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Lee M. Duke, MD
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Mary Beth Schweigert
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Healthcare Professionals / Progress Notes / Staff Transitions / Dr. Burlingame: Embracing the Challenges of Health Care Change for Surgeons

Dr. Burlingame: Embracing the Challenges of Health Care Change for Surgeons

New Department of Surgery Chair Dr. Mark Burlingame sat down with Progress Notes' managing editor Roxanne Bolinger on June 13 to discuss goals and challenges.

When did you come to Lancaster?  In 1983 I was invited by Dr. Lawrence Bonchek to join him in establishing the cardiac surgery program at Lancaster General Hospital. The program flourished under Dr. Bonchek's leadership. I later became Chairman of the Dept. of Surgery in 1997.  At that time, I set up a new governance system for the operating room which persists to this day.

In 1999 I resigned that position to become Chief of the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery and remained in that position until recently when the medical staff instituted a new governance structure. I once again became Chairman of the Dept. of Surgery by election from my colleagues and confirmation by the administration.

What is your practice location, work history?  I was a co-founder of Cardiothoracic Surgeons of Lancaster. Our practice was acquired on April 1, 2012 and renamed Cardiothoracic Surgeons of LGHealth, 540 N Duke St. Ste 110, Lancaster.

Why are you interested in assuming the Department Chair role? We all know that the practice of medicine and surgery will be going through dramatic changes in the next few years. With my long term experience at this institution and as member of this department, I have the experience, knowledge and position to help make this transition in an effective way.

We will be faced with many challenges in practice efficiency and changing reimbursement issues, such as Accountable Care Organizations, and Bundled Payments. I would like surgeons to be able to continue to practice quality care in the way they are accustomed to and yet comply with the new challenging issues presented by third party payers and the federal government. I want to be proactive in shaping how we are going to function in this new and yet-to-be defined system. I want to help our department members to feel comfortable in the new electronic medical record world.

What challenges do you see in your role? My initial dilemma in taking on this new role was giving up operating time to provide leadership for the Dept. of Surgery.  I have also assumed additional responsibilities within the LG Health Cancer Program under a shared leadership governance model.  I'm confident that I can manage my time effectively to maintain my clinical expertise and be an effective leader.  It will be a challenge to help each member become engaged in each of these new initiatives, and feel that their efforts are valued.

Do you envision establishing any new divisions in your department?  Not at this time.  We do, however, have three new appointments: Dr.  Paul G. Newman, Vice Chair of Surgery, and Chief of the Division of General Surgery; Dr.  David J. Rosenfeld, Chief of the Division of Otolaryngology; and Dr. Jeffrey T. Cope, Chief of the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery.  See box for full listing of all:

Mark W. Burlingame, M.D., Chairman  
Paul G. Newman, M.D., Vice-Chairman  
Joseph F. Voystock, Jr., M.D., Secretary  
Division of Dentistry\Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Maxwell C. Adams, D.D.S., Chief
Division of General Surgery Paul G. Newman, M.D., Chief
Division of Neurosurgery Keith R. Kuhlengel, M.D., Chief
Division of Ophthalmology Francis J. Manning, M.D., Chief
Division of Orthopedics Christopher C. Cooke, M.D., Chief
Division of Otorhinolaryngology David J. Rosenfeld, M.D., Chief
Division of Plastic Surgery David S. Warsaw, D.O., Chief
Division of Podiatric Surgery Mark W Evans D.P.M. & Bronwyn Wilke, D.P.M. Co-Chiefs
Division of Thoracic-Cardiovascular Surgery Jeffrey T. Cope, M.D., Chief
Division of Trauma Frederick B. Rogers, M.D., Chief
Division of Urology Christopher A. Woodard, M.D., Chief
Division of Vascular Surgery Steven P. Woratyla, M.D., Chief

What are your goals for the Department?  My goal is to fully engage all division chiefs and their members in the governance and quality within our department.  I want to facilitate a more open and effective communication with all departmental members so they truly feel they have an active role in the character of their practices within the LG Health.  I want to help department members effectively transition into a usable electronic health record.  My goal is to be an active leader in the Value Management Initiative and the Value Analysis Team process, two initiatives designed to ensure the health system is using its resources most effectively. Finally I want each of our surgeons to feel that LG Health is the absolute best place for their patients and for themselves in the practice of surgery.

What opportunity to do you see for medical staff with regards to restructuring and the increased responsibilities for the department chairs?  LG Health is unique in that we have within our department a mixture of private practices and hospital-employed physicians.

The private practice of medicine is what has made this hospital great.  I understand the importance of private practice in this community and want to help facilitate their ability to continue to do so at this hospital.  In fact, when my practice was acquired by the hospital we were the last existing private practice of cardiothoracic  surgery in the state.

What changes do you see on the horizon for your department?  Within the Department of Surgery, I see increasing use of minimally invasive surgical procedures, a greater shift to outpatient surgeries, and the need for greater efficiencies as a result within the tertiary care facilities.

What challenges do you foresee in your department area?  The challenges will be to maintain quality in the face of those needed economic efficiencies.

What is the best way for department members to reach you?   I am always available via email MWBurlin@lghealth.org, phone 544-8138, cell 575-0170 or via Sarah Adams in the medical staff office 544-8121.  You can find me most Mondays and Wednesdays at the Medical Staff Office.

Over the next six months there will be a consolidation in the physical location of the Departments of Surgery and Anesthesia and the perioperative administrative staff into a new office on the second floor in the outpatient post operative recovery unit. This will provide access and efficiency.

In addition there will be expansion of the surgical lounge in the same area to provide additional workspace for surgeons and mid-level providers to facilitate access and use of e-Health.

Any final thoughts? I am grateful to the department members who are putting their trust in me to be their advocate and leader in this evolving healthcare era. 


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