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WesternU alum named president of Saint Francis Medical Group

by Rodney Tanaka

October 30, 2013

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College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific alumnus Scott Ellner, DO ’99, MPH, has been appointed president of Saint Francis Medical Group (SFMG) in Hartford, Conn., which is part of Saint Francis Hospital Medical Center, the largest Catholic hospital in New England.

In his new role as president and chief executive physician of SFMG, a 200-provider multi-specialty practice group, Ellner will work collaboratively with the Chief Administrative Officer of SFMG, Mark Aresco, on physician matters and will provide leadership for the group’s quality and clinical effectiveness. He will direct the care management approach, process of disease management, patient satisfaction, patient safety, and processes to assure appropriateness of care.

“”Dr. Ellner is a proven leader with extensive experience in developing and implementing decision tools, clinical protocols and guidelines, care management programs, and outcome measurement assessments,”” Aresco said in a Saint Francis Care press release. “”His knowledge and expertise will complement the operations of the Saint Francis Medical Group.””

Paula Crone, DO, dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific said that the COMP community is extremely proud of Dr. Ellner’s new role at the Saint Francis Medical Group.

“”Our graduates continue to ascend to leadership positions across the globe and are utilizing their education they received at COMP to influence our next generation of innovative physicians,”” she said.

Ellner said he’s excited about his new role, but also sees a challenge ahead him. With a background in quality and safety, he’s looking to apply quality metrics that the hospital is collecting to figure out compensation for the hospital and its physicians.

“”One of the important things about being a leader is your ability to empower individuals around you to reach or exceed their potential,”” Ellner said. “”It’s a little bit of that compassion I learned at WesternU that, as I have been getting more training through my coursework at Harvard School of Public Health, there are just some experiences that I remember being a medical student that I’m weaving into my professional advancement at this point.””

He joined Saint Francis in 2005 as a trauma and acute care surgeon. In May 2013 he was named vice chairman of surgery and director of surgical quality. He will continue those roles in conjunction with his new role. He serves as the National Surgical Quality Improvement Project (NSQIP) Surgeon Champion, Saint Francis Hospital Department of Surgery and Surgical Quality.

Ellner has completed a Patient Safety Leadership Fellowship with the American Hospital Association and National Patient Safety Foundation. His work focuses on communication and culture change in the health care workplace to improve patient outcomes.

He is co-founder and chairman of the Connecticut Surgical Quality Collaborative, which is a statewide data sharing framework for all Connecticut hospitals to learn from one another using best practices.

He is actively involved in teaching medical students and surgical residents as an assistant professor of surgery at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. He also has developed a patient safety curriculum for the medical school.

He is enrolled at the Harvard School of Public Health, working toward a master’s degree in health care management.

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