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    Council of Academic Health System Executives (CAHSE): FAQ

    Last Updated: July 1, 2024

    The following provides an overview and answers to frequently asked questions about the AAMC’s new Council of Academic Health System Executives (CAHSE), which launched July 2024. The new council has replaced the Council of Teaching Hospitals and Health Systems (COTH). The AAMC Board of Directors and the AAMC Assembly approved the change in September and November 2023, respectively. As noted below, all current COTH members will be eligible to remain in CAHSE.

    Moving to CAHSE

    What changes have occurred?

    CAHSE is the AAMC’s membership council for academic health systems and teaching hospitals. CAHSE is now led by an elected administrative board, and its chair and chair-elect will have seats on the AAMC Board of Directors. The chair and chair-elect will bring their experiences as CAHSE members to AAMC Board discussions and keep the Board updated on all CAHSE activities.

    What can I expect from CAHSE?

    Through CAHSE, the AAMC will continue to offer membership for academic health systems and teaching hospitals. It enables the AAMC to shift how we serve the rapidly evolving needs of executive leaders at these institutions. All member benefits remain in place — and they better reflect the demands placed on today’s executives.

    CAHSE focuses on the unique challenges faced by system-level leaders who oversee the highly complex clinical enterprises that improve health care outcomes while supporting medical education, research, and community collaboration. While you can expect to see CAHSE to engage these leaders, the AAMC will also continue to offer the same core tools and resources you and your teams need to succeed. The AAMC remains a premier source for operational, financial, quality, and other benchmarking data and reports. We are a united and respected voice for academic medicine. We offer the professional networking and development groups your teams rely upon — from late-breaking news and information to specialized listservs, webinars, and national meetings. And we will mobilize around the topics of greatest importance to you.

    Why did the AAMC make this change?

    Establishing CAHSE enables the AAMC and our members to keep pace with the significant transformation of health care delivery systems in academic medicine, which have evolved from traditional teaching hospitals to highly integrated and diversified academic health systems that comprise multiple inpatient and outpatient locations throughout large regions, including multiple hospitals (some with formal residency programs and some without) and physician practices. Many also have accountable care organizations and other delivery/payment models, provide post-acute care and other community-based services, run their own major health plans, and more.

    Which institutions are eligible for CAHSE membership?

    AAMC Academic Health System Membership will be available to health care delivery systems and their affiliated teaching hospitals, as well as independent teaching hospitals, located within the United States that advance the missions of medical education, research, community collaboration, and other activities that are vital to academic medicine. CAHSE participation is open to the chief executives (and other individuals with comparable executive-level leadership roles) at these member institutions. Because institutions may have several individuals serving in these executive leadership roles, we will not limit the number of CAHSE participants to only one representative from each institution.

    Why change to the CAHSE structure?

    The purpose and objective in changing to CAHSE is to:

    • Recognize the monumental shift that has occurred in the structure of health care delivery over the last 60 years and acknowledge the AAMC’s commitment to supporting the clinical care delivery mission of academic health care.
    • Provide an institutional membership option that best reflects and serves the current needs and structures of academic health systems and individual teaching hospitals.
    • Serve as the centralized go-to resource for academic health systems and teaching hospital executives on matters related to their organizations’ unique missions, roles, and partnerships. This will include improvements in the ways we engage and serve these leaders and their teams.
    • Encourage greater (not restricted) participation by the leaders who oversee and run academic health systems. This includes expanding the types of leaders who can serve on the CAHSE Administrative Board to include academic health system leaders who were previously not eligible, other than federal or corresponding member representatives. The chair and chair-elect of the administrative board will also serve on the AAMC Board of Directors. Teaching hospital leaders who were eligible to serve previously will remain eligible under CAHSE.

    Who may participate in CAHSE?

    The AAMC recognizes that an academic health system may have several individuals serving in senior executive roles — whereas in the past, those roles were the responsibility of a single person. With that in mind, the AAMC will expand (not limit) the types of senior executives who participate in CAHSE with the following types of memberships:

    • Academic Health System Membership. Multiple individuals who share comparable executive leadership roles across an enterprise have the option of designating several members to participate in the new council. For example, a university’s academic health system might have their health system chancellor, health system leader, and the leaders of their affiliated teaching hospital members participate in CAHSE.
    • Individual Teaching Hospital Membership. Institutions with more than one person in a chief executive role can designate more than one CAHSE participant.
    • Federal Membership. Directors and other executive leaders of federal health systems (such as VA medical centers and the NIH Clinical Center) are also vital to the future of academic medicine, given their unique clinical care, education, and research programs. We continue to welcome their critical perspectives.
    • Corresponding Membership. The executive leaders of teaching hospitals and other institutions that are not eligible for Academic Health System or Teaching Hospital Membership will be able to participate in CAHSE as well.

    What CAHSE Means for Alliance of Academic Health Centers Membership

    What does this mean for my Alliance membership?

    Alliance members who have executive leadership responsibilities for the clinical care enterprise at an AAMC-member institution are invited and encouraged to participate in CAHSE. They will be able to access CAHSE member benefits, resources, and services previously limited to members. In addition, these senior leaders will become eligible to serve on the new CAHSE Administrative Board, the AAMC Board of Directors, and in other governance roles.

    Alliance members who do not lead clinical care delivery systems will be able to continue to participate in the Alliance and, if appropriate for that individual, the AAMC Council of Deans (COD).

    The AAMC remains committed to the integration of the Alliance, and we will continue to work with the Alliance Steering Committee over time. The move to CAHSE is one important step.

    What does this mean for my AAHCI membership?

    AAHCI membership currently is separate from Alliance membership and will remain so in this new membership category.

    What does this mean for my VA or NIH membership?

    VA members will continue to be welcome as CAHSE members. This recognizes the fact that VA medical centers are part of larger, well-established academic health systems that have UME and GME affiliation agreements, active bench and clinical research programs, and comprehensive patient services, including innovative care often unavailable elsewhere in their communities. In accordance with federal budget policies and practices, the AAMC and the VA will continue to negotiate multiyear agreements for annual Federal Membership dues.

    Similarly, NIH clinical care centers may continue to participate as members in CAHSE, under agreed-upon conditions.

    Membership Dues and Benefits

    How will this affect my membership dues?

    Teaching hospital and health system members will continue to pay AAMC membership dues. The formation of CAHSE will not result in a change to the current dues structure. Alliance organizations with an AAMC membership (either through CAHSE or the COD) will not pay separate Alliance membership dues.

    How will this affect my membership benefits?

    This change will strengthen the value of your AAMC membership (refer to the CAHSE Member Benefits page for more information on this):

    • Better serve the changing needs of academic health systems and their leaders.
      • Provide a membership option that better reflects and serves the current (and ever evolving) structures and needs of academic health systems and individual teaching hospitals.
      • Offer a centralized go-to resource for academic health systems and teaching hospital executives on matters related to their organizations’ unique missions, roles, and partnerships.
      • Make membership available to the diversity of health systems and teaching hospitals that support the missions of academic medicine — including a Corresponding Membership for institutions that are not eligible for other types of membership, but still fulfill an important role.
      • Reimagine how we convene and engage academic health systems and teaching hospital leaders, including the development of more efficient, rich, and targeted programming and services.
    • Further elevate the voice and influence of academic health systems and their leaders.
      • Further enhance the breadth, reputation, and influence of the AAMC by engaging a wider range of organizations that actively support the missions of academic medicine.
      • Encourage greater (not restricted) participation by the influential senior leaders who oversee and run CAHSE institutions.
      • Enhance the ability to speak and engage as a collective voice, whether we are speaking to our communities or national policymakers.
    • Expand access to member benefits.
      • COTH and Alliance member benefits will be combined and made available to all CAHSE members. All CAHSE members will be able to access the same advocacy resources, data and reports, AAMC affinity groups, leadership development opportunities, etc.
      • CAHSE members will be able to work with the CAHSE Administrative Board and AAMC staff to identify potential new offerings that will help sustain the missions of academic medicine in a rapidly changing (and challenging) environment.
      • CAHSE will continue to partner with the COD and AAHCI in exploring and tackling the new challenges facing academic medicine through shared programming and other collaborations.

    You can share your thoughts and questions by email at CAHSE@aamc.org.

    We will update these FAQs periodically in response to our continued process and your input.

    Download the FAQs (PDF)