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Featured Member

Transforming our Broken Health Care System

Allen Miller is CEO of Cope Health Solutions. Cope Health Solutions' vision is to continue to develop and replicate proven, sustainable solutions to health workforce, health care access, and care management challenges in diverse communities across the nation and the world. This unique organization partners with hospitals and health systems at every level in an initiative: developing a strategic vision and plan, implementing the plan, and then staying on to manage the resultant program over time.

  1. Briefly, what is the mission of your organization? If you wanted our readers/members to know only one thing about your organization, what would it be?
  2. What do you most want people to know about the work that you do and the unique characteristics of your organization?
  3. What are you passionate about in your work?
  4. What is your dream for the future of your organization and/or community-campus partnerships you’re involved in?
  5. What wisdom would you like to communicate to others in this field or to your colleagues (similar to tips and lessons learned)? What advice would you give to others? What advice would you give to a student or professional just entering into the field?
  6. What is the biggest challenge you face in your work and how are you working to overcome it?. Or how have you overcome it?
  7. If you could give advice to a policy maker (Congress, President, Secretary of Health, Surgeon General, etc.) what would you recommend or say?
  8. Why did you join CCPH? How would you describe CCPH to your colleagues? And, specifically why did you join CCPH as an organizational member?
  9. What does “community-campus partnership” mean to you?
  10. What value do you see in being a member of CCPH to meet your future goals for your organization and for the field? What is your favorite part of CCPH?
  11. What strengths and talents do you bring to CCPH?
  12. What keeps you motivated to do the work you do?

1. Briefly, what is the mission of your organization? If you wanted our readers/members to know only one thing about your organization, what would it be?

COPE Health Solutions’ mission is to Make Communities Healthier.

We would want people to know that we are completely committed to transforming health care in the areas of workforce, sustainability of the safety net and health education interventions and that we’re always looking for a few more amazing people to join us in doing so!


2. What do you most want people to know about the work that you do and the unique characteristics of your organization?

The work we do is unique in that we have a few tried and true solutions for health systems and hospitals, but they require the institutions to really change their strategy in the area. We have a really bright, young and energetic team that is, in the words of one health care executive who brought us into his hospital, “more productive than any company I’ve ever seen.” What is unique about COPE Health Solutions is that we partner with hospitals and health systems at every level in an initiative: developing a strategic vision and plan, working with everyone from the line staff to the CEO to implement the plan, and then staying on to manage the resultant program over time—very much in an outsourcing type of relationship.


3. What are you passionate about in your work?

The idea that we can make changes to such a big system as health care that can make it more financially sustainable and can improve the health of entire communities.


4. What is your dream for the future of your organization and/or community-campus partnerships you’re involved in?

We have a vision to replicate two of our major initiatives—the Health Workforce Transformation and Health Systems Integration models—throughout the United States and into Canada and other countries over the next five years. This will protect the financial sustainability of safety-net hospitals and clinics, produce the diverse and committed workforce that each community needs to care for its population, and improve the health of millions over the next decade.


5. What wisdom would you like to communicate to others in this field or to your colleagues (similar to tips and lessons learned)? What advice would you give to others? What advice would you give to a student or professional just entering into the field?

The most important things I’ve learned:

1. Never, ever give up—no matter how many people tell you your idea won’t work. (Assuming you’ve done your homework and know it will….)
2. Persistence really is the key to success. There’s a ton of truth to the adage that the last one standing wins.
3. Follow up is absolutely key. When you meet someone and have a good conversation, or you’re referred to someone after asking for help or support, it is critical to always follow up in a timely and professional manner so that people will want to support you again and trust you with their network the next time.
4. Health systems are very complex, but they all can be broken down to nuts and bolts, which must be dealt with at a line-staff level in order to change a system and have it work effectively.

6. What is the biggest challenge you face in your work and how are you working to overcome it? Or how have you overcome it?

The biggest challenge we face is the fact that, in this country [the United States] and in the State of California, the health care system is extremely fragmented and uncoordinated. This is true both in terms of payors and providers. In fact, the payors often end up giving incentives to the providers to provide more complex and expensive care than is needed, instead of less expensive primary and preventive care. We are making progress at the systems level for uninsured patients to change both the system structure and the patients' health-seeking behavior, but we are also working with policy makers at the state and federal levels to try to align the Medicare and Medi-Cal payment mechanisms such that they provide incentives for positive health-seeking behavior by patients as well as for systems that enable this behavior.


7. If you could give advice to a policy maker (Congress, President, Secretary of Health, Surgeon General, etc.) what would you recommend or say?

Please work with us to realign the payment mechanisms for Medicare and Medi-Cal (Medicaid) to give incentives for regular primary care, preventive health and related care, as opposed to fragmented systems of care that encourage access through the emergency department.


8. Why did you join CCPH? How would you describe CCPH to your colleagues?

I was referred by Tom McGuiness. CCPH is a great opportunity to read about and meet others who are working in the public, private, and educational sectors to improve health through true collaborations and partnerships.


9. What does “community-campus partnership” mean to you?

A “community-campus partnership" is a true engagement, at both the strategic and operational levels, between a university, college, or other educational institution and both private and public health care organizations in order to improve health while at the same time educating future health care professionals. This is a win-win for all involved. The students engaged in the project provide a valuable service to the community, are inculcated with a desire to serve, learn about health care careers, and are able to build a base of knowledge that will serve them well should they go on to work in health care. The community receives the service from the students and at the same time is able to develop capabilities and sustainable competencies that will serve it long after the students leave, or that can leverage the ongoing help from the students. Finally, the school wins by gaining the opportunity to teach its students in a real-life laboratory that is much more like the world they will face upon graduation than any classroom or lecture hall.


10. What value do you see in being a member of CCPH to meet your future goals for your organization and for the field? What is your favorite part of CCPH?

Being a member of CCPH has really broadened my horizons and those of our organization in terms of how we think of community-campus partnerships. Being that these partnerships are so intrinsically critical to the success of everything we do, this is a big help. I enjoy reading all of the e-mails and articles that CCPH brings to my attention and am really looking forward to attending my first CCPH conference in April 2007.


11. What strengths and talents do you bring to CCPH?


Hopefully COPE Health Solutions brings to CCPH our experience with providing quality experiential education to students in various parts of the health care system and of bridging the chasm between colleges and non-teaching hospitals/health care systems. We are excited to both share our successes, lessons, and tools in these areas, and at the same time learn from others at CCPH.


12. What keeps you motivated to do the work you do?

Every morning I wake up and first realize how lucky I am to have such a wonderful wife and child who motivate me to realize my dreams for transforming our broken health care non-system here in the US. I also feel very lucky to be able to be engaged in such an exciting field and to get to work with the most amazing people anywhere. There is never a boring day and it keeps me excited, motivated, and on my toes…

Allen Miller
CEO
COPE Health Solutions
2400 South Flower Street
Lowman Outpatient Building, Fourth Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90007

Tel: (213) 259-0245
Fax: (213) 259-0255
E-Mail: amiller@copehealthsolutions.org
http://www.copepartners.org



To read about previous featured members click here.

 

 
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