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MGH ELEVATE: Innovative Leadership Program Expands to All Faculty

From left: Mass General Chair of Medicine Jose C. Florez, MD, PhD, Kerri Palamara McGrath, MD, Aleena Banerji, MD, former Mass General President Peter L. Slavin, MD, Ruderman Family Foundation Executive Director Shira Ruderman, Ruderman Family Foundation President Jay Ruderman, Ruderman Family Foundation Trustee Sharon Shapiro, David Finn, MD.

Hospital News

MGH ELEVATE: Innovative Leadership Program Expands to All Faculty

After a successful rollout with the Department of Medicine, MGH ELEVATE — a new program made possible by the Ruderman Family Foundation — is expanding across Mass General.

Paul Goldsmith
April 30, 2024

MGH ELEVATE launched in 2023, thanks to the visionary leadership of the Ruderman Family Foundation, to teach faculty the managerial and communications skills they need to evolve into health care leaders and drive institutional change. Now, after a successful rollout within the Department of Medicine, the innovative leadership development program is welcoming its second annual cohort — and opening its doors to physicians in all departments and program areas at Massachusetts General Hospital.

MGH ELEVATE’s first cohort of 15 physicians was selected from Mass General’s Department of Medicine’s divisions Internal Medicine, Infectious Disease, Hospital Medicine, Cardiology, Hematology-Oncology, and Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine. That group, which graduated from the program in December, continues to meet and train together, while also serving as mentors for the new class. In addition to members of the Medicine team, the latest cohort includes physicians from Psychiatry, Pediatrics, Surgery and Neurosurgery.

William Curry, MD
William Curry, MD

“The path to becoming an institutional leader is a challenging one — especially at a place as complex as Mass General,” says Will Curry, MD, chief medical officer of Mass General. “Having seen the influence the MGH ELEVATE program has had on its first cohort, I am enthusiastic about the impact this program can have now that it is being made available to our broader hospital.”

Empowering Human Talent

Envisioned as a year-long transformational journey, MGH ELEVATE consists of intensive seminars, practice groups, coaching and mentorship, as well as a capstone project — all designed to help participants foster communication skills and emotional intelligence, and to hone essential leadership and management techniques. The program was made possible thanks to a $3 million partnership with the Ruderman Family Foundation in 2022 and is intended to help skilled, passionate and dedicated clinicians, including participants with underrepresented backgrounds, to grow into the next generation of leaders in medicine at Mass General and beyond.

“This program exemplifies our values of excellency, combining our belief in people and in systematic change,” said Jay Ruderman, President of the Ruderman Family Foundation. “ELEVATE is a model that will transform healthcare delivery, both within the MGB community and by other institutions.”

Elevate David Finn, MD
David Finn, MD

“Leadership isn’t about individual achievement as much as it is about creating a sense of community and empowering the human talent that surrounds you,” says David Finn, MD, medical director of Mass General’s Concierge Medicine practices, and the Gill and Allan Gray Family Endowed Chair in Internal Medicine. Dr. Finn serves as co-director of the ELEVATE program with Aleena Banerji, MD, and Kerri Palamara McGrath, MD. “Our first cohort embodied this message, and I’m excited to see the impacts that will follow as they carry that lesson into the broader health care ecosystem and in their own practice.”

“In these challenging times, institutional leadership in medicine requires more than passion and managerial skill,” Dr. Banerji says. “Emotional intelligence and the ability to communicate properly and effectively are increasingly tied to success on both the induvial and institutional level.”

“Thanks to the visionary support of the Ruderman Foundation, MGH Elevate is ensuring rising leaders at Mass General are equipped to make a unique and lasting impact in our local healthcare community and beyond,” Dr. Palamara McGrath.

Community and Reflection

For Mass General primary care physician and inaugural cohort member Wynne Armand, MD, the sense of community that ELEVATE created played a profound role in the learning process.

“The relationships I built and the interactions I had during my year in ELEVATE have changed the way I lead, the way I care for patients and my sense of Mass General as a workplace,” Dr. Armand says.

Elevate Wynne Armand
Wynne Armand, MD

In addition to its more formal learning structure, ELEVATE’s curriculum, which was developed in conjunction with MIT organizational development expert Aithan Shapira, PhD, also includes dedicated time for participants to reflect and experiment with new skills and models.

“ELEVATE emphasizes understanding yourself in relation to others over things you might find in more traditional leadership courses, like budgeting, and that resonates with me,” says pulmonologist Brian Keller, MD, PhD, a member of the second ELEVATE cohort. For Dr. Keller, who co-directs a lung transplant team with more than 30 members, managing difficult conversations comes with the territory.

“It’s our job to determine whether or not a person can receive a lifesaving transplant,” he says. “Sometimes, those conversations can be challenging. Going from that first intensive week right back into work, I found myself actively trying to implement the tools that we learned. There’s been nothing else like this in my career.”

To find out more about the ELEVATE program, or how you can help support professional development and education at Mass General, contact us.