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ABIM Foundation Announces New Focus and Governance

Public Members - Glenn Hackbarth (MedPAC) and Bruce Bradley (General Motors) - to Serve as Foundation Officers

PHILADELPHIA, July 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The ABIM Foundation will dedicate its efforts over the next five years to bridging the concepts of medical professionalism and accountability in health care toward the ultimate goal of improving patient care.

In addition, the Foundation announced that officers of its Board of Trustees now include, for the first time, two non-physician leaders whose public perspectives will help guide the Foundation's work. Glenn Hackbarth, Chair of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, and Bruce Bradley, Director of Health Care Strategy and Public Policy for General Motors Corporation, were elected to one-year terms as Vice Chair and Secretary-Treasurer, respectively. John Popovich, Jr., MD, Chair, Department of Medicine, Henry Ford Health System will also begin two years of service as Chair of the ABIM Foundation Board of Trustees.

As a focus for the next five years, the ABIM Foundation's work will address the 21st century principles outlined in Medical Professionalism in the New Millennium: A Physician Charter developed by the ABIM Foundation, the American College of Physicians Foundation and the European Federation of Internal Medicine. These aspirational principles redefine the role of physicians to include a commitment to quality improvement, a focus on equitable care across all populations, and an obligation to be stewards of scarce medical resources. Download the charter at

For many physicians, professionalism is a guiding force for quality patient-physician interactions, spurring and inspiring physicians to do their best for their patients. At the same time, many within and outside of the profession believe the concept has been inappropriately used to avoid external oversight.

"There is a growing sense that professionalism has weakened, which has the potential to negatively affect public trust in medicine," said Christine K. Cassel, MD, president and CEO of ABIM and the ABIM Foundation. "By developing mechanisms to crisply define and support new notions of professionalism, we can better meet the needs of patients and payers for greater accountability."

Recent research, sponsored by the Institute of Medicine as a Profession, identified notable gaps between the ideals physicians aspire to in the professionalism realm and their practices. The ABIM Foundation aspires to close these gaps by working collaboratively with patients, employers, health plans, physicians and other stakeholders to develop and implement shared expectations about physicians' roles and responsibilities in the context of a changing health care system.

"The inclusion of non-physicians as Trustees in the Foundation has proven invaluable in helping us define and implement an agenda that is inclusive of all involved in healthcare," added John Popovich, Jr, MD, Chair of the ABIM Foundation Board of Trustees. "By having Glenn Hackbarth and Bruce Bradley serve as Officers for the Foundation, we will be better able to bridge the divide between the perspectives of physicians on professionalism and payers and patients on accountability."

An additional focus of the Foundation will be the responsibilities articulated in the Physician Charter focusing on "stewardship of finite resources." In light of the crisis regarding the cost of health care, the Foundation hopes to play a leadership role in advancing the physician's ability to effectively steward the health care resources of his or her community.

The Trustees serving for 2008-2009 are:

-- Chair: John Popovich, Jr., MD - Chair, Department of Medicine, Henry

Ford Health System

-- Vice-Chair: Glenn Hackbarth, JD, MA - Chair, Medicare Payment Advisory

Commission (MedPAC) (Trustee since 2006)

-- Secretary-Treasurer: Bruce Bradley, MBA - Director, Health Care

Strategy and Public Policy, General Motors Corporation (Trustee since


-- Richard J. Baron, MD - President, Greenhouse Internists, PC and Chair,

ABIM Board of Directors

-- Troyen A. Brennan, MD, MPH - Executive Vice President and CMO, Aetna,


-- Christine K. Cassel, MD - President and CEO, American Board of Internal

Medicine and ABIM Foundation

-- David B. Hellmann, MD - Professor of Medicine and Vice Dean, Johns

Hopkins Bayview Medical Center

-- Holly J. Humphrey, MD - Professor of Medicine and Dean for Medical

Education, Pritzker School of Medicine and the University of Chicago


-- Sheila T. Leatherman, MSW - Research Professor, School of Public Health,

University of North Carolina Judge Institute, University of Cambridge

-- Deborah Leff, JD - President, Public Welfare Foundation

-- Debra L. Ness, MS - President, National Partnership for Women &


-- Donald E. Wesson, MD - Vice Dean, Texas A&M Health Sciences Center

(Temple Campus)

-- Beverly Woo, MD - Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical


About the ABIM Foundation

Established in 1999 by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM), which certifies internal medicine physicians and subspecialists, the ABIM Foundation complements ABIM's work by exploring the issues central to the common purpose of both organizations -- to enhance the quality of patient care.

SOURCE ABIM Foundation
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