City of Hope’s Michael A. Friedman, M.D., president and chief executive officer, had three key words for employees at his December 2009 City Forum: caution, change and confidence.
Friedman used the quarterly talk, held before a packed audience at Cooper Auditorium, to review the year’s successes and share a guardedly optimistic outlook for City of Hope’s financial footing and infrastructure progress this year.
|Michael Friedman discusses 2009 achievements. (Photo by Alicia Di Rado)|
He pointed out that the future holds much economic uncertainty, particularly with the impact of health-care reform legislation. However, he said, City of Hope starts off in a strong position and will become even more successful as it becomes more efficient and more effectively integrated.
In the future, academic medical centers that deliver objectively better patient care (better outcomes) in a more cost-effective manner will prosper, he said. “I think we are fantastically positioned to do that.”
While Friedman expressed confidence, he also noted that this is a time when innovation and prioritization will be vital. It will be a time of careful but sustained growth and consolidation; there will likely be changes throughout City of Hope because of the dynamic and evolving health-care and research environments.
“As the stewards of a precious legacy at City of Hope, our challenge is to preserve our tradition of excellence and caring as we move ahead to the future,” he said.
Friedman cited various milestones in 2009, including completion of the Michael Amini Transfusion Medicine Center and Arnold and Mabel Beckman Center for Cancer Immunotherapeutics & Tumor Immunology. He also noted an influx of dollars to support research from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine.
Other successes included launch of the City of Hope Information System, successful hospital surveys, high inpatient satisfaction scores, improvements in patient care created through the Accelerating Care Excellence program, a new faculty appointment and promotion policy, the naming of the Irell & Manella Graduate School of Biological Sciences and partnerships with major sports teams and initiatives such as the Dodgers, Chivas USA and FOX Sports Supports.
In a time when many institutions are laying off or furloughing staff, City of Hope gained 158 full-time positions in 2009, he noted, primarily in the medical center.
“We’ve worked hard to make sure our patient care and our research moved forward,” he said.
For 2010, the organization is committed to several efforts. First, City of Hope will continue to enhance and protect patient safety. It also will continue to pursue improvements in care for outpatients, he said.
On the campus, the organization aims to complete ongoing construction projects at or under budget, he noted.
City of Hope also will foster its growing “strategic integrated programs,” multidisciplinary care-and-research programs in prostate, gastrointestinal and women’s cancers. At the same time, the organization seeks to more efficiently align its programs in cancer and diabetes and pursue greater grant funding.
Friedman also noted that the institution must undergo continued review by the Joint Commission and pursue reaccreditation for the graduate school and comprehensive cancer center.
All of this must happen with finite funds, emphasizing the importance of efficiency, creativity and prudent spending aligned with the organization’s needs.
“We are in a position of stability. We are in a position of strength,” Friedman said. “I have great optimism that if we continue on the path we are on, not only will we survive, we will be dramatically successful.”