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Our Legacy

“We need to restore humanity to healthcare at the individual and system level.”


Our founder

Dr. Maples practiced medical oncology for 25 years at Mayo Clinic and helped lead the organization’s quality, safety, and experience journey.

He then served as Senior Vice President and Chief Quality Officer at Mission Health in Asheville, North Carolina where he helped the organization navigate cultural transformation and become recognized for its impeccable quality and safety.

Before retiring, he served as Chief Medical Officer of Professional Research Consultants, Inc., as well as Associate Professor of Oncology at the Mayo College of Medicine, and Clinical Professor at Brooks College of Health at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville.

Confronting the need

The Institute for Healthcare Excellence (IHE) was established in 2015 as an answer to the critical need to create evidence-based strategies and systems that would ensure the health of patients, through a focus on instilling a state of thriving in clinicians and healthcare organizations.

It has its roots in the early work of Dr. Maples that revealed clinician burnout and a lack of connection to mission and purpose was a threat to the quality of patient care, patient satisfaction, clinician retention—and to the lives of patients and clinicians themselves.

Developing the model

In the early years, research led to the discovery of a powerful connection between personal well-being and joy in clinicians, and high-quality, safe, efficient patient care.

There was a need to develop and test models that would introduce clinicians and staff to the joy of daily practice. This would be done through the creation of systems that provided the relational skills and tools needed to thrive and effectively deliver patient-centered care.

As these systems were put into place, an amazing thing began to occur. Cultures began to change, and the patient experience needle began to move—not in just one location, but in location after location.

Sharing the model

Interesting conversations began to take place around this transformational model and it was determined to share the work that was successfully moving clinicians, teams and organizations from a space of burnout to a space of thriving.

As IHE took shape, a national faculty of experts was gathered, incorporating diverse ideas focused on the creation of solutions and research-based approaches to optimizing individual and institutional well-being, improving culture and restoring joy to the practice of medicine.

Today, our systems continue to evolve based on research and the issues facing providers and patients in this time and space.

Hope for the future of medicine

Clinicians who are burned out and far from thriving are still very real in our country—perhaps now more than ever. And, there is no quick fix. The work that goes into transforming individuals, teams, organizations and cultures takes time and commitment to slow and steady growth.

Dr. Maples’ hope is that there becomes not only an awareness, but an acceptance and an adaptation from healthcare leaders at every level to take on the hard work and give their organization and each other the time needed to change healthcare for patients and providers.

His expectation is that IHE will play a key role in that transformational work.

“I see multiple opportunities where we can take care of each other as human beings in a much more productive way than the  way medicine is being delivered today. We have an obligation to do this—to really serve each other as human beings. If we truly want to achieve our mission, vision and goals of quality, safety and efficiency, there is no other option than to tackle the culture piece of it.”


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