Lee Ann Liska was hired as AU Medical Center’s new CEO on August 22, 2016 after a long career in integrated health systems management. The job description Liska agreed to in August of 2016 makes clear Liska’s success in the role hinged on her ability to collaborate.
The terms “collaborate” and “coordinate” are peppered throughout her employment agreement as well as her performance review.
From her job description entered into in August of 2016:
“Fully maximize the power of the collaboration between AUMC, AUMA, and the Health Science schools through the existing governance structures.”
“In addition, as the CEO of AU Health, there are many relationships to work and maintain:”
“you will work in close collaboration and a highly-matrixed relationship with senior enterprise leadership in providing highly efficient and effective support for the education, clinical, and research missions of the enterprise…provide leadership and direction to AUMC personnel and resources in order to fully maximize the power of the collaboration between AUMC, AUMA, and the Health Science schools through the existing governance structures. Where possible and advantageous, collaborate with University leaders to coordinate and leverage Augusta University personnel and resources…. Collaborate with the CBO and EVP for Medical Affairs and Dean, Medical College of Georgia to create and oversee a coordinated and integrated multi-year strategic & tactical…Collaborate with the EVP for Medical Affairs and Dean, Medical College of Georgia and the SVP research…Integrate and collaboratively organize the management and patient care functions between the hospitals, AUMS, and clinics.”
The Metro Spirit recently reviewed Liska’s AU Health Performance Evaluation for the period of July 2017-June 2018. In it one can sense the frustration with Liska’s performance coming through in the remarks from her boss, AU President Brooks Keel.
Her performance evaluation includes the following statements;
“…However, improvement in supporting and collaborating with shared services is needed, especially in the areas previously under the direction of the EVP for Business and Finance.”
“For example, while it may be easier to have AUHS-specific facilities, security and auxiliaries functions directly report to the AUMC CEO, that is not feasible under our current structure, thus necessitating the need for a more productive, collaborative, and interactive posture. I anticipate that recent changes in the oversight of these functions may make these collaborations much more productive in the future.” READ: The hospital isn’t playing nice with the college.
“While her teamwork attitude among the health system staff is also noteworthy, as stated above, attention should be paid on extending this approach to all shared services across the enterprise.”
“Overall collaboration with shared services should also be a part of future goals.”
Liska remarked on her self-evaluation “My ultimate goal is to “keep the trains running on time,” coordinating the resources and operationalizing the goals and objectives for the organization.”
“I take accountability for the overall performance of the medical center. Although it’s a team effort, I want all leaders to know that I don’t defer or delegate ultimate responsibility for our performance.”
Surely Keel was taken aback by the “trains running on time” remark, or should have been. A leader tasked with such an intense and complicated job shouldn’t feel her ultimate goal maintaining the status quo.
It appears the job duties required a BIG TEAM, little me approach- one that Liska was unable to master.
With losses mounting and Moody’s downgrading their bond ratings, AU Medical Center is under the gun to right the ship, or at least keep it off the rocks.
Liska had a base pay of $610,000 annually, along with performance based incentives, health insurance, retirement and even a cell phone allowance that pushed her potential compensation to the 800k ballpark. According to her employment contract, Liska will receive $50,833.33 per month for twelve months following her termination/resignation last week.