A Legend in HMP: Griffith

A Legend in HMP: Griffith

Friends, colleagues, family, former students, and fans crowded into the UM’s Lydia Mendelssohn Theater in November to hear John Griffith, the Andrew Patullo Professor of Hospital Administration and professor of health management and policy, deliver his last lecture before retirement. The event capped a full-day symposium, “Reaching Excellence in Health Management and Policy,” sponsored by the Griffith Leadership Center at UM. In his talk, Griffith elaborated on the significance of the phrase “reaching excellence,” which he said is a catchword for an inevitable, profound, and ultimately positive revolution in American health care. Even though it may take two decades to reach fulfillment, this revolution in care will come close to meeting the Institute of Medicine aims “for safe, effective, patient-centered, timely, efficient, and equitable care,” Griffith said. “That’s a bold forecast. It’s not casual. I’ve staked my career on it, and I’m willing to be judged by history on whether or not it comes true.”

In his keynote address at the start of last November’s symposium “Reaching Excellence in Health Management and Policy,” President Obama’s new chief of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Donald Berwick, outlined his “triple-aim” philosophy for improving health care in the U.S.: care, health, and cost. Berwick said Americans must improve the care of people; improve the health of the population by fighting conditions like obesity and environmental factors that negatively impact health, such as smoking; and lower the cost of health care. It was his first public presentation outside of Washington since assuming the leadership of CMS in July.