Mount Sinai Health System

Jeremy H. Boal, Mount Sinai Health System

Jeremy H. Boal, M.D.

A Hunger for Excellence

Editors’ Note

Prior to his current role, Dr. Jeremy Boal held the position of Chief Medical Officer for the North Shore LIJ Health System. From May 2007 until December 2010, he served as Medical Director of the Long Island Jewish Medical Center. Prior to his tenure at North Shore LIJ, he was on faculty of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, where he served as Vice Chair for strategic planning and faculty practice services for the Department of Medicine. He also was Executive Director of Mount Sinai’s Visiting Doctors Program. A board-certified internist with additional certification in geriatrics, Boal began his career at Mount Sinai Medical Center as a medical resident in 1994. He received his medical degree from the Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, and a Bachelor of Science degree from McGill University, Montreal, Canada.

What makes Mount Sinai so special and a place you have wanted to be?

At its core, the organization is incredibly mission-driven and excellence-oriented, and it’s this combination that I find so compelling.

It starts at the board level and is reflected in the leadership team, but it permeates the organization. If there is an opportunity to do better, to drastically improve our performance, or to innovate, we grab it and that distinguishes this organization. There is a hunger for excellence across the board, and an unwillingness to settle or to make excuses. We don’t stop to pat ourselves on the back for our achievements but are preoccupied with being better and doing better across all our missions.

With regard to serving our communities, the board genuinely cares about that and they take that responsibility very seriously and, as a result, we all do.

Has it been difficult to maintain the culture and how do you avoid losing that when the organization is growing rapidly?

When these entities that now make up Mount Sinai Health System came together, each had different cultures. We used the merger to define what the vision and values were going to be for the health system. We then operationalized those through a series of changes in the way we do business, which is fostering a unified culture.

Before we signed the deal, we were already bringing together all of the clinical and administrative leadership from all hospitals weekly. This “Quality Leadership Council” is solely focused on looking at the performance of our various entities, identifying best practices, and challenging us to do better and to standardize our practice, as well as to support each other when there are struggles.

From the very first moment, we wanted to make sure that we were clear this merger wasn’t about size or a defensive posture but about excellence. The only way to demonstrate this was to make it a priority.

We also recognized early on that if we relied solely on the leaders of the facilities to spread the message to their people, by the time the message got to the frontline staff, it could be very garbled. In collaboration with those leaders, we asked every hospital to develop a process for having their C-suite leaders interact on a regular basis with the frontline managers to ensure the message was clear.

By inculcating a shared set of values across leadership and having the leadership work directly at the front lines, we’re accelerating the process of spreading those values.•