Leadership Education Can Be a Recruiting Tool

By Andy Smith | AAPL
December 31, 2019

Wound-care provider Healogics joins with AAPL to provide CPE training and to develop a customized program to fill specific leadership needs for anticipated company growth.

When Bill Ennis, DO, MBA, MMM, CPE, and the senior team at Healogics recently met to discuss measures for expanding the leadership base of their flourishing organization, they considered an idea to give recruits an incentive to join the organization — promising them graduate-level education. Then they debated the value of that proposition.

Was it worth the investment, they wondered, to hire recruits and pay for their résumé-enhancing degrees, knowing it was possible they might leave the organization shortly thereafter?

In a word: Absolutely, says Ennis, chief medical officer at Healogics and a professor of surgery at the University of Illinois-Chicago. Healogics joined with AAPL to provide Certified Physician Executive training for six regional directors and offer association memberships and course discounts to 225 of its physicians.

Before committing to AAPL, however, Ennis met with a board member whose multibillion-dollar physician enterprise provided graduate-level education to recruits who sometimes left after a requisite number of years.

“Would you do it again?” Ennis asked.

“I’d do it again tomorrow,” the board member told him. “The diffusion of knowledge I got from having more and more people get those degrees, even if they left later on, put the organization in a better place. They taught so many people along the way and helped build a culture of learning.”

When it began under another name in 1988, Healogics had just 14 hospital contracts. Today, it has more than 700 hospital-affiliated outpatient wound care centers; 500 skilled nursing facilities in the continental United States, Puerto Rico and the United Kingdom; and expects to at least double its 200-plus physician workforce by 2021 while extending its global reach, exploring ways to brand its wound-care products and incorporating vein surgery as part of its health care delivery.

With such growth comes the need to proportionately increase its leadership capacity, which led Healogics to an alliance with AAPL that is unique in two respects:

  • Although many AAPL clients are hospitals or systems, Healogics is a health care contractor that provides specialized wound care for more than 300,000 patients annually.
  • Healogics and AAPL are collaborating to develop a customized education program to fill specific leadership needs for anticipated company growth.

Investment in the CPE program is expected to enhance directors’ credibility as “change agents for learning leadership” and establish a leadership pipeline as physicians mentor other physicians to fill leadership roles.

“We’re transforming this company into a physician-led organization,” Ennis says, “and I think it’s naive to do that without building a physician leadership curriculum and the infrastructure supporting it.”

The decision to align Healogics with AAPL was made easier by the value Ennis found in his own CPE experience.

“Frankly,” he says, “it’s not even the CPE [credential]; it’s the content with all the courses that I took over the years and realizing how much I had to rely on that core content to get my job — and my clinical job — done.”

Ennis expects similar results for Healogics directors entering the CPE program.

“For me, the better these docs are armed with tools that help them get their jobs done … then we’re all better off for it,” he says. “I’ve taken a lot of these other courses [with other companies], so I know what the comparisons are, and I just thought it was a better product that [AAPL] put out.”

It’s the kind of product that tells recruits Healogics is “obviously physician-centric and we support our docs,” Ennis says. “And, to me, the AAPL relationship looks like a real nice perk.” 

Topics: Education Journal

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