Spencer Tschida Grantee Perspective

The Physicians Foundation awarded a grant to Western Health Care Leadership Academy to support the work it does in bringing together leaders to examine trends in the ever-evolving health care environment, as well as solutions to the challenges facing the industry today. Spencer Tschida, program coordinator for the California Medical Association discusses how this organization has partnered with Physicians Foundation to promote this important conference.

Q: What is the Western Health Care Leadership Academy and what is its mission?

The Western Health Care Leadership Academy brings together present and future leaders to examine latest trends in the rapidly evolving health care environment. We explore innovative and collaborative solutions to the problems and challenges facing the industry with a strong focus on developing physician leadership.

Q: What type of information and skills are shared during this annual conference? Please provide examples.

With a focus sharply on health care, we provide a comprehensive offering of educational and skills-related content. The Academy has shared expertise on starting a new practice, leading a diverse team, recognizing (and addressing) physician burnout and communicational intelligence with patient encounters. We also address relevant “hot topics” like stem cell research, telehealth, the ever-changing digital landscape and national policies impacting the profession.

Q: What are some of the most pressing changes in the healthcare system that leaders should be preparing for?

MACRA (quality of care reform and measurement) and physician burnout will dominate 2017. The importance of physician engagement into the political process can’t be overstated. Having the profession’s voice heard by local, state and federal policy makers is paramount to creating and changing laws and regulations that impact patients and practice.

Q: How do you see the academy evolving over the next few years? 

Over the next few years, the Academy will experience continued growth – geographically as we add new locations and strategically as we partner with new state medical associations and health care stakeholders. Attendee feedback is critically important, and we’re constantly refining our content to meet the ever-evolving needs of the industry. Our focus will always revolve around the most pressing issues facing physicians, and we’ve recently started offering more MBA, business and leadership principles to the program.

Q: Why is it important for The Physicians Foundation to give these kinds of grants? 

The Academy provides a unique forum for shared learning and networking in an environment where the physician is front and center. Generous grants from The Physicians Foundation help the Academy’s mission and message to reach physicians outside of California, which ultimately will improve the health and wellness of more communities.