His leadership and executive roles in academic medicine have focused on achieving organizational effectiveness, sustaining service excellence, and managing organizational change for clinical programs.
WOODRIDGE, IL, December 04, 2018 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Marquis Who's Who, the world's premier publisher of biographical profiles, is proud to present Chester (Chet) Szerlag with the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award. An accomplished listee, Mr. Szerlag celebrates many years' experience in his professional network, and has been noted for achievements, leadership qualities, and the credentials and successes he has accrued in his field. As in all Marquis Who's Who biographical volumes, individuals profiled are selected on the basis of current reference value. Factors such as position, noteworthy accomplishments, visibility, and prominence in a field are all taken into account during the selection process.
Mr. Szerlag's leadership and executive roles in academic medicine have focused on achieving organizational effectiveness, sustaining service excellence, and managing organizational change for clinical programs. Chet's management skill set includes physician practice management, ambulatory clinical operations, graduate medical education programs, and administration of sponsored research grants and contracts.
Upon completing his undergraduate studies, Mr. Szerlag began his career as a business analyst/consultant specializing in operations improvement. In 1974, Chet began his management career with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM) in Detroit Michigan, where he was recruited to the leadership team responsible for physician claims processing and benefit administration. Chet's management experience with BCBSM provided a solid foundation in healthcare economics and alternative payment models, and focused his career on healthcare service delivery and physician practice management.
Building on his operational experience at BCBSM, and a desire to pursue a career in physician group practice management, Chet accepted an opportunity in 1978 to join the nascent leadership team at the Health Care Institute (affiliated with the Wayne State University School of Medicine, and Detroit Medical Center) to help establish and structure patient accounting and ambulatory group practice operations for the Institute. The HCI was an early adopter and proponent of innovative healthcare business models based on HMO concepts and Medicaid managed care and capitation.
1980 was an important milestone in Mr. Szerlag's career, with relocation to Chicago, Illinois to accept a leadership opportunity at the University of Chicago Hospitals and Clinics, as Executive Administrator for the Department of Radiology. The University of Chicago role provided Chet with a transformative opportunity to broaden and develop his leadership skills and professional career in clinical operations/academic medicine administration, with a focus on diagnostic imaging and radiation oncology. During that time, Chet served in a dyad role with Ralph Weichselbaum, MD, the Department Chair of Radiation Oncology, helping to create and build one of the leading academic Departments in the field of radiation oncology. Mr. Szerlag served in the position of Executive Administrator for the Departments of Radiology, and Radiation and Cellular Oncology from 1980 until 2012. While at the University of Chicago, Chet and his management team were awarded the "Best of the Best" Team Awards from the University of Chicago Hospitals in 2001 and 2003.
In 2012 Mr. Szerlag accepted an opportunity to broaden his professional experience and accomplishments with the College of Medicine administration at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Chet was recruited for the role of Vice Chair, Finance, and Director of Administrative Operations for the Department of Medicine's new leadership team led by Patricia Finn, MD, and served in that role through 2016.
2016 became another milestone for Mr. Szerlag's career, when he was offered the opportunity to develop a new organizational structure, as the Chief Administrative Officer for a newly formed, multi-site Department of Radiation Oncology at Weill Cornell Medicine. Chet accepted the challenge and relocated to Weill Cornell's New York City campus, working in a dyad role with the new Department Chair, Silvia Formenti. MD.
Professional society leadership
In concert with the healthcare leadership roles described above, Mr. Szerlag was an early organizer and member of the nascent Society for Radiation Oncology Administrators (SROA) serving in successive roles as its treasurer, president and chairman of the board, from 1986 to 1990. Mr. Szerlag received the Gold Medal Award from the Society in 1991 in recognition of his leadership contributions to the Society's early growth and development. In 2017, Chet was elected as a member-at-large Director on the SROA Board of Directors.
Throughout his career, Chet has applied and refined his leadership skills and accomplishments through voluntary service with leading professional organizations, including the Radiologic Society of North America (RSNA) Associated Sciences Consortium, serving first as a member, and then as the Chair of the Consortium from 2002 – 2005. Chet's long standing membership in the American College of Healthcare Executives enabled him to assist with transformation of the Chicago Health Executives Forum organization into the official ACHE chapter for the Chicago region, serving as its President in 2010.
Mr. Szerlag's professional credentials include Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE), and certification as a medical practice executive (CMPE) with the American College of Medical Practice Executives. Over the years, Chet has received numerous awards for his service to professional organizations, including the ACHE's Chapter Service Award in 2009, and the Distinguished Service Award in 2013. As an Advanced Member of the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA), Chet also received the Follmer Bronze Award for service in 2004, from HFMA's Chicago chapter.
Mr. Szerlag's health administration knowledge and experience has led to appointments on the editorial boards of two leading healthcare management Journals. From 1998 to 2001, Chet served on the editorial board for Managed Care & Cancer: The Journal of Cancer Economics & Policy. In 2016, Mr. Szerlag was invited to join the editorial board for the peer-reviewed, international Journal of Management in Healthcare (London, England).
Community and voluntary service
Mr. Szerlag is a lifelong advocate of community engagement and volunteerism. After relocating to the Village of Woodridge (Illinois) in 1991 with his wife Judy and daughter Jessica, Chet volunteered to serve on the Village's economic development committee, and later was elected to the Board of Trustees (1997 to 2005). In recognition of this municipal government experience, from 2012 to 2016 Chet held a County Board appointment as an ethics commissioner serving on the DuPage County Ethics Commission.
Chet became a member of the Woodridge chapter of Rotary International in 1999, serving as its chapter President in 2006, then as an assistant district governor for the Chicago District of RI in 2009. While serving in Rotary, Chet developed a specific interest in the Peace Scholars program, and was asked by Rotary leadership to serve as Chair of the Rotary Peace Scholars program for the Chicago District. During his chairmanship from 2006 – 2010, Chet successfully put forth numerous individuals for Peace Scholar scholarship award, and received a "Special Recognition Award" from RI for his work with the Peace Scholars program. In 2003, Chet also became a Paul Harris Fellow for his support of Rotary programs.
Mr. Szerlag's voluntary interests include supporting public television, where Chet was a member of the Community Advisory Board (CAB) for WTTW channel 11 (Chicago public television) providing station management with input on programming and community outreach initiatives. Another personal passion for Chet is genealogical family research. As a first-generation American, Chet has an ongoing interest in eastern European history, and its relationship to broader global immigration trends and family history. This interest has led to active membership in various genealogical organizations, including the Polish Genealogy Society of America (PGSA). Chet joined PGSA's Board of Directors in 2015, and currently serves as President of the PGSA.
Mr. Szerlag is a native of Detroit, Michigan and an alumnus of Wayne State University (WSU), receiving his Bachelor's degree from WSU in 1971, coupled with teaching certification. In 1972 Chet also completed additional coursework at WSU in applied management and technology. While working at the University of Chicago Hospitals and Clinics, Chet received an Executive MBA from the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business in 1984.
Chet is an advocate for continuing professional education, and has completed postgraduate leadership studies at the Academy for Municipal Excellence (2000), a program offered by the University of Illinois Institute of Government & Public Affairs. In 2010, Chet received a professional development certificate from the Chicago Management Institute at the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business. In 2012, Mr. Szerlag completed studies at the University of Chicago's Graham School of Continuing Liberal and Professional Studies, earning a certificate in Clinical Trials Management and Regulatory Compliance.
Mr. Szerlag has previously been selected for inclusion in the 27th edition of Who's Who in the World and multiple editions of Who's Who in America and Who's Who in Medicine and Healthcare.
In recognition of outstanding contributions to his profession and the Marquis Who's Who community, Mr. Szerlag has been featured on the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement website. Please visit www.ltachievers.com for more information about this honor.
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