Johnny Conner, formerly assistant director of the Research Imaging Center, has accepted the newly created position of director of the University Clinic. Conner, an administrator with a long career in health care including two years at the Health Science Center, was appointed by Dr. James Young, dean of the medical school.
"My goal is to make this clinic the first choice for health care. If a person has 10 choices, I want that person to make this clinic the No. 1 choice," Conner said.
Conner's main goal is to run an efficient clinic that, at the same time, provides a caring atmosphere for each patient. Other goals are to develop an efficient, responsive appointment system, to improve space management and to increase the collection rate for care provided.
"The quality of care provided here is comparable to anywhere in the country, and I am very impressed with the physicians and the clinic staff," Conner said. "Now we must provide a clinic operation that maximizes these physicians' productivity."
"I have utmost confidence that Mr. Conner's administrative skills and philosophies will have a very positive impact on the University Clinic, which I consider to be one of the Health Science Center's most important resource areas," Dr. Young said.
"My vision," he said, "is that the clinic will become a vital part of the medical school, and in times of funding constraints, will add significantly to the financial posture of the medical school."
Conner has organized the University Clinic under four supervisors: a chief of clinical service, a chief of nursing service, a medical records administrator and the assistant director of the clinic. Conner is the sole director in charge of the clinic - a change from the past when the clinic administrator reported to a six-person committee.
"Department chairmen in the medical school agreed to transfer responsibility for the clinic to Dean Young," Conner said. "He accepted this responsibility and his first move was to set up a chain of responsibility and appoint a clinic director who is a hospital administrator. Previously, the clinic had a medical director who split his time between administrative duties and seeing patients. This is a significant change in the clinic's direction."
Conner hopes to expand the University Clinic's primary care patient base. Most group practices, he said, have a large primary care base and smaller specialty care base.
"We are the opposite - we have a small primary care base and a very large specialty care base. We need to expand the primary care base, and the payoff will be we get more referrals to our specialty care physicians."