Physician Leadership Academy (PLA)

A prestigious 5-month program meticulously curated for physician leaders, the Physician Leadership Academy (PLA) is a biennial initiative by the Office of Faculty Affairs. This dynamic program integrates case-based interactive sessions and real-world projects to empower participants with the skills essential for success in leadership roles.

Program Overview

The PLA spans five months with one full-day session every two weeks, covering diverse themes such as Difficult Conversations, Process Improvement, Change Management, Healthcare Finance, Interpersonal & Team Development, Tools, Skills & Strategies, Operations Management, Improvement Science, Patient-Centric Focus, Ethics & Policy, and more.

Learning Objectives

Participants can anticipate enhanced leadership and project management skills, increased self-awareness, improved teamwork and communication, and in-depth knowledge of strategic leadership, healthcare finance, and essential tools and skills.

Program Impact

  • Addresses gaps and barriers through targeted sessions and coaching
  • Empowers physician leaders to navigate complex healthcare challenges
  • Fosters lasting connections and support within the Baystate Health community

Expected Outcomes

Physician leaders can expect outcomes such as enhanced leadership skills, increased self-awareness, improved teamwork and communication, and in-depth knowledge of strategic leadership, healthcare finance, and essential tools and skills. The PLA directly addresses gaps in self-awareness, team dynamics, strategic leadership, and project management.

Eligibility Criteria

Applicants must hold a Mid-Senior Level Physician Leadership position at Baystate Health and be nominated by their Department Chair or Service Line Leader. The program is limited to 15 physicians per cohort.


Participants selected for the Physician Leadership Academy are expected to fully commit to the program by attending every scheduled session. Active participation in all sessions is essential for maximizing the benefits of the program and ensuring a comprehensive learning experience. While exceptional circumstances may arise, participants must discuss with program leadership in advance, and special consideration to miss one session may be granted.

Application Steps

  1. Identify Career Goals: Applicants are required to articulate their career goals, emphasizing how participation in the PLA aligns with their professional aspirations and leadership development.
  2. Propose Organizational Leadership Project: As part of the application, candidates propose an organizational leadership project. This project serves as a practical application of PLA learnings and contributes to the continuous improvement of healthcare delivery.
  3. Nomination by Department Chair or Service Line Leader: To ensure the commitment and support of the organization, applicants must be officially nominated by their Department Chair or Service Line Leader. This nomination signifies the endorsement of the applicant's potential and commitment to leadership growth.
  4. Application Submission: The application, including career goals, proposed project details, and the official nomination, is submitted by Chairs or Service Line Leaders to the Office of Faculty Affairs. Physicians may not apply directly, ensuring a structured and endorsed selection process.

Selection Process

The PLA selection process is a collaborative effort involving the Office of Faculty Affairs and key stakeholders. The review considers the alignment of career goals, the significance and feasibility of the proposed project, and the Department Chair or Service Line Leader's endorsement.

Notification of Acceptance

Successful applicants receive official notification of their acceptance into the PLA, marking the beginning of their transformative leadership journey. The limited cohort size ensures personalized attention and a high-quality learning experience for each participant.

Alumni Programming

Physician Leadership Academy and Division Chief Leadership Bootcamp alumni are invited to participate in two exciting leadership development programs offered throughout the year, Ignite Conversations with Dr. Andy Artenstein and The Quarterly Leadership Connection with invited guest presentations. These programs aim to fosters a collaborative community, providing valuable insights into organizational leadership.

PLA Alumni

Vanna Albert, MD, MBA
Emergency Medicine

Scott Barnett, MD
Primary Care & Clinical Integration

Raquel Belforti, DO, MS

Seth Gemme, MD
Emergency Medicine

Rahul Jawale, MD, MBBS

David Kattan, MD, MPH
Obstetrics & Gynecology

Edward Kelly, MD

Walter Jay Kilpatrick III, DO

Daniel Landry, DO

Jonathan Y. Lee, MD, MPH

James Otis, MD, MBA

Phyllis Owusu-Griffin, MD
Primary Care & Clinical Integration

Clara Sanders, MD

Sundeep Shukla, MBBS, MBA
Emergency Medicine

Lauren Slater, MD
Maternal Child Health, Berkshire Medical Center

Muhammad Umar, MBBS
David Deaton, MD

Tala Elia, MD
Emergency Medicine

Rose B. Ganim, MD

Meghan Hickey, MD

John Hunt, MD

Keisha Jones, MD
Obstetrics & Gynecology

J. Michael Klatte, MD

Ziad Kutayli, MD

Tashanna Myers, MD
Obstetrics & Gynecology

Armando Paez, MD

Pranay M. Parikh, MD

Stephanie D. Silverman, MD
Primary Care

Nathan P. Somers, MD
Psychiatry, Baystate Noble

Shadi Zaghloul, MD
Pyschiatry, Baystate Wing
Kathaleen Barker, MD
Obstetrics & Gynecology

Kimberly Bucknor, MD
Primary Care

Beth Carter, MD

Timothy Egan, MD

Daniel Engelman, MD

Jaime Hernandez-Montfort, MD, MPH

Farzan Irani, MD
Hospital Medicine

Badal Kalamkar, MD, MPH
Hospital Medicine, Baystate Franklin

Tara Lagu, MD, MPH

Stephen O'Connor, MD

Thomas Britton Percy, MD
Hospital Medicine, Baystate Noble

Bhavya Rajanna, MD
Hospital Medicine, Baystate Franklin

Matthew Richardson, MD

John Romanelli, MD, FACS

Ira Schmelkin, MD

PLA Testimonials

Watch PLA Alumni as they share their firsthand experiences and thoughts about Baystate's Physician Leadership Academy.

Dr. Raquel Belforti
"I have participated in leadership training in the past but this is something next level."
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Dr. Seth Gemme
"I think that the most valuable part of the [PLA] was getting to work with other growing leaders in our institution."
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Dr. David Kattan
"I was able to develop networking relationships with many different colleagues across our health system and beyond."
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Dr. Dan Landry 
"I would encourage anybody moving through the ranks and taking on more leadership responsibilities to consider this program."
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Questions about our leadership development programs?

E-mail Patti Feeney Call Patti Feeney

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