Finger Lakes Dialog

Organizational Professionalism: How organizations can be more accountable for their impact on society

April 22, 2022, 12:00-5:00; April 23, 2022, 9:00-1:00 

Sponsored by Relationship Centered Health Care  

How are organizations shaping our society? What should we expect of them?

Organizations are the fundamental social structures for carrying out many societal functions including commerce, education, justice, healthcare, public safety, transportation and entertainment. Most people work in organizations to earn their livelihood and thus spend a large portion of each week immersed in organizational culture. For both these reasons, organizations have an enormous impact on the quality of society and the well-being of individuals and families. But how do we assess that impact? What guidance is there for organizations about how to act? To what standards should they be held accountable?

Organizational professionalism is a framework that can be used to address these questions. In this year’s Finger Lakes Dialog, we are delighted to welcome Dr. Barry Egener, one of this framework’s lead developers. We will use organizational professionalism as a lens for examining how an organization functions, how it is led, what values it is promulgating and how well those values align with its espoused values. You will leave with practical ideas about how to apply the organizational professionalism framework to foster reflective leadership, governance and community conversations and to promote organizational accountability.

Read more about Organizational Professionalism

Join us April 22nd - 23rd!

This year’s guest presenter, Dr. Barry Egener, led the development of the Charter on Professionalism for Health Care Organizations. This project grew out of work on fostering professionalism among medical practitioners and the recognition that their individual behavior was heavily influenced by the organizations in which they work. While originating in healthcare, the principles in the charter are universally applicable. 

We invite you to come hear Barry’s ideas and share your own. With a maximum of 15 participants, this program will be highly interactive and participative, featuring plenary and small group conversations and individual reflection, all moderated by Finger Lakes Dialog host Tony Suchman. This program will also give you an opportunity to experience the beautiful hill, forest trails, waterfalls and vineyards of New York’s Finger Lakes region. It will be held at an artist’s private hillside home and studio in Montour Falls, NY and includes dinner in a restaurant overlooking Seneca Lake.



Barry Egener is a semi-retired internal medicine physician who practiced and taught for 35 years in Portland, Oregon and is currently building a workforce wellbeing program for Asante Health in southern Oregon. He has served in numerous professional leadership positions including president of the Academy for Communication in Healthcare, the medical director of The Foundation for Medical Excellence, Board Member of the Institute for Communication in Healthcare, and member of the Board of Directors of the American Board of Internal Medicine. Running across all these positions has been an interest in helping medical professionals improve their communication and relationship skills. This interest widened into advancing medical professionalism in his work with the ABIM where he co-developed the concept of organizational professionalism with Walter McDonald, MD, and published 2 articles on the subject. Outside of work, Barry, his wife Teresa and their grown sons enjoy the many cultural and outdoor attractions of Ashland, Oregon: skiing, backpacking, and the Shakespeare Festival.

Tony Suchman is a Clinical Professor at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry and founder and Senior Consultant at Relationship Centered Health Care. Drawing upon diverse interests and experiences, his work focuses on improving the performance of healthcare organizations by improving the quality of relationships at all levels – from the front lines of patient care to the executive suite and board room. He has previously worked as a primary care doctor, health services researcher, medical educator and managed care executive. His most recent book is Leading Change in Healthcare: transforming organizations using complexity, positive psychology and Relationship-centered Care. Tony currently chairs the board of the Institute for Healthcare Communication and was a founding board member of the Relational Coordination Research Collaborative. He co-founded a national program on leading change in healthcare called Leading Organizations to Health which is now a program of the Association of American Medical Colleges. Tony lives in Rochester with his wife, artist Lynne Feldman; they enjoy hiking, snowshoeing, and being with their grandchildren.


Time, Location, Travel

The workshop will take place from noon-5:00 on Friday, April 22 and 9:00-1:00 on Saturday, April 23, 2022; the restaurant dinner will take place Friday evening at 7:30 pm. The workshop site in Montour Falls is a half-hour drive from the Ithaca and Elmira-Corning regional airports and a 1 ¾ hour drive from Rochester and Syracuse (airports with more extensive service by all major airlines). Local accommodations (not included in the registration fee) include luxury hotels, streamside cottages, bed & breakfasts and comfortable inexpensive motels.  We will provide detailed driving and accommodation directions to registrants.

For the health and safety of all participants, COVID-19 vaccination is required. Masking and testing guidelines will be announced before the workshop, based on conditions at the time.


To Register
The $600 registration fee includes lunch on Saturday and Sunday and dinner at a Finger Lakes restaurant on Friday evening. You can register online or complete the registration form and send it along with your check (payable to Relationship Centered Health Care, LLC) to:

Tony Suchman
277 Goodman Street North, Suite 311
Rochester, NY 14607

Space is limited, with a maximum of 15 participants. Reservations will be accepted in the order in which they are received. The registration fee is non-refundable after March 1, but the registration may be transferred to another individual.

You can download a copy of this brochure here.


For More Information
If you have questions, please contact Tony Suchman at or 585.721.9187.