The Ethics of Mission and Margin

A program funded in part by the Foundation of ACHE’s Fund for Innovation in Healthcare Leadership

Wednesday, May 23, 2012
8:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
In conjunction with the San Antonio Cluster

The ACHE Code of Ethics provides a foundation on which our integrity as leaders and credibility as a profession are built. In today’s turbulent economic and political environment, resources are limited and inadequate to meet demands. Classic ethical principles of utility and justice and the often quoted maxim “no margin, no mission” come into sharp focus. Healthcare executives are called upon to make difficult choices surrounding their mission of care and the financial margin they must deliver to serve that mission.

This half-day seminar will address the universal ethical and political challenge of balancing mission and margin. The analysis and real-world experiences shared will focus on the:

  • Interests of patients benefiting from services potentially detrimental to the organization’s fiscal performance

  • Impact on the organization delivering primary and preventive care versus more lucrative specialty services

  • Financial concerns of employers grappling with rising insurance premiums, reduced coverage and passing a greater share of healthcare costs to their employees

  • Welfare of community and society requesting essential services that may be contrary to the financial interests of the organization

Richard A. Culbertson, PhD, is professor of global health systems and development and of family medicine at Tulane University. Dr. Culbertson holds the unique distinction among full professors of health management as having been a hospital CEO (Kaiser Sunset, Los Angeles), a health system board chair (Aurora Health Care, Milwaukee) and a university associate vice chancellor (University of Wisconsin–Madison). He serves on the American Hospital Association’s Leadership Development Committee and has been a member of its Committee on Governance and Regional Policy Board 7. Dr. Culbertson received a master of divinity degree with a concentration in ethics from Harvard University.

A select panel of healthcare CEOs will react to Dr. Culbertson’s remarks and share experiences related to the ethical challenges of balancing mission and margin.

For those already participating in the San Antonio Cluster, continue your professional growth with this important session. Or just participate in this morning workshop and leave with a renewed sense of commitment.

Schedule of Events
7:00 a.m.–8:00 a.m. Registration and Continental Breakfast

8:00 a.m.–8:20 a.m. Welcome and Introductions

8:20 a.m.–9:20 a.m. The Ethics of Mission and Margin

9:20 a.m.–9:45 a.m. Questions and Discussion

9:45 a.m.–10:00 a.m. Break

10:00 a.m.–11:15 a.m. Panel Presentation: Identifying and Confronting the Ethical Challenges of Balancing Mission and Margin

11:15 a.m.–11:45 a.m. Questions and Discussion With Panelists

11:45 a.m.–12:00 p.m. Closing Remarks

Healthcare Executive Panel

Scott B. Ransom, DO, FACHE
President and CEO
University of North Texas Health Science Center

Beryl O. Ramsey, FACHE
Methodist Willowbrook Hospital

Daniel B. Stultz, MD, FACHE
President and CEO
Texas Hospital Association


ACHE affiliates—$210

Includes: breakfast, registration fees and course materials

Continuing Education Credits

Participation in this workshop qualifies for 4 ACHE Face-to-Face Education credits.

To enroll, please register online at, fax the registration form to (312) 424-9405 or call the Customer Service Center at (312) 424-9400.

Healthcare management ethics is identified as a key area of focus of the Fund for Innovation in Healthcare Leadership. In this regard, the Fund supports ACHE’s long-standing commitment to promoting the highest standards of ethical conduct in the field. Your attendance at this program will not only benefit you and your organization but will serve to further elevate and strengthen healthcare leadership as a whole.

For more information on the Fund for Innovation in Healthcare Leadership, visit