Camaraderie, Synergy, and Leadership
The board of directors at The Center for Health Design (CHD) is made up of a small but significant group of likeminded and diversely experienced individuals who rally around a common mission and inspire relevant thinking for a nonprofit organization that affects the design of healthcare environments all around the world. Each year different people who have contributed to the health design industry rotate on and off the board, adding richness to The Center’s strategy and connectedness.
This year we said goodbye to Paul Uhlig, MD, and Julie Schmidt, after several terms of service.
At the same time, we welcome healthcare futurist Joe Flower; Charlotte Yeh, MD, chief medical officer, AARP Services Inc.; and Barry Rabner, president and CEO, Princeton Healthcare System. I’d like to acknowledge each for their career accomplishments and the expertise they bring to our small but change-making group with a spirit of camaraderie, synergy, and leadership.
Paul Uhlig, MD, MPA, FACS
Uhlig received his doctor of medicine degree from the University of Kansas School of Medicine; served his residency in general surgery with additional training in general thoracic surgery at the Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School in Boston, his cardiothoracic surgery residency at Indiana University; and was a research fellow in cardiovascular physiology at the University of California San Francisco.
He is an internationally recognized expert in patient safety, high-reliability healthcare teamwork, and patient and family involvement in care. The cardiac surgery team he led at Concord Hospital, in Concord, New Hampshire, received the John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety Award, the highest honor in patient safety awarded by the Joint Commission and National Quality Forum.
Uhlig’s research on understanding the social processes that underlie clinical practice culture has been his greatest contribution as a CHD board director.
As chief transformation officer (CTO), Schmidt is driving strategic initiatives and business growth to help HealthEast achieve its milestone quality goal of becoming the “benchmark for quality in the Twin Cities by 2010” and beyond. She is responsible for creating the road map for change to fundamentally position the entire organization for sustained growth.
Schmidt recently led a dynamic team of hospital administrators in her role as CEO of Woodwinds Health Campus, a collaboration between HealthEast Care System and Children’s Hospitals and Clinics. She embarked upon this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity in 1997, when she accepted the challenge of helping to transform the patient care experience by creating an innovative and unique hospital designed around the needs of patients and families.
Since opening in August 2000, the 86-bed acute care facility in Woodbury, Minnesota, has earned national and international accolades for its healing environment design, compassionate service philosophy, and holistic model of care. She was the voice of the decision-maker at the CHD board table. Her insight on nonprofit governance and operations was invaluable.
“I have been honored to serve on the board for The Center for Health Design,” she says. “I am passionate about CHD’s vision to transform healthcare environments. The Center for Health Design is in the center of the health revolution and will play an even more important role in the future.”
With more than 30 years of experience, Flower has emerged as a premier observer and thought-leader on the deep forces changing healthcare in the United States and around the world. As a healthcare speaker, writer, and consultant, he has explored the future of healthcare with clients both nationally and abroad. He is the author of hundreds of healthcare articles.
For more than 20 years, he was a contributing editor and regular columnist at the Healthcare Forum Journal. Flower was a contributing writer for Wired magazine in its explosive early years, and a columnist for the pioneering health websites DNA.com and HealthCentral.com. He joins CHD with a deep background in research into the nature of change in organizations and people.
Charlotte Yeh, MD
Yeh is the chief medical officer for AARP Services Inc., the wholly owned taxable subsidiary of AARP. She is specifically responsible for working with AARP’s major health carriers—UnitedHealth Group, Aetna, and Genworth—to identify programs and initiatives that will lead to enhanced care for older adults. She directs the company’s efforts to meet expanding member expectations in healthcare and leads new process improvement programs focused on transforming healthcare delivery in the areas of quality, safety, and efficiency.
With more than 30 years of experience in healthcare, Yeh is a board-certified emergency physician, trained in emergency medicine at UCLA. She delivers expertise to CHD on a very important constituency that will impact health delivery in the years to come.
Rabner is president and CEO of Princeton HealthCare System (PHCS), a not-for-profit organization that includes University Medical Center at Princeton, Princeton House Behavioral Health, Princeton Rehabilitation Services, Princeton Home Care Services, and Princeton Surgical Center.
PHCS is a joint venture partner in Princeton Fitness & Wellness Center. University Medical Center at Princeton is an acute care teaching hospital and a University Hospital Affiliate of UMDNJ–Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. Under Rabner’s leadership, the Princeton HealthCare System is developing a new $1.1 billion, 171-acre healthcare campus in Plainsboro, New Jersey.
The campus will include a $635 million replacement acute care hospital, as well as a medical office building, fitness and wellness center, an adult day care center and child day care center, a skilled nursing facility, assisted living and independent living facilities, and a pediatric outpatient pavilion. A cogeneration facility, coupled with thermal storage and photovoltaics, and the development of a 32-acre park are examples of the sustainable focus of the new campus.
Rabner championed his team as a Pebble Partner and offers insight on values-driven leadership to CHD.
I am honored to know each of these individuals who continue to serve our field in so many ways. Because of their service, The Center for Health Design is a remarkable organization that is engaging a larger community to achieve its mission to transform healthcare for a healthier, safer world through design research, education, and advocacy. As you run into these very active leaders, please recognize them for their past and future volunteer leadership at The Center for Health Design. HCD
Rosalyn Cama is president of CAMA, Inc. in New Haven, Connecticut, and chair of The Center for Health Design's board of directors.For more information on The Center for Health Design, please visit www.healthdesign.org.