Department of Pediatrics Chair Update, Feb. 2020

Simonsen.Kari.FAP.jpgIt's February, the season for snow days, for Valentine's, and my personal favorite--Groundhog Day.  In the classic comedy, Bill Murray wakes up to discover that he's reliving Groundhog Day numerous times, ultimately adapting the situation to his advantage to achieve the future he desires.  

Sometimes we feel trapped in a mental loop akin to Groundhog Day, as though we too, are reliving the same actions and decisions.  What if, instead, we acted more like Bill Murray's character and through our actions and efforts, we became empowered to use each day to work toward our personal and professional goals.

I understand how challenging it can be to face the competing demands on our energy and time, including working toward improving our patients' access to care, our quality and safety as an organization, and our academic productivity.  Sometimes it also feels as though we need additional supportive structures to be successful in creating the changes we seek, and partnerships engaged to achieve results.  As interim chair, I am working to ensure that we have the operational and cultural support to optimize how we spend our valuable time and energy, so that we can protect non-clinical time intentionally and focus our productivity when providing clinical service.  

We have embarked on a 5-year strategic planning process that will integrate division-based or service line strategic plans with the UNMC Department of Pediatrics strategic plan, and within the Children's Hospital & Medical Center Strategic Plan. The Department of Pediatrics plan will also be integrated within UNePlan, the strategic planning tool for UNMC.  Faculty and chiefs will develop division-based goals, incorporating tactics identified through our individual ADIS reviews and with input from all division members. Division chiefs and Children's administrative dyad leaders will help support the logistics of putting these plans together. The division plans will inform the Department of Pediatrics plan, and integrate seamlessly with the CHMC enterprise strategic plan. 

This is the first time in our history that we've worked together to accomplish an integrated strategic plan, and evidence of our continued commitment to our academic affiliation. With improved clarity and understanding of our strategic goals, we will enhance support for faculty productivity while fostering a culture that values and celebrates our successes across all of the key domains of our mission. 

Together we can move beyond an internalized "Groundhog Day" mental model and toward a future we've strategically aimed to achieve.  Our goals help us define and describe our identity, our direction, and our success.