The Ruderman Family Foundation—a Jewish organization with offices in Boston, Mass., and Rehovot, Israel—has announced a $3 million grant for Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) which aims to cultivate leadership in the healthcare sector by developing a transformative model of training that will, in turn, produce the next generation of leaders in medicine.

While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to present an unprecedented strain on hospitals and their intensive care units, the new leadership program seeks to transform physician leadership development at a critical juncture for the healthcare industry. The grant will enhance the hospital’s ability to recruit, motivate, and retain world-class clinical practice leaders. It also sees the hospital expand and evolve its leadership training infrastructure by developing a longer-term, 18-month mentorship and scholar program for junior faculty members who have displayed notable leadership potential and interest. The new program will push beyond teaching general management characteristics and styles, to teach faculty how to be agile in their leadership style, as well as to help them develop pivot mechanisms that grow their ability to listen to their teams and lead them in the right direction.

The MGH program’s launch comes at a fateful crossroads for leadership in this space, as healthcare workers spend 34% less time on training per year than professionals in other industries, according to the Association for Talent Development.

“It’s gratifying for the Foundation to be able to further extend its collaboration with Massachusetts General Hospital and give back to an industry which has shouldered so much over the past two years, and which remains in harm’s way to protect us all,” said Jay Ruderman, President of the Ruderman Family Foundation. “This is a unique, forward-thinking program that will pioneer a transformative model of leadership training for healthcare institutions to adapt across the country.”

MGH’s new leadership training offerings will feature a mentoring program, in which mentors will meet periodically with trainees, providing practical advice on running clinical practices and managing doctors and care teams; a leadership training curriculum, led by internationally acclaimed Massachusetts Institute of Technology lecturer Dr. Aithan Shapira, that examines how healthcare professionals can become faster-paced in their thinking and more flexible in their decision-making; and comprehensive diversity and inclusion leadership training.

The program’s diversity leadership training component addresses a particularly pressing need amid the current healthcare crisis and as caregiving strategies continue to evolve. Accordingly, the MGH program will equip scholars with a rich understanding of the causes of racial and ethnic healthcare disparities; help them create strategic plans or projects to advance their work in reducing disparities in a customized way; and facilitate their creation of a learning and networking environment in which leaders can engage in peer-to-peer learning, crowdsourcing of ideas, and strategies for reducing disparities.

“We deeply appreciate the Ruderman Family Foundation’s pioneering vision and support of this promising leadership initiative, which will further strengthen Mass General’s ability to recruit and retain world-class clinical practice leaders,” said David F.M. Brown, MD, President of Massachusetts General Hospital. “In addition, it will significantly expand the breadth and depth of our current leadership programs, including customized training that fit the needs of our future physician leaders.”

“Our vision is to create a transformational journey focused on agility, impact, communication and creativity, which will help develop the next generation of leaders in medicine,” said David Finn, MD, medical director, who will co-lead the program with Ami Bhatt, MD, clinical cardiologist and researcher, and Aleena Banerji, MD, clinical director of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. “We hope this program will lead the way in rethinking how we train our clinical leaders throughout health care.”

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