NewsAnnouncements : WRNMMC Leadership Academy continues growth through education and leadership development

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WRNMMC Leadership Academy continues growth through education and leadership development


By A.J. Simmons

WRNMMC Command Communications

Walter Reed National Military Medical Center held its second Leadership Academy of 2017 for staff members in September. Comprised of four days of courses, each installment of the academy provides leadership development opportunities and education to service members, civilians and contractors alike. Additionally, staff members who participate are eligible to receive between 15 to 20 continuing medical or nursing education (CME) credits.
“It’s a command course taught by subject matter experts from across the hospital,” explained Navy Cmdr. (Dr.) Janine Danko, the course director of the Leadership Academy and the deputy director of Medicine at WRNMMC. “People who want to better understand how the organization is structured, how to get things done, [and] who are resources or points of contacts to get things done should think about enrolling in Leadership Academy.”
“A lot of people [at WRNMMC] are very hungry to learn about leadership,” said Mary Johnson, the deputy director of the Leadership Academy and the program manager of WRNMMC Continuing Medical Education programs. “So in Leadership Academy, we try to get people who are either new leaders or up-and-coming leaders and present…leadership material.”
According to Johnson, the academy’s courses cover a variety of topics and fields and are organized into specific categories across the program’s four-day span.
“Each of the day or half-day programs is focused on a certain topic that we had initially designed as a leadership competency,” elaborated Danko. “So the competency for the first day is leadership and one’s leadership development.”
Danko continued, explaining that the second day of the course addresses resource management within the hospital, as well as quality improvement and the patient experience.
Day three of the course is split into two half-day sessions. The first half of the day focuses on personnel and management while the second session, called 21st Century Health Care, is intended to present novel health care topics within the organization. Danko noted that this is the session in which students learn about “what’s new at Walter Reed that’s putting us on the map.”
The fourth and final day of the Leadership Academy is designed to educate staff members on business management and optimization.
According to the program’s webpage, the variety of courses and fields of expertise represented in the Leadership Academy help to “develop health care professionals into innovative leaders with a skill set to enhance their competence and ability to excel to the next level of their career ladder.”
Johnson pointed out that the program’s competencies are just one of its advantages, as students also learn from each other: “It’s about the relationships that are formed, the relationship building. There’s so much value in the soft skills [students] get out of Leadership Academy. People who wouldn’t necessarily interact on a daily basis can talk to each other and form relationships across departments.”
Danko agreed, saying, “A lot of the value of being a student in Leadership Academy is the interaction with others in the class. There are a lot of engaging exercises that are meant to bring people together from all over the command and different directorates.”
Moving forward, Danko hopes to see the program develop a follow-up course—or “Leadership Academy 102,” as she put it—for students to further develop their leadership knowledge and form connections with fellow staff members.
“People who have been through the experience are thirsting for that,” she said. “They want continued and sustained leadership training.”
The Leadership Academy will be offered three times in 2018, according to Danko. The specific dates are currently being planned and should be announced in November.
More information, including the upcoming dates, sample agendas and each presentation from the most recent course can be found on the Leadership Academy’s WRNMMC intranet page. Visit the page or contact Mary Johnson at mary.b.johnson1.civ@mail.mil to learn how to get involved with the next Leadership Academy.