8 effective ways to lead in crisis

8 effective ways to lead in crisis

Aimee Greeter, MPH, FACHE, senior vice president, Coker Group, spends most of her time working on strategy and physician alignment. But since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the primary concerns she encounters are less about five-year plans and much more transactional, such as ensuring a practice can make payroll amid lower volumes and revenues.


“I didn’t think that this is what I was going to be doing in 2020,” Greeter says, who will co-present alongside Alan Vierling, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, FABC, senior vice president, Sparrow Hospital, on the topic of managing through crisis in a healthcare organization. Vierling previously worked as chief executive officer of a hospital in Houston, Texas, during Hurricane Harvey, and the experiences helped inform what an eight-step process for responding look like.


Those eight steps “are literally what you need to do when crisis strikes,” Greeter says, discussing the upcoming session at the Medical Practice Excellence Conference.


Leadership in times of crisis is very different than during normal day-to-day operations, and the session is focused on helping leaders remind employees of organizational goals and values in troubling times, as well as how to provide a stabilizing voice when a crisis occurs, whether it comes in the form of national headlines or internal turmoil.


Greeter and Vierling will provide methods that help create an atmosphere of psychological safety for the organization. They also will detail the Stabilize, Mobilize and Capitalize (SMC) approach to consider, contain and de-escalate crises as they arise. Their session also will discuss how attendees can apply the key components of a crisis communication plan.


  • For more emergency preparedness content, don’t forget to check the MGMA COVID-19 Resource Center for regularly updated tools and content, including a recent member tool on practice emergency planning and disaster preparedness.
  • MGMA members also can learn more on cultivating psychological safety in an upcoming The Ascent blog featuring Medical Practice Excellence Conference speaker Ronald Menaker, EdD, MBA, CPA, FACMPE, operations administrator, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.
  • In case you missed it, MGMA assembled a special report, Rise Above: Lessons in leadership and resilience during the COVID-19 crisis (PDF download), to help provide guidance throughout the pandemic.





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