All UNC Physicians share an important mission: to improve the health and decrease the suffering of the people of North Carolina for this generation and those to come.
I am delighted to join you all in achieving this mission. As incoming president of UNC Physicians and Chief Quality and Value Officer for UNC Health Care, I want to take this opportunity to formally introduce myself, answer some questions you may have, and provide my vision for how, together, we will work to provide the highest quality of care for patients across North Carolina.
A bit about me:
I arrived in Chapel Hill on July 31, 1997, as an academic physician with a strong interest in both clinical medicine and collaborative research. Over the past two decades, I have been in active clinical practice and have used well over one million minutes of operating time. I have served as Division Chief, Department Chair, physician leader for Epic@UNC, and as the Carolina Value Care Access Solution Team leader. All of these roles helped equip me to better understand the day-to-day issues that physicians face in advancing patient care. Going forward, I will continue my active practice in neurosurgery, though I will work a reduced schedule to make time for this new role.
A bit about UNC Physicians:
UNC Physicians, a virtual organization of 3,000 employed physicians and advanced practice providers (APPs), is the voice of the providers across UNC Health Care. UNC Physicians will focus on issues that are vital to the success of our doctors and other providers as we work to care for our patients. UNC Health Care’s leaders look to us to provide guidance on issues important to providers and patients. Our feedback will guide major decisions of the system as a whole.
I look forward to working with you to reach the following goals:
- Creating physician practices that can thrive and adapt to the major changes in health care
- Bringing best practices to our patient care, patient access, and physician revenue cycle efforts
- Building a culture that embraces continuous quality improvement
- Developing partnerships with community physicians through our clinically integrated network
Provider and staff satisfaction will be a key metric of our success. You and your peers’ satisfaction are important; because for UNC Health Care to reach its full potential, we all must be rowing together, and in the same direction. By focusing our efforts on ensuring high quality, high value and innovative care, we can improve outcomes and access while reducing unnecessary variations in care (and unneeded expenditures). I am delighted to help you champion these efforts.
I also understand that health care is an increasingly challenging industry and that the practice of medicine is stressful. I believe that a well-organized, well-coordinated, collaborative physician partnership of practices across UNC Health Care can improve physician satisfaction while simultaneously improving patient care. I hope we can help alleviate the stress and pressures that accompany this occupation so that you can focus on what you do best: care for your patients, teach the next generation of physicians, and create new knowledge.
During the next three months, I will visit a number of our practices across the UNC Physicians Network, UNC Regional Physicians, UNC REX Physicians, Pardee Physicians, Caldwell Physicians, and UNC Faculty Physicians. During these meetings, I look forward to having conversations about the key issues that you view as barriers to delivering high quality care, and to begin to map out an innovative strategy to create a high-functioning, forward-thinking physician team.
In a nutshell, I want all our physicians, APPs and staff to be proud members of UNC Physicians.
Matthew G. Ewend, MD, FACS
President, UNC Physicians
Chief Quality and Value Officer, UNC Health Care
Van Weatherspoon Jr., Eminent Distinguished Professor and Chair, Department of Neurosurgery, UNC School of Medicine