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ACPE Launches School for CMOs

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, June 16, 2014

Course titles include  "From Autonomy to Teamwork, "  "Quality and Safety for Physician Leaders, " and  "Essentials of Health Law. "

Participants will also start projects, for example, how to design a diabetes management program that includes foot complications, a frequent occurrence in this population. And they will learn how improvement should be measured and reported.

One family practice physician planning to attend is Ellen Piernot, MD, who in January became the CMO of Sunset Community Health Center, a group of four federally qualified health clinics in Yuma, AZ with 75,000 patient encounters a year.

Sunset also works with a Medicaid shared savings program, which raises the stakes for her new role.

 "We're very good at fixing one-on-one problems with patients, " Piernot says.  "But when you progress into a CMO role, you need to step back and look at what's in the best interest of populations that you're serving, and then find solutions. "

One example is the difficulty in managing meetings with independent physicians, she says.

 "Just getting a group of physicians in a room together— a lot of physicians do not know how to run a meeting like that, " Piernot says.  "That is one of the things ASPE and the CMO Academy will help people do. How do you learn to lead a team? How do you learn to get to an effective solution with people who are very used to being the decision makers when they were in the room with a patient. "


Cheryl Clark is senior quality editor and California correspondent for HealthLeaders Media. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists.
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