Message from the Regent - Winter 2009

Hello all,

It is hard to believe that November has arrived and the snow will be flying in the near future. I hope that you all have a safe and peaceful holiday season.

Bruce Johnson and I just returned from the Chapter Leaders Conference in Chicago (October 19 – 20) where we were able to connect with chapter leaders and ACHE elected leaders from around the country. We shared information about what we are doing here to increase chapter membership and offer meaningful activities for our members. As always your participation and input is crucial to the success of the chapter. The board looks forward to hearing your thoughts about what you would like to see from the chapter and to your participation. 


In September the chapter assisted with the Annual Meeting of the Alaska State Hospital and Nursing Home Association (ASHNHA) by organizing educational sessions for our members and meeting participants.

We were honored to have ACHE Governor Rulon F. Stacey, PhD, FACHE, visit us during the ASHNHA/AHEN annual meeting. He was able to see firsthand what it takes to provide services to the people in our state and the challenges we face. Fortunately we were able to get him out fishing as well… no trip to Alaska is complete without fishing!

Rulon Kenai.jpg

We were pleased with the participation and results from the fall conference. More than 50 affiliates from all regions participated in the Chapter Meeting and Educational Sessions held at Central Peninsula Hospital in Soldotna, Alaska. Education Committee 2009 Early Planning.jpg

Education Committee for 2009 included:

  • James H. Brooks Jr., FACHE
  • Michelle Calvin-Casey, FACHE
  • Dennis Murray
  • Lt Col David “Vince” Gill, FACHE
  • Bruce W. Johnson, DHA, FACHE

The insightful panels received high marks and gave participants a deepened understanding of the following topics:

  • Service Line Development
  • Risk Issues We Face in our Daily Roles
  • Managing for Morale
  • Maladaptive Behaviors in the LTC Setting
  • Simulation Technology Demonstration

With already restrained budgets, having an in-state option for education that draws upon internal talents was a blessing. Participants earned Category I and Category II credits with ACHE.

Members participated in the Annual Meeting and Recognition Luncheon and Board Members also had an informal dinner in Soldotna.  AHEN Leaders.jpg  (Dawn Carman, Jim Brooks, Bruce Johnson, Norm Wilder, Bob Letson, Chris Galloway, Karl Sanford, Michelle Calvin-Casey)

Excellent networking dinners and luncheons also gave affiliates a chance to learn more about issues with their colleagues.
Central Peninsula Hospital Chief Executive Officer, Ryan Smith and his staff provided outstanding support for all of these meetings. Please join us in giving Ryan a hearty thanks!
I am especially pleased to have had the opportunity to present two Regent Awards for 2009. Please join me in recognizing and congratulating Frank L. Sutton, FACHE, and Bruce W. Johnson, DHA, FACHE, for their service to ACHE, AHEN, and the profession. It was my pleasure to award them the Regent Awards for Alaska for 2009. Often, some of the most deserving people go unrecognized and both of these gentlemen do so much for our profession, our chapter and our state and neither one seeks recognition for their work.

AHEN 4.jpg

Again, thank you to everyone for all you do for ACHE and for AHEN. 

Michelle E. Calvin-Casey MHA, FACHE, SPHR
Management Consultant
4449 Julep Street
Juneau, AK 99801
Tel: 907-723-0222
Fax: 888-900-1590


Meet your New Board Members and Executive Officers

Alaska Healthcare Executive Network members nominated the following for service on the Board from 2010-2012 term.

Please join us in welcoming the following newly elected Board Members to the Alaska Healthcare Executives Network 2010:

  • Dan Neumeister, Administrator, Alaska Native Medical Center, Anchorage
  • Norm Wilder, Chief Medical Officer, Alaska Regional Hospital, Anchorage
  • Charlie Franz, Administrator, Heritage Place, Soldotna 

Final results from the Board elections of November 20, 2009 are as follows:

1.       Executive Officers/Directors

  • President- James Brooks
  • President Elect – Victor Rosenbaum
  • Secretary/Assistant Secretary –Deb Lehner/Dawn Carman
  • Treasurer/Assistant Treasurer/ Bruce Johnson/Chris Galloway

2.       Committee Chair and Vice-Chair Proposals were approved by the Board as follows:

a.       Education – James Brooks/Victor Rosenbaum

             i.      Committee Members Project Leader:  Brett Hobde

             ii.      Committee Members Alternate Project Leader:  Kathy Hillburn

             iii.      Committee Members:  Charlie Franz, Robert Letson

             iv.      Ex-Officio:  Dennis Murray, ASHNHA

             v.      Ex-Officio: Michelle Calvin-Casey, Alaska Regent for ACHE

b.      Communications/Newsletters – Deb Lehner/Dawn Carman

             i.      Committee Members Project Leader:  Joe Davis-Fleming

c.       Audit – Bruce Johnson/Chris Galloway

             i.      Audit Review Project Leader:  James Shill

             ii.     Audit Review Alternate Project Leader:  James Cohen

d.      Nominations – James Brooks/Victor Rosenbaum

e.       Mentorship & Innovation – Dan Neumeister/Norm Wilder

              i.   Alaska Native Innovation Grant – Galen Kelly/Daniel Whitson


Chapter Sponsors Alaska Native Tribal Health Students

The Alaska Healthcare Executives President/Board approved a motion to demonstrate the Chapter’s continued commitment to cultural competency and diversity by offering student affiliate membership scholarships to the American College of Healthcare Executives to Alaska Native Tribal Health System Student Affiliates. 

The Chapter has established a mentor relationship to the ANTHC Student Affiliates and the Student Affiliates agree to mentor Alaska Native high school students in the vast career opportunities.

To obtain the scholarships, student affiliate candidates must actively participate in the Innovation Grant Project as proposed by the Chapter and Galen Kelly to the American College of Healthcare Executives of November 6, 2009.


Member Profile: LtCol James Cohen, One Veteran Who Keeps on Serving

by Bruce Johnson, Chapter President

LtCol James Cohen is bionicle - he just keeps on serving in many ways as a contracting officer and health adminsitrator at Kulis Air Force Station

LtCol James Cohen continues to enjoy his distinguished military career including service abroad.  Recently, he shared how he has come back to serve at Kulis Air Force in a health care administrator role.  In addition, he works as a civil servant in the Contracting Division at Elmendorf Air Force Base.  He reports that the Elmendorf and Fort Richardson units are merging. So, many services like contracting, are being streamlined to avoid duplication of efforts.  Lt Col Cohen also enjoys professional affiliations like the Massage Therapy Group in Alaska.  He values ACHE continuing education provided by the Chapter.  He has accepted the invitation to serve on the Chapter Finance and Audit Committees.  To learn more about James Cohen, please see his short biography, as follows: Bio Cohen.PDF

Mountain PacificQuality Healthcare Annouces Quallity Winners

by Peg Donahue

Each year Mountain Pacific Quality Healthcare presents its quality awards to Alaska Hospitals and Nursing Homes.  This years recipients are noted in the link below:

Quality Award Winners Announced.PDF

National News - Fall 2009

ACHE’s Fund for Innovation in Healthcare Leadership presents:
Best Practices for Applying Social Media in Healthcare

LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube and blogs. What do these terms mean to healthcare in the new century? On Wednesday, November 4, 2009, in conjunction with the San Antonio Cluster, leading experts will share how these channels of communications allow organizations to interact with customers in a more engaging way, increase patient satisfaction, devise new recruitment models and build new communities.

This breakthrough way of communicating will allow organizations to provide support and education that extends beyond the walls of a healthcare facility. Join ACHE for this one-day program at The Westin Riverwalk in San Antonio and find out how you can use these social media tools to enhance the patient-care experience and broaden the reach of healthcare services. 
Featured speakers include Matthew Holt, author of The Health Care Blog and co-founder of the Health 2.0 Conference, and panelists representing Comcast, Hyatt Corporation and will share their lessons learned.
Also, a panel of healthcare executives will share insights and experiences in using social media to support the mission of healthcare. To register, call the ACHE Customer Service Center at (312) 424-9400 or visit

This program is funded in part by the Fund for Innovation in Healthcare Leadership. Through charitable donations, the Fund is able to support programs focused on inspiring future leaders, advancing healthcare management ethics and promoting healthcare management innovations. For more information about the Fund, visit

FACHE Deadlines for Participation in Convocation
If you are making the commitment to earn the distinction of board certification in healthcare management as an ACHE Fellow, let us recognize you at the 2010 Convocation Ceremony. Submit your completed Fellow application (including supporting materials) by November 2, 2009. Once your application is approved you must take and pass the Board of Governors Exam, and meet the tenure, continuing education and healthcare management requirements. For more information about the requirements and deadlines, call ACHE’s Customer Service Center at (312) 424-9400, or visit the Credentialing area of 
Leader-to-Leader Program
Each time you encourage a colleague to join ACHE or sponsor a Fellow applicant, you will receive points that can be redeemed for quality rewards such as a Cross pen, technology set, umbrella, gift certificate and more. ACHE’s Leader-to-Leader Program recognizes the influential role affiliates play in recruiting new members and encouraging current Members to advance to Fellow and rewards you for it. One point is awarded for each new Member recruited or current Member who advances to Fellow. To receive credit, they must list you as the sponsor on their applications. Points can be redeemed one at a time on or saved to redeem at a later date for multiple items. By encouraging your colleagues to join ACHE or earn the FACHE credential, you will enhance their professional development, boost your organization’s productivity and performance, and positively impact healthcare delivery. Visit the Leader-to-Leader area of or contact ACHE’s Customer Service Center at (312) 424-9400 or for more information.


Find Out Who's Waiting to Welcome You

You never know who you will meet at your local ACHE Chapter - a welcoming place where you can connect with other healthcare leaders in a professional, friendly and supportive environment.

You will also find many opportunities to learn and grow in your career at a convenient location closer to home, saving you time and money on travel.

Connect Today. Contact our chapter leadership to find out who's waiting to welcome you.


Make Listening a Key Component of Your Leadership Strategy

Successful leaders don’t talk all the time; they pay close and constant attention to the people they want to influence. If you want to do a better job of leading people, start by becoming the kind of leader your staff feel comfortable talking to. Here are some guidelines:

  • Ask good questions. The best questions generate detailed answers and thorough discussions. Instead of telling people what you want them to do, ask them what they think they should do and why. Listen before you speak, and then ask more questions that explore their thinking.
  • Don’t solve problems for people. Your staff will bring you problems and ask you what to do. Resist the impulse to tell them, or to handle the problem yourself. Instead talk about what caused the problem, explore options, and—again—listen to ideas. Even if the solution ultimately comes from your head, people will feel better about putting it to work knowing they had a fair chance to share their opinions.
  •  Pay attention to feelings. You don’t have to be a psychologist to understand and take into account the emotions of your employees. Let people vent when they’re upset. Acknowledge their anger when they feel they’ve been treated unfairly. Smile when they make a joke. You may not agree with their feelings, but you do need to validate them.
  •  Look forward, not back. Always steer your discussions toward the future. Avoid dwelling on past mistakes or last year’s triumphs. Don’t ignore the lessons of experience; instead, take a long-term perspective that motivates people to move forward.

Adapted from Communication Solutions, July 2009, (800) 878-5331.

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