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CC News: --Special Edition--February 1996
In This Issue
Report details recommendations for CC's future
The Clinical Center should change the way it's governed, funded, and managed
in order to provide a stable, efficient foundation for clinical research
into the next century, according to recommendations contained in an extensive
report to HHS Secretary Shalala released Feb. 9.
The report summarized findings of an Options Team with a mandate to evaluate
how best to structure the Clinical Center and its operations. (Related
story follows.) "The recommendations contained in this report will
allow the Clinical Center to remain in the forefront of biomedical research
into the new century," says Dr. John Gallin, CC director and a member
of the team that examined and evaluated Clinical Center operations for nearly
a year. "The recommendations in no way suggest that Clinical Center
jobs are in jeopardy or that CC services will universally be contracted
Major recommendations contained in the Options Team report include:
- Develop a "clear and logical governance structure" to draw
on the expertise of leaders from outside organizations and reflect the interests
of CC clients, the institutes of NIH.
- Secure a clearly defined, seperate budget for the CC, one that is as
stable as the NIH budget as a whole.
- Develop a strategic plan with clear and measurable objectives.
- Establish the Clinical Center as a "reinvention laboratory"
to explore options to enhance efficiency and effectiveness, especially concerning
procurement, personnel management, and use of operational savings.
The review was part of the Vice President's Reinventing Government II initiative,
designed to find ways to lower costs and improve the efficiency of government
Dr. Gallin will distribute copies of the CC Reinvention Plan and discuss
the Options Team recommendations during his annual address and awards ceremony
on Feb. 29 at 2 p.m. in Masur Auditorium.
The Options Team: Who they are and what they did
It's been almost a year since HHS Secretary Donna Shalala convened a group
of medical, scientific, and management experts to review how the Clinical
Center carries out its business and come up with ways to improve.
Secretary Shalala tapped Dr. Helen Smits, deputy administrator of the Health
Care Financing Administration, to chair the team.
"What we want to do here," Dr. Smits told those attending a CC
town meeting in July, "is figure ways--and I'm just your consultant--to
help you operate as efficiently and effectively as you can in the modern
world. And that's my goal."
"The options team offers a productive means of reviewing the Clinical
Center," adds Dr. John Gallin, CC director. "The team is made
up of NIH clinical investigators and administrators along with support staff
familiar with our mission."
Team members from NIH looked broadly at Clinical Center activities, including
how the CC is governed and structured, strategic directions, and day-to-day
management. The evaluation included a series of visits to other hospitals
and government-owned organizations nationwide to see how other institutes
deal with problems the Clinical Center now faces.
Internal team members are Dr. Alan Breier, NIMH; Dr. Gregory Curt, NCI;
Michael Goldrich and Dr. Steven Holland, NIAID; Dr. Christine Grady, NINR;
Dr. Jeffrey Hoeg and Dr. Griffin Rodgers, NHLBI; Francine Little, OFM; Dr.
Judith Vaitukaitis, NCRR; and Dr. John Gallin, Dr. David Henderson, Walter
Jones, Dr. Harvey Klein, and Kathy Montgomery, CC. Dr. Ruth Kirchstein,
NIH deputy director, is an ex-officio member.
External consultants to the team are Dr. Greg L. Eastwood, SUNY Health Science
Center; John J. Finan, Jr., Barnes Hospital; William B. Kerr, Medical Center
and the University of California at San Francisco; Dr. Gloria Opirhory,
John Dempsey Hospital, University of Connecticut; Dr. John W. Rowe, Mount
Sinai Medical Center; Stephen C. Shimpff, University of Maryland Medical
Center; Dr. Ralph Snyderman, Duke University; and Dr. Samuel O. Thier, Massachusetts
Report outlines other suggestions
The Options Team Report also recommended the Clinical Center:
- Actively seek funding for a new facility that will be more efficient
to operate while permitting more effective use of staff.
- Identify alternative strategies for delivering individual services.
- Adopt benchmarking, adapting proven ideas from other institutions.
- Strengthen patient recruiting.
Options Team asked the tough questions
Among issues the Options Team focused on during their scrutiny of the Clinical
- Current Clinical Center mission. What is the CC's mission and what's
the best way to measure success in meeting that mission?
- Vision for the future. How will the Clinical Center function a decade
- Governance. How well does the CC's current governing structure serve
its customers' interests, function effectively, and respond to change and
- Information and reporting. What kind of information, training, and administrative
systems are necessary for efficient, cost-effective performance?
- Budgeting. What's the best way to measure CC management performance
and fiscal control?
- Benchmarking. What can we learn from other institutions?
- Options as a federal entity. How do federal laws governing such areas
as personnel, procurement, and contracting limit operational flexibility?
- Reinvention laboratories. Can the CC become a testing ground for "reinventing
Go to Board of Governors NIH News Advisory
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
Warren Grant Magnuson Clinical Center (CC)
Bethesda, Maryland 20892
Last modified 2/6/96
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