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Momentum with Physician Engagement 

By Andy Furman, MD, vice president medical affairs

Medical staff survey results have revealed many opportunities, included an opportunity to improve physician engagement. This is not to say you as an individual are not engaged. Thank you all for the commitment you have shown whether it be participating in a project, sitting on a committee, or justFurman, Andrew C. speaking positively about Salem Health.

The opportunity with physician engagement is to identify that physicians should be playing a leading role in the dynamic, changing healthcare world we live in today. Our goal is for more and more physicians owning and leading the strategy, innovation, communication and problem solving that will direct change. We look to learn from those who do it well and provide support to those who need it.

We are fortunate to have a strong foundation with our Common Ground Compact. We are also fortunate to have a management system in Lean that gives us a tool box, common language, and system to allocate resources  to tackle the many problems that arise. It can seem uncomfortable to talk about 4 Step Problem Solving (4SPS) and Tests of Change (TOC) but I can assure you it’s the same hypothesis testing we use every day with our clinical decision making.

It’s been almost two years now since I moved from Pennsylvania and the Geisinger Health System. I wanted a change and new challenge for myself and family, Nicole, Sam (17), Ally (15), Naomi (12), and Elaina (8) so I embarked on this journey out West. There is something special about Salem Health and the Salem Community that is hard to describe. What I know is my family is doing extremely well, engaged in the community and excited for what Oregon has to offer. I also know that there is a different kind of buzz among the medical staff. If you don’t feel your voice is being heard, please contact me. My email address is My cell phone number is 503 917 8433.

I want to thank Julie York, Ben Miller, Jenny Williams, and Nik Batra for leading the physician engagement strategy work this fiscal year. I also want to thank Jim Stier, Liz Kim, Eric Shields, and Matt Boles for an outstanding gemba walk with our Board of Directors regarding last fiscal year’s strategy work. Your time, effort, and enthusiasm has been greatly appreciated. 

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