Foundation for Healthy Floridians
Karl M. Altenburger, MD Physician Leadership Academy
The Foundation for Healthy Floridians (Foundation) is the charitable arm of the Florida Medical Association (FMA). Although the two organizations have separate governance structures, there is overlap in the physician and staff leadership for the two organizations. The foundation supports the educational endeavors of the FMA, and in turn, the FMA and its staff supports the initiatives and projects of the foundation. The Karl M. Altenburger, MD Physician Leadership Academy, is a customized emerging leader program designed to train physicians on the fundamentals of leadership, professional development, and wellness so that graduates can successfully navigate the dynamic medical environment in which they practice. From inception, this Leadership Academy was specifically designed to sharpen the skills of physician leaders who are facing unprecedented organizational, cultural, and professional changes and challenges. The foundation works closely with the FMA to offer the Karl M. Altenburger, MD Physician Leadership Academy and to ensure that the program outcomes enhance physician wellness and professional development, as well as positively impact the healthcare system in Florida.
The Foundation for Healthy Floridians suspended many of its’ in-person educational programs in 2020, including the Leadership Academy, to provide the services and support that Florida physicians needed to maneuver the COVID-19 crisis. This break helped to reimagine the possibilities of the program by revitalizing the curriculum and refreshing our faculty. The current vision is that this program will support physicians to embrace wellness and re-discover professional satisfaction and passion for their chosen profession. In turn, graduating participants are positioned to be champions and mentors who can use what they learn to revitalize the organizations and associations in which they operate. The newly minted content will feature core curriculum customized to both the health care industry and the FMA organization. Planned topics for our Leadership Academy include emotional intelligence, conflict management, strategic leadership, addressing unconscious bias, managing organizational change, effective communication and professional presence, and harnessing technology, particularly telemedicine, to improve practice and patient care.
One practical point of emphasis being made is to work with faculty to incorporate specific take-away messages as to how the content they are addressing can positively impact our participants’ wellness and resiliency goals. To achieve a more cohesive class and provide additional interaction, the plan is to offer a virtual journal club that will meet between scheduled classes. Each session will feature a scholarly article that reinforces content/themes addressed in the live sessions. This will ensure that participants have more time to discuss the relevancy of featured content and explore best practices to apply what they are learning. The Karl M. Altenburger, MD Physician Leadership Academy will serve not only as a as a pipeline for future leaders in organized medicine and the FMA, but also a conduit for ideas and tactics that will support institutional changes to ensure the sustainability of organized medicine, and the future success of Florida’s healthcare system. A key point of emphasis is to ensure that graduates can utilize the knowledge, skills, and techniques they gain to benefit their county medical and specialty societies, as well as the organizations in which they serve.