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Leading Ethical Improvement in Health Care: Health Care Symposium 2017

Dr. Mark Shen (left) with innovation challenge second place winners

Health care workers have ideas that can reshape their industry.

At the 2017 McCombs Health Care Symposium on April 6, panelist Mark Shen, MBA '16, described how an innovation challenge at Seton Health Care Family, a nonprofit health care system, had several positive impacts.

The challenge, conducted between January and June 2016, drew 129 participants from a work force of 2,000. Shen, associate professor of pediatrics at Dell Medical School and president of Dell Children's Health, said the goal was to create an internal culture of entrepreneurship. "We wanted to support our staff's incredible ideas for positive change: not just generate ideas, but also facilitate and grow them," he said.

In addition to the high participation rate and the innovative ideas generated, there was another unexpected benefit: a corporate culture shift that allows associates to openly share their ideas with each other and with leadership. Shen said the challenge also gave leadership the opportunity to give something to associates: tools, skills, resources, and an opportunity for them to lead.

"Last year, my second year as an MBA student, I studied strategy and innovation in this very classroom," Shen said. "Now I have the opportunity to see and implement some of those concepts in the health care workplace. It’s exciting."

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