Pediatric Insight: Passing Leadership Wisdom To The Next Generation

Topic: No Margin, No Mission – Fiscal Focus and Transparency

The fiscal challenges in academic medicine are apparent to us all — particularly in academic pediatric medicine. The many pressures of increasing complexity of clinical care, decreased reimbursement (especially from government payors such as Medicaid), competing priorities for individual faculty members to meet the multiple aims of patient care, teaching the next generation, and scholarship to advance our respective specialty fields to name a few.

New clinical leaders often enter their leadership roles without a solid understanding of the economics of health care. Additionally, they may not inherit established funds flow models that optimize the realization of the goals for patient care, teaching, research, and child health advocacy.

In this conversation, our council discusses what leaders in academic pediatric medicine need to understand about the business of medicine and what principles need to be to considered to maximize fairness and the chances of accomplishing competing priorities and goals.

“We do have to pay attention to the business side of medicine to fulfill our mission.”
– Robert S. Sawin, MD

Listen to the Podcast:

Duration: 00:28:50 | Recorded on September 5, 2023, posted January 29, 2024
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Read the recap notes.

Our moderator:

Robert Sawin, MDRobert S. Sawin, MD

Dr. Sawin is a pediatric surgeon, Emeritus Professor and Surgeon in Chief at Seattle Children’s Hospital and the University of Washington. Dr. Sawin served as the Vice-Chairman of the Department of Surgery, University of Washington School of Medicine, Senior Vice President and Chief Surgical Officer of the Seattle Children’s Hospital.

Our panel:

Bruder Stapleton, MD

Dr. Stapleton is a pediatric nephrologist, Professor Emeritus and Chair Emeritus at the University of Washington School of Medicine. He served as Chair of the Department of Pediatrics from 1996 to 2018, as well as Chief Academic Officer and Associate Dean from 2005 to 2018.


Craig Hillemeier, MD

Dr. Hillemeier is a pediatric gastroenterologist and Professor Emeritus of Pediatrics at Penn State University. He served most recently as the CEO of Penn State Health 2014 to 2019.


Danielle Laraque-Arena, MD, FAAP

Dr. Laraque-Arena (AKA Danielle Laraque) is President and Professor Emerita of SUNY Upstate Medical University (UMU) and served as the 7th President of UMU, the first woman and first African American to have done so in that institution’s 182 years. In that role she served as Chief Executive Officer of the health system and was tenured Professor of Pediatrics, Public Health & Preventive Medicine and Psychiatry & Behavioral Health Sciences.


Valerie Opipari, MD

Dr. Opipari is a pediatric hematologist/oncologist and Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Michigan School of Medicine and C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital. Dr. Opipari has held a number of administrative roles at the University of Michigan including Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs, Associate Chair for Research in the Department of Pediatrics and Chair of the University of Michigan Biomedical Research Council.


Arnold (Arnie) Strauss, MD

Dr. Strauss is a pediatric cardiologist, Emeritus Professor and Chair of Pediatrics at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. Dr. Strauss served as the Chair of Pediatrics at the University of Cincinnati, Director of the Cincinnati Children’s Research Foundation (CCRF), and Chief Medical Officer of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC) from 2007 to 2014.


Wesley D. Millican, MBA

Wesley D. Millican, MBA, is CEO and Physician Talent Officer of CareerPhysician, LLC, providers of comprehensive talent solutions for academic children’s hospitals, colleges of medicine and academic medical centers across the nation. Mr. Millican is an acknowledged expert in completing complex faculty and executive leadership initiatives across academic medicine.


At the Child Health Advisory Council, we conduct regular roundtable discussions. What topic would you like to see featured in upcoming discussions? Let us know.