toward a shared goal? How do you overcome
Weir: I feel very fortunate that, over these past 28
years, I have had the honor and privilege of working
with numerous physicians in a variety of organizational settings and committees. I am dependent
on a physician’s expertise and knowledge of the
delivery of patient care to ensure that we provide
the safest and highest quality experience for our
patients. To be effective as a partner, I recognize
that sometimes we speak a different language and that our
priorities may be different. This means that we need to change
how we are describing or addressing a situation that needs to be
resolved. For the most part, it really is about communication.
It’s about reprioritizing the hierarchy of each person’s Individual goal and working toward speaking in the same language.
At OMC, we are fortunate to have dyad relationships, or
partnerships, with physicians and executive and leaders
across all levels of directors, vice presidents, and president
and CEO roles. This allows us to spend time, both formally
and informally, discussing issues and coming up with a way
we can communicate an effective solution.
How do I overcome the challenge of communicating and
working with physicians? Many of the best lessons come
simply through time and situational experiences. Develop an
honest and trust-based work environment where we assume
best intentions, and enhanced communication will follow.
GPJ: What’s the biggest misconception about what you do
in your role with OMC?
Weir: I think the biggest misconception of many leadership
roles, and possibly mine here at Olmsted Medical Center,
is that a leader needs to be involved in all decision-making. There are decisions where I need to be physically at the
table and deeply involved in the discussions. There are other
decisions, however, where a team of qualified and trusted
individuals can be empowered to make decisions or make
recommendations to enable the leadership team to make the
decision. It is that team’s responsibility to involve key stakeholders and to keep senior leadership informed along the way.
It is also the team’s responsibility to provide opportunities
for me or other senior leaders to weigh in with questions or
provide feedback. No decision can, or should, be made in a
vacuum. And, in our organization, no decision can, or should,
be made without also ensuring it fits with our mission.
GPJ: How do you develop and nurture leaders at OMC?
Weir: We are the size of organization where we try to discern
relatively quickly who has an interest in advancing. This helps
to keep those individuals engaged either through structured
projects or educational opportunities, including local boards
and attendance at regional and annual meetings,
such as those offered through AMGA. Additionally,
we are developing a structured leadership training
relationship with one of our regional universities.
GPJ: What’s the best piece of advice you ever
received from someone you worked with as
you were progressing through your career?
Weir: I recall my fellowship year after graduate
school working in a healthcare organization
that was just beginning to move into physician practice
integration as a strategy. My role was to assist with practice
evaluation and efficiencies, as well as to integrate the staff
into our health system policies and procedures. I was feeling
proud of my relationship with a senior physician in the group
and, after the year had ended, I was offered a position to
stay on with the health system. I declined the position and
recall meeting with this particular physician and letting him
know that I was moving on to a different organization. He
listened and I expected him to convey that he wished I would
remain part of the team. Instead, he share with me the follow-
ing: “As you progress through you career, remember that the
graveyard is full of irreplaceable people.” The point was that
none of us are so valuable to a process or to an organization
individually, but we are all important together as a team.
I believe that I, as a leader, need to have humility and
realize that we each have a function or job and we all do
it exceptionally well.
GPJ: What is the most innovative thing you’ve experienced
or witnessed as a professional in health care?
Weir: I would have to state that the advances made in biomedical technology and the burgeoning artificial intelligences
developments are fascinating to monitor and embrace as
appropriate. This has also lent itself to a variety of non-tradi-tional businesses and private equity organizations stepping
into the healthcare environment, which will continue to disrupt the “classic healthcare delivery system.” I don’t believe
it is always innovative, but I find it amazing: The continued
merger of systems around the country.
GPJ: What is one issue that you feel most in the health
industry aren’t talking about, but should be? What has
been your approach to this issue?
Weir: Although there has been talk in communities across
the country about the “Silver Tsunami” (adults over the age
of 65) and how it will have an impact, there has not been a lot
of conversation on addressing this from a healthcare perspective. Here in Rochester, the Silver Tsunami appeared on
the radar as a concern a few years ago when Olmsted County
conducted their Community Health Needs Assessment.
I think the biggest
roles … is that a
leader needs to
be involved in all