|A newsletter for research & medical education||Winter 2014|
Kevin Hinchey MD Awarded 2014 Weinberg Prize for Academic Excellence
Dr. Kevin Hinchey, Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs, Chief Academic Officer, and former Program Director of the Internal Medicine residency, was awarded the Weinberg Award for Academic Excellence, Baystate Health's highest academic honor, in October 2014.
Dr. Hinchey was surprised and very honored to receive the award, adding that it was very special to win an award named for Dr. Ethel Weinberg knowing that she is so highly esteemed for her significant contributions to graduate medical education.
Measuring Success Relationship by Relationship
Dr. Hinchey's relationships with his residents, like those with his patients, are very special to him. "It’s an honor to be brought in to a patient's life. Sometime residents let me into their life to that extent as well," he says.
Early in his career, one of Dr. Hinchey's residents told him that he had been the greatest influence on his life, second only to the resident's own father. Hinchey says that made a big impression on him, and he recognizes that influence as both an honor and a responsibility.
His Title is Chief Academic Officer, But He's Really a Coach
Dr. Hinchey relates that he played sports his entire life and credits his coaches for playing a big role in his development. He, himself, coached football, basketball and tennis during his time as a teacher.
He says he loves the coaching relationship, noting that it's not just teaching a subject, it's incorporating life experience, helping someone to be a better person.
According to Hinchey, a lot of what he does now as Chief Academic Officer is really coaching.
Changing the Perspective of What Academics Is
As CAO, Dr. Hinchey tries to introduce the concept that education and research are intimately related to patient care.
"You can’t do patient care well without doing research on patient care," he says, describing clinical trials as a structured process of finding the best way to care for patients.
Hinchey cites Dr. Rachana Singh's recent research on personalizing treatment of addicted infants based on their in-utero exposure as an example of how Baystate changed the way patients are cared for today based on research that was conducted here at Baystate.
"If we didn’t do that (research) we would still be treating people the old way. It's better today than it was yesterday."
Emphasizing the Importance of the Team
"It goes back to the coach in me that things are always done on a team level," states Hinchey.
"I've been fortunate to be in time and place where I’ve been around good teams, and not diminishing what I contributed, but those things don’t happen in isolation. All the achievements of the EIP (Educational Innovations Project), I had a team that did that with me."
Using a team approach is how Dr. Hinchey envisions the future of healthcare will play out.
"I think and hope that where we are going is to have a healthcare team in primary care with different types of providers instead of just a PCP." In his view, people don't have to be ill to benefit from a healthcare team. "How many of us wouldn't love to have a health coach to help us stay healthy? I’m very optimistic, I think it will happen."
Learning Something From Everybody
Dr. Hinchey values the skills and expertise of everyone on the team, saying that he's had mentors and partners who have all influenced him in different ways.
Dr. Martin Broder, former chair of the Department of Medicine, impressed upon him the importance of treating everyone equally. "He told me, 'A doctor is a doctor is a doctor. If this job isn’t what an attending should do, it's not what an intern should be doing.'"
Hinchey says that Dr. Bob Ficalora, who preceded Hinchey as Internal Medicine Program Director, inspired him as a teacher with his ability to tell stories and engage learners. And, he credits the headmaster of the first school he taught at for emphasizing the value of being a teacher versus a content expert, adding that has stayed with him for more than 30 years.
Weinberg Family Prize Has Recognized Outstanding Academic Achievement Since 1997
The Weinberg Family Prize for Academic Excellence was established by Dr. Ethel Weinberg, first Chief Academic Officer at Baystate Medical Center, and her husband, Saul Weinberg. It is awarded annually to a faculty member whose innovative research, publications, or leadership of a national academic organization has brought honor to Baystate Health.
There have been 14 previous awardees.