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PennMed: Founding a New Academy

The University of Pennsylvania Medical Center is one of four U.S. institutions named by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations to develop a new Academy for Health Care Quality.

The mission of the Academy is to improve the quality of care provided to the public by presenting the healthcare professionals a "rigorous and consistent curriculum on quality evaluation, quality management, and quality improvement," the PennMed News announcement said.

Emory University, Northwestern University. and Ohio State University are the three other members who will govern, manage and operate the Academy, conceived of as a "university without walls." It is to offer a graduate-level continuing professional education and a certification program for healthcare executives, practitioners, consultants, corporate benefits mangers, third-party payers, and government regulators.

"We are excited to be an integral part of the development of the Academy," said Penn's Dean of Medicine, Dr. William N. Kelley, CEO of the Pennsylvania Health System. "We bring to this partnership our hands-on experience in designing and implementing systems that not only effectively measure and control quality factors, but serve to increase overall quality of care. Indeed, our pioneering successes in retooling hospital-based quality systems to meet the more comprehensive needs of overarching health systems will permit us to make meaningful contributions to the curriculum content."

Penn faculty and administrators will "contribute significantly to the teaching function and the development of the Academy's curriculum," said the announcement. The curriculum was described as addressing several broad subject areas, including the healthcare environment; organization management and leadership; patient-care delivery processes; organization evaluation; and change management.

Return to:Almanac, University of Pennsylvania, September 30, 1997, Volume 44, Number 6