Emory Report

February 16, 1998

 Volume 50, No. 21

Clinic formalizes ties with Emory Healthcare, elects new board

Emory Clinic members voted overwhelmingly to move the Clinic under the legal and financial umbrella of Emory Healthcare, making it an Emory Healthcare operating company along with Emory Hospital, Crawford Long and the Emory Children's Center.

The consolidation and changes in Emory Clinic governance were called for in a health care strategic planning process set in motion last year. The process involved hundreds of clinical faculty and administrative staff, and the final plan was approved by the Board of Trustees in December. Emory Clinic members approved the changes in late January.

To some extent, the changes give formal structure to what already has been happening in an increasingly close-knit Emory Healthcare. Moving Emory Clinic from an independent nonprofit corporation to a core nonprofit corporate unit within Emory Healthcare fully integrates planning and budgeting. Emory Clinic gains access to the financial resources of Emory Healthcare, which will help it meet the challenges of building new programs and operating systems in a complex health care environment.

Previously, 28 section heads-the majority of whom also chaired their related academic departments in the medical school-made up the Emory Clinic board along with 12 elected physician members-at-large.

Under the newly approved plan, clinic Director Rein Saral becomes chief executive officer of Emory Clinic and chair of the board. Executive Vice President for Health Affairs Michael Johns will sit on the board in his role as CEO of Emory Healthcare as will three trustees appointed by the Emory Healthcare board, two clinic section heads appointed by Johns and two physician members-at-large elected by clinic senior members.

Other operational changes include a leadership council consisting of clinic section heads and 12 elected physicians. The council will work with Saral to enhance service, quality, efficiency and financial integrity. A CEO advisory committee consisting of 12 physicians with three to 10 years of Clinic tenure will meet with Saral to identify operational issues and provide suggestions for improvement.

Emory Clinic is a group practice of nearly 700 specialists and primary care physicians on the faculty of the School of Medicine. In recent years, the 45-year-old clinic has expanded to include 18 satellite centers in addition to its primary locations on campus and at Crawford Long.

-Sylvia Wrobel

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