Donner Amy and DuaneThe Collat School of Business recently received a $125,000 gift from Amy and Duane Donner for its Healthcare Leadership Academy. Founded in 2009, the academy is a joint collaboration between the Collat School of Business and  the School of Medicine, and it has helped the university retain promising health-focused faculty and staff. The academy’s mission is to identify and develop future leaders of the UAB academic medical center. 

“This generous gift highlights the Donners’ continuing commitment to helping the Collat School of Business equip UAB’s health professionals with the highest-quality business training and the skills needed to lead in a turbulent health-care environment,” says Eric Jack, Ph.D., dean of the Collat School of Business. “Leaders aren’t born; they’re developed. Our program helps them develop these leadership skills by reflecting on themselves, their organizations, and the wider world.” 

Program graduates represent all six health profession schools, including the schools of Medicine, Nursing, Dentistry, Optometry, Public Health, and Health Professions, as well as administrators, including those from the UAB Health System, University Hospital, The Kirklin Clinic, and the faculty practice plan. 

Participants receive a broader understanding of the responsibilities of leaders, new perspectives on the critical leadership and managerial issues they face, and a deeper understanding and awareness of concepts and techniques relevant to management. 

Duane Donner is the managing partner of Founders Investment Banking, which, along with the Dore Foundation, helped found the academy. The two organizations have donated $700,000 to this collaborative group since its inception, with UAB adding $250,000. 

“We have enjoyed working with the team at UAB on the Healthcare Leadership Academy,” Duane Donner says. “There is tremendous value being developed and created for our community with this innovative program that is equipping health-care professionals with specific business skills they need for success in today’s health-care environment. I have been quite impressed with the quality of the participants and how hungry these folks are to learn and grow. They understand how important this is to our future to get this right.” 

To date, 120 faculty members and nonfaculty administrators have participated in the HLA, including Jeanetta Keller, Ph.D., chief administrative officer of the UAB Health System; Jeremy Thomas, M.D., medical director of the UAB Emergency Department; and Mike Chen, M.D., chief of staff for UAB Pediatric Surgery.

Mr. Donner adds, “We are grateful to have had the opportunity to make the initial investment in HLA and watch the Academy continue to grow. It is really exciting for us to be part of something with such potential to help solve some of the major challenges we are facing with our nation’s health-care system.”