Harvard Macy Community Blog

Fostering the ongoing connectedness of health professions educators committed to transforming health care delivery and education.

Building a Culture of Caring in the C-suite


As a novice healthcare manager, I recall the shock I felt after my supervisor screamed at me for no apparent reason. She then called another colleague and told him how horrible she felt but she never apologized to me. As I progressed to C-suite leadership, I realized I had the power to model the behaviors I wanted to see. The Joint Commission Sentinel Event on Harassment warned of behaviors that can undermine a “culture of safety.” Disruptive behaviors such as verbal outbursts, uncooperative attitudes, refusing to complete assigned duties, and intimidating behaviors such as physical threats undermine the safety of our team and our patients. Since the #MeToo movement and resulting Time’s Up and Time’s Up Healthcare campaigns, we are beginning to see more research on the types of harassment that create unsafe work environments for our patients and employees. Most recently, Dr. Esther Choo and colleagues published “Sexual Harassment between Health Care Workers and Safety Culture,” identifying cases of sexual harassment and their impact on staff and patient safety. There seems to have been little progress made toward the national high reliability healthcare system we strive to become but we have the power to change this.

Recent Comments
Guest — Lisa Tener

Commitment from the C-Suite Ne...

I find this point especially crucial: "Any leader that intentionally ignores the misconduct is ultimately complicit in the resulti... Read More
Saturday, 27 June 2020 12:12 AM
Tiffany A Love

It's complicated

Lisa, I agree. I know this scenario gets complicated if the person who is displaying misconduct is on the Board of Trustee... Read More
Monday, 29 June 2020 6:06 PM
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The Harvard Macy Institute Podcast: Silver linings – Leadership and Innovations for Health Professions facing the COVID-19 pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a challenging time for healthcare and for health professions educators. But there are opportunities for innovative approaches to our clinical and educational work, and for reflection on the systems of training and workforce development. The pandemic has brought a sharp focus on leadership and change.

In episode #4 Victoria Brazil speaks with Professor Liz Armstrong, Director of the Harvard Macy Institute, about ‘silver linings’ – the opportunities for innovation and creativity – from the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Liz describes the plans for running the June Leaders program online, and how interactivity and small group work are being supported. She tells us about a preliminary exercise the scholars have completed – focused on their own ‘silver linings’ – and how (paradoxically) ‘staying at home’ seems to have fostered more community, collaboration and patient focused care. And finally – Liz and Vic ponder on broader issues of change and innovation in healthcare, and take lessons from Elon Musk and SpaceX !

Watch out for new episodes this year which will be announced on our blog and our Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook social media channels.

Did you know that the Harvard Macy Institute Community Blog has had more than 220 posts? Previous posts have included interviews with Alice Fornari, Louis Pangaro, and Victoria Brazil!


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Harnessing the Power of Zoom for Teaching and Learning


How do I engage learners in a remote, online, or virtual environment? This is a question rolling around in the minds of many health professions educators who have over the last few months made significant pivots given the COVID-19 pandemic. Zoom, among other web conferencing technologies, has become an essential tool for educators, learners, and peers to connect and facilitate synchronous learning experiences. However, integrating Zoom alone is not enough. To create significant learning experiences, consider the three tips offered below!

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June 2020 #MedEdPearls: Out of Our Comfort Zone and Into the Fire: Ideas for Engaging Students Virtually

Martin & Bolliger describe Moore’s three types of interaction in effective online courses: (1) learner-to-learner interaction, (2) learner-to-instructor interaction, and (3) learner-to-content interaction and provide strategies to increase engagement.

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Finding and Defining Your Legacy

As an undergraduate student at Louisiana State University, I was acknowledged for outstanding humanitarian services in the tradition of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., which encouraged me to continue to work towards supporting, motivating and encouraging others to pursue their dreams and careers.  

As a graduate student, I enrolled in a required course entitled, “Time Management.” I was a little disturbed at having to take such a course with all of the more important courses I felt I should spend my time completing. However, this course turned out to me the most impactful courses I have ever taken. I thought the course would teach me how to manage my time to be a more effective student and future professional. Additionally, I devoted the semester to reading and applying information about the type of legacy I would leave and how I would impact the people in my life and the world around me. I would spend hours thinking about the different roles I possess, such as a sister, a daughter, a mother, and an aunt.

Our assignments and class discussions were always so rich and reflective. We had to ponder what we want our legacy to be and think strategically how we could accomplish these goals. For many years I grappled with my legacy, until 2014 when I made a career change in order to move back to Louisiana from Iowa where I was employed at the university level as the Director for the Center for Improving Teaching and Learning at Des Moines University. My new position in at the Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine opened up new opportunities for me to work with diversity and inclusion efforts for the School of Veterinary Medicine and the profession as a whole.

I realized that the work I was about to embark upon would be the legacy I had been grappling to find. I created a nonprofit institute, the Institute for Healthcare Education Leadership and Professionals (iHELP) to work with supporting diversity and inclusion efforts in healthcare. The first iHELP initiative is the creation of the National Association for Black Veterinarians (NABV). The purpose of the organization is to work collaboratively with other organizations to support and ensure research-based methods are implemented to increase diversity and inclusion in the veterinary medical profession and in colleges of veterinary medicine. The charter president (Dr. Renita Marshall) and Vice President (Dr. Tyra Brown) were featured in an article that discusses the lack of diversity in the profession which speaks volumes about the need to increase the number of Black people in veterinary medicine. 

Recent Comments
Annie J. Daniel, PhD

Outreach and addressing the ba...

Addressing the common barriers: For under-represented minority (URM) students and faculty that includes isolation, stereotyping an... Read More
Wednesday, 16 September 2020 10:10 AM
Guest — Schay Swope

Pathway to Success

I am a graduate of the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine. I think we need more mentoring programs for children beginning in elemen... Read More
Thursday, 03 September 2020 3:03 AM
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