ACHE of Iowa

Spring 2016

ACHE of Iowa President Message

Spring Update

Hello ACHE Colleagues!

I am delighted and honored to have the opportunity to serve as president of ACHE of Iowa this year. I truly believe in the importance and value of professional development and networking, and membership in ACHE affords us exactly those opportunities. We owe it to our field to continue to advance our skills throughout our careers, and we owe it to ourselves to meet and learn from our professional colleagues. I have met so many talented people outside my usual professional circle through ACHE. I hope you will take advantage of your membership to do the same this year.

Over the last several years, our chapter has been focused on enhancing our educational offerings. This year, we hope to offer as many as 12 ACHE Face-to-Face credits right here in Iowa. With attention to our chapter’s events calendar and some advance planning, you can earn the credits you need to advance or re-certify as a Fellow in Iowa, without costing beyond your annual ACHE membership dues.

Advance your credentials, develop your skills, and meet new colleagues – it’s like the Triple Crown! We hope to see you at an ACHE of Iowa event this year.


Michelle Niermann, FACHE

President, ACHE of Iowa

Executive Vice President / COO, UnityPoint Health – Cedar Rapids



Board of Governors Exam

Take Your Career to the Next Level

Maximize your professional potential by earning the premier credential in healthcare management. When you become board certified in healthcare management as an ACHE Fellow (FACHE®), you'll have the knowledge, skills and confidence to succeed. Don't just take our word for it—see what these Fellows have to say about advancement:

“It's incumbent upon leaders to promote to those we mentor a personal commitment to lifelong learning and ongoing professional development. Achieving and maintaining Fellow status keeps us current with the challenges ahead and sets an example for our healthcare leaders of tomorrow.”

—Polly Davenport, RN, FACHE
CEO, Ochsner Health System–North Shore Region, Slidell, La.

“Board certification in healthcare management helped me to integrate my graduate studies with my work experience in order to become a more focused and disciplined leader. The FACHE designation is a highly regarded credential that speaks volumes about an executive's competence, commitment and personal values.”

—Jeffrey A. Flaks, FACHE
Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer
Hartford (Conn.) HealthCare

Earn continuing education credits toward advancement by attending any upcoming ACHE of Iowa event.

Other News

National News Q1 2016


In the rapidly changing healthcare field, a career plan is more important than ever. To help you navigate this evolving marketplace, ACHE is pleased to bring you a unique, interactive and comprehensive tool for planning and managing your career—CareerEDGE™, available as a complimentary benefit to ACHE members.

CareerEDGE Features

  • A personalized online Career Dashboard featuring career management tools, job board links, news items and other career resources
  • Access to several free assessments including a 360° Working Style tool, a modified versions of Meyer’s Briggs Type Indicator and  ACHE’s Healthcare Leadership Competencies Assessment Tool
  • An innovative career planning framework to guide your thinking about career success today and in the future and help you build a solid career plan document
  • A process to help you make the connection between clarifying goals, identifying the competencies required for success, identifying valuable resources and assessing the level of progress toward developing critical skill sets.

CareerEDGE is an easy-to-navigate, one-stop source for the full array of resources needed for a strategic approach to career management at any career level. Log in today to give yourself an edge in the healthcare job market! Visit

ACHE Senior Executive Program

The Senior Executive Program prepares senior healthcare leaders for complex environments and new challenges. Past participants have been senior directors, vice presidents, COOs, CNOs and CFOs—many of whom aspire to be a CEO. The program consists of three sessions, each two-and-a-half days in length. Locations and dates are as follows: Chicago (June 6–8), San Diego (Aug. 14–17) and Orlando, Fla. (Oct. 24–26).

Participants grow professionally in a supportive learning environment over three sessions. The program includes relevant topics, including reducing medical error, improving board relationships, increasing personal influence, understanding financial management in the era of payment reform, confronting disruptive behavior and influencing organizational change.

Enrollment is limited to 30 healthcare executives. A limited number of partial scholarships—underwritten in part by Toshiba America Medical Systems Inc.—are available for those individuals whose organizations lack the resources to fully fund their tuition. For more information, contact Catie Russo, program specialist, at (312) 424-9362, or visit

ACHE Executive Program

The ACHE Executive Program is designed to help healthcare middle managers refine their knowledge, competencies and leadership skills. Participants will have the opportunity to learn, share and grow professionally together over three multiday sessions. The program covers relevant topics, including improving patient safety and clinical quality, understanding physician integration strategies, appraising personal leadership, managing disruptive behavior, increasing talent development, understanding hospital governance and conflict management and measuring financial success.

The Executive Program will be held at the following locations and dates: Chicago (June 6–7), San Diego (Aug. 14–17) and Orlando, Fla. (Oct. 24–26). Participants must attend all three sessions in each city.

Enrollment is limited to 30 healthcare executives. A limited number of full scholarships underwritten in part by Toshiba America Medical Systems, Inc. are available for those individuals whose organizations lack the resources to fully fund their tuition. For more information, contact Catie Russo, program specialist, at (312) 424-9362, or visit


Tuition Waiver Assistance Program

To reduce the barriers to ACHE educational programming for ACHE members experiencing economic hardship, ACHE has established the Tuition Waiver Assistance Program.
ACHE makes available a limited number of tuition waivers to ACHE Members and Fellows whose organizations lack the resources to fund their tuition for education programs. Members and Fellows in career transition are also encouraged to apply. Tuition waivers are based on financial need and are available for the following ACHE education programs:

  • Congress on Healthcare Leadership
  • Cluster Seminars
  • Self-Study Programs
  • Online Education Programs
  • Online Tutorial (Board of Governors Exam preparation)
  • ACHE Board of Governors Exam Review Course

All requests are due no less than eight weeks before the program date, except for ACHE self-study courses; see quarterly application deadlines on the FAQ page of the tuition waiver application. Incomplete applications and those received after the deadline will not be considered. Recipients will be notified of the waiver review panel's decision no less than six weeks before the program date. For ACHE self-study courses, applicants will be notified three weeks after the quarterly application deadline.
If you have questions about the program, please contact Teri Somrak, associate director, Division of Professional Development, at (312) 424-9354 or For more information, visit

ACHE Call for Nominations for the 2017 Slate

ACHE’s 2016–2017 Nominating Committee is calling for applications for service beginning in 2017. All members are encouraged to participate in the nominating process. ACHE Fellows are eligible for any of the Governor and Chairman-Elect vacancies and are eligible for the Nominating Committee vacancies within their district. Open positions on the slate include:

  • Nominating Committee Member, District 2 (two-year term ending in 2019)
  • Nominating Committee Member, District 3 (two-year term ending in 2019)
  • Nominating Committee Member, District 6 (two-year term ending in 2019)
  • 4 Governors (three-year terms ending in 2020)
  • Chairman-Elect

Please refer to the following district designations for the open positions:

  • District 2: District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia
  • District 3: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin
  • District 6: Air Force, Army, Navy, Veterans Affairs

Candidates for Chairman-Elect and Governor should submit an application to serve that includes a copy of their resume and up to 10 letters of support. For details, please review the Candidate Guidelines, including guidance from the Board of Governors to the Nominating Committee regarding the personal competencies of Chairman-Elect and Governor candidates and the composition of the Board of Governors.

Candidates for the Nominating Committee should only submit a letter of self-nomination and a copy of their resume.

Applications to serve and self-nominations must be submitted electronically to and must be received by July 15, 2016. All correspondence should be addressed to Christine M. Candio, RN, FACHE, chairman, Nominating Committee, c/o Julie Nolan, American College of Healthcare Executives, 1 N. Franklin St., Ste. 1700, Chicago, IL 60606-3529.

Following the July 15 submission deadline, the committee will meet to determine which candidates for Chairman-Elect and Governor will be interviewed. All candidates will be notified in writing of the committee’s decision by Sept. 30, 2016, and candidates for Chairman-Elect and Governor will be interviewed in person on Oct. 27, 2016.

To review the Candidate Guidelines, visit
If you have any questions, please contact Julie Nolan at (312) 424-9367 or

Physician Executives and Healthcare Consultants Forums

ACHE’s Physician Executives Forum and Healthcare Consultants Forum enhance value for physician executive and healthcare consultant members through a package of benefits tailored to their unique professional development needs.

The Physician Executives Forum offers education, networking and relevant information that address the top issues physician executives face, such as leading quality initiatives and enhancing interdisciplinary communication skills. Benefits include a special designation on ACHE’s online Member Directory, e-newsletter and the opportunity to participate in ACHE’s exclusive LinkedIn Group. Physician executive members with an MD or DO credential are encouraged to visit to learn more about the Forum’s benefits and to join.

The Healthcare Consultants Forum can help healthcare consultants stay ahead of the curve and more effectively meet client needs through targeted resources. Benefits include a special designation on ACHE’s online Member Directory, e-newsletter and the opportunity to participate in ACHE’s exclusive LinkedIn Group. More information is available on, where interested consultant members can join.

The cost of membership in both Forums is $100 per year, in addition to ACHE annual dues.

New Promotion Period for Board of Governors Exam Fee Waiver Campaign: Feb. 1 – May 31

The Board of Governors Exam fee waiver promotion for ACHE Members to save $200 when they submit their Fellow application will now take place between Feb. 1 and May 31, 2016. Eligible members must submit their completed Fellow application, $250 application fee and all required materials (including references) by May 31. Pending application approval, ACHE will waive the $200 Board of Governors Exam fee.

For more information on the promotion, go to

ACHE Call for Nominations for Regent-at-Large

The ACHE Board of Governors is calling for applications to serve as Regent-at-Large in Districts 1 and 6 beginning in March 2017. ACHE Fellows are eligible for Regent-at-Large vacancies within their district. 

  • District 1 consists of Canada, Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont.
  • District 6 consists of Uniformed Services/Veterans Affairs.

The goal of the Board of Governors in appointing Regents-at-Large is for the Council of Regents to mirror the diversity of ACHE Members and Fellows. To that end, the Board seeks applicants who are female or persons of color as these groups are underrepresented on the Council of Regents. This is not intended to discourage other applicants and represents only the gaps in diversity that the Board seeks to address. The responsibilities of the Regent-at-Large, including suggested knowledge, skills and experience, are included in the position description posted at Appointments will be made by the Board of Governors in November 2016. Candidates should not directly contact members of the Board of Governors to request letters of support.

Fellows from Districts 1 and 6 may apply to serve by sending a letter (see specifications below) via U.S. mail postmarked between January 1 and July 15 to Caitlin E. Stine, American College of Healthcare Executives, 1 N. Franklin St., Suite 1700, Chicago, IL 60606-3529. Materials can also be sent via email to or faxed to (312) 424-2836. All candidates will be listed in the Member Center of under the heading “Regent-at-Large Declared Candidates.” Any candidate not listed by July 31 should contact Caitlin E. Stine immediately. If prospective candidates have any questions about the application process, they should contact Caitlin Stine.

Application specifications: To be considered, applications must include:

  • A statement, in the form of a letter, by the candidate that addresses his or her qualifications for the position, including the demographic characteristics, knowledge, skills and experience that are noted above.
  • A professional resume of education and work experience.

Candidates may include up to two letters of support for their candidacy. Letters of support may not be solicited from current members of the ACHE Board of Governors.

ACHE’s Leader–to–Leader Program

When you share the value of ACHE membership with your colleagues through encouraging them to join or advance to Fellow status, you can earn points to obtain rewards such as gift certificates toward ACHE education programs, clothing, a water bottle, clock and even a chance to be entered into a raffle for a free Congress registration when three or more are sponsored.

Each time a person joins ACHE or advances to Fellow status and lists your name as a sponsor on the application, you earn a point. The more points you earn, the more rewards you can receive. Points expire on Dec. 31 of the following year when they were earned (e.g., a point earned on Jan. 1, 2016, will expire on Dec. 31, 2017). You can check your point balance on the My ACHE area of To ensure colleagues reference you, referral cards are available that you can pass out so you receive the credit you deserve.

When you help grow ACHE, you make a strong statement about your professionalism and leadership in the healthcare field and also strengthen the organization.

For more information on the program, go to

2016 Premier Corporate Partners

The American College of Healthcare Executives is proud to recognize and thank our 2016 Premier Corporate Partners. The funding ACHE receives from our Corporate Partners helps to support our high-quality programs. Please thank our Corporate Partners for their commitment to ACHE and helping us advance healthcare management excellence.

ACHE Announces Its 2016–2018 Strategic Plan

At the November Board of Governors meeting, the Board approved the 2016-2018 Strategic Plan. In drafting the plan, ACHE reached out to members, chapter leaders and Regents to learn how ACHE can continue providing the best value to you in the rapidly evolving healthcare environment.

As changes in healthcare unfold, we continue to offer top-notch educational programs, as well as research, books, magazines and journals with insight from experts on topics that are vital to your success. We also are expanding our 45,000-member community to include professionals from across the continuum of care, such as physician executives and other clinical leaders. In doing so, we will help prepare a new cadre of healthcare leaders. In addition, ACHE is committed to enhancing the FACHE® credential to ensure relevancy to the marketplace and stakeholders. Through a continued focus on professional development, we strive to help prepare leaders to provide the best care to the patients and communities they serve.

ACHE continues to deliver innovative products and meaningful new solutions to keep you on the leading edge. Through new collaborations—such as our recent partnership with the National Patient Safety Foundation in developing a culture of safety—ACHE is working to engage top leaders in innovative leadership solutions. And, additional collaborations are being developed to increase and sustain diversity at the highest levels of healthcare leadership.

New challenges and uncertainties test us as we work as a profession toward better health for all. ACHE is keeping a pulse on our environment, expanding resources and growing our community to help you meet those opportunities head on. 

Gain detailed information on the plan here.  


Building Rapport

Rapport helps create and strengthen positive relationships built on trust and understanding; it is not something you can build overnight. However, you can do a few things to quicken the process:

  • Share a little of yourself. To trust and respect someone, you need to know a little about that person. Share with your co-workers and employees a bit of your background and history. Communicate what you think and believe. Open up, and you’ll be surprised how quickly people do the same.
  • Look for common ground. As people start sharing information about themselves, look for things you have in common. Do you both like running? Are you both from California? Did you go to the same college? Finding similarities can help reduce resistance in areas you differ.
  • Follow their lead. Pay attention to what other people are saying. Does someone have affinity for the word ‘perfect’? Work it into your conversation. Does a co-worker have an upbeat tone? Mimic that. This mirroring is called pacing, and it can help build a subconscious bond between people who don’t know each other that well.

—Adapted from Communication Solutions January 2016 newsletter,

Inspire Positivity Through Constructive Criticism

Constructive criticism can help employees improve their work and thus the organization. However, some managers can be negative when delivering the criticism, even if they have good intentions. Prefacing criticism with a comment such as “I want to help you do your job better” isn’t constructive if it destroys an employee’s confidence. Keep the strategies below in mind when providing advice to your employees:
  • Create an agenda. Criticism should typically be given soon after a mistake is made, but make you plan out what you will be saying prior to any conversation. Take a few moments to consider the situation and jot down some notes. Most importantly: Don’t criticize in public. 
  • Don’t use humor. While humor can help to lighten the mood, jokes can send a mixed message. Criticism should be played straight when talking to employees about mistakes and performance problems. 
  • Stay calm. If you lose your temper, you could lose control of the situation—and you don’t want the discussion to turn into an argument. If necessary, wait a few minutes to calm down before speaking with your employees. If not, the conversation could have the opposite effect of your intentions. 
  • Say something positive. There’s no need to share extraneous praise, but it’s important to give employees a reason to listen to you. Expressing confidence in them can make them more receptive to your message. 
  • Offer suggestions. Pointing out errors is only a first step. Provide them with suggestions to avoid mistakes in the future, and ask him or her what could be done differently. Strong constructive criticism goes beyond identifying problems—it also is a way of offering ideas and solutions. 
—Adapted from Communication Solutions January 2016 newsletter,