A magazine for friends of the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.

Best Practices

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Brown forges a stronger clinical alliance with the formation of BPI.

With a few pen strokes, an alliance years in the making was solidified during last May’s Corporation meeting, when the presidents of six key faculty practices and Brown University formed Brown Physicians, Inc.

The new physician-led federation marks a major step toward achieving greater integration of patient care, research, and education across Rhode Island’s health care sector. The foundations are The Neurology Foundation, Inc.; University Emergency Medicine Foundation; University Medicine Foundation; University Surgical Associates, Inc.; Brown Urology, Inc.; and Brown Dermatology, Inc.

Together, the six foundations employ more than 500 doctors, all of whom are also members of the Warren Alpert Medical School faculty, and many of whom work side by side in local hospitals with physicians and other health care providers at the hospitals.

“We believe that collaborating with our clinical partners to more tightly integrate patient care, research, and education will result in a significant and positive impact on the local community,” University President Christina Paxson says.

Jack A. Elias, MD, senior vice president for health affairs and dean of medicine and biological sciences, and Kimberly A. Galligan, executive dean for administration in the Division of Biology and Medicine, joined the presidents of the foundations to form BPI’s board of directors. Elias says the new organization will enable enhanced partnership between the foundations, Brown, and its affiliated hospitals as they seek to develop new therapies in laboratories and deliver the best medical care in clinical settings.

“I look forward to working with my colleagues to identify and implement a strategic approach that will help clinicians across important specialties identify efficient, effective ways to improve care for patients across the region,” Elias says. “BPI will yield new opportunities for our Brown medical students, focus resources on urgent areas of innovative research, and enhance our ability to hire the best physician-scientists.”

Angela Caliendo, MD, PhD, vice president of University Medicine and BPI’s interim executive director, says physicians will benefit too.

“Forming BPI is an important step, as it provides the foundations with the opportunity to enhance coordination of care, improve the quality of care for patients, better position us for success in the changing health care environment, and facilitate partnerships with the hospitals,” says Caliendo, a professor of medicine. “The creation of BPI also underscores our commitment to the research and teaching missions of the Medical School.”

The partnership officially began July 1, and the board has been busy setting up the new organization’s infrastructure.

In forming the partnership, both the physician practice foundations and the Warren Alpert Medical School will invest financially to ensure BPI’s success in the short and long term. The University will contribute funds toward operations during BPI’s first decade and raise funds to endow professorships and make new hires within the partnership. Meanwhile, the members of the foundations will contribute a modest percentage of revenues toward supporting research and other academic activities.

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