In collaboration with medical schools nationally and other stakeholders in the health ecosystem, the KNN is working to create the conditions for flourishing within the profession of medicine.
Who We Are
The Kern National Network for Flourishing in Medicine (KNN) is a national movement whose work is focused on the integration of four foundational elements within the profession of medicine: character, caring, practical wisdom and flourishing. We advance this work in the following ways: connecting and convening stakeholders across the healthcare ecosystem, catalyzing transformative initiatives, and influencing policy and systems change.
When clinical learning environments, practice settings and health systems cultivate wholeness of being and purpose—along with competence and continuous improvement—then those within can truly flourish. That’s the aspirational goal of the KNN: Advancing character, caring and practical wisdom in medicine to ignite a positive culture change that helps individuals, community and society flourish.
The KNN partners with medical schools and other stakeholders nationwide to transform healthcare’s educational and practice settings and create the conditions of possibility for flourishing.
The KNN aspires to promote flourishing through the profession of medicine.
The KNN will foster character, caring and practical wisdom in the profession of medicine through efforts with health professions education, healthcare systems, network partners and society.
- We strive to ensure that those who work, learn, care and discover in our institutions flourish
- We seek to cultivate deep listening, open inquiry and respectful dialogue across a variety of viewpoints
- We support principled innovation, scholarship and lifelong learning to create communities of excellence that drive future advances
- We recognize the importance of personal responsibility and conduct our work with respect, integrity and authenticity
- We embrace creating cultures of belonging and constructive engagement that recognize the dignity and full potential of all individuals
Framework for Flourishing
The KNN's framework is the north star for all we do and shows how character, caring and practical wisdom offer a potential path to flourishing.
The KNN produces regular progress reports covering the network's governance, program office, initiative activities and other highlights.
In partnership, and with support from the Kern Family Foundation, seven medical schools from across the United States formed the KNN in 2017 to build on shared strengths, speed innovation and collaboration, and drive national impact. Faculty, students, leadership, and staff at these schools have worked diligently to advance character, caring and practical wisdom in medicine.
The Kern National Network founding medical schools are:
- Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth
- Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine
- MCW Medical School
- University of California San Francisco School of Medicine
- Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin
- University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health
- Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
Through its initial years, the KNN identified innovations that could be beta-tested and then integrated into educational practice.
In 2018, the KNN Board decided to expand the focus of the Network from medical education to the profession of medicine, with the ultimate goal to advance flourishing.
Today, the KNN continues its work in advancing innovations in medical education while beginning to shift focus more broadly from the role of training future physicians to re-examining the profession of medicine to emphasize character, caring and practical wisdom, as well as cultivating healthy, flourishing communities.
KNN Program Office
Elena Burke, MBA
Partner Development and Relations
Christine K. Cassel, MD
Professor of Medicine
Senior Advisor for Strategy and Policy
University of California, San Francisco
Cheryl A. Maurana, PhD
MCW Eminent Scholar
Senior Vice President for Strategic Academic Partnerships
Professor, Bioethics and Medical Humanities
KNN Founding Director
Maria Steinert, MBA
Program Coordinator III
Learning and Engagement