St. John’s Mercy Physician Clinical Council

A Shared Governance Model for Physician Engagement

Free Webcast – Thursday, September 3, 2009; 12 noon Central

Denny DeNarvez, president and CEO of St. John’s Mercy Health Care in St. Louis, Missouri, is a fan of the Physician Clinical Council (PCC). Which is no surprise when you learn that she first developed a similar shared governance model in 1999 while serving as CEO of the Minneapolis Heart Institute; and again, a few years later, as CEO of Abbott Northwestern Hospital. Now she’s imported the Physician Clinical Council to St. John’s Mercy with significant and positive results.

The PPC concept is based on a simple set of truths, says DeNarvez. “The business decisions of the hospital affect physicians, just as their business decisions impact the hospital. The reality is that patient care is largely directed by physicians who are practicing independently. Doctors and hospitals must work together to ensure quality and efficiency in patient care.”

At St. John’s Mercy, the Physician Clinical Council is a shared leadership model that engages physician leaders in the business side of running a hospital. Ten physicians sit on the council – chosen for their leadership abilities vs. longevity or representational position – and meet every two weeks to discuss and weigh in on issues such as new clinical services, technology acquisitions, business strategies, market dynamics, physician recruitment. Physicians are paired with an executive counterpart and receive coaching on aspects of leadership, conflict management and finance, among other topics.

“Establishing the Clinical Council has been a positive development for the medical staff,” said Dr. Charles Rehm, president of the St. John’s Mercy medical staff. “It created another level of much-needed dialogue and signaled that the CEO really wanted to engage physicians in two-way communications.”

You hear first-hand how the Physician Clinical Council works, as well as steps to take when considering a shared governance structure, when you join our Navvis & Company webcast scheduled Thursday, September 3, 2009 at 12 noon central. The discussion will be led by Denny DeNarvez and Stuart Baker, MD, president of Navvis Consulting. To learn more and register for the webcast go to You can also download a white paper describing the PCC in more detail.

Karen Corrigan

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