Partners from China visit UMMS for executive leadership course

A group of hospital administrators from China are the first to complete an extensive leadership training course developed by Global REACH for aspiring healthcare executives from abroad.

Hospital administrators from Peking University Third Hospital particpate in an outdoor team-building activity as part of a three-week Executive Training Program workshop organized by Global REACH.

The first-ever Executive Training Program session, which took place May 30 through June 16, combined management best-practice concepts with behind-the-scenes looks across many Michigan Medicine divisions and departments. Ten visiting participants from Peking University Third Hospital, in Beijing, heard from Michigan Medicine leaders in Risk Management, Lean Thinking, Finance, Patient Experience, Human Resources and more, gaining insights and skills that will help their organization – and their careers – back home.

Almost a year in the planning, the program represents the first-ever extensive training course developed by Global REACH. While the department typically supports international collaborations among students, clinicians and researchers, this marked the first initiative aimed specifically at healthcare administrators. It is being piloted with longtime UMMS partner Peking University Health Science Center (PUHSC) and its affiliated hospitals, but could potentially expand to other international partners. PUHSC plans to send a second group near the end of the year.

“We started with PUHSC because they are such a strong partner, but we’ve had requests from several institutions for similar training,” said Amy Huang, MD, Global REACH Director of China Programs, who developed the training program. “In many parts of the world, as health services and infrastructure expand, it drives demand not just for care providers to staff new facilities, but for skilled executives to manage them as well.”

Course particpants get a behind-the-scenes look at Survival Flight operations.

Although they were all from the same hospital, the program’s 10 participants did not know each other prior to being selected for the course. Opened in 1958, Peking University Third Hospital is a large enterprise, with more than 4,000 employees and 1,700 patient beds across 30-plus clinical departments.

“I had a very good time and learned so much that I want to take back and share with my colleagues – lessons not only from the program, but from my classmates as well,” said Hongping Wu, an Assistant Director at Third Hospital’s Reproductive Medical Center. “Three weeks went by so fast. It felt more like a family gathering than just a meeting. It was a wonderful experience that I will never forget.”

The three-week program covered seven core administrative leadership curricula and comprised 112 class hours and 11 departmental tours, including behind-the-scenes looks at Emergency Medicine and Survival Flight operations; the Japanese Family Health Program offices; the Michigan Medicine simulation center; the Kellogg Eye Center, and more. Participants included leaders from Third Hospital’s Information Technology, Human Resources, Communications, and Medical Education Departments. Tian Hua, an Orthopedic Surgeon and the only physician in the group, praised the course for its inclusion of so many vital healthcare administration topics.

“I was somewhat reluctant to take so much time off, but I found I really enjoyed myself and learned a great deal,” he said. “Learning about so many different perspectives – risk management, finance – was new and very helpful. I’m confident some of the lessons will benefit me, not only in working my patients, but with many of my colleagues as well.”

He and other participants heard from more than 25 prominent leaders from the University of Michigan health system, medical school, and other health sciences disciplines. The busy schedule included Interim Chief Information Officer Andrew Rosenberg, who gave an overview of IT system and structures; Senior Associate Dean for Faculty Development Margaret Gyetko, who talked about faculty performance and development; Senior Associate Dean for Research Steven Kunkel, who outlined the research community; School of Public Professor Emeritus of Health Management and Policy John Griffith, who talked about organizational leadership concepts; and many others.

Senior Associate Dean for Education and Global Initiatives Joseph Kolars provided an overview of Michigan Medicine on the first day and led daily debriefing sessions with participants throughout the three-week program.

“The idea is to offer a broad look at the administrative structures and best practices across Michigan Medicine, combined with some of the same leadership training we offer to our own faculty and employees,” said Kolars. “Programs like this depend on colleagues from across Michigan Medicine who are willing to share their time and expertise. We’re grateful not only to everyone who helped us offer such a thorough curriculum, but also to our attentive learners who absorbed so much in three short weeks.”

Participants show off their certificates with course organizers from Global REACH.