Regent's Message

Coral Andrews, FACHE

ACHE’s Focus on Diversity in Governance and Leadership

The Hawaii-Pacific Chapter had the opportunity to welcome ACHE Board Chairman, Gayle L.  Capozzalo, FACHE, to the Annual Chapter Breakfast in July. Gayle touched on ACHE’s goals around diversity in governance and leadership. 

In this summer article, I would like to introduce you to another leader who provides support to me and to our District. His name is Mark J. Stevenson, FACHE, and he is the newly appointed Regent-at-Large (RAL) for District 5, which consists of 12 states in the Western United States. The purpose of the RALs is to promote diversity in the governance of ACHE with respect to race, ethnicity, gender, religion, age, sexual orientation, or disability. In this role, the RALs promote the vision, mission and values of ACHE by fostering the diversity of ACHE's leadership through programs developed to assist Regents (both Geographic and Federal Sector) increase the diversity of ACHE Chapter leadership and by being a visible and diverse voice in the ACHE governance structure. Each of the six ACHE Districts is represented by a RAL.

Mark is headed to Hawaii on September 17. Together, we are planning a CEO Circle and Chapter Sponsors event from 5:30 – 7:00 p.m.  Location: TBD (will be announced via separate flier). His visit presents a wonderful opportunity for executive leaders to discuss diversity in governance and leadership in Hawaii. They can also contribute input as ACHE prepares to transition leadership in 2013 when ACHE President and CEO Thomas C, Dolan, PhD, FACHE, CAE, retires.

Help Eliminate Disparities in Healthcare

Addressing disparities is no longer just about morality, ethics and social justice: It is essential for performance excellence and improved community health. Last year ACHE, the American Hospital Association, Association of American Medical Colleges, Catholic Health Association of the United States, and National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems collectively made a call to action to eliminate healthcare disparities. The goals of the initiative are to increase the collection of race, ethnicity and language preference data; increase cultural competency training for clinicians and support staff; and increase diversity in governance and management. To learn more about the tools and resources available to help eliminate disparities in care, visit The tools are applicable and helpful in all care settings.

These are interesting times in healthcare as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) continues to phase in toward 2014. It compels us all to stay engaged and to invest in the growth of leaders at all levels so that we maintain the capacity to be effective during this time of change.

Aloha from the Hawai'i Pacific Chapter President

Jen Chahanovich, FACHE

Aloha, Hawai’i Pacific Chapter Members,

I know everyone has heard the saying that time flies. I must say this year as your chapter president – time has not stood still. Many great things have taken place and it is only September.

In April, the chapter participated with HFMA for the annual conference: “Believe to Achieve.” In June, the chapter hosted an advancement seminar and in July we had our annual breakfast and networking event. The next chapter function will be November 8 for a networking and educational event for chapter members, healthcare professionals and students.

The chapter goals for this year were to recruit 35 new members to include Faculty Associates, Fellows, Members and Student Associates and also to advance 5 members to Fellow. As of August 15 we have 32 new members, 3 Members advanced to Fellow and 5 Fellows recertified. This is great progress on the goals.

To help support the advancement goal, the chapter has purchased study guides that are available for members to use as a resource. You can contact me directly for more information.

See you at the November 8 event.


Chapter Breakfast on July 11, 2012

Jen Dacumos, PharmD, and Robert Rawleigh, LCDR MSC USN

The Hawai’i-Pacific Chapter of ACHE held another highly successful, informative, and enjoyable chapter breakfast and networking event. The event was held at the Hawai’i Prince Hotel in downtown Honolulu on July 11, 2012. The chapter breakfast was well attended by 44 guests with various levels of professional experience representing a diverse range of healthcare related organizations. This provided a rich environment for networking, mentoring opportunities, and exchange of thoughts about the dynamic healthcare industry.  

The featured speaker was Gayle L. Capozzalo, FACHE. Ms. Capozzalo is Executive Vice President of Strategy and System Development at Yale New Haven Health System in New Haven, Connecticut. She also serves as the Chairman of ACHE. During the breakfast, Ms. Capozzalo gave a presentation entitled, “Successfully Leading Change.” The presentation provided a brief overview of ACHE composition and a discussion regarding leadership in healthcare reform. ACHE serves more than 43,000 healthcare executives internationally and has a network of 81 chapters. The large and geographically broad membership affords an outstanding and far reaching opportunity to be connected with healthcare leaders throughout the globe in addition to cultivating a culture of lifelong professional development.

Much has been written about leadership in industry and in particular, the healthcare industry. Strong, decisive leadership is at a premium during times of significant change, duress, and challenge. The current state of healthcare reform presents an environment where these descriptors abound and therefore, reminders of the critical importance of great leadership are both timely and value-added. 

Ms. Capozzalo discussed several points regarding the unique nature of leadership in a healthcare setting in addition to leadership competencies. Within these contexts, she stated how the significance of the complexity and mix of independent constituents requires higher levels of influence and consensus-building compared to leaders in other industries. She also discussed the significance of becoming a multiplier within an organization. This latter point is a collaborative leadership competency. Being a multiplier is not necessarily being a genius, but being a genius maker and one who invests in others to bring forth the best leadership related products from the group and not necessarily from one individual. Several of these concepts discussed by Ms. Capozzalo were thoughts written by author Jim Collins in his newest book Great by Choice.

Ms. Capozzalo also discussed The Triple Aim (Better Care; Better Health; Lower Costs) and new care and business models, a commitment to equity and diversity, new leadership, and innovative assumptions. More specifically, assumptions pertaining to achieving The Triple Aim state that healthcare systems can be sustained with modest annual cost increases; that equitable, high quality care is available within current system capacity constraints; and answers to national healthcare issues will originate at local levels. 


Finally, Ms. Jen Chahanovich received ACHE’s 2012 Senior-Level Healthcare Executive Regent’s Award.  Ms. Chahanovich is the Chief Operating Officer at Pali Momi Medical Center in ‘Aiea, Hawai’i and the Hawai’i-Pacific Chapter of ACHE President. In addition, Captain Hiram “Joey” Ortiz (USAF) received ACHE’s 2012 Early Career Healthcare Executive Regent’s Award. Captain Ortiz’s recent assignments include the Aeromedical Evacuation Operations Officer at Detachment 1, 18th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam, Hawai’I and Director, Medical Resource Management at the 30th Medical Group, Vandenberg AFB, California. Congratulations and Well Done!  

Guam ACHE Networking Lunch a Success!

Chuck Tanner, FACHE

Senator Dennis Rodriguez Jr. packed the house at the ACHE Guam Local Program Chapter networking luncheon on August 14, 2012. A first term Senator with the 31st Guam Legislature and Chairman of the Health and Human Services Committee, Senator Rodriguez spoke on major issues such as the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act (TEFRA), reimbursements for Guam Memorial Hospital and the medical peer review process.

The Senator illuminated the challenges faced by health care leaders in Guam and discussed potential solutions to address these issues. The common denominator in all these challenges is funding and sustainability. The Senator offered options on how to innovatively address these concerns. Guam continues to sort out the full impact of the ACA and address the challenges that the comprehensive reform presents for the territories. The formidable challenges that lie ahead include the implementation of insurance exchanges and funding the Medicaid matching funds.

Beyond the ACA, local challenges surrounding funding for Public Health and Guam and Memorial Hospital (GMH) impact the access and cost of care for the people of Guam. For instance, the overcrowding of the GMH emergency department is demonstrative of a lack of access to primary care for many local residents. Upon examination, many visits to the GMH ED are not true emergencies and could be treated in a more suitable location. Senator Rodriguez discussed his proposed legislative action to incorporate an urgent care clinic at GMH to treat urgent medical issues in a less expensive and more responsive location. The Senator concluded his presentation with his appreciation for the care all healthcare professionals deliver to the people of Guam and pledged to continue his support for these efforts.

The lunch meeting, held at the World Café in the Fiesta Hotel in Tumon was the largest event to date for the American College of Healthcare Executives Guam Local Program Council with more than forty people in attendance. The luncheon was attended by health executives from the private, public, and federal sectors of the community. Local Program Council President LCDR Daren Verhulst, FACHE, presented upcoming events to the group and encouraged them to become active and give suggestions on how we can continue to improve. Members commented on their interests in continuing to meet and appreciated the opportunity to “network” with other members of the Guam healthcare community. Though Guam is a small place, it is rare when so many healthcare leaders are in the same room! The Guam Local Program Council provides a great opportunity for continued collaboration to develop health care leaders and improve the health landscape in Guam.


"Accountability for the Care We Provide" - A Panel Discussion on Nov. 8

Steve Robertson, FACHE

Healthcare in Hawai’i is about to change for all of us. As healthcare reform is drastically changing the landscape, healthcare leaders are preparing their organizations not only to meet the requirements outlined in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act but also to thrive in the midst of tremendous change. Among the many provisions outlined in the act, few have received more attention than the provision regarding accountable care organizations (ACOs). While the healthcare field is showing strong interest in accountability, much uncertainty surrounds the formation of ACOs.

Please join us to hear how three leading health systems are preparing for this evolution. Panel members will include Art Ushijima, President and CEO of The Queen’s Health Systems; Dr. Ginny Pressler, Executive Vice President and Chief Strategic Officer of Hawai’i Pacific Health; and Kathy Raethel, President and CEO of Castle Medical Center.

This panel will compare and contrast innovative approaches leading healthcare systems have taken, the challenges they have faced, and the keys to success to improve the quality and cost effectiveness of providing care. The panel will focus on Accountable Care, the impact of the recent Supreme Court Ruling, and the effects on future roles of doctors and nurses.

Date: November 8, 2012

Time: 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. 

Location: Queen’s Conference Center
(510 S. Beretania Street) 

Credits: 1.0 hours Face-to-Face Education Credit




Congratulations to New Fellows, Recertified Fellows and New Members!

Bobbie Ornellas, FACHE


 Edwin L. DePonte-Merideth, FACHE, Honolulu
 MAJ Charlotte L. Hildebrand, FACHE, Kaneohe

Members who recently passed the Board of Governors Exam

 LT Megan I. Potter, Honolulu

New Members
 Monica Adams, Hilo
 John Sarinas, Honolulu
 Nancy B. Valla, RN, Honolulu

 Derek Akiyoshi, Honolulu
 Wendi Barber, CPA, Kailua
 Kristopher Dung, Kapolei
 Dianna Geck, RN, Honolulu
 Richard Giardina, Aiea
 John Ilao, Tamuning
 Garan K. Ito, Honolulu
 Nemy Membrere, Waipahu
 LT George H. Sterns, Honolulu
 Jack W. Taitague, Barrigada
 Virginia Walker, Honolulu

 Travis Clegg, Kailua
 Hilario Delgado, Honolulu
 MAJ Eliasib Lozano, Honolulu
 Vance Mizuba, Honolulu
 Charles W. Reel, Agana Heights

 Brendalee M. Ana, Waianae
 Sean A. Harap, Honolulu
 Kawhi D. Kauhola, Aiea
 Sandee Keanini, Honolulu
 Lauren Matsushita, Wailuku
 Selma Yamamoto, PharmD, Honolulu

 Mary Ann B. Cabrera, Tamuning
 Jennifer K. Dacumos, PharmD, Honolulu
 Mildred Kanja, Honolulu
 Jodi Leandro, Honolulu
 Suzie C. So-Miyahira, Honolulu

 Susan Auty, Honolulu
 Jerry Stockstill, Honolulu

Recertified Fellows

 Vincent H. Lee, FACHE, Honolulu

 MAJ Michael T. Peacock, FACHE, Honolulu

 Jennie H. Chahanovich, FACHE, Kapolei
 Susan R. Murray, FACHE, Honolulu

 Kathleen A. Clark, FACHE, Lihue

Nominations for Chapter Board 2013

Jen Chahanovich, FACHE and Martha Smith, FACHE

Aloha Colleagues:

Your Chapter Board is seeking nominations to fill board vacancies for the calendar year 2013. 

Martha B. Smith, FACHE, is the incoming chapter president and will lead this new board. 

The open positions for 2013 are:  

  • President-Elect

  • Director (3 positions)

  • Treasurer

If you are interested in serving the chapter in this capacity, or, if you have nominations for the open positions, please send an email to or call (808) 983-8071 by October 1, 2012.

An electronic ballot will be prepared and sent to all members after October 1, 2012. 

We hope you will consider these opportunities to contribute your time and talents to our chapter and look forward to hearing from you!

How to Address the Elephant in the Room

From the ACHE Library

There you are, just sitting in the conference room minding your own business and waiting for the meeting to start. Then in it comes—a gray, 10,000-pound, trunk-swinging monstrosity. To your dismay, it plants itself firmly in the center of the room. The meeting begins as expected, but everyone’s attention is drawn to the unwelcome centerpiece. As the meeting concludes, everyone is only vaguely aware of what was said because they were too distracted by what was not said.

We have all experienced the elephant in the room—a situation where everyone avoids a looming and important issue. Unaddressed issues of such gravity foster confusion and make everyone distracted, preoccupied and even fearful. These emotions consume time and impede productivity.

Many prefer to avoid the unsettling emotions that come with addressing the elephant in the room. But it is a leader’s responsibility to confront the elephant head on to avoid its damaging effects on productivity. If your group is without a leader—or at least one who is willing to take action—an elephant in the room is an opportunity for you to demonstrate your leadership skills.

Recognizing the elephant is an important first step, but the challenge comes in addressing the elephant in a manner that enables everyone to discuss the issue comfortably and move past it. The strategies that follow show you how to do just this.

1. Make sure it is an elephant. Thinking carefully before you speak is especially important if you want to address an elephant. Before you bring the issue to the group, you need to make sure it is an elephant for everyone. Bringing up an unsettling topic that was not on everyone’s mind may create a new elephant. Try consulting with another member of the group to verify that others also see the elephant. This critical test of your social awareness skills will ensure that you are all on the same page, which will allow you to begin planning an appropriate approach to the topic. If you and your ally agree an elephant in the room exists, consider the ramifications of clearing the air, including the reactions you are likely to see from various members of the group. Brainstorming with an ally will not only prepare you for talking with the larger group but also boost your confidence in addressing this necessary issue.

2. Make a plan and stick to it. Bringing up an uncomfortable or controversial topic often produces a flood of emotions in yourself and those around you. Having a concrete plan ready beforehand will enable you to maintain the clear head you need to manage the discussion. An effective plan includes two basic elements: what you are going to say and when you are going to say it. First, decide what needs to be said, jotting down these important points. Organize these points conceptually to keep the conversation focused and on topic. Next, carefully evaluate the ideal timing for each of your points. Good timing will ensure your audience is as receptive as possible to discussing the elephant.

When the time finally arrives to have the discussion, remember to stick to your plan so that an emotional hijacking does not occur and lead you astray from naming, discussing and moving forward from the elephant in the room.

3. Be direct, honest and thorough. A difficult issue becomes an elephant in the room when it is ignored, despite everyone being aware of it. By naming what everyone is avoiding, you will transform the elephant into an obstacle that the group can tackle. Be open with the group and present the details to the best of your knowledge. Directly spell out the truth about what the elephant really is, in its entirety. It is essential to be straightforward about all of the information, even if it is unpleasant. Tiptoeing around even small aspects of the issue will only perpetuate the tension surrounding the elephant. Being direct enables you to manage others’ perceptions and prevent the elephant from becoming distorted by rumors. Being direct, honest and thorough shows respect for your audience and builds their trust in you as a leader.

4. Open up the discussion. Once you have had the opportunity to clear the air, it is time to open the floor to others. Like you, your audience has many concerns about the elephant in the room and needs to express them. Use your social awareness to determine the most appropriate timing for giving others a chance to respond. Before doing so, be sure that you convey every point that you had planned to convey. Presenting a thorough description of the elephant will ensure that the session continues to move forward rather than becoming a rehashing of false information. Asking the group members to share their input and concerns regarding the issue displays consideration for their perspective and creates unity in solving the problem. This open-forum approach allows the group to discuss a once “forbidden” subject and sets the tone for continuing to speak about the issue to prevent it from reverting to “elephant” status.

5. Closure. Memories of an event are shaped by the moment where the emotion peaks and by how things come to a close—regardless of how many road bumps are hit along the way. Before the meeting concludes, be sure that you have discussed all facets of the elephant and that everyone understands the issue at hand. Make a plan together for how the issue will be tackled going forward. When people leave feeling confident about the discussion because lingering questions were addressed and the next steps are clear, the elephant is unlikely to continue as a distraction. Even if the discussion of the elephant in the room was a rocky one, ensuring closure is a sure-fire way to give everyone confidence that brighter days lie ahead.

Adapted from an article by Travis Bradberry, PhD, and Nicole Wolfe, August 2011.


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