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Category: The Bridge–Cortese, MD & Smoldt, MBA

The Bridge Across the healthcare delivery chasm, from where we are, to where we want to be

The Bridge Across the healthcare delivery chasm, from where we are, to where we want to be

Denis A. Cortese, MD, joined Arizona State University (ASU) in 2010 as Foundation Professor, Director of ASU’s Healthcare Delivery and Policy Program, and President of the non-profit Healthcare Transformation Institute based in Phoenix, AZ. He is an Emeritus President and CEO of the Mayo Clinic, and former head of the Mayo Health Policy Center.

Professional activities as a staff member of Mayo Clinic were in the field of pulmonary medicine including interventional bronchoscopy, critical care, with special interests in early and advanced stage lung cancer, liver and lung transplantation. Activities in education included the medical school and director of the pulmonary-fellowship training program.  Research was focused on NIH funded endoscopic laser photodynamic therapy for early stage lung cancer and on NdYAG-laser phototherapy of advanced stage airway obstructing cancer.

In addition to his current ASU academic position, Dr. Cortese currently serves on the board of trustees of Dartmouth-Hitchcock, and the boards of directors for Cerner Corporation, Essence Global Holding Corporation, and Pinnacle West.

Dr. Cortese is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, where he served as the original chair of the Roundtable on Value and Science-Driven Health Care; a National Associate of the National Research Council; an honorary member of the Royal College of Physicians (London) and the Academia Nacional de Medicina (Mexico).

He formerly served in the following positions: member of the health advisory board of RAND; member, and served as the chair of the board, of the Health Care Leadership Council in Washington, DC.; member of the Harvard/Kennedy Health Policy Group; member of the Division on Engineering and Physical Science (DEPS) of the National Academy of Engineering.

Dr. Cortese received his undergraduate degree from Franklin and Marshall, an MD from Temple University, and completed residency training in Internal Medicine and Pulmonary Diseases at the Mayo Clinic. He is a recipient of an Ellis Island Award (2007) and the National Healthcare Leadership Award (2009).

Robert K. Smoldt, MBA is Chief Administrative Officer Emeritus of the Mayo Clinic and currently serves as Associate Director of Arizona State University’s Healthcare Delivery and Policy Program. He served as a member of the Mayo Clinic Board of Trustees and Mayo Clinic Executive Committee from 1990 through 2007, and is presently pursuing U.S. health reform in close partnership with Dr. Denis A. Cortese. Mr Smoldt served two terms on the Board of Catholic Health Initiatives and continues as a member of its Finance Committee.

Mr. Smoldt earned a BS from Iowa State University and an MBA from the University of Southern California. He has given numerous presentations and is a recognized speaker on the healthcare environment. Mr. Smoldt has provided leadership at Mayo Clinic facilities in Rochester and Scottsdale. He has completed two terms as secretary of the Mayo Clinic Rochester Board of Governors and served on the Mayo Clinic Scottsdale Board of Governors as a senior advisor from 1998 to 2000.

He has been involved in healthcare administration for over 30 years — both with the U.S. Air Force and the Mayo Clinic. Mr. Smoldt joined Mayo in 1972, and he has worked in a variety of administrative positions in both medical and surgical departments. Prior to his CAO role, he served as chair of the Department of Planning and Public Affairs.

Mr. Smoldt has also been active in Medical Group Management Association, along with other members who manage and lead medical facilities across the nation — and work together to improve the knowledge, skills and the effectiveness of medical group practices. He has chaired the organization’s research and marketing committees and has acted as moderator of its international conference in London, UK. Most recently, he was a member of the Medical Group Management Association National Awards Committee, which honors those who make significant leadership contributions to healthcare administration, delivery or education in medical group practice and presents the following awards: Harry J. Harwick Award for Lifetime Achievement Award, Physician Executive Award, Fred Graham Award and Medical Practice Executive of the Year Award.

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