The changes 1 chief physician made that paid off the most in 2023

In wake of a rampant workforce shortage, an aging patient population and provider-employer disputes, many hospitals and health systems have been pulling out all the stops just to break even. 

However, at Stony Brook (N.Y.) Children's Hospital, simply maintaining standards of care in 2023 was not the hospital's idea of success. This year, Susmita Pati, MD, Stony Brook's chief of primary care pediatrics and a professor at Stony Brook (N.Y.) University, used a groundbreaking donation to the health system to create a culture that facilitated empowerment and innovation among staff, patients and physicians alike. 

Editor's note: This response has been lightly edited for length and clarity.

Question: How has Stony Brook University and Children's Hospital changed the most over the last year, and what change/update that you made in 2023 as a pediatric primary care chief has paid off the most?

Dr. Susmita Pati: Stony Brook University has continued to evolve in 2023 with a transformational, $500 million endowment gift from the Simons Foundation — the largest unrestricted endowment donation in the history of U.S. higher education — serving to more than double the entire endowment previously held by the university. 

The university was also selected to serve as the anchor institution to lead the New York Climate Exchange on Governors Island, was named the number one 1 public college in New York — its highest-ever ranking from US News & World Report — and welcomed the first cohort of Simon's STEM Scholars.

Parallel to these advancements, Stony Brook Medicine completed its 2024-2029 strategic plan, with a primary focus on fostering a high-performance culture. 

As a primary care chief, my continued focus on using innovative approaches to support psychological safety among our healthcare workforce has paid off tremendously. Through creating a positive organizational culture, we have empowered all team members to do the right thing, at the right time, in the right place for our patients and families.

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