Dual CMOs a First; Expect More Hospitals to Follow

Joe Cantlupe, January 31, 2013

Children's National Medical Center in Washington D.C. this month named joint chief medical officers, among the first hospitals to do so, to handle the "complexities of the evolving healthcare landscape."

When Denice Cora-Bramble, MD, MBA, FAAP, answers her phone at the Children's National Medical Center, she says she's chief medical officer.

So does David Wessel, MD.

What gives? This isn't a new version of the old TV show "To Tell the Truth," but reality at the Washington D.C. hospital, where both physicians hold the title of chief medical officers.

Children's National Medical Center believes it is the first pediatric hospital, if not one of the first hospitals in the nation, to employ joint CMOs. The American Hospital Association, for one, says it has not heard of a hospital having dual CMOs.

CNMC officials are convinced having two CMOs may be increasingly suitable as hospitals continue to deal with what the hospital called the "complexity of the evolving healthcare landscape" and population health management.

What's not surprising is that physicians are playing significant leadership role in this. As Kurt Newman, president and CEO of CNMC said in a recent statement announcing the appointments, the dual CMO posts are designed to help the hospital continue on a two-pronged approach.


Joe Cantlupe Joe Cantlupe is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media Online.Twitter


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