers
Students who have been selected for the program will first complete an eight¬ hour Community Health Worker Training. Students will learn how to enroll patients in health insurance, conduct motivational interviewing, and locate resources in the community. The purpose of this training is to prepare students to be effective health coaches for the patients with whom they interact.

Didactics and Leadership
After completing training, students will start a weekly didactic curriculum on leadership, health policy, health economics, and public health. The first semester of the year will focus on leadership and healthcare systems, and the second semester will focus on leadership, economics, statistics, and research methods.

We will provide support directly to students through faculty mentorship. Each student will be assigned a faculty mentor, who will be chosen based on his or her exceptional clinical skills, interest in public policy, strong medical student rapport, and reputation for being an effective leader in his/her field. Faculty mentors will guide students towards resources, coordinate shadowing experience, and guide their professional development.

Longitudinal Service Experience with the Preventing Admissions Care Team
Two major goals of the Leaders in Health Policy track is to help future physicians understand the effect of policy on the everyday lives of patients and to give them the opportunity to work in the frontlines of healthcare reform. In this spirit, Leaders in Health Policy students will work closely with PACT, a team of physicians, nurse practitioners, and social workers that coordinates care for vulnerable patients who lack comprehensive primary care and are at a high risk of readmission or complications.

Two students will be paired with a mentor physician in PACT, and every student will act as a health coach for a small panel of that physician’s patients. Students will meet patients when they are flagged as high ¬risk and PACT ¬eligible to conduct a needs assessment, and will remain in contact with their patients through eventual discharge from the PACT program and the transition to more traditional primary care. In this way, they will see the patient even before the physician does, remain in contact after medical care has been transitioned to another primary care physician, and provide a continuity of care that does not currently exist. This experience will allow students to develop close relationships with patients and see firsthand the repercussions of policies that impact public housing, public insurance, and public subsistence.

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Updated on May 13, 2016.