Podcast

The Relationship Between Leadership and Advocacy to Advance Change

My favorite definition of leadership comes from David Notgrass. He says, “Transformational leaders are those who encourage creativity, recognize accomplishments, build trust and inspire a collective vision. They are role models for the beliefs and values they want to see others adopt and they believe that their audience is able to rise to the occasion.” 

Today I’m delighted to introduce you to the leader who comes to mind when I read this – Dr. Kevin Lohenry. From integrating digital technologies to advancing diversity and equity initiatives, Kevin has been at the forefront of leading innovation in higher education.

Dr. Lohenry currently serves as the Associate Dean of Graduate Student Affairs and Director for the Division of Physician Assistant Studies at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. Dr. Lohenry was a practicing PA in Family and Internal Medicine providing inpatient and outpatient services to his patients. Dr. Lohenry has served as a Director at Large on the Board of Directors for the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants and served as President of the Physician Assistant Education Association in 2011. From 2012-2013 Dr. Lohenry served on First Lady Michelle Obama’s Joining Forces Initiative focusing on military veterans and families. Dr. Lohenry has received numerous federal grants focusing on interprofessional education and practice and many state funded grants focusing on the PA workforce and diversity. Dr. Lohenry has published in the Journal of Physician Assistant Education, the Journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants and Medical Education Online. Dr. Lohenry is a veteran of the United States Navy.

What I believe truly allows Kevin to excel and grow as a transformational leader is his deep belief in advocacy, both for yourself and for others in your care. Advocacy was a word that could be heard and seen in action every day while I was Director of Innovative Learning at the PA program. It always left me wondering why was this not something I heard more and why had this not been a part of my education experience. This is a conversation I’ve wanted to record for a long time, as the PA profession is one I believe the education profession and others can learn from.

If there is one thing I learned from my time with the program it’s the advances that are possible when we combine leadership with advocacy both for ourselves, our professions and our communities. In a culture where we often feel as if we have to ask for permission, where we don’t always feel as if we have the freedom and autonomy to try new ideas or sometimes even ask questions, understanding how to advocate for yourself and for others is critical. 

In This Episode We Discuss

  • The history and evolution of the Physician Assistant profession
  • The relationship between leadership and advocacy and how the PA Program at USC prepares students for taking on this role
  • How to advance diversity and equity initiatives
  • The role of digital technologies to keep higher education relevant
  • The importance of leading with empathy and how that can lead to the development of strong teams
  • Strategies and practices for being a transformational leader
  • How to stay optimistic during uncertainty and navigate change
  • What Dr. Lohenry is thinking about for the next five years

To Learn More

You can follow Dr. Lohenry on LinkedIn and Twitter. You can also learn more about the Physician Assistant Program at USC here. Share your thoughts and comments on this episode with us by tagging us on social media.

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