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Kim Vernon, M.D. Leadership Advisory Council memberMedical City Dallas HospitalJust because a physician has completed her one-year term as medical staff president at Medical City Dallas Hospital doesn't mean she has to leave her leadership role behind. The 660-licensed-bed HCA Inc. hospital takes advantage of its past presidents' experience by asking them to join the Leadership Advisory Council. Past president and OB/GYN Kim Vernon, M.D., explains how the council works.Vernon: With a few exceptions, all of our past presidents back to the opening of the hospital 30 years ago are still practicing. In 1997, our chief executive officer wanted greater input from physicians, so the council was formed. All past presidents and the current president and president-elect are invited-20 to 25 attend. The group meets twice a year in an informal setting that includes dinner and an update from the CEO. The format gives the past presidents and the CEO access to one another, as well as the freedom to speak and ask questions in a more relaxed environment. Because we select our presidents from a different department every year, the council is a varied group. It's not like the CEO just hears the issues of the general surgeons or lab sciences-he hears from every section. Everyone wants to tell a past president what they like and don't like, so we have a pulse on what's going on in the hospital. We hear good and bad, from physician issues to nursing to housekeeping. -Kara Olsen