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The Gift That Changed Everything: Healthcare Leadership Academy

Ten years ago, an investment in the future of UAB began shaping the future of patient care.

An initial gift from the Doré Family Foundation, and subsequent support from Amy and Duane Donner, created the Healthcare Leadership Academy (HLA), a collaboration between the Collat School of Business and the School of Medicine that cultivates essential leadership skills and teamwork among UAB clinicians and executives. In addition, participants work together to advance UAB care, developing projects such as a digital navigation tool for patients and families and a program to encourage medical students to choose careers in primary care. Meet some of the more than 230 faculty and staff who have completed the eight-month program and used their newfound insights to influence the growth of UAB Medicine and the patient care it provides:

“I had never experienced leadership training in such a rich, vital environment. The lessons I learned continue to benefit me and the faculty and patients I mentor and support.”
— Teena McGuinness, Ph.D., CRNP, FAAN, chair, School of Nursing Department of Family, Community, and Health Systems

“The lessons on team building and communication will stay with me for life; however, what moved me the most was listening to the leaders that surround us tell the story of their journeys. I realized that maybe I could do more. I see the opportunities to step away from my niche and participate in broader missions campus-wide.”
— Carol Ballinger, Ph.D., program director, School of Medicine Division of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology

“I learned so much about myself as a person, team member, and leader. I also learned a tremendous amount about the institution. I came away from this experience with a better understanding of our resources, challenges, and goals; this in turn has given me an important advantage moving forward in my new leadership role.”
— Alice Goepfert, M.D., School of Medicine associate dean for graduate medical education

“We have seen this program have a tremendous impact on our community and the UAB Academic Medical Center. To speak with HLA participants and hear the success stories their network has created makes us proud to support the program. We’ve also seen many HLA alumni promoted into leadership positions, which means this is a great investment for UAB and our family.”
— Amy and Duane Donner, donors

“HLA challenged me in a positive way to examine my strengths and weaknesses. It pressed me to push myself and to strive to make a positive impact on those around me, on UAB, and on the Birmingham community. It is the best experience I have completed in nearly 20 years of working in academics. Since HLA, I have twice advanced my career through leadership roles. I directly attribute these opportunities and my success in these new roles to what I learned during my time with HLA.”
— Ryan Outman, division administrator, School of Medicine Division of Hematology and Oncology


Learn more about opportunities to cultivate leaders at UAB: Brad Whisenant, senior director of development, 205.996.9453, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..




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