Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare Introduces New Program to Develop Future Physician Leaders

Physician Leadership Academy

In response to the transforming landscape of health care, Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare is implementing an innovative program to create physician leaders of tomorrow today. Michael Ugwueke, COO for Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare worked with the UT Center for Executive Education in Knoxville and the American College of Physician Executives in Tampa, Florida to develop a 12-month program that focuses on building and strengthening leadership skills within physicians. 

“We work closely with our physician partners and the Physician Leadership Academy will allow us to strengthen that partnership,” said Ugwueke. “As we expand our collaboration with our doctors it will enhance our ability to provide the family-and-patient-centered care we are committed to affording each and every patient and family.”

Some of the topics covered include Building a High Performance Culture, Facilitating Change as a Physician Leader and Effective Physician Leadership. The classes are held monthly.

“Time is an extremely valuable commodity and we appreciate our physicians investing their time on a journey in which together we can continue to improve the quality and care we provide to our patients,” said Ugwueke.

Ugwueke says his drive to create the Physician Leadership Academy comes from the desire to build the next generation of physicians who excel both as leaders and healers. When hospitals team up with physicians he believes great things in health care can be accomplished.

“I have been serving as president of the medical staff for the past year, and thus I am very aware of the challenges that come with a leadership role,” said Heather Swanson, M.D., a hospitalist with Methodist University Hospital.  “I am so thankful to Methodist and Michael Ugwueke for putting together a program to give me the tools I need to be a more effective leader.”  

The first class of physicians will graduate in August 2014. 


Seated left to right: Chris Pokabla, M.D., Madison Michael, M.D., Jeff Saugham, M.D., Holly Hilsenbeck, M.D., Cassandra Howard, M.D., Hiren Pokhama, M.D., Jean-Claude Loiseau, M.D.

Standing left to right: Methodist North CEO Gyasi Chisley, Methodist South CEO Jay Robinson Andrew Pierce, M.D., Jordan Coffee, M.D., Rick Hanna, M.D., Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare CEO Gary Shorb, Vojay Joshi, M.D., Methodist Olive Branch CEO David Baytos, Kelly Myers, M.D., Joseph Sturdivant, M.D., Paul Carruth, M.D., Kazi Zaman, M.D., Methodist University Hospital Interim CEO Jamie Carter, Methodist Le Bonheur Germantown Hospital CEO William Kenley, Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare COO Michael Ugwueke