It was a time of transition at The University of Toledo Medical Center’s Operational Leadership Team (OLT) meeting Wednesday morning.
Mark Chastang, who recently accepted a new position at the University of Chicago Medical Center, received a standing ovation for his work as vice president and executive director of UTMC over the last six years.
“I’m going to savor my last moments with you,” Chastang told UTMC’s management team. “I didn’t do anything. Everything that’s been accomplished over the last six years we did together. The team did it.”
UTMC’s interim vice president and executive director, Dr. Scott Scarborough, told the group that while times of transition can cause anxiety, it also should be seen as an opportunity.
“Get ready to be empowered,” Scarborough told OLT members. “This hospital has made tremendous strides over the last six years, and I’ll be counting on you to help continue that momentum.”
Scarborough, who also serves as senior vice president for finance and administration, told OLT members a key part of his job was to ensure managers’ skill sets and duties were aligned and asked hospital managers for help determining what was working well and what needed to change. Managers were asked to submit three frustrations with UTMC processes, culture or conditions, and Scarborough committed to addressing them in upcoming OLT meetings.
Scarborough, who has worked in six hospitals across the University of Texas system, stressed the importance of the first 100 days following a change of a hospital CEO. If the first 100 days are done well, a positive momentum is created that builds and carries the hospital toward the achievement of its mission and strategic goals.
The first 30 of those 100 days will be comprised of a listening tour as Scarborough, UTMC Medical Director Dr. Ron McGinnis, Dr. Jeffrey P. Gold, Health Science Campus provost, executive vice president for health affairs and dean of the College of Medicine, and others learn as much as they can about what is going well and what needs to change.
Gold opened the meeting highlighting how much has gone well in the past six years under the leadership of Chastang and emphasized that the new partnership between UT and ProMedica Health System signed May 17 was an educational and research partnership, not a clinical one.
Scarborough concluded the meeting with a video clip from “Grey’s Anatomy,” which features a surgeon successfully removing a tumor all others had declared inoperable. “There is always a way,” the patient told the skeptical doctor as he tried to convince him to take the case. “Even when it seems like there’s no way, there’s always a way.”
Scarborough encouraged OLT to adopt this attitude when their first instinct might be to answer, “No.” “There’s always a way,” Scarborough said.