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"No matter where you are in your career journey, this leadership conference is for you." -  Tom Schaaf, MD, WSMA President

WSMA Leadership Development Conference

Leading Change: Strategies to Reduce Burnout

Data from a recent WSMA Foundation survey are painting a picture most physicians are familiar with—a house of medicine united in purpose but straining under the weight of professional overwhelm.

The picture is clear, and the WSMA is acting. At this year’s Leadership Development Conference, May 17-18 at Campbell’s Resort on Lake Chelan, we’ll explore the changes needed at the organizational and leadership levels to create healthier, more fulfilled physicians.

All physicians, by nature, are leaders—whether of an organization, a care team, or an episode of care—and all physicians can benefit from the singular focus of this year’s conference, as we seek to harness physicians’ natural disposition (expertise, experience, knowledge, and vision) to put interventions in place to reduce overwhelm and increase professional satisfaction.

This activity has been approved for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™.

A Letter From the WSMA President

Dear Colleagues,

WSMA President Tom Schaaf MD

I hope you are planning to join me and your peers at the 2019 WSMA Leadership Development Conference May 17 and 18 at Campbell's Lake Chelan Resort. This event is one of the most popular WSMA gatherings, combining top-quality programming and speakers amid a spectacular resort setting.

No matter what your "official" role or where you are in your career journey, this leadership conference is for you. We are all leaders, regardless of title, hierarchy or work situation. Our very roles mandate that we contribute expertise, experience, knowledge, vision—and hopefully, wisdom—to our patients, teams and communities.

Physicians who are healthy and fulfilled are better partners with their patients. A recent statewide survey showed that 43 percent of physicians and advanced practitioners experience burnout. Transformational change is needed at all levels, especially at the organizational and leadership levels, in order to create health care settings in which physicians and patients thrive. It takes strong leadership to put interventions in place to reduce burnout and improve professional fulfillment. This year's conference will focus on the organizational and leadership strategies to create healthy work environments that allow physicians to do what they do best: care for their patients.

The physician perspective is powerful and grounded in what is best for patients. It's more important than ever that our voice is heard clearly and that we are influencing the future of health care and health care decisions.

I look forward to seeing you in Chelan!

Tom Schaaf, MD
WSMA President


Friday, May 17

7:30 a.m.
Check-in and Networking Breakfast

8 a.m.
Welcome and Opening Remarks

8:05 a.m.
The Best Place to Work: The Art and Science of Creating an Extraordinary Workplace
Ron Friedman, PhD

9:30 a.m.

10 a.m.
Lead True: Live Your Values, Transform Your Culture, Achieve Your Mission
Jeff Thompson, MD

11 a.m.
Building Healthier Work Systems with Human Factors Engineering
Katherine Sanders, PhD


1 p.m.
Putting Your Oxygen Mask on First: The Key to Team Wellness
Gail Gazelle, MD, FACP

2:30 p.m.

3 p.m.
Breakout Sessions

The Basics of Healthcare Financial Planning and Analysis
Anthony Dorsch, MBA, MHA

Improving the Health of the Population, without Ruining Your Own Health
Jeff Thompson, MD

Measure Less, Respond More: Data that Inform Action
Katherine Sanders, PhD

3:55 p.m.

4:05 p.m.
Breakout Sessions – Part II

Using a Financial Toolkit to Build the Case for Wellness
Anthony Dorsch, MBA, MHA

Go Green to Inspire Your Staff and Improve Health
Jeff Thompson, MD

Don't Drive on an Empty Tank: Strategies to Build Your Reserve
Gail Gazelle, MD, FACP

5 p.m.

6 p.m.
Reception, Dinner and Ice Cream Social

9 p.m.
Networking Reception

Saturday, May 18

7 a.m.
Breakfast with the Officers

8 a.m.
Making the Business Case to Invest in Wellness
Anthony Dorsch, MBA, MHA

8:15 a.m.
Healing the Divided Self: Connection, Meaning and Gratitude in an Age of Burnout
Valerie Black, MBA

9:45 a.m.

10:15 a.m.
Rediscovering Joy in the Practice of Medicine: Moving from Burnout to Professional Fulfillment
Paul DeChant, MD, MBA, FAAFP

11:45 a.m.
Closing Remarks



RON FRIEDMAN, PhD, is a social psychologist who specializes in human motivation. His book, "The Best Place to Work: The Art and Science of Creating an Extraordinary Workplace," has been praised by best-selling authors Daniel Pink, David Allen, Marshall Goldsmith, Susan Cain, and Adam Grant. Friedman has served on the faculty of the University of Rochester, Nazareth College, and Hobart and William Smith Colleges, and has consulted for Fortune 500 companies, political leaders, and the world's leading nonprofits. Popular accounts of his research have appeared on NPR and in major newspapers and magazines. He is a frequent contributor to Harvard Business Review, CNN, Forbes, Fast Company, and Psychology Today.

VALERIE BLACK, MBA, is an author, speaker, coach, and award-winning business leader. In 2008 she co-founded Vera Whole Health, a national on-site clinic provider, and was chief visionary officer until 2015. Co-creator of The Coach Approach CME for leaders and physicians, she loves supporting the cultivation of emotional intelligence in health care settings. In 2014, the Puget Sound Business Journal awarded her the Woman of Influence Award for her impact on the health care industry. Today, as a consultant and coach, Black supports leaders and organizations in healing burnout and increasing connection. Recent health care clients include Seattle Children's Hospital, Physicians Insurance, Sound Medicine, and Seattle OB/GYN.

PAUL DECHANT, MD, MBA, FAAFP, is a deputy chief health officer with IBM Watson Health. He has more than 25 years of clinical and management experience in medical group leadership, as well as expertise in Lean management and preventing physician burnout. As CEO of the Sutter Gould Medical Foundation, the 300-physician medical group achieved the highest overall rating of 170 medical groups in California two years in a row, and provider satisfaction improved from the 45th to the 87th percentile in the AMGA Provider Satisfaction Survey. In his current role he coaches C-level executives on transforming their management system and culture reducing clinician burnout, and improving clinical outcomes. He coauthored a book on the subject "Preventing Physician Burnout: Curing the Chaos and Returning Joy to the Practice of Medicine" and blogs regularly at

ANTHONY DORSCH, MBA, MHA, is the executive director for UW Physicians (UWP), the practice group for more than 2,200 physicians and health care providers who are active faculty in the UW School of Medicine. Dorsch is also a clinical instructor in the UW Executive MHA program, where he teaches health care finance. In this course, he teaches health care leaders how to create their own financial planning toolkit and how to apply it to case studies. Prior to joining UWP, Dorsch served as vice president of operational finance for CHI Franciscan Medical Group in Tacoma, WA. He also served in finance leadership positions at Providence Health & Services, including chief financial officer for the Providence Alaska Region.

GAIL GAZELLE, MD, FACP, is a hospice physician, a master executive coach for physicians, and an inspiring and dynamic speaker. An assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, her passion is helping physicians learn the resilience skills they need to thrive. Featured in such venues as O, The Oprah Magazine, CNN, and the Physician Leadership Journal, she brings practical skills and hope to clinicians. Dr. Gazelle is the author of "Building Your Resilient Self: 52 Tips to Move from Physician Burnout to Balance," and the 2013 Harvard Health Guide "Mindfulness Support for Alzheimer's Caregivers."

KATHERINE SANDERS, PhD, consults with leaders seeking healthier and sustainably productive working lives for themselves and their employees. She has a BS, MS, and PhD in industrial and systems engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her specialties are human factors engineering— the design of work to promote health and productivity—and occupational stress. Sanders' health-promoting leadership programs, BeEffectiveSeries, help leaders see how their daily decisions about how work gets done affect their own health and the health of those they lead. She works with university, health care and corporate leaders to plan and implement human-centered change initiatives.

JEFF THOMPSON, MD, is an author, pediatrician, and CEO emeritus of the Gundersen Health System. In his 14 years as CEO, he nearly tripled the size and assets while winning awards for quality and service, and lowering cost. He is internationally recognized for building successful advance care planning, environmental, and community-building programs. Dr. Thompson was awarded the White House Champions of Change award in 2013, and in 2015 he received the Practice Green Health Visionary Leader Award.

Learning Objectives

  • Implement a strategy for building a thriving workplace without breaking the bank; compare what the best jobs have in common with a video game; and articulate the three keys to motivating any employee.
  • Develop a strategy to compete and still live your values; and adopt a transparent tool to accelerate the human transformation to a culture of service and excellence.
  • Interpret physician health and sustainable performance as part of overall work system health and create possibilities for improving physician health and career sustainability by shifting other parts of the work system toward greater health—instead of focusing on individual behaviors.
  • Explain how leadership plays a role in burnout and resilience; describe the three main components of team well-being; and experience personal resilience strategies.
  • Outline the essential financial planning and analysis tools used by healthcare CFO's; explore different views of the role of financial leadership; and describe the multifaceted nature of financial decision making in healthcare settings.
  • Build a portfolio of partners to take on the daunting task of Population Health.
  • Apply a work systems approach to gathering, interpreting and responding to organizational data.
  • Develop a financial pro forma for a physician wellness program.
  • Build a plan to lower the cost of care, improve your local economy, and improve the health of your communities.
  • Explain etiologic factors in physician burnout and resilience; describe how building resilience is critical for physician well-being; and experience a variety of personal resilience strategies.
  • Make a case for investing in a wellness program using a financial toolkit.
  • Outline the benefits of connection, meaning and gratitude as they relate to sustainable whole-person wellness; and design a personal tool-kit for creating more connection, meaning and gratitude at work and in life, contributing to an undivided self.
  • Explain the drivers of burnout and the role of physicians and leadership in addressing these; develop a plan to implement a management system that empowers and aligns clinicians to reduce burnout.

CME Credit

Accreditation with Commendation

The WSMA is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.


AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™

The WSMA designates this live activity for a maximum of 10.25 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.


Washington State Category I Credit

This activity meets the criteria for up to 10.25 hours of Category I CME credit to satisfy the relicensure requirements of the Washington State Medical Quality Assurance Commission.


AAFP Credit

This Live activity, 2019 Washington State Medical Association Leadership Development Conference, with a beginning date of 05/17/2019, has been reviewed and is acceptable for up to 10.25 Prescribed credit(s) by the American Academy of Family Physicians. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.


Lake Chelan Family Fun


Lake Rider Sports - 509.885.4767
Chelan Electric Bikes - 509.683.2125


Chelan Lanes (open daily at noon) - 509.682.2251

Movie theater

Ruby Theater - 509.682.5016

History museum

Lake Chelan Historical Museum - 509.682.5644


Tsillan Cellars - 509.682.9463
Wapato Point Cellars - 509.687.4000
Lake Chelan Winery - 509.687.9463
Benson Vineyards - 509.687.0313
C.R. Sandidge Wines - 509.682.3704
Siren Song - 509.888.4657


Lake Chelan Golf Course - 509.682.8026
Bear Mountain Golf Course - 509.682.8200


The WSMA Leadership Development Conference will be held at Campbell's Resort on Lake Chelan, 104 W. Woodin Ave., Chelan, WA 98816.   Campbell’s Resort is currently sold out, but rooms tend to turn over as the conference approaches. Please consider booking other accommodations, but you can ask Campbell’s to put you on their waitlist in the event a room becomes available. Please call the resort directly: 800.553.8225.

Other local accommodations:

The Midtowner Motel (.5 miles from Campbell’s) – Affordable accommodations owned by Campbell’s Resort. Reserve online or by calling 1-800-572-0943.

Grandview on the Lake (.2 miles from Campbell’s) – Reserve online or by calling 509-682-2582.

Corporate Partners

The WSMA wishes to thank the following corporate partners for their generous contributions. For more information on becoming a partner, review our corporate partners brochure or call Pauline Proulx at 206.441.9762 or email


Founded in 1981 under the auspices of the WSMA, Physicians Insurance A Mutual Company is the Northwest's leading medical professional liability insurance company, physician-owned and exclusively endorsed to this day by the WSMA. For over 30 years, Physicians Insurance has remained the stable, committed and local insurer for physicians, clinics, facilities and hospitals, providing risk-management consulting, continuing medical education and claims administration services to more than 7,000 members in Washington, Idaho, Oregon and Wyoming.


Premera Blue Cross’ mission is to provide peace of mind to our members about their healthcare. We provide health insurance and related services to 1.9 million people in Washington and Alaska. Premera Blue Cross has operated in Washington since 1933 and Alaska since 1952 and is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.


First Choice Health is a Seattle-based, physician and hospital owned company that serves the Northwestern United States. We have provided network, administrative and client services since 1985. Just under one million people use our array of products and services in Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and select areas of North Dakota and South Dakota.


Hall Render is the largest health care-focused law firm in the country, with over 40 years of experience in health law business and 200 attorneys serving health care clients.


Washington Permanente Medical Group is a multi-specialty group practice of nearly 1,400 physicians, physician assistants, optometrists, midwives and psychologists in Washington state, united by a commitment to excellence, collaboration, compassion, stewardship and innovation.

Photography Disclaimer

Please note that the WSMA may have a photographer and/or videographer on-site at this event to gather imagery for use by the WSMA in its communications materials and channels, as well as for media outreach. These images will be the property of the WSMA, and the WSMA will not sell or otherwise market event imagery. If you have any questions regarding imagery taken at a WSMA event, please contact Milana McLead at 206.441.9762 or

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