February 05, 2014

Gift will help identify, develop future leaders in health care

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The University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Collat School of Business recently received a $125,000 gift from Amy and Duane Donner for the Healthcare Leadership Academy, a collaboration with the School of Medicine.

Founded in 2009, the academy 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.

“HLA provides a number of benefits to the participants including knowledge that they gain about leadership and about the UAB health care enterprise through presentations by a number of senior leaders and discussions of research and leadership articles,” says David A. Rogers, M.D., MHPE, senior associate dean for Faculty Development in the School of Medicine and co-director of HLA. “One of the greatest benefits is the relationships participants form as they work and spend time together. While these relationships are personally important, they also have great strategic importance: connecting leaders across complex organizations with one another, allowing them to solve problems and create programs more effectively.” 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.

“The initial support from the Dore’ Foundation and the ongoing support from Amy and Duane Donner and UAB have been essential for sustaining this truly remarkable leadership development program,” Rogers says.

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.