Michael Jablonover, MD, on the Role of Chief Medical Officer

Michael Jablonover headshot

Earlier this year, Michael R. Jablonover, MD, MBA, FACP, was appointed senior vice president and chief medical officer (CMO) of UMMC’s University campus. As the CMO, he oversees patient safety, health care quality improvement, clinical effectiveness and the training of residents and fellows – physicians who have graduated from medical school and are seeking advanced training in specialties and subspecialties.

Before being appointed CMO, Jablonover served for five years as chief executive officer of University of Maryland Rehabilitation & Orthopaedic Institute (UM Rehab), and held other physician leadership and administrative positions there and at the former University Specialty Hospital.

“Dr. Jablonover comes to his new post with a stellar reputation for professionalism, collaboration and teamwork,” said Jeffrey A. Rivest, president and chief executive officer of UMMC.

“While many aspects of health care are undergoing change nationally and in Maryland, the goal of the University of Maryland Medical Center has not wavered: to provide the best possible care for patients,” Jablonover said. “I look forward to working even more closely with physicians and the leadership team at UMMC to ensure that the highest standards of care are delivered efficiently and effectively.”

Jablonover is also a clinical assistant professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. He previously served as an assistant professor in the Department of Medicine from 1995 – 2005 and was significantly involved in UMMC’s residency training programs, hospitalist program and medical student education programs.

Jablonover is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Duke University. He completed his residency at UMMC – just like the residents he now oversees – and at the Baltimore VA Medical Center. He is board-certified in internal medicine and is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians.

Q. What are some of your goals for UMMC?

A chief goal is to ensure that our patients, whether inpatient or outpatient, consistently receive the highest quality of care in the safest environment possible, and enjoy the best overall personal service experience that we can offer. We strive to be 100 percent compliant with best practices and evidence-based medicine. I also want to see a culture of transparency, accountability and innovation.

We have fantastic clinical, research and teaching capabilities at the University of Maryland Medical Center and at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. Translating that into the finest care delivery system in our region is a fundamental objective.

Q. What does UMMC do really well?

One example is critical care. We have 11 critical care units, and approximately one third of our care beds are critical care beds, which is rather unique. We have an excellent patient transport service, Maryland ExpressCare, that allows us to bring in critically ill or injured patients through ground and air transport and get them to our intensive care units in a very time-sensitive manner from across the state and beyond.

We are appropriately celebrated for our trauma, transplantation and oncology services, but we also have many wonderful sub-specialty services and general medical services that are well-recognized. Our ability to attract incredible nurses, advanced care practitioners, faculty, residents and other caregivers enables us to deliver high-quality, multidisciplinary and compassionate care to thousands every year.

Q. Why did you choose to go into internal medicine?

I chose internal medicine because it is a longitudinal practice in which you have the opportunity to develop long-term relationships with patients. That is extremely rewarding. Moreover, the intellectual challenge of internal medicine is particularly exciting, especially as health care changes so rapidly around us. One thing that drew me to an academic medical center like UMMC was teaching medical students and residents, and learning a great deal from them. A rich educational atmosphere, combined with an incredibly interesting patient population, created a very stimulating environment.

Q. What interested you in moving from the role of practicing doctor to administrator?

While I loved clinical practice, I thought that by becoming a chief medical officer, I would have the ability to positively impact more patients and the quality and safety of services delivered. I’ve worked with many incredibly dedicated and passionate colleagues, and there is tremendous reward when you join together to improve the health care and lives of so many individuals in our community.

Q. Should patients expect both great clinical care and great customer service?

Absolutely. When patients come to the hospital, clinic, operating room or procedure room, they should expect not only very high-quality and safe care. We are in a service industry, and our patients — our customers — deserve an exceptional total experience that exceeds their expectations and that of their family. 

Q. Tell us a little bit about yourself. 

I was born in New York and grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina, and Paris, France. I went to both college and medical school at Duke University — yes, I am a committed Blue Devil! I have a twin brother, and we both did an internal medicine residency at UMMC at the same time, causing some confusion. My wife, Lisa, and I -— along with our two sons — enjoy living in Columbia.

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