July 10, 2019

Dean's Message: Service lines help us succeed

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As our research and education mission areas have grown here at UAB Medicine, so has our clinical impact. In 2011, the first iteration of the AMC21 plan included the creation of strategic service lines in order to better support that clinical growth. When we revisited AMC21 in 2015, we went a step further and developed signature service lines that include cardiovascular, cancer, and transplant.

The services lines are integral to our ability to deliver outstanding clinical care. They allow senior leaders to focus daily on care delivery and outcomes for patients in a particular clinical area. The service lines operate across departments and require a great deal of coordination between chairs and division directors. The signature service lines operate under dyad-style leadership with a physician and administrative team lead. Similar to departments, these service lines have their own budgets and manage a coordinated group of clinical faculty.

Unique to UAB, each of the service lines also has a steering committee. These committees consist of a number of different leaders, including clinical chairs connected to the service line, senior physician leaders from the School of Medicine, the Chief Physician Executive, the Chief Medical Officer, the Chief Quality Officer, and other administrative leaders from the Health System. If you’d like to learn more in-depth information about how the signature service lines operate, I recommend you read one of Dr. Ferniany’s latest blogs here.

As they have only recently been initiated, the service lines will require a great deal of attention to make sure they truly provide added value and that they develop a vital and integrated part of our culture. The Joint Operating Leadership Council (JOLC) will provide a high level of strategic planning and accountability for the service lines. The JOLC has six ex-officio members: the Senior Vice President for Medicine and Dean of the School of Medicine, the Chief Executive Officer of UAB Medicine, the Chief Physician Executive and President of University of Alabama Health Services Foundation, the UAB President, the Chair of Medicine, and the Chair of Surgery. Additionally, two appointed members are selected to serve on the JOLC. One at-large, hospital-based department chair serves a three-year term, and one at-large department chair serves a two-year term. Chair peers nominate these two members who are then appointed by a 2/3 majority vote of the non-chair members, not including the UAB President.

As we look to the future, I am confident that our investment in service lines will lead to groundbreaking new treatments, better outcomes for patients, and opportunities for translational research. I also believe that by investing in these uniquely positioned service lines, we are moving UAB even further into a position of thought leadership for academic medical centers in the U.S.