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November 2008 Issue

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UC Physicians Names New Chief Operating Officer

Published November 2008

As a veteran health care administrator, Lori Mackey is well aware of the high regard UC doctors are held in.

In her new role as chief operating officer of UC Physicians (UCP) and senior associate dean for clinical programs at the College of Medicine, she’ll use that high regard as an inspiration and a goal.

“I’d like to make our system match the level of our physicians,” says Mackey, who officially began the job Oct. 16 after serving on an interim basis since July on loan from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

“I would like to put together a premier subspecialty practice group that’s differentiated in the regional and national market and have us strive to be the type of specialty physicians that bring patients from all over into our system.

“I think we have the quality physicians; we just need to work on the infrastructure and market what we have,” she says.

Mackey will have ample opportunity to shape that infrastructure: As chief operating officer, she’ll play a key role in the UCP Re-engineering Project, an ambitious plan to merge the multiple UCP clinical practice organizations into a single nonprofit tax-exempt organization.

Mackey, formerly vice president of operations for the Cincinnati Children’s Research Foundation (CCRF), will work closely with David Stern, MD, vice president for health affairs at UC, dean of the College of Medicine and president and chairman of the board of UCP, and Thomas Boat, MD, executive associate dean and chief executive officer of UCP.

Boat, who spent 14 years as director of CCRF and chair of pediatrics at UC before stepping down in 2007, originally hired Mackey away from Deloitte and Touche, where she worked as a health care consultant, in 1993.

By the time she left Cincinnati Children’s, she was managing over 40 pediatric subspecialties and was responsible for both clinical and research operations. Still, she recognized the chance to be part of something special at UCP.

“As I got into it, and working with Dr. Boat, I just saw it as a tremendous opportunity,” she says. “A lot of changes are going to be happening, and when you talk about bringing UCP together you’re talking about really making a difference.”

Much important work has already been done, Mackey says, through the efforts of Boat and Steve Roth, clinical department administrator for family medicine and UCP Re-engineering Project facilitator.

“Steve Roth and the re-engineering group did a fabulous job, gaining consensus and communicating why this is important,” she says. “And Dr. Boat has really led the department chairs into a consensus position that this is what UCP needs to do to differentiate itself in this marketplace.

“So the train has left the station—it’s in motion, and now it’s just a matter of making sure we implement this project effectively.”

While at Cincinnati Children’s, Mackey was a member of the project team for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s “Pursuing Perfection” initiative.

By placing a focus on developing an integrated system that is patient-centered, effective and equitable, it shares many of the goals of the UCP Reengineering Project.

“I was one of the institutional leaders for the advanced access initiative, which addressed centralized scheduling, referring physician satisfaction and ease of accessing our service,” she says, “and that completely ties to what we’re going to be doing at UCP.”

A native of Los Angeles, Mackey graduated from Ohio University with a double major in finance and economics and received a master’s degree in business administration from Xavier University.

Away from the office, Mackey finds time to run, logging 25 to 30 miles a week, giving her a chance to think about the challenges ahead.

“I’m very excited,” she says. “I think this is going to be a tremendous opportunity, both professionally and personally.”

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