The American College of Surgeons and the Americas Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Association are pleased to offer an annual $8,000 scholarship to subsidize attendance and participation in the Executive Leadership Program in Health Policy and Management at Brandeis University. AHPBA and ACS members in good standing that are between 30 – 60 years old are eligible to apply. The award is to be used to support the recipient during the period of the scholarship. Indirect costs are not paid to the recipient or to the recipient’s institution.

2021 Award Winner

The 2021 winner of the American College of Surgeons/Americas Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Association Health Policy Scholarship is:

Shen Perry Photo

Perry Shen, MD

Wake Forest Baptist Health

In 2020 I was appointed Co-Executive Director of the Oncology Service Line for our NIH-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, and I felt this course would be a great opportunity to gain new insights and learn skills to make me a more effective leader.  I was honored to have been chosen as the AHPBA/ACS Scholarship recipient for the 2021 program.  This year because of the pandemic the course was offered in a virtual format Monday to Saturday from 8:30am-5:30pm daily.  All participants were sent a list of reading materials beforehand to prepare for the scheduled lectures and presentations.  Thirty surgeons from around the country and Canada were part of this year’s class.  Our program director was Jon Chilingerian, tenured professor at Brandeis University and founder of the MD-MBA Program in Health Management at Tufts University School of Medicine.

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Dr. Chilingerian was great teacher and communicator who displayed boundless enthusiasm for his work, beginning every day of the course with his trademark greeting, “Fantastico!”. 

Monday began with a talk on Strategic Thinking and Decision Making by Dr. Chilingerian, encouraging us to challenge assumptions and think critically.  Though we were not in person, there was much small group interaction using virtual breakout rooms to promote discussion among the attendees.  Every day we had a one-hour break for lunch.  The afternoon session was spent with Stuart Altman, Professor of National Health Policy and advisor to 5 presidential administrations.  He discussed his experience with national health care reform in the Nixon and Clinton administrations and important issues surrounding the Affordable Care Act and recent efforts to repeal and weaken it.  This session continued through Tuesday morning and what made the time with Dr. Altman so valuable was the way he engaged all the participants, asking questions and promoting an active exchange of ideas.  I gained a much better understanding of the challenges to providing more equitable national health care.  Tuesday afternoon we had a session on Managing Clinics and the Physics of Patient Flow.  It was an in-depth analysis of factors which affect wait time, resource allocation, and how to calculate the effects of bottlenecks in a complex healthcare system.  Our group was divided into small groups which used software provided by the course to run simulations of patient flow for hernia surgery from clinic referrals to operating room and postoperative follow-up to determine areas of bottleneck.  Wednesday morning was spent learning health policy strategy of the ACS and the role surgeons play in advocacy and the afternoon was an interactive session analyzing leadership styles with Dr. Chilingerian and understanding how a relational versus task-oriented style are both important and must be tailored to specific situations and populations.  We were given specific case studies in healthcare and other industries to analyze in our breakout groups and discussed what key leadership principles were critical to building trust and cooperation.

The second half of the program began on Thursday with a talk on quality and performance measures highlighting the importance of structure, process, and outcomes along with a presentation about maximizing engagement in healthcare groups by focusing on relational coordination among members of the team.  We spent a lot of time in our breakout groups discussing these concepts to deepen our understanding and then critically applying them to clinical scenarios at our own institutions.  In the afternoon we had our last session with Dr. Chilingerian on how to implement change as a leader.  We learned the importance of the first follower of a leader in galvanizing change and our breakout groups participated in a very dynamic and interactive simulation software which involved working in a matrixed organization to adopt a new quality program.  Friday was a highly informative session on financial literacy and understanding a balance sheet, and how depreciation, revenue, and expense affects cash flow.  As usual, our breakout groups reviewed several case studies in healthcare economics to see how financial concepts applied in real world situations.  Our final day on Saturday was spent analyzing conflict negotiations and strategies for health care leaders.  We learned about positional versus interest-based bargaining and engaged in various role-playing exercises to illustrate how different strategies affect various stakeholders in a healthcare negotiation. 

This course exceeded my expectations.  Though I missed the after-class networking and relationship building which is typically a part of a program like this, I found the engagement and caliber of the faculty speakers to be exceptional and I could tell they were all vested in our education.  One of the greatest strengths of the program was the consistent interaction between attendees and the faculty which not only kept the presentations from turning into purely academic lectures, but the open discussion allowed everyone on the virtual call to learn from each other’s experiences or see how the concepts being taught could be fleshed out for practical application.  I would highly recommend this course for anyone who is a leader in healthcare or aspires to someday become one.  The knowledge gained is based on universal and proven principles of business and management presented in a format which makes sense to surgeons who work in both the clinical and administrative world.  Once again, I would like to thank the AHPBA and ACS for the opportunity to attend this “Fantastico!” program.”

2019 Award Winner

The 2019 winner of the American College of Surgeons/Americas Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Association Health Policy Scholarship is:

Daniel A. Anaya, MD

Moffitt Cancer Center

2018 Award Winner

Maria B. Majella Doyle

Maria B. Majella Doyle, MD, MBA

Washington University in St. Louis.