“Drinking from a fire hose” is the analogy many have used to describe what it must be like to step into a new role during COVID-19. As I enter my third month as Chief Medical Officer at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, I admit the comparison isn’t far off. But while my plan to start with a listening tour and gradually settle in didn’t pan out as expected, the experience has still been incredibly humbling and exciting. Amidst all of the uncertainty and rapid change, I feel like I’ve joined a warm, welcoming family — one that I am looking forward to being a part of for a long time.
I have worked with the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Penn Medicine systems since 2002, most recently serving as the Associate Chief for Quality Improvement and Patient Safety in Neonatology at CHOP and the Associate Chief Medical Officer for Value Improvement for UPHS. Over the years, I have developed a passion for executing quality improvement projects and building infrastructure to ensure patients receive excellent care. I pursued training opportunities to deepen my understanding of quality and patient safety, and I have worked on projects focused on reducing hospital-acquired infections, improving outcomes for ICU patients, and advocating for enhanced best practices for neonatal patients.
Making care safe, effective, and equitable has been the thrust of my career. As we look ahead, my goal is to work collaboratively with Presby’s administrative, clinical, and nursing leaders to create an environment in which we can expertly balance the needs of our traditional patient population with patients who are diagnosed with COVID-19. I am also excited to make progress on goals that will impact our hospital long after the pandemic ends — building a high reliability organization that aims for zero harm, cultivating a fair and just culture that values transparency and trust, and addressing the health care disparities that exist in our communities.
Coexisting with COVID-19 will be challenging, but if the last few months have taught me anything, I am certain that there is no better team to overcome these obstacles.