Thrive by IU Health

December 15, 2023

Physician takes a leading role

IU Health Bloomington Hospital

Physician takes a leading role

From team captain on his peewee baseball and football teams to being the IU Health Southern Indiana Physicians Primary Care service line medical executive, Mike Teague, MD, tends to find himself in leadership positions almost accidentally

“I didn’t come to Bloomington thinking I was going to be the primary care leader,” says the IU Health South Central Region Values Leadership Award–Medical Staff winner. “I thought I would just see patients and go home, but then there was a need, which kind of snowballed into the role I’m in now.”

Teague’s overall goal as a service line leader is to serve the more than 100,000 patients who live in the South Central Region, and he knew when moving into this role that his team needed more providers to care for the population effectively.

“Dr. Teague has been instrumental in improving access to adult primary care within the South Central Region,” says a team member who nominated Teague for the Values Leadership Award.

“Watching as we were onboarding more highly-trained and qualified physicians and nurse practitioners into our mix and watching the median lag time go down has been great,” says Teague. “Reducing the time that new patients have to wait, on average, by three months is a massive accomplishment.”

The second most important part of his leadership duties has been working on processes to serve patients better and identifying other provider-leaders who want to help in these efforts.

“I feel like we have an excellent leadership team, which has been a lot of fun to build,” says Teague. “Very intentionally, we’ve got leaders with different strengths and weaknesses, and we complement each other very well.”

This team approach is very important to the primary care provider, who explains that everyone has to do their part to serve their community—from the person checking in patients, the medical assistant who rooms the individuals, the janitor who cleans and disinfects the facility, the providers providing diagnostic and therapeutic instruction, and everyone in between.

Teague says, “You can’t progress towards your purpose in medicine if you’re not working together, and you’re never going to achieve excellence and medicine and foreign medical care without a group of people. You can’t do it yourself.”

The group has taken this team focus a step further by implementing a team-based care model incorporating physicians, advanced practice providers, pharmacists and immediate access providers for patient care. And the ideas for improvement aren’t stopping there.

“There’s a lot of good work to be done,” says Teague. “I see it as my responsibility to continue to adjust how we provide care in the primary care world to benefit the over 100,000 people that live from Martinsville down to French Lick and from Spencer to Nashville.”

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