Sean Oser To Lead Practice Innovation ProgramRobert | Family Medicine Jul 21, 2022
The Practice Innovation Program at CU was created by the Department of Family Medicine's (DFM) Dr. Perry Dickinson.
Over the years, the program has developed an invaluable network of family medicine and primary care partner practices across the state of Colorado. A network that has developed and delivered innovative solutions to challenges and best practices for improving patient-centered care.
Now, after years of dedicated service, Dickinson is stepping down (but not away) to make way for a new leader for the Practice Innovation Program.
Dickinson hand-picked Sean Oser, MD, MPH, to lead the team.
We asked both Dickinson and Oser to reflect on the transition.
Perry Dickinson, MD:
When and how did you first come to DFM to found the Practice Innovation Program?I came to the DFM in 1999 and developed the Practice Innovation in approximately 2005 around a cluster of projects studying how to support primary care practices in implementing new models of care and new evidence-based interventions.
What were your goals and how do you feel that you have done with achieving those goals?
Our goals were to learn how to support practices and communities effectively, to actually affect change in how care was being delivered, and to basically improve health and health care across Colorado. Over the years we have worked with over 1,000 practices across our projects and have shown measurable improvements in care in project after project, so I think we have done pretty well in achieving at least some of our goals. We also had a secondary but important goal of helping primary care practices adapt to and survive the changing health care and payment landscape, and I hope that we have been of assistance there, although I would say that we don’t have great data to really evaluate that.
What are you most proud of in the program that you have built?
I am definitely most proud of our team. I think that professional joy and fulfillment comes from tackling impossible problems with good people at your side, and that characterizes our team well.
Why transition now?
I am slowly but surely approaching retirement over the next few years, and I am ready to extricate myself from the day to day administration of the program and help others to take on its leadership. I have been working on the transition for many months and am pleased to see it approaching. I am not planning to disappear immediately by any means. Going forward, I want to particularly focus on supporting and mentoring members of my team and our department while finishing out some key projects. This is not retirement, yet, but I want to keep working that direction.
Tell us about your choice of Sean Oser.
Sean’s experience in clinical leadership and research makes him ideal to lead our team going forward. His management and personal style is pretty similar to mine, and that will also make the transition easier. We have a great leadership team available to support him in this new role, and I am confident in the team’s ability to continue to move the program forward.
Sean Oser, MD, MPH:
Tell us about your reaction when you were approached about leading the Practice Innovation Program.I was humbled and honored to have the opportunity even to work with the Practice Innovation Program, and being asked to lead it is simply astonishing. The program and the people who have created it and nurtured it have tremendous national reputations, and my work with PIP so far has confirmed that those reputations are very well deserved!
What about the program impresses you and, moving forward, how do you see it growing under your leadership?
Innovation is absolutely pervasive in the Practice Innovation Program. That might seem silly to say at first glance, but I actually mean it quite deeply: PIP helps practices to implement innovative processes and workflows, they do their transformation work and their research in innovative ways, and the people of PIP—individually and collectively—share a remarkably innovative spirit. One can’t help but be swept up by the enthusiasm and passion evident throughout the program and its people. One of my primary goals is to ensure that these qualities of innovation, enthusiasm, and passion persist. I want to foster them and continue what Perry and others have done, while growing in in the work we do around cutting-edge and timely clinical research and transformation research; regional, statewide, and national initiatives; and promoting and improving health by engaging with the ever-important stakeholders, including patients, clinicians, practices, researchers, organizations, and policy-makers.
What are the most important lessons that you have learned from Perry?
Perry has been the most helpful and supportive mentor and sponsor I have had the pleasure of experiencing. I cannot possibly do him justice in just a few sentences, but he has taught me more effectively than anyone else, by not just teaching, but by demonstrating and modeling countless aspects of leadership, collaboration, inquiry, innovation, responsible adventurousness, and plain humanism. I hope to grow up to be as much like Perry as I can and to embody as many of these principles as possible.