Finger Lakes Dialog

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

October 29, 2021, 12:00-5:00; October 30, 2021, 9:00-1:00 

Sponsored by Relationship Centered Health Care  


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

We are living in a time when the quality of our society is being questioned. In the face of racial tensions, sexism, disparity of economic opportunity, drug addiction and suicide, and political polarization which impedes action on common threats (such as the pandemic and global warming), there is a growing worry that our society is failing to offer its members the opportunity to live healthy and fulfilling lives. 

Because organizations are the fundamental social structures for carrying out many societal functions (e.g., commerce, education, justice, healthcare, public safety, transportation and entertainment) and because most people work in organizations to earn their livelihood and thus spend a large portion of each week immersed in organizational culture, 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 standard should they be held accountable?

Organizational professionalism is a framework that can be used to address each of these questions. In this year’s Finger Lakes Dialog, we will explore this framework with its lead developer, Dr. Barry Egener. 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 an understanding of how to apply organizational professionalism to foster reflective conversations and to promote organizational accountability.


Join us October 29th-30th!

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 20 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 views, 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 lives with his wife Teresa in Ashland, Oregon. He practiced and taught internal medicine for 35 years in Portland, Oregon, where his 2 sons currently reside. Currently  he is building a wellbeing program for Asante Health in southern Oregon. He is former president of the Academy for Communication in Healthcare, former medical director of The Foundation for Medical Excellence, and is a member of the board of directors of the Institute for Communication in healthcare, 3 organizations which teach medical communication. When he was a director of the American Board of Internal Medicine his interest in communication skills broadened to professionalism. He co-developed the concept of organizational professionalism with Walter McDonald, MD, and published 2 articles on the subject. When he is not working (which is most of the time now) he and his family enjoy the many cultural and outdoor attractions of Ashland, Oregon: skiing, backpacking, and the Shakespeare Festival.

Tony Suchman is Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of Rochester and the founder and Senior Consultant at Relationship Centered Health Care. Drawing upon diverse interests and experiences, his work focuses on improving performance by improving the quality of relationships across all levels of healthcare - from the front lines of patient care to the executive suite and board room. His most recent book is Leading Change in Healthcare: transforming organizations using complexity, positive psychology and Relationship-centered Care. Tony chairs the board of the Institute for Healthcare Communication and was a founding board member of the Relational Coordination Research Collaborative (RCRC). He co-leads a national program on leading change in healthcare called Leading Organizations to Health (LOH). Tony lives in Rochester with his wife, artist Lynne Feldman.

Time, Location, Travel
The workshop will take place from noon-5:00 on Friday, October 29 and 9:00-1:00 on Saturday, October 30, 2021; the restaurant dinner will take place Friday evening at 7:30 pm. The workshop site in Montour Falls is a half-hour drive from Ithaca and Elmira-Corning (the closest regional airports) and a 2 hour drive from Rochester (the closest airport served 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.


To Register
The $750 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:

Anthony Suchman, MD
Relationship Centered Health Care, LLC
277 Goodman Street North, Suite 311
Rochester, NY 14607

Space is limited, with a maximum of 20 participants. Reservations will be accepted in the order in which they are received. The registration fee is non-refundable after September 1, but the registration may be transferred to another individual.

Name ___________________________________________________________

Title/Organization __________________________________________________

Address _________________________________________________________

Phone __________________________________________________________

E-mail __________________________________________________________

Dietary Requirements ______________________________________________


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