By Christopher Hickey, LMS EVP/CEO
LMS has concluded its first year of its second strategic plan which is focused from 2017 to 2019. The first strategic plan, 2014 to 2016, caused our membership to rebound from a twelve year decline by being “physician centric” in its approach. The membership, which bottomed out at 499 in 2014, increased to 580 in 2016. The previous strategic plan modernized much of our business practices, streamlined our society governance, and created some innovative programs. The most notable innovation was the launching of the Physician Wellness Program in 2016. This positive trend continues with membership increasing to 598 in 2017. Dr. Robert Granacher, as the President-Elect in 2016, led a strategic planning committee to develop the current plan (figure 1). The planning committee, understanding that the active physicians exhibiting signs of burnout was well over 55% or higher, developed a positive vision that emphasizes the passion for the practice of medicine. Serving as a physician is a noble profession that requires a great deal of personal sacrifice starting from trying to make the grade in school to enter the profession and continues till retirement. Therefore, this vision is what drives the energy and resources of the Lexington Medical Society in service to our members. The new strategic plan retained successful strategies from the first strategic plan and launched a few more. Here is an assessment of our current strategic plan.
Goal 1: Physician Wellness
The LMS Physician Wellness Program (PWP), about to start its third year, is well-established. The PWP provides free counseling sessions to address life’s normal difficulties with a psychologist group LMS has contracted. This service is completely confidential. LMS pays a monthly invoice based on the number of visits, no names. The PWP service started in January, 2016 and expanded to include all University of Kentucky Graduate Medical Education residents and fellows in July, 2016. Based on feedback, the Executive Committee increased the number of free sessions from six to eight per calendar year. The PWP, since its inception, has paid for over 200 counseling sessions for active physicians and residents and fellows. Anonymous survey feedback report that members using the PWP are very pleased with the quality of the counseling service.
Analysis: Continue to fund and support the LMS PWP. The PWP is budgeted to continue.
Goal 2: Physician Leadership Development & Mentorship
LMS supported physician leadership development in the previous strategic plan with several leadership workshops. The current strategic plan launched three leadership development initiatives: support for the KMA’s Kentucky Physician Leadership Institute (KPLI), the Leadership of the Business of Medicine workshops, and the LMS-U.K. College of Medicine Mentorship Program.
KMA’s KPLI launched its inaugural year in 2017. This program focuses on developing physician leaders through four, two-day overnight sessions on topics of personal leadership, business leadership, advocacy leadership, and leadership on a critical health care issue. The sessions are led by a talented faculty team from Butler University. Half of the inaugural class was from Lexington, three slots funded by LMS and two by KMA. Feedback from LMS KPLI participants was entirely positive. LMS will fund three more slots for the 2018 class. Contact LMS if you are interested and want more information.
The Leadership of the Business of Medicine workshops leverages the existence of a world class business program here in Lexington. LMS has partnered with the University of Kentucky’s Gatton College of Business and Economics to provide these four-hour workshops. The logic of the program is that physicians require business knowledge whether they are in private practice or a major health care system. Gatton tailors the workshops on business topics for our physicians. We launched a pilot workshop, “Negotiations,” in April, 2017 and the feedback from our member participants was positive. LMS has committed to two more workshops, December 2, 2017 on “Understanding Contracts and Financial Statements” and April 14, 2018 on “Strategic Planning.” The workshops are free to members, but limited to 25 participants so sign up early to get a slot.
The LMS-U.K. College of Medicine Mentorship Program launched in August, 2017 and goes to May, 2018. The program pairs our physicians with third year medical students by utilizing software that matches mentor to mentee based on specialty, personality, and other interests. The concept is the program is centralized structured by LMS to match the participants and monitor program progress, but decentralized in execution by the mentors and mentees based on their time and interests. There are currently 46 medical students being mentored by our members. We will wait till the programs conclusion in May for feedback on its success and make necessary adjustments.
Analysis: Continue to fund three LMS physician slots for KMA’s Kentucky Physician Leadership Institute (KPLI). LMS will wait for feedback on the current funded Leadership of Business of Medicine workshops and the LMS-U.K. College of Medicine Mentorship Program for future funding decisions. In 2018 you will see a new program, “Woman Physician Leadership Series,” launch. This inaugural event includes a dinner at the 21C Museum Hotel and has Dr. Ardis Hoven, past AMA President and Chair of the World Medical Society, speaking on perspectives on leadership.
Goal 3: Support for Early Career Physicians/Students
This goal is related the previous goals in that early career physicians can attend KMPI, the Leadership of Business of Medicine Workshops, and third year medical students participate in the mentorship program. LMS will continue its highly successful “Career Chats” event, going on its fifth year, where medical students chat with physicians representing over 15 specialties. This event, which includes catered food and refreshments, typically attracts over 120 medical students and 40 physicians and gets positive reviews by all. Additionally, LMS supports a pizza welcome lunch for the incoming medical student class and is a Match Day sponsor. Through the Kentucky Doc Magazine, LMS supports an annual essay contest and awards thousands of dollars in prizes. The essay contest is especially popular among medical students and residents.
Analysis: Continue support for U.K. College of Medicine through “Career Chats,” the incoming class welcome lunch, Match Day sponsorship, and the mentorship program. In 2018 you will see an event tailored to young physician couples called “Couples Team Building.” The event will be held at the Life Adventure Center in Versailles and involve couples negotiating a high rope course and a zip line.
Goal 4: Legislative Advocacy
LMS integrates with the legislative advocacy efforts and programs of the KMA and AMA. Each year LMS sends 30 physicians to KMA House of Delegates to develop KMA’s policies on community health and other issues of importance to physicians. Our delegates meet twice prior to the House of Delegates, at LMS Caucus Meetings, to develop resolutions to be considered by the House of Delegates. A similar process occurs at the AMA level. KMA periodically asks, during the state legislative sessions, LMS physicians to provide expertise at state legislative committee hearings.
Analysis: LMS will continue to support KMA advocacy efforts and programs such as the Physician Day at the Capitol, the KMA Annual Meeting and House of Delegates. LMS will continue to invite our federal and state legislators to periodically speak at our dinner meetings. LMS will continue to send its leadership to the annual AMA National Advocacy Conference in talk with our federal legislators.
Goal 5: Improve Community Health
LMS helps many Lexington, medical-related, non-profit organizations through our LMS Foundation. Each year the LMS Foundation awards nearly $30,000 in grants to organizations such as the Ronald McDonald House, Surgery On Sunday, Camp Horsin’ Around, the Baby Health Service, and many others. The majority of the funds are raised by the annual LMS Foundation Golf Tournament which is organized by the LMS Golf Committee led by LMS Foundation President John Collins, M.D.
LMS has members serving on the Lexington-Fayette County Board of Health. LMS quickly disseminates health alerts from the Commissioner of Public Health, LMS member, Kraig Humbaugh, M.D.
This past year, in another event that crosses over several goals, LMS sponsored a Bourbon Chase Team consisting of six physicians and four medical students. The 200 mile relay race took place on October 13-14, 2017 and had our team compete with over 400 teams through towns across the Bluegrass region. Our team raised over $6,000 for the American Cancer Society. This event had aspects that supported the goals of physician wellness, leadership development and mentorship, support for young physicians/students, community health and was pure fun.
Analysis: Continue to support the LMS Foundation, the Lexington-Fayette County Board of Health, and other efforts to improve our community health. LMS will sponsor a 2018 Bourbon Chase team in raise money for a medical non-profit.
LMS continues to focus its energy and resources to add value to our physicians. We will constantly drive towards the vision of supporting passion for the practice of medicine. Let us know if you like to get further involved with the Society, provide feedback for existing programs, or have ideas for new programs. Our strategic planning, by its nature, is never done and we will constantly innovate and adapt to serve those who serve others.