In an ever-changing field, leaders in the healthcare industry must be intentional about keeping their companies and themselves ahead of the curve. For many, that often means seeking out professional development opportunities.
“I was interested in that next level of leadership,” says Kim Inscho, vice president of human resources and marketing for Margaret Mary Health, based in Batesville.
It was a request Sara Johnson, director of SPEA’s Executive Education program, and her team had heard from healthcare organizations around the state. As they dove further into the discussion, they discovered a critical gap in supporting senior leaders, like Inscho.
“We learned there was a lack of education and training focused on supporting experienced executives in the healthcare industry,” Johnson says.
The Executive Education team set out to bridge that gap by creating the Healthcare Innovation Leadership Institute (HILI). By working with an advisory board of representatives from across the healthcare industry, they identified some of the most complex facets of leadership and built a curriculum to address those areas through the lens of healthcare:
- developing emotional intelligence,
- excelling at negotiation and influence,
- making an impact with the stories behind the data,
- implementing executive decisions, and
- building resilience to lead change.
“The HILI program allows those in executive positions to enhance their skills in competency areas that are critically important to leadership in healthcare,” Johnson says.
The members of HILI’s inaugural cohort, including Inscho, are all senior leaders in healthcare. Despite their years of experience, they recognize the need for continuing education.
“I’m always interested in growing my leadership skills and seizing opportunities that come to me,” says Melusine Mitchell, another program participant.
The courses are led by expert instructors, all of whom have experience in healthcare and leadership development. They work to guide participants through six sessions that will help them develop into leaders who thrive amid high expectations and demands.
“The presenters are extremely well-versed,” Inscho says. “They came from healthcare so they were able to share their real-life experience on each of their topics.”
Johnson says each instructor was hand-selected, not only for that experience but also for their approach to teaching.
“This is not like teaching an undergrad class; it’s very different,” she adds. “We worked hard to ensure the faculty that were leading these courses were not only experts in content knowledge, but could also use adult learning techniques effectively.”
As instructors speak from personal involvement in the industry, participants also share their own unique real-word experiences. In a field that has a wide array of niche areas, participants say collaborating with others in the industry has been one of the biggest benefits of the course.
“I’m in one pocket of healthcare so expanding my horizons and seeing what else is out there in other areas of the industry is important to me,” Mitchell says. “Having a diverse environment with individuals from different sectors of this industry is eye-opening.”
Johnson says that diversity among the cohort was intentional. Developers wanted participants to reflect the modern approach to the healthcare system.
“This is not a hospital program,” she says. “That’s not how the industry works anymore; it’s a continuum of care. This allows participants to appreciate different parts of the system.”
“Hearing from those working in long-term care or social services has helped us see how we all share some of the same challenges and opportunities,” Inscho says.
Inscho says those connections will last long after the cohort ends, providing an ongoing and statewide system of support.
Those interested in participating in the next cohort must apply to join the program by July 15. The program begins on August 8 with an evening panel of healthcare leaders discussing innovations in healthcare leadership.
Participants will meet once a month from August through December for a day-long course, culminating in a capstone project that incorporates lessons from each of topic area. The project is intended to be a practical one that participants can implement in their organizations or the community.
Upon completion of the course, members receive a Healthcare Innovation Leadership certificate of completion from Indiana University. Yet this cohort’s participants say the experience is about much more than a certificate.
“This is about professional development and portable concepts,” Inscho says. “If your role changes, if your organization changes, even if you leave healthcare, these learnings are still relevant no matter where you go.”
Johnson says those learnings support today’s leaders while providing a strategic stepping stone in the future of Indiana’s healthcare system.
“We have a lot of succession planning needs throughout the state,” Johnson says. “We hope HILI participants will be better prepared to step into the highest levels of healthcare leadership in the years to come, ensuring that Indiana’s healthcare system remains ready to serve Hoosiers for generations to come.”