Leader spotlight: Steven L. Hersch, MD
When Asante leaders went in search of someone to lead the medical staff at AACH and serve as the hospital administrator, they didn’t need to look far. Steven Hersch, MD, is a longtime hospitalist and owner of the Ashland concierge medical practice Meducation. His passion for patient-centered medicine, administrative experience and interest in health policy made him the perfect fit.
How do you see your new role? I will have several roles: Overseeing medical staff, quality and safety issues; serving as the local “face of Asante”; overseeing the Age Friendly Hospital initiative; and representing the needs of AACH’s medical and hospital staff to Asante leadership.
How do you define leadership? Development of organizational goals and doing the hard work necessary to achieve those goals.
What is your leadership style? Collaborative.
How do you prefer to communicate? I prefer in person over phone calls, and phone calls over email or text. In-person communication allows one to understand more about your colleague than in other ways.
What made you want to move from private practice to hospital administration? I’ve always been interested in systems approaches to care, as well as in public health and health policy. These interests have been reinforced by my experiences in private practice and with the Asante Health Network.
What kind of practice is Meducation and how did you come up with the name? I wanted to practice medicine in a truly patient-centered fashion. To me, that meant helping people understand their health condition, teaching people how to navigate the health system and doing everything possible to get their needs met. It was about education. When I expressed this to my wife, Jill, she combined medicine and education into Meducation.
How does that philosophy translate to hospital medicine? Hospital medicine was a great influence in developing Meducation. As a hospitalist, I had patients who would ask me to explain their medical condition, or I would help them interpret medical information they had found on the internet. I’d go back at the end of the day for these conversations and come home enthusiastic about medicine.
As a child, what did you see yourself doing when you grew up? My father was a pharmacist (as was his father). I grew up in their pharmacies, listening to my dad teaching his customers about their conditions and their medications. I was always headed toward medicine.
What would surprise people about you? I’ve made house calls on movie and TV production sets and cared for some very famous people (but HIPPA prevents me from naming them!).
What famous figures would you invite to dinner party? Maimonides, Leonardo DaVinci, Albert Einstein, David Hockney.
What movie made a lasting impression? “Raiders of the Lost Ark.”
What book helped shape you? Some of the books I read to my daughter, Elie, as an infant and toddler had wonderful nuggets of wisdom!
Favorite music: Rock and alt pop.
Hobbies: I enjoy woodworking, especially woodturning and using hand tools. I love sailing and traveling with my family.
What’s the wisest thing anyone has ever told you? My former partner, Eugene Berman, MD, and I were chatting after work. I asked him a typical question: Did you see any interesting cases today? He thought for a moment, smiled and responded: “Not that I recognized.” Every patient tells a story, every patient is interesting, you just have to listen carefully.
STEVEN L. HERSCH, MD, FACP
- Vice president of Medical Affairs, hospital administrator, AACH
- Physician and owner, Meducation, Ashland
- Vaccine Prioritization Recommendations Committee, Asante
- Board of managers, Asante Health Network
- Medical Executive Committee, Asante Ashland Community Hospital
- Editor-in-Chief for inpatient documents, ExitCare
- Clinical assistant professor of internal medicine, Western University of Health Sciences
- Hospitalist, Southern Oregon Hospitalists, AACH (part-time)
- Internship and residency in internal medicine, Beth Israel Hospital, Boston
- Medical degree, University of Southern California School of Medicine
- Wife, Jill, a psychotherapist; daughter, Elie, a senior at St. Mary’s School
- Temple Emek Shalom in Ashland, Asante Health Network, proud St. Mary’s parent
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