26X—Build Faster, Better: Accelerate Systemness Through Vision and Culture

Monday, March 28th

About the Session

As health systems across the country consolidate, tremendous potential exists to optimize their breadth and depth by integrating services so that patient care is coordinated and supportive. Yet, many systems continue to fall short on their ability to achieve the promise of post-merger integration and the value it can create for the communities they serve. In this session, we will explore one health system’s journey from “financial merger” toward full “systemness,” enabled by a shared vision focused on a deep commitment to patient-centered care, equity and diversity, which allows care teams to do their best work, accelerating integrated operations and building an inclusive culture.

Founded in 2014, Wellforce was created as a different kind of health system, designed to provide Massachusetts hospitals and physicians with a new option for collaboration—bringing together the strengths of academic medicine and community care in a model that respects both equally. Today, the system is comprised of Tufts Medical Center, Circle Health and Melrose Wakefield Healthcare (two community systems); the Home Health Foundation; and a newly formed Clinically Integrated Network. In January 2020, Wellforce welcomed a new CEO, who was tasked with fully integrating the system.

Our session will explore Wellforce’s journey, from the development of a transformational vision, through the shared trials of the COVID-19 pandemic, implementing a culturally competent and equitable vaccine distribution strategy, and its impact on patients and providers. In a market where the cost of care is increasing, systems of care are fragmented, and clinician burnout is on the rise, Wellforce leadership has used its bold, transformative vision to share an exciting future of unmatched care experiences for providers and staff exhausted by the on-the-ground realities of the pandemic, hoping to reinforce the commitment and sense of purpose that attracted them to healthcare as a profession. We will focus on the path system and entity leaders took to create the vision, identify shared priorities, adapt the organizational and governance structures, and engage 14,000+ clinical and administrative staff and physicians in building an inclusive culture and demonstrating a clear commitment to anti-racism and equity for all.

Learning Objectives:

  • Explore barriers and enablers to advancing systemness after a merger using strategies to effectively engage key stakeholders to align interests, actions, and culture.
  • Examine the role of diversity, equity, and inclusion in integration, transformation, and leadership philosophy.


Presented By

Jennifer Tomasik, FACHE

Vice President/Principal
CFAR, Inc.

Becky Deusser

System Vice President for Administration and External Affairs

Rosa M. Colon-Kolacko, PhD, CDM, SHRM-SCP

System Vice President/Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer

Brooke Tyson Hynes

Senior Vice President, Marketing and Communications/Consultant