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iConnect News

Business leaders go to medical school for a change

June 13, 2006
Posted In: University Headlines

MESA, Ariz. (June 13, 2006) – How do you help prevent 100,000 unnecessary deaths each year, drive continuous quality improvement, and at the same time assure affordable, easily accessible healthcare for employees?

A Blue Ribbon Committee of prominent business executives recently met to help design “The Medical School of the Future” at A.T. Still University in Mesa, Ariz.

“Our greatest concern is making sure our employees and their families have quality, yet affordable healthcare,” says Martin Fraser, CFO of CSK Auto, Inc. “Too many times I and many other executives are asked to make medical policy decisions that affect thousands of lives. I’m not comfortable in that role. Working with a new medical school to train future physicians to understand the many dimensions of healthcare is a step in the right direction.”

The Institute of Medicine and the Association of American Medical Colleges agree. How physicians are educated plays a major role in how physicians develop their attitudes about patients, quality, cost, and organization.

“A.T. Still University, founded in 1892, is bringing new ideas and practices into a medical education model essentially unchanged for the last 50 years,” says Ray Lamb, CEO of First National Bank of Arizona. “While other areas of society including business, entertainment, and technology have reinvented themselves every 10 to 20 years, medical schools have remained unchanged despite repeated calls for reform. We need a whole new way of healthcare delivery and that means beginning with the training of the providers.”

Many prominent national business leaders are on the A.T. Still University’s Blue-Ribbon Committee, including: Reginald Ballantyne, III, Senior Corporate Officer for Abrazo Health Care, and Robert Uhl, Vice Chair of Bar-S Foods, who both say a new approach is needed.

Kevin M. McGovern, CEO of McGovern Associates of New York said, “Finally someone in healthcare is listening to those who are paying the increasing bills for what is becoming a poorer and poorer product. Incredibly, this A.T. Still University is aware enough to ask business organizations to help them get down to business and learn how to organize for good results.”

“Our Blue Ribbon Committee shows that business leaders can offer great organizational insights for a new medical school,” says Craig Phelps, D.O., Provost of A.T. Still University’s Mesa, Arizona campus. “In talking with us, they give very practical views of the needs of patients, payers, and providers. And, if proposed solutions are to work, they need to address all these parties or parts simultaneously.”

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