January 2016                                                                                                                              Issue No. 1 
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Stronger than the Sum of our Parts - Part 4

Partnership Holds Promise of Improved Health in San Antonio - Part 2
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Happy New Year! 

Welcome to another year of the Wharton Healthcare Quarterly. We look forward to your participation in 2 new planned series: 
          1. "News from the Trenches," which will focus on entrepreneurs and start-ups across the spectrum of the industry. We would love to hear your story, so if you are interested in contributing an article please contact us at
          2. "Wharton Newsmakers," which will feature those who have been in the news for their leadership and accomplishments in healthcare. Please reach out to share the ways in which you have been recognized and continue to put Wharton on the map due to your efforts to innovate and address the needs of an ever-changing health care landscape. Contact us at
And, don't forget to register for "The Innovation Game: The Race Between Entrants + Incumbents," the 22nd annual Wharton Healthcare Business Conference, which will be held in Philadelphia February 18 - 19, 2016. Hope to see you there!

Z. Colette Edwards, WG'84, MD'85
Managing Editor

To learn more about Colette, click here.

presidentThe President's Desk
Contributor:  John Harris, WG'88
You have heard the old saying, "When you are a hammer, everything looks like a nail." When the Wharton Health Care Management Alumni Association elected a strategy consultant to be president, a strategic plan was definitely on the table. The WHCMAA Board is completing that strategic plan, and we are excited about the future. Read more.

openwide Open Wide: Until the Next Visit

Column Editor: Harris Contos
, DMD, WG'80

As he closes out the Open Wide column, Dr. Harris Contos proposes his own "14 Points" for policymakers, both within dentistry and without (though there should really be no distinction) to enable dentistry to be brought closer to the center of the healthcare universe.  Read more .

philosopherThe Philosopher's Corner
Contributor:  Robert C. McDonald MD, WG'92
This eclectic standing column features insightful musings, words of wisdom, life lessons, and stepping stones to business success. This month's philosopher is Bob McDonald, MD, WG'92, Founder and President of Aledo Consulting, Inc, a consultancy that provides strategy and reimbursement assistance to companies commercializing novel healthcare products and services, from pre-revenue, venture-backed start-ups to Fortune 100 companies.  Read more

We'd love to hear from you and invite you to click here to participate in future editions.  Column Editor: Z. Colette Edwards, WG'84, MD'85.

Law2Affidavit: Healthcare and the Law - The Expanding Footprint of the Hospital into the Community/Provider-Based Issues
Column Editor: Lisa W. Clark, JD'89 
The expansion of a hospital, whether through the purchase of an existing facility or a physician practice or the creation of a new site, generates new branding and revenue opportunities for a hospital like the fictional "GoodHealth."  Expansion projects raise unique legal issues as well, especially for those that are "provider-based."   Read more .

StrongStronger than the Sum of Our Parts: Creating a Level Playing Field - Part 3
In 2014, CFAR produced a report with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) called Lessons from the Field: Promising Interprofessional Collaboration Practices, which identifies ways to increase collaboration among healthcare professionals, in service of improved healthcare delivery. This article is the third of four about actionable practices for effective interprofessional collaboration. Here, we explore a key practice to accelerate this collaboration.
In looking across the seven healthcare organizations participating in the project, one of the key practices we identified is "creating a level playing field" that lets each team member work at the top of their license, know their role, and understand the value they contribute. We will explore the significance of this commitment here, how it plays out, and ideas for implementation. Read more .


Although the three of us were born in Latin America, we were lucky to have had great opportunities that helped shape who we are both personally and professionally, and we were discussing how to give others in need some of these opportunities. We decided to learn more about the project and had the opportunity to talk over the phone with Melissa Menkel, Co-founder and CEO of Access Afya, the affordable primary care clinics located in the slums of Nairobi. She had been working on a membership program, similar to a primary care health plan, to improve health care access to customers and members of the community.  Read more .

Contributor: David Fogel, MD
What would you do if someone offered you $30 million dollars and a building the size of a small hospital to create a new model of healthcare? And the only string attached was to do it using integrative medicine.* That is exactly what happened to the author and his wife, both practicing physicians, on a surreal day in February 2010.  More nuanced and life-altering a decision than they ever imagined, they ultimately accepted. Read more .

DIY2015 WHCMAA Alumni Conference Focuses on Leadership   
Contributors: Bob McDonald, MD WG'92 and John Barkett, WG'09

Following tradition, the annual Alumni Dinner was held on October 15 at Russet in downtown Philadelphia.  Over 60 people attended as Maureen Spivack, WG'86 received the WHCMAA Alumni Achievement Award.  The 2015 WHCMAA Alumni Conference was held at Huntsman Hall on the University of Pennsylvania campus and was focused on the topic of leadership in a time of change and chaos.  This year's conference bore the title "What Matters Most Is How Well You Walk through the Fire," which is the name of a collection of poetry by American poet Charles Bukowski.  Read more .

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within are those of the authors and editors of the articles and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, positions or strategies of the Wharton School and/or the University of Pennsylvania, and/or their respective organizations. Publication in this e-magazine should not be considered an endorsement. The Wharton Healthcare Quarterly e-magazine and WHCMAA make no representations as to accuracy, completeness, currentness, suitability, or validity of any information in this e-magazine and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use.