Our Client’s Challenge:

The partnership between a county-owned $1B+ hospital system and their academic medical partner (a top 50 medical school that provides much of the hospital’s clinical staff) had been fractured for over twenty years.  The relationship was plagued by low levels of trust, lack of communication, and lack of meaningful collaboration. It was further strained by the hospital system’s funding challenges.  In addition, the hospital system was governed by an appointed board that ultimately reported to a board of elected officials.  We worked with both organizations as our client–the CEO of the hospital system and the Dean of the medical school.

What We Did:

  • Conduct interviews with a broad set of stakeholders from both organizations, including board members
  • Align on an approach to tackle other important issues and create initial momentum toward solving high priority issues
  • Build higher levels of trust across senior levels of both organizations to strengthen working relationships
  • Design and deliver key interactions with senior leaders of both organizations with the explicit intention to:
    • Build trust
    • Identify potential areas for collaboration (e.g., potential cost savings and revenue opportunities)

Results and Outcomes:

We designed and facilitated conversations with senior leaders of both organizations together (e.g., CEO with Dean, Chairman of Board with Dean, academic department heads and senior leaders of hospital operations) that built higher levels of trust and resulted in identification of near-term revenue and cost reduction opportunities.  Many senior leaders from both organizations noted that this process was the first meaningful, substantive dialogue at senior levels between the two organizations in decades, and people felt much more optimistic about the joint future of the two organizations going forward.