Leadership Excellence Networks

About LENS

Leadership Excellence Networks (LENS)- Premier Program Overview: Elevate your organization’s leadership excellence practices and foster organizational development alongside esteemed peer healthcare institutions.  LENS is a dynamic collaborative of top-tier U.S. hospitals and health systems passionately dedicated to fortifying leadership and organizational brilliance.


  • Stay Ahead with Evidence-Based Practice: In LENS, you’ll remain at the forefront of healthcare by embracing evidence-based practices. Gain insights and strategies that are proven to drive positive outcomes in the ever-evolving healthcare landscape.
  • Community of Practice: Join a vibrant community of healthcare leaders committed to leadership development, well-being, diversity, equity, inclusion, talent metrics, analytics, and planning. It’s not just a program; it’s a network of like-minded leaders striving for excellence.
  • Shared Learning and Initiatives: As a senior leader in LENS, you’ll actively engage in shared learning activities and have the opportunity to collaborate on transformative initiatives. Through our council structure, you’ll have a direct hand in shaping the future of healthcare leadership.

Lead the way in healthcare leadership and organizational development. Join LENS today, where excellence is a journey, not a destination.

2024 LENS Members

Senior leaders from LENS member organizations participate in a variety of shared learning activities and joint initiatives through a council structure.

  • AON § ‡
  • Carilion Clinic *
  • Cincinnati Children’s †
  • CommonSpirit Health ‡
  • Cone Health *
  • Cornerstone †
  • Henry Ford Health *
  • Herzing University
  • Intermountain Healthcare *
  • Mass General Brigham *
  • Memorial Health *
  • Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center ~
  • Mount Sinai Health System *
  • Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) *
  • Northwell Health *
  • Norton Healthcare † § ~
  • OhioHealth *
  • Rochester Regional *
  • Rush University Medical Center *
  • Sodexo ‡ †
  • Stanford Children’s Health *
  • UK HealthCare †§
  • University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) † ‡

* Full, Premium LENS Member

Leadership Development Council

Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Council

§ Well-being Council

~ Talent Metrics, Analytics, and Planning Council

LENS Value & Impact

The Leadership Excellence Networks brings tremendous value and impact to the healthcare industry through:

  • Fostering Leadership Commitment – unlike open membership organizations, LENS welcomes high-performing, forward-thinking healthcare organizations to participate dependent upon their demonstrated commitment to forward-thinking approaches to healthcare leadership.
  • Supporting High-Impact Outcomes – LENS councils prioritize their collaborative work in alignment with industry needs and trends. Our work is led in partnership with healthcare leaders, who identify topics to address based on what will have the highest impact outcomes on member organizations and the healthcare field in both the short and long term.
  • Leveraged Resources – LENS members seek out opportunities to collaborate in creating inter-organizational programs, share resources, and support the growth and strategic priorities of council members. Our structure provides a unique opportunity for healthcare leaders across the sector to solve complex problems and build relationships with individuals outside of their current organizational structure.
  • Evidence-Based Data Sharing – through the systematic collection of models, metrics, benchmarking, and tools, LENS provides a snapshot of the current healthcare environment to stimulate discussion on trends and drive the development of unique and innovative programming models.

LENS Steering Committee and Councils

This committee oversees the work of LENS and the various councils.

  • Chair: Patti Adelman, Northwell Health
  • Tara Wiedeman, Carilion Clinic
  • Melissa Riffe-Guyer, Cone Health
  • Julie Scherler, Henry Ford Health System
  • Cory McCann, Intermountain Healthcare
  • Willette Burnham-Williams, Medical University of South Carolina
  • Tim Ewing, Mass General Brigham
  • Alice Leefers, Memorial Health
  • Diane Adams, Mount Sinai Health System
  • Alice Wheeler, OhioHealth
  • Sarah Beales, Rochester Regional
  • Manish Shah, Rush University Medical Center
  • Marcia Kent, Stanford Children’s Health

Hospitals and health systems have a responsibility to ensure a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment for their employees and patient communities. Nevertheless, health disparities and inequities persist amongst historically marginalized and vulnerable populations. Underrepresentation of minorities within health systems, equitable care, and building a sense of community throughout the neighborhoods that the health system serves are some of the challenges that need to be met to eradicate these disparities. The Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Council works to identify best practices to continue erasing these disparities and racial inequities in healthcare by:

  • Working to ensure the health of the community that the organization serves, through health equity programs, community partnerships, and employment opportunities
  • Supporting staff and raising consciousness around racial and social injustice movements
  • Supporting the development of strategic, data-informed DEI and Health Equity priorities, initiatives, and programs that meet the needs of all patients, community members and employees within the hospital and healthcare system
  • Providing members with opportunities to ask specific questions related to their own organizational challenges and solicit strategic advice from leaders who are tackling similar issues within their own hospitals and health systems. Peer-sharing and learning opportunities are an integral component of our program

Leader Participation

Members of this Council include Chief Diversity Officers, Directors of Diversity & Inclusion and Program Managers within the DEI departments.

Today’s healthcare organizations realize they must support the evolving needs of their current leaders and develop the next generation of leaders in increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous environments. Leadership Development Council will focus efforts on:

  • Peer-sharing of health system approaches to leadership development and coaching
  • Education on leadership development best practices
  • Opportunities to engage in research to advance the pragmatic practice of healthcare leadership

Leader Participation

Members of this Council comprise senior level leaders and professionals who oversee learning & development, a health system’s leadership institute, talent management, or organizational development & change.

With people-related expenses often exceeding 60 percent of total health system operating costs, measuring, predicting, and managing all things “people” is essential to the successful pursuit of high-value care delivery. The Talent Metrics, Analytics, & Planning Council focuses on:

  • Sharing the experiences of our talent metric and analytics journey, identifying challenges, and continuously improving our processes
  • Strengthening capabilities for assessing future workforce needs
  • Discussions on the latest literature surrounding people analytics and workforce planning

Leader Participation

Members of this Council include senior-level professionals who oversee workforce planning, people analytics, or similarly related disciplines. Those just starting their journey building these functions or have been doing so for a decade are welcome to engage and learn.

Leaders increasingly recognize how important staff well-being is to organizational success. However, there are few clear practice guidelines to inform organization-level efforts and tremendous variation of practice across organizations. As the industry experiences a historic shift in the workforce, identifying effective and evidence-based strategies to recruit and retain an engaged and healthy workforce is paramount. Launched in 2021, the primary goal of the Well-being council is to help organization leaders make more informed decisions about how to invest their limited resources for maximum well-being impact across their organization. The Council-driven agenda will focus on gaining clarity in areas including:

  • Focus/philosophy: how health systems define well-being, and their approaches to it for different groups (e.g., physicians, clinicians, staff)
  • Organizational structures/staffing: how health systems are organizing their well-being activity
  • Outcomes: developing greater consensus on what/how to measure impact
  • Education/implementation: accelerating dissemination of new learnings regarding items (1) (3), and supporting the adoption of emerging best the field

Leader Participation

Members of this Council are typically responsible for well– practice guidelines broadly across being at the enterprise level. This may include, for example, chief wellness / well-being officers; chief learning officers; leaders of employee health and employee assistance leaders

LENS Executive Briefings

The LENS Executive Briefings is a quarterly communication that provides highlights of current leadership development-related articles and publications. The briefs focus on topics such as succession planning, talent management, coaching, clinical leadership development, leadership competencies, behavioral change, cultural competency, performance improvement, and measuring learning effectiveness. The briefings are created as a member benefit for NCHL’s Leadership Excellence Networks™ (LENS) and Council senior leaders. An example of a recent Executive Briefing is provided below.

Coach Certification

The National Center for Healthcare Leadership (NCHL), is proud to offer our virtual and accredited International Coach Federation (ICF) coach training program for another year. The course meets HR Certification Institute ® (HRCI) credit hours with the same standard as ICF. The 2024 cohort will launch in spring of 2024. We will partner again with the Healthcare Coaching Institute and its acclaimed faculty. The certification course will be conducted virtually and be led by DJ Mitsch, one of the first 25 Master Certified Coaches in the world and Past President of Global ICF. The master coach faculty provide a highly experiential training format with a course that has been crafted over the past 25 years. The specific focus in healthcare makes this a perfect fit for our members. NCHL members are offered a substantial discount in registration as a benefit for their membership.

Access to NCHL Events

Throughout the year NCHL hosts a variety of events. Some events are limited to members-only, while others are open to anyone with an interest in the content. In addition to online virtual events, NCHL also hosts in-person events. Visit the pages linked below to learn more. LENS member benefits include access to these events and are based on membership level. To learn more about these events, visit the NCHL events page. 

Inquire About Joining LENS

For additional information and to learn how to become a LENS member, please contact us at lens@nchl.org.