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Weill Cornell Medical College Selects Five "Leaders of Tomorrow" to Navigate the Future of Health Care

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Five members of the Weill Cornell Medical College faculty have been selected as the inaugural class of the newly established Weill Cornell Healthcare Leadership Fellows program.

A joint effort by the Medical College and the Weill Cornell Physician Organization, the program is a new initiative to identify faculty members who have the potential and motivation to become leaders. The program will provide the fellows with opportunities to develop leadership skills as they work to design innovative solutions to improve the health care provided at Weill Cornell Medical College. The fellowship begins July 1.

The program was established by Dr. Laurie H. Glimcher, the Stephen and Suzanne Weiss Dean of Weill Cornell Medical College, and is co-chaired by Dr. Michael Wolk, clinical professor of Medicine, president of the Michael Wolk Heart Foundation and chief contracting officer of the Physician Organization, and Dr. Lawrence Casalino, the Livingston Farrand associate professor of Public Health and chief of the Division of Outcomes and Effectiveness Research. During the next five years, the program seeks to develop a cadre of 15-20 fellows who will focus on finding new approaches to providing high quality, patient-centered and cost-effective health care.

"We are all excited about this. The application uses the phrase 'leaders of tomorrow' and that's who we are looking for," said Dr. Wolk, who initiated the fellowship program. "Physician leadership is a vitally important but scarce resource. These individuals are going to be active in the medical school and/or at the hospital for years to come."

The first five fellows selected are:

  • Dr. Tessa Cigler, assistant professor of Medicine in the Division of Medical Oncology at Weill Cornell Medical College and assistant attending physician at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center;
  • Dr. Peter Fleischut, assistant professor of Anesthesiology at Weill Cornell Medical College and assistant attending anesthesiologist and deputy quality and patient safety officer at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell;
  • Dr. Fran Ganz-Lord, assistant professor of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College and director of quality and patient Safety at Weill Cornell Internal Medicine Associates;
  • Dr. Keith Hentel, associate professor of Clinical Radiology at Weill Cornell Medical College and assistant attending radiologist at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell;
  • Dr. Robert Kim, assistant professor of Medicine in the Division of Cardiology at Weill Cornell Medical College and assistant attending physician, NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell.

The Michael J. Wolk Heart Foundation has made a $500,000 grant over a five-year period which will pay for health care policy courses, management seminars and other post-graduate courses locally and nationally. Fellows are required to dedicate at least 10 percent of their time for one year to the program, which will also include symposia at the Medical College.

Each fellow will have two mentors who will provide guidance in their fellowship project, as well as take them through the complexities of health care operations and management during a time of unprecedented reform.

"The mentors are going to be very important. The fellows are going into health policy, which is outside their usual area," said Dr. Wolk.

A $2,500 award will also be given to the best-judged fellowship project at the annual symposium.

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