Maine’s health care environment is becoming more complex and competitive than ever before. As a result, it has become increasingly difficult for health care providers, consumers, payers, employers, policymakers and others to find solutions to the problems of access, quality and affordability.
Although many cooperative and collaborative health care initiatives are now underway across the state, competitive and political pressures are building at the local, regional and statewide levels. As a result, many urgent and critically important issues are being addressed in an emotionally-charged, often-political atmosphere characterized by a lack of trust and the absence of any unifying vision. Efforts to collaboratively address these issues often break down for a variety of reasons. Many people now believe that the traditional ways in which differences have been resolved in Maine are no longer effective.
Clearly, Maine needs more leaders with the vision, skills and relationships to effectively tackle complex issues and build a strong health delivery and coverage system for the future. Tomorrow’s leaders must be collaborative, courageous, confident, connected and compassionate. They must have the ability to look beyond competitive and political issues and provide leadership that will be in the best interests of all Maine citizens.
In 2006 the Daniel Hanley Center for Health Leadership and the Institute for Civic Leadership partnered to develop a new health care leadership program for Maine. Now preparing to begin its third year, this program has attracted substantial interest. In its first two years 63 emerging and evolving leaders from throughout Maine’s health care community were selected following an extensive review and selection process. Those selected for the program took part in an intensive 15-day program, based at Maple Hill Farm conference center in Hallowell. Class members received intensive training on a wide range of skills, including collaborative and facilitative leadership. They’ve also been equipped with the tools, relationships and confidence they need to make a difference in Maine’s increasingly complex and challenging environment. Each year a new class will be selected for the program. Over time, dozens of emerging leaders across the state will be better prepared to address potentially contentious issues and to develop collaborative solutions that will be in the best interest of all Maine people.
Who are the emerging leaders selected for this program? The HLD program has been designed to meet the needs of a wide range of individuals currently employed in and around health care. Individuals selected for the HLD program have a demonstrated record of achievement. They also will have shown great promise for taking on increased leadership responsibilities in the years ahead.
What distinguishes the HLD program from other leadership programs? A great deal of work has been done over the past three years to develop and refine a curriculum that is tailor-made for leaders here in Maine.
Tomorrow’s leaders must have a solid understanding of Maine’s healthcare environment and the special challenges that we must address to build a stronger delivery and financing system for the future. Although the majority of the curriculum focuses on building individual collaborative leadership skills, nearly one-third of the programming centers around on “health content,” including Cornerstone Dialogs on important health care issues in Maine, case studies that will illustrate effective collaborative initiatives, practicum projects designed to bring together diverse individuals to tackle current issues facing health care organizations across the state. A three-day Outward Bound Professional session held in the western Maine mountains utilizes seasoned instructors with health care backgrounds. A full day of each year’s HLD course is devoted to exploring how health care public policy is developed at the state and federal levels. The faculty includes highly experienced experts on collaborative leadership from Maine and national organizations. Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits and Continuing Education Units are made available to class members. Physicians receive sufficient credits to meet two full years of CME requirements.
The Hanley Center and the ICL share a strong interest in preparing individuals with the skills necessary to be effective leaders who are able to work collaboratively to build a stronger Maine. Each organization brings areas of particular strength and experience to a new leadership training partnership that is about to be established. This complementary relationship will allow the new leadership program to get off to a strong start and rapidly move forward toward its goal of developing new generations of leaders throughout Maine’s health care community.
The Hanley Center is an independent, statewide nonprofit organization founded in 2002. The Center’s sole purpose is leadership development in the health care community. Through its Board of Directors and staff, the Center is especially knowledgeable about health care issues and has well established and close ties with health organizations across the state. In 2006 the Center launched a new leadership initiative called the Hanley Fellows program, which pairs emerging health care leaders throughout the state with experienced mentors. A second class of five new Fellows from across the state was selected in 2009.
Since 1992, the ICL has earned a reputation as one of the state’s most effective leadership development organizations. The nonprofit group has trained nearly 400 individuals through its Collaborative Leadership Intensive, a 15-day leadership program, which includes an Outward Bound course and a series of experiential training sessions over an eight-month period each year. ICL graduates have demonstrated their leadership in many arenas across Maine. While ICL has drawn participants primarily from southern Maine, the organization’s Board of Directors recently has decided to expand its reach to the entire state. Recognizing the growing importance of health care in Maine, ICL’s Board has identified health care as an industry that could benefit from the ICL’s well-established leadership training experience.