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UPMC and DDI to Launch the Health Care Leadership Academy

With the Mission to Avert a Leadership Crisis, New Program is Designed To Arm Nurse and Organizational Leaders with Vital Skills

PITTSBURGH, April 5, 2004
To confront a shortage of experienced health care leaders, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) and Development Dimensions International (DDI) have launched the Health Care Leadership Academy. The Academys mission is to address the quality of organizational leadership at all levels and grow the next generation of clinical leaders for the health care industry.

The Health Care Leadership Academy brings together UPMC, one of the leading medical centers in the country, and DDI, a human resource consulting firm with 34 years of experience developing leaders in some of the worlds most successful organizations.

In affiliation with UPMCs Beckwith Institute for Innovation in Patient Care and the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing, DDI and UPMC have developed a curriculum targeting three levels of organizational leaders emerging, operational and strategic. The Academy will provide these leaders with the tools to develop and drive significant change in their organizations.

The program will launch on April 5, with a five-day session for nurses preparing for their first management role. The program will continue with a session for experienced nurse managers May 17-21, and a session for vice president and aspiring vice president-level leaders June 14-25.

At each level, participants will learn the core skills essential for success, including transformational leadership, planning and decision making, developing people, innovative thinking and health care economics.

The Academys blended learning environment will combine classroom time with role playing and real world, hands-on skill application, providing participants with an opportunity to develop solutions to take back to their organizations.

By uniting the leadership expertise of DDI and UPMC, we have built a world-class academy for health care leaders, Greg Nelson, vice president of DDIs health care practice group, said. We have an opportunity to arm current and potential leaders with the skills to build an engaged workforce, retain staff and drive organizational performance.

In the constantly-changing world of health care, we are facing a wide variety of challenges. We have often found that many of our nurses have the aptitude but have not been given the correct tools to handle these challenges, said Gail Wolf, R.N., D.N.S., chief nursing officer at UPMC. Through partnering with DDI, we at UPMC hope to provide our leaders, as well as leaders from hospitals nationwide, with the skills and encouragement they need to lead the health care system now and into the future. This program is unique in that it is primarily taught by experienced executives who speak from credible, real-world experience. Participants receive a technology toolbox to help apply the learned concepts, and also complete a mentored project specific to their organization. In this way, participants provide a return on their organizations investment.

The University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing has provided support for the programs development, and anticipates granting academic credits to participants. The Beckwith Fellows Program has been a model for the Academys strategic leader program, after four years of successfully implementing a strategic leaders program, both locally and nationally.

About the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC)
The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center is a non-profit, comprehensive academic health care system affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences. Their combined mission is to provide quality patient care, educate the next generation of health care professionals and advance biomedical knowledge through basic and clinical research. For more information visit

About Development Dimensions International (DDI)
Since 1970, Development Dimensions International, a global human resource consulting firm specializing in leadership and selection, has worked with some of the world's most successful organizations. With more than 1,000 associates in 70 offices around the world and headquarters in Pittsburgh, DDI advises businesses of all sizes including half of the Fortune 500on the selection, development and retention of their workforces and helping them realize business success. For more information go to

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