Despite constrained federal research funding and significant changes ahead in the nation’s health-care system, City of Hope executives expressed confidence in the organization’s future during a May 8 City Forum.
Speaking to hundreds of employees in Cooper Auditorium and by webcast, leadership team members outlined their efforts to prepare City of Hope to weather uncertainties and risk.
Marty Sargeant talks about wellness initiatives. (Photo by p.cunningham)
Michael A. Friedman, M.D., president and chief executive officer, pointed to ongoing strategic planning efforts as key to City of Hope’s success. He also noted the creation of the City of Hope Medical Foundation and its successful incorporation within City of Hope’s structure as an example of measures needed to ensure the organization’s future success.
He commended City of Hope employees for their dedication and efforts and encouraged them to participate in the organization’s strategic planning.
“We really can only deal with all the great opportunities we have, and all the known challenges we have, because of the skill, the industry and the creativity of all of you,” he told attendees.
Gary Conner, chief financial officer, described the changes City of Hope may face under health-care reform. Chief among them: the data required for insurance companies to reimburse medical centers and other care providers for service. Medicare and Medi-Cal reimbursement rates also will change significantly, potentially resulting in lower revenue.
He stressed, however, that ongoing strategic planning efforts are addressing possible changes.
“We’ve been here before as an industry, and we can get through it, but we do need to prepare and to start now,” he said.
Robert Stone, chief strategy and administrative officer, outlined major points City of Hope leaders are considering as they develop the organization’s 10-year strategic plan.
For the medical center and medical foundation, he said, the greatest challenges ahead are changes in health-care reimbursement, competition and consolidation of the health-care market.
Managed care organizations want to partner with care providers like City of Hope to control cancer costs, Stone said, providing an opportunity for City of Hope to influence change.
Three major concerns for strategic planning include fewer available research dollars, the impending loss of royalties from a major patent in 2018 and the need to better align research and clinical efforts, he said.
Stephanie Neuvirth, chief human resources and diversity officer, and Marty Sargeant, chief operating officer, announced new wellness initiatives aimed at enhancing employees’ health, productivity and commitment to City of Hope and its mission.
She and Sargeant invited employees to learn more about these and other initiatives at the new Community for Hope website at www.coh.org/community-for-hope.
Event moves strategic plan closer to reality
City of Hope used two “catalyst events” to lay the foundation for new and improved strategies and initiatives that will support City of Hope’s success. The second and final catalyst event in the City of Hope: Planning Our Future process, held May 3, brought the institution one step closer to a 2012-22 strategic plan.
Strategic planning initiative team leaders presented their work to several groups of faculty and staff, reviewing eight months of effort to develop strategies in the following areas:
- philanthropy and external relations
- payer relations
Planning Our Future leaders will gather input from the event as well as from all members of the City of Hope community who provided input to develop a final strategic plan to present to City of Hope’s board of directors in early June. After board approval, teams will develop detailed implementation plans to achieve the strategic goals.
For more information about Planning Our Future, visit www.coh.org/strategic-planning-initiative.