Executive Leadership Academy

Academy Goals

University of Iowa Health Care has designed a comprehensive program that addresses core characteristics and skills needed to lead effectively in an academic health care environment. Overall academy goals include:

  • Expanding participants’ leadership knowledge, skills, and abilities which are critical in today’s changing academic health care environment.
  • Demonstrating outcomes in leading and increasing the effectiveness of project, operational, research, or clinical teams.
  • Strengthening our UI Health Care culture by building networks to provide ongoing feedback and support systems.

Theresa Brennan’s Full Video                    Emily Wynn’s Full Video

Herbert Berger’s Full Video                        Geeta Lal’s Full Video

Lois Geist’s Full Video                                Kenneth Rempher’s Full Video


Academy Curriculum

UI Health Care – Priorities and Systems — Session 1

Understanding the strategy and systems of UI Health Care: UIHC, CCOM, and UIP.

  • UI Health Care Strategic Plan
  • Operationalizing Core Values
  • UI Health Care and Iowa: The Vision and Priorities
  • Finances and Systems
  • Alliance, ACOs, and other Partnerships
  • Our Organizational Structure
  • Leading Transformations
  • College of Med and UIP

Managing Your Projects — Session 2

Managing your projects by having the right people and processes in place.

  • Organizational Alignment    
  • Change Management         
  • Project Planning/Management
  • Team Management             
  • Meeting Management
  • Process Improvement
  • Time Management

Quality, Safety & Service — Session 3

Demonstrating and operationalizing leadership in quality, safety, and service.

  • Evidence-based Practices        
  • Data Methodology                              
  • Program Evaluation
  • Culture of Quality
  • Safety 
  • Service Excellence
  • Legal Concerns
  • Negotiations

Finance & Marketing — Session 4

Understanding the business side of medicine.

  • Financial Statements             
  • Cost Accounting                   
  • Revenue Cycle
  • Budgeting Process                
  • Business Plans                      
  • Incentive Plans
  • Role of Philanthropy            
  • Affordable Care Act 
  • Innovations in Health Care
  • Community Engagement
  • Financial Planning

Understanding Your People & Personal Development — Session 5

Managing people and the professional relationships that surround you as well as understanding your leadership strengths and style.

  • Leadership Assessment          
  • Conflict Resolution   
  • Maximizing Talent                                
  • Integrating Diversity              
  • Cross-Gen Communication          
  • Coaching and Accountability

Project Presentations — Session 6

Incorporating all that you learned in the previous sessions with a brief presentation on the project you have been working on throughout the Academy.

  • Project Management                               

Academy Selection

This program is targeted at current leaders and high-potential emerging leaders in UI Health Care. Individuals are nominated by the Deans, Department Chairs, the Senior Management Team members, or their direct supervisor.

Nominated faculty and staff wishing to participate in the Executive Leadership Academy must submit an application that includes a commitment to attend all sessions, submit a project proposal, and participate fully in the program.  Failure to complete the program may result in an estimated $1200 cost of the program being charged back to the participant’s department.

Applications will be reviewed and participants selected by a panel. The selection process is designed to create the most qualified, diverse, and inclusive mix of participants to enhance learning from each other and to reflect the breadth of the school’s and hospital’s mission. Approximately 25 to 30 faculty and staff will be selected to participate.

There are three steps to the application process.  Each step must be completed IN FULL prior to April 27, 2018 and emailed to UIHealthCare-L-and-D@uiowa.edu.


1. An Application must be filled out by the participant to include a project that will be worked on throughout the Academy time frame.  

 *Please see Project Manager Responsibilities  for details before filling out this form.


2. The participant’s nominator completes the Nomination-Form.


3. The project’s sponsor must fill out the Project-Sponsor-Recommendation-Form.

 *Please see Project Sponsor Quick Reference  for details before filling out this form.


Academy Structure

  • Leadership training will be carried out in six, 1½ day sessions beginning in September, approximately one session every other month.
  • Sessions will occur all day Friday and half the day Saturday.
  • There will be 2 to 3 hours of course work preparation for each session.
  • Each participant will complete a project during the academy.
  • Applications for continuing education credit will be available.
  • Assistance in writing and publishing on project results.
  • Pagers and cell phones will not be allowed in the sessions.
  • Self-assessments and multi-rater feedback will be completed at the beginning and end of the academy.


 Participants will be engaged in active learning experiences throughout the program with

  • Self-Assessments
  • Leadership Development Plans
  • Course Work Prep
  • Small Group Discussions
  • Role Playing
  • Case Studies
  • Peer Networking
  • 1:1 Coaching
  • Academy Project Completion

Academy Certificate

Participants who complete all sessions and an academy project will be recognized in a graduation event, where UI Health Care leadership will present ELA certificates celebrating the cohort’s achievement and outcomes.

Academy Project

  • Participants will complete a project during the academy to challenge application of skills and knowledge.
  • Submitted projects will be selected based upon clear, demonstrated alignment with UI Health Care strategic initiatives:
    • Research or education projects
    • Clinical program development projects
    • Quality improvement challenges
    • UIHC Department or Division priorities
  • Projects must involve leading a team of individuals with different job types.  
  • Participants should expect to spend 2 to 3 hours per week on the project during the 3 to 4 months of most active project work (typically February through May).
  • Selected projects will be supported by:
    • Project Advisors
    • Coaches  
    • Other functional resources as needed
  • Each participant will make a presentation to his/her department, division, section, unit, or group summarizing the project and leadership concepts applied in its completion.

Academy Instructors and Coaches


The instructors are designated as experts in their fields/departments/organizations and have been highly recommended. This gives us the advantage of having the “best of the best” instructors based on area of expertise.


Peer Coaching

The group will develop relationships with other participants that allow them to serve as internal consultants and coaches to each other as leadership challenges arise in their work.  In addition, dyad discussions during some activities provide opportunity for personal feedback.

Project Coaching/Sponsorship

UI Health Care leadership team will identify coaches to support projects meeting the required specifications. 

Leadership Coaching

Each participant will have the opportunity for at least two sessions with a coach to discuss assessment results and develop an individual plan for enhancing leadership skills.


Location details will be provided with registration confirmation. Friday will be a full day; Saturday will be a half-day in the morning.

Session Day Topic Dates
1 Friday UI Health Care Priorities and Systems Sept. 28 & 29, 2018
2 Friday Managing Your Projects Oct. 26 & 27, 2018
3 Friday Quality, Safety, and Service Dec. 7 & 8,  2018
4 Friday Finance and Marketing Jan. 25 & 26, 2019
5 Friday Understanding Your People & Personal Development Mar. 1 & 2, 2019
6 Friday Project Presentations May 3 & 4,  2019
Saturday Graduation

For a PDF version of this information click on the link below:

Executive Leadership Academy 2018-2019 Handout


Nominations, Applications, and Information  

For questions please contact:


Sam Mitchell, ELA Program Coordinator, UI Health Care

samantha-mitchell@uiowa.edu or 4-9289

Holly Kolfenbach, ELA Program Developer, UI Health Care

holly-kolfenbach@uiowa.edu or 4-9118


The Executive Leadership Academy–UI 
The Executive Leadership Academy–UI was developed in partnership with UI Health Care Learning and Development and University of Iowa Human Resources. Contact Nikole Mac, UI Organizational Effectiveness/Leadership Development for more information.