Book Addresses Importance of Academic Health Center Transformation

A recently-released book, The Transformation of Academic Health Centers: Meeting the Challenges of Healthcare’s Changing Landscape, frames the possibilities, challenges, and best practices for these important institutions in the new healthcare era. Designed to guide and inform leadership, policymakers, researchers, and educators, the book highlights critical actions and visionary measures that must be taken to advance healthcare in the 21st Century.

“Academic health centers are essential engines of the healthcare system, given their critical roles in health professions education, research, and patient care; this volume provides forward-thinking and thought-provoking perspectives that set the stage for the evolving role of these institutions as they seek to advance knowledge to improve health and well-being,” said the book’s editor and chapter author, AAHC President and CEO Dr. Steven A. Wartman. Published by Elsevier, the book’s chapters are authored by established senior leaders and policymakers representing academic health centers in the United States and worldwide.

The book is divided into five sections: The Evolution of the Academic Health Center; Educating the Future Health Workforce; The Challenge of Discovery; Preparing for Health System Change; and a concluding piece on Future Shock or Future Success. Each chapter provides case studies as appropriate, lessons learned, and recommendations to challenge both current and future leaders.

Since its publication, the book has earned positive reviews: 

From Doody’s Review:

"Common threads that run throughout the book are collaboration, integration, interdisciplinary approaches, and, of course, excellent reference for academic health centers seeking to learn from the experiences of other academic health centers.”

From the Spring 2016 issue of The Pharos:

. . . a very worthwhile volume a timely, insightful, and hard look at the present state of academic medical centers. The book should be of interest to all people in academic medicine—even if they are not involved in administration—if only to understand the changes in their own institutions in the context of fast moving national trends. One can only hope it will also be read by a broader audience so that they may understand the profound changes taking place in these essentially unique … institutions the public has long held in high esteem.

“Neither an academic ‘ivory tower’ nor a pure business, academic health centers are a unique hybrid of both. Blending traditional academic values with the business of patient care requires exceptional leadership. As this book amply demonstrates, academic health centers are in the process of transforming themselves to meet the societal needs and priorities for 21st century healthcare,” said Wartman, adding “While they are responding to numerous public, scientific, and economic forces, academic health centers also lead the way in educating a new generation of health professionals, making scientific breakthroughs that offer new diagnostic and therapeutic modalities, and providing cutting-edge patient care—all with the goal of improving health and well-being.”   

The Transformation of Academic Health Centers offers a one-stop reference and should be of interest to all stakeholders in the social, professional, and economic role of academic health centers. The book is available in both print and electronic formats, can be ordered through Amazon or other major publication outlets, or purchased directly from the Association of Academic Health Centers website or by contacting the association directly: 202-265-9600.

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The Association of Academic Health Centers is a non-profit association dedicated to advancing health and well-being through the vigorous leadership of academic health centers. For more information, contact Angela Mills, 202-265-9600, amills_(@)