Writing a book can be both a chore and a joy. This book was particularly enjoyable to me as I had the opportunity to interview many talented and enthusiastic leaders of some of the most excellent healthcare delivery organizations in the country.

Special thanks go to the HealthPartners team: Bob Van Why, Calvin Allen, Kevin Palattao, Susan Knudson, Alan Abramson, Nancy Salazar, Beth Waterman, and Dr. Pat Courneya. Liz Swanson, Vice President for f human resources, was particularly helpful in focusing my efforts on the many leading-edge initiatives within the HealthPartners family.

I visited Duluth in the heart of winter, but once again received a very warm welcome and assistance from the St. Mary’s Duluth Clinic leadership: Dr. Carl Heltne, Dr. Tom Patnoe, Barb Possin, Diane Davidson, Ann Watkins, and Dennis Dassenko.

I would also like to thank Dr. Ed Shultz from Vanderbilt hospital and Dr. Kent Bottles from the Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement for the ideas and suggestions as this book was being written

The Marshfield Clinic has performed so well on a number of Medicare Demonstration projects that they have become the basis for a number of the features of healthcare reform. I appreciate the time their leadership provided to me: Dr. Paul Liss, Dr. Bob Carlson, Jim Coleman, and David Keefe.

Other leaders in our community contributed as well, including Candy Simerson of Minnesota Eye Consultants, Kim O’Neill of Twin Cities Orthopedics, Dr. Kent Bottles from the Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement, Mark Fisher from University of Minnesota Physicians, Dr. James Stoller from the Cleveland Clinic, and Joe White from LarsonAllen Consulting. The Minnesota chapters of Medical Group Management Association and the American College of Healthcare Executives also were helpful in shaping the ideas in this book.

Whenever I can’t find a clinical detail or need a really good anecdote I can always count on my friends and former colleagues at Hennepin County Medical Center. Thanks to Dr. Michael Belzer, Dr. Val Ulstad, Dr. Michelle Johnson, and Joanne Sunquist.

            My employer, the Center for Health and Medical Affairs, is located at the University of St. Thomas. The center has a broad array of healthcare educational programming, including a Healthcare MBA, a Physician Leadership College, and many other custom and professional development programs. This provides a supportive environment for work such as writing this book. I particularly want to thank Dean Christopher Puto for his support of healthcare in the Opus College of Business and my center in particular. In addition, my faculty colleagues are always quick to help. Thanks to professors John Olson, Jack Militello, Mick Sheppeck, Tom Ressler, Ernie Owens, and Bhabani Misra for their support and input. In addition, other St. Thomas healthcare staff and adjuncts provided useful information and insights, including Dr. Brian Campion, Dr. Michael Tedford, Marlin Meendering, Pat Tollefson, Cindy Lorah, Rita Parenteau, Jessica Kluntz, and Amy Vejar. I would particularly like to thank former US Senator Dave Durenberger, senior health policy fellow at St. Thomas, who has encouraged my work on operations improvement and execution as key components of any healthcare reform for the United States.

            A special thanks to my Center for Health and Medical Affairs staff, particularly Erica Lyons, who did much of the proofing and editing of the book, and Brad Piepkorn, our indefatigable student researcher.

Finally, it is wonderful to have a publisher as supportive as Health Administration Press. The final product you see before you is the work of skilled editorial director Ed Avis and his colleague Jennifer Seibert.  Kaye Muench, HAP Marketing director,  also provided useful ideas and this book’s wonderful cover.  Finally, Janet Davis (Acquisitions editor), in particular, helped shape this book and provided support and encouragement as healthcare reform lurched forward and back during 2009-2010. Thanks to Janet, the editorial board, and the many talented staff at Health Administration Press.

Dan McLaughlin

Comments are closed.