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May 16, 2011

In March, Rush, along with the University of Michigan School of Public Health, formalized a partnership with the National Center for Healthcare Leadership (NCHL) to manage NCHL's research programs, evidence-based management tools and demonstration projects.

NCHL is a not-for-profit organization that works to ensure that high quality, relevant and accountable leadership is available to meet the challenges of delivering quality patient health care in the 21st century. Its goal is to improve health system performance and the health status of the entire country through effective health care management leadership.

NCHL has strong links to Rush. It was co-founded in 2001 by Gail Warden, a former executive vice president and chief operating officer at Rush. Since then, NCHL has created methods for promoting effective management that have helped transform health care leadership. These efforts have led to improved performance and better environments for the delivery of health care services.

The Rush/University of Michgan's operating agreement is intended to enable the organization to make an even greater impact on health care during a critical time. "Health care in America is undergoing some of the most fundamental changes we've seen in a generation, and these changes have profound implications for the development of health care leadership," says Peter Butler, Rush president and COO, and chairperson of the Rush Department of Health Systems Management (HSM). "NCHL and its supporters have valuable knowledge and tools to address the need for health care leaders who can adapt to this changing enviroment. Through this collaboration, we hope to make evidence-based management tools more accessible to health care leaders."

Andy Garman, PsyD, professor of Health Systems Management, will take an operational role as NCHL's chief executive officer. Well known in the field for his research, books and applied work in health care leadership, Garman will work closely with Christy Lemak, associate professor of health management and policy and director of the Griffith Leadership Center at the University of Michigan, who will serve as chief academic officer.

"The relationship is a terrific fit for us," Garman says. "Rush and the University of Michigan have highly complementary strengths, which together will help NCHL further its mission of developing future leaders."

According to Garman, this partnership signifies Rush's increasing role in helping the health care field as a whole to grow and prosper with support from highly effective leadership. "It's an opportunity to showcase Rush University as a great learning environment for future health care leaders to develop," he says.

Rush University is a leader in training health care managers, as seen in the recent ranking of Rush University's health systems management as ninth in the country in U.S. News & World Report's 2012 edition of Best Healthcare Management graduate schools listing.

For more information about NCHL, please visit its website at

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