MCLP Class learns about health care challenges

Members of the Multicultural Leadership Program (MCLP) Class of 2012 wrestled with health care challenges and the personal challenge of leadership courage during their sessions Jan. 19.

Reform of the U.S. health care system is a given in the U.S., according to the discussion, but in what form remained the question.  The MCLP Class learned health care accounts for 17 percent of our Gross National Product (GNP), and health care workers account for 12 percent of the U.S. workforce.

Health care panel
Health Care Panel

An expert panel

Four local health care leaders discuss the challenges and change in their world with the MCLP class.  Sonja Reece, Director of Government Affairs & Property Management at Advocate BroMenn Medical Center in Normal, moderated a panel discussion which addressed issues ranging from baby boomers’ end-of-life issues to increasing mortality rates for children.

The MCLP class also heard the cost of chronic disease, such as diabetes, is dwarfing other costs, yet advances in medical treatment are astonishing. These trends are matched with increasing costs and major shortages of health care workers.

What the panelist said

1. Ken Natzke, CEO of OSF St. Joseph Medical Center, Bloomington – Our challenge is to provide great medical service under the current rules, while planning a transition to an unknown future.

2.  Janet Krejci, Dean of the Mennonite College of Nursing at Illinois State University, Normal – The need for nurses at all levels has increased from 20,000 to 65,000 in the U.S., while where patients get medical services is changing drastically.

3.  Bob Miller, VP Operations, Advocate BroMenn Medical Center– We are transforming how we manage our costs and services. Daily reviews, data in real time, and systematic team analysis are allowing the center to reduce costs and improve service.

4.  Sheila Montney, Director of Centralized Operations for Life/Health at State Farm, Bloomington – The challenges for the health insurance industry is enormous. The growth rate of medical costs far outstrips the growth of premium, with legislation at both state and federal levels further complicating the situation.

Leadership courage

During the second half of the MCLP session, Annette Martinez, VP Operations-Human Resources at State Farm, led the class in a personal exploration of their leadership courage.  Leadership courage has a cost and creates risks.

Some of the questions she asked the Class to consider were:  What is your comfort level with risks?  When should you stand for your beliefs?  If the facts change, when do you change?  When is it not worth the risks?  How do you know?

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