The American College of Physician Executives (ACPE) is Becoming the American Association for Physician Leadership

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New name reflects the organization's emphasis on helping all physicians develop their leadership potential

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The American College of Physician Executives (ACPE) is becoming the American Association for Physician Leadership.

In response to the rapidly evolving health care industry and growing recognition that physician leadership is essential to the successful transformation of health care, the new association is leveraging ACPE’s 40-year legacy of superior physician leadership education and management training.

All physicians, at some level, are considered leaders and society still expects them to become leaders. The organization’s new identity better reflects the significant role the association will continue to play in helping physicians from all backgrounds and in all types of positions realize their leadership potential.

By broadening the scope of programs, products and services, the association strives to more fully support the physician workforce across the entire career span, from medical students to those in later career stages. This also includes physicians in clinical roles, nonclinical administrative roles and those on nontraditional physician career paths.

With professionally trained and highly skilled physician leaders helping to guide organizations, health care for patients will be further improved and organizations of all types can potentially benefit with more efficient, streamlined high-quality systems of care.

Evidence showing how physician leadership is vital to the future of health care continues to grow. Improvements in quality of 25 to 30 percent have been demonstrated with physician-led organizations. In the 2014 U.S. News & World Report rankings, five of the top six hospitals are led by physicians, and 10 of the 17 top-ranked are physician-led. In addition, U.S. Medicare data show that 21 of the 29 Pioneer Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) that saved enough to generate bonuses were physician-¬led.

“The American Association for Physician Leadership is the only professional association and community solely dedicated to developing, nurturing and supporting physician leaders to create transformative solutions for our fast-paced health care system,” said Peter Angood MD, FRCS(C), FACS, FCCM, president and CEO for the association. “While there are many important health care professionals with strong leadership capabilities with whom we will continue to work, physicians are often viewed as the most effective leaders in determining and affecting better health care outcomes because of the inherent nature of patient-physician relationships.”

With this new identity comes an expanded mission. The organization has moved well beyond its history as a focused education provider and now serves as a highly regarded resource, not only for physicians in a variety of professional roles, but also for health care organizations and systems, cross-functional health care teams, public policy makers and the overall population of patients. Changing the name from a “college” to an “association” better reflects the expanded scope of leadership programs, products and services that the organization offers.

It’s not the first time the organization has changed its name to better serve the industry. It began in the mid-1970s as the American Academy of Medical Directors. Then, soon after the term “physician executive” was coined, the organization became the American College of Physician Executives.

Thanks are extended to previous CEOs, dedicated ACPE board members, exceptional faculty and the many staff members who contributed to the early success and growth of the organization. Without those efforts, the organization would not be in the position it’s in today, poised to build from the past and accelerate into the future.

The name change and program expansion come after more than a year of extensive independent research and robust input from physicians throughout the country. The results showed that while nearly all physicians consider themselves to be leaders, they did not necessarily consider themselves to be executives. This information built upon the intense level of change that has been under way within the organization for the past two years.

“We were pleased to reaffirm that our organization is well-positioned for the marketplace, and I believe our research clearly shows this fresh approach will help consolidate us even further,” said Mark Werner, MD, CPE, FACPE, chair of the board of directors. “We are highly confident the diversification strategy is the right step to help our organization reach its next level of development as we continue building its core strengths.”

American Association for Physician Leadership: Inspiring Change. Together.

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Carrie Johnson
American Association for Physician Leadership
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