ACHE of Iowa

December 2017

ACHE of Iowa President Message


Dear ACHE of Iowa Members,

As we near the end of 2017, the ACHE of Iowa Board and I would like to say thank you for your commitment to our chapter and the field of healthcare leadership. Your leadership makes a difference locally and nationally, as we all work collectively to improve our healthcare delivery system.

We hope you’ve had the opportunity to attend one of our education events this past year and network with colleagues from around the state. A big thanks to our Education and Program Planning committee chaired by Tim Chwirka of UnityPoint – St. Luke’s Hospital and co-chaired by Bobbi Bentz of Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield. ACHE of Iowa is committed to providing enough face-to-face credits to help members advance to Fellow or recertify. Stay tuned for more exciting events in 2018.


Happy holidays!


Timothy J. Ahlers, FACHE

Chief Financial and Operating Officer

UnityPoint Health – Dubuque

Regent Message

Message from Your ACHE Regent

As ACHE’s Regent for Iowa, I have the privilege of visiting with graduate students in healthcare administration each year from the two schools in Iowa that participate in ACHE’s education network: Des Moines University and the University of Iowa...

Hello ACHE of Iowa Members! 

As ACHE’s Regent for Iowa, I have the privilege of visiting with graduate students in healthcare administration each year from the two schools in Iowa that participate in ACHE’s education network: Des Moines University and the University of Iowa. In these visits I talk with them about the value of being a student member of ACHE and, after graduation, transitioning to full membership. We talk about the importance of being board certified in healthcare management, particularly when we ask our physician colleagues to be board certified in their fields. This year, we also discussed how the delivery of healthcare has changed over the years and the challenges leaders face in keeping up with issues and keeping their leadership skills sharp over the span of their careers. Our professional organization, ACHE, provides us with educational programs to stay current on priority topics and keep our leadership skills sharp.

Congratulations to the following members who have advanced to Fellow and are now board certified in healthcare management!

  • Kyle Wilcox, FACHE, VP Finance & Business Development, Grinnell Regional Medical Center

  • Sarah Zeidler, FACHE, Executive Director of Oncology Services, UnityPoint Health

  • Kay Takes, FACHE, President, Mercy Medical Center, Dubuque

 And, congratulations to those members who have recently recertified as Fellows!

  • Jean Shelton, FACHE, CEO, Iowa Digestive Disease Center

  • James Atty, FACHE, CEO, Waverly Health Center

Welcome to these new members!
  • John Davisson, CEO, Eye Surgeons Associates

  • Veronica Jackson-Patrick, Department of Veterans Affairs

  • Matthew Sells, President & CEO, Shenandoah Medical Center

  • Jeremy Alexander, CFO, Fort Madison Community Hospital


I would like to give a special shout-out to Tim Chwirka and his Education Committee at ACHE of Iowa. Once again this year, the Education Committee arranged for face-to-face programs that allowed us to obtain the credits we need to certify and re-certify as Members and Fellows. They also arranged for several great networking events that gave us opportunities to get to know each other better.

If you would like to serve on a committee for ACHE of Iowa, click on the following link for the ACHE of Iowa website and contact the chairperson of the committee you are interested in serving on.

I also encourage you to save the ACHE of Iowa website on your desktop for easy reference to educational and networking events sponsored by ACHE of Iowa. Just click on and save it to your desktop.

For easy access to ACHE publications, search for ACHE Publications in the App Store and download it to your phone. The app works great and allows you to search for past issues and articles from ACHE’s three excellent publications:

  • Healthcare Executive

  • Journal of Healthcare Management

  • Frontiers of Health Services Management

Strong leadership is necessary for quality healthcare. Gain the knowledge and networking you need through ACHE of Iowa. Stay strong in your healthcare leadership.

Warm regards,

Dave Hickman, FACHE

ACHE Regent for Iowa

Member News

New Member Spotlight

Meet one of our newest members, Brooke Kensinger!


Brooke Kensinger


University of Iowa BBA

University of Iowa MHA 

Current Position: 

Chief Executive Officer for Central Community Hospital - Elkader, Iowa

Why I'm a member of ACHE:

To have access to educational opportunities and networking with others in the healthcare field.

What's the best career advice you've received?

Wake Up. Work Hard. Have Fun. Be Kind. Repeat.

Save the Date Events

Upcoming ACHE of Iowa Events!

December 14th: Leading into an Unknowable Future: Creating a Committed Workforce.

Please join ACHE of Iowa on December 14 for Leading into an Unknowable Future: Creating a Committed Workforce.


Program:  Attendees will watch a 25 minute video presented featuring ACHE Faculty member Michael Frisina on the topic of Leading into an Unknowable Future: Creating a Committed Workforce.  This will be followed by a discussion and Q&A with the panel members. 


Topics for Discussion:


·         How individual leader behavior is tied to organizational performance


·         The importance of your staff’s emotional connection to you as a leader


·         Strategies for creating a committed workforce


·         Effective practices of successful organizations 





Mikaela Gehring, Chief Operating Officer, Compass Memorial Healthcare



Barry Goettsch, FACHE, Chief Executive Officer, Compass Memorial Healthcare

Scott Kallemeyn, FACHE, Executive Director, Cedar Rapids Surgery Center

Rachel Trevizo, Vice President of Revenue Cycle Services, MediRevv


Event Schedule:

7:30 – 8:00AM: Registration

8:00 – 8:30AM: Introductions and video presented by Michael Frisina

8:30 – 9:30AM: Panel Discussion and Q&A


Location: UnityPoint Health – St. Luke’s Hospital, 1026 A Ave NE, Cedar Rapids, IA (maps attached)

Room: 163 (1st Floor of St. Luke’s)

Parking: Attendees can park in the A Ave Parking Ramp located in front of the hospital.  Please see the attached campus map for location of A Ave Parking Ramp and the attached map of the first floor of St. Luke’s for the location of Room 163.

Registration: Please register for the event at 

This program has been developed and is presented locally by ACHE of Iowa. The American College of Healthcare Executives has awarded 1.5 ACHE Face-to-Face Education Credits to this program.

To receive credit, your name MUST appear on the Sign-In Sheet. 




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

Updated ACHE of Iowa Board Roster


Chapter Position(s)

Title, Organizational Address

Contact Information

Year of 1st Term

Tim Ahlers, FACHE



UnityPoint Health - Finley Hospital

350 N Grandview Ave

Dubuque, IA 52001




David Hickman, FACHE


Vice President

Mercy Health Network

1755 59th Place

West Des Moines, IA  50266

(515) 358-8024



Tom Mulrooney, FACHE

President-Elect and Treasurer

Vice President of Surgical and Cardiovascular Services

UnityPoint Health – Des Moines

1200 Pleasant Street

Des Moines, IA  50309

(515) 241-4027



Michelle Niermann, FACHE

Immediate Past President


UnityPoint Health – St. Luke’s Hospital

1026 A Avenue NE

Cedar Rapids, IA  52402

(319) 369-8873



Mikki Stier, FACHE

Medicaid Director for the State of Iowa
Iowa Medicaid Enterprise
100 Army Post Road
Des Moines, IA 50317

(515) 256-4621


(Regent Year)

Tim Chwirka


Education and Program Planning

Manager, Work Well

UnityPoint Health – St. Luke’s Hospital

1026 A Avenue NE

Cedar Rapids, IA  52402




Erin Baldwin



Director, Student Health

Iowa State University



(1st Full Year – 2017)

Bobbi Bentz, MHA, MPH


Education and Program Planning

Executive Account Manager

Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield

Phone: 515-376-5375

Cell: 515-669-2135



(1st Full Year – 2017)

 Carl Behne



Greene County Medical Center

1000 W Lincoln Way

Jefferson, IA 50129




Sam Schone, MHA

 Chair Membership & Advancement

Director of Connect/Innovation

Mercy Medical Center- Des Moines

1111 Sixth Ave

Des Moines, IA 50314




Jen Thompson, MHA


 Director of Clinical Services 

University of Iowa Health Clinics

(319) 353-7040


Ex Officio Members

Jenni Dixon, CMP

IHA Liaison

Director, Education Services

100 E Grand Ave., Suite 100

Des Moines, IA 50309-1835

(515) 288-1955  ext 358


Ex Officio

Dan Gentry, PhD, MHA

University of Iowa Liaison

Clinical Professor, MHA Program Director

University of Iowa College of Public Health

145 N. Riverside Drive, N216 CPHB

Iowa City, IA 52242



Ex Officio

Rachel Reimer

 Des Moines University Liaison

Director of MHA Program

Des Moines University


 Ex Officio

Invited Guests

Jesus Lechuga

Quality and Process Excellence Manager

Adair County Health System

609 SE Kent, Greenfield, IA 50849


(281) 813-2621

(641) 743-7347

 Kylor Sorensen

 VP of Professional Development

 Iowa Student Association of Healthcare Leaders (ISAHL)

 UI Student

Call For Volunteers

Are you looking for volunteer opportunities? ACHE of Iowa has many volunteer opportunities within the organization.

Are you looking for volunteer opportunities? ACHE of Iowa has many volunteer opportunities within the organization. Please contact the committee chair below to find the right opportunity for you.


Membership and Advancement
Chair: Sam Schone

(515) 643-2062


National News

Bring Out the Most in Your Employees: 10 Tips for Managers

One of the biggest responsibilities managers have is to inspire others to be the best versions of themselves. “If done well, everyone on your team will not only be more productive and efficient, but also happier with their jobs,” according to entrepreneur and speaker John Rampton. Here are 10 ways managers can effectively lead others to produce high-quality work:

1. Be authentic. Behaving in a way that aligns with your beliefs and values helps build trust with your employees and encourages them to be genuine as well.

2. Encourage transparency and feedback. Admitting when you are wrong is crucial to creating an honest and transparent culture where everyone can feel free enough to be their best at work.

3. Create connections with individuals. Get to know each person on your team. This will allow you to understand what motivates your employees, what they enjoy doing and what they are working toward.

4. Give recognition. Be the one to applaud and appreciate good work and can keep motivation levels high.

5. Leverage technology. Spend time finding solutions that can automate or speed up monotonous tasks to help make your team more productive and happier.

6. Support risk taking. Encouraging risk taking not only builds employees’ confidence and autonomy, but it yields more output within a culture of innovation.

7. Keep mission at the forefront. When people are excited about the work they are doing, their output is going to be exponentially higher.

8. Promote autonomy. Don’t make people feel like they have to be doing their work in a particular way, let them take a goal or idea and run with it. Giving people freedom can create momentum in the office.

9. Challenge your employees. Inspire your team to ask questions like "why am I working on this particular thing? Is what I'm doing the best use of my time right now, and is there a way to do this more efficiently?"

10. Hire the best. Great managers bring superstar qualities out of normal people. That said, it’s crucial to know when a person isn't a good fit and when to cut ties with someone who doesn’t fit.

—Adapted from “10 Ways to Make Your Employees 10x More Productive,” by John Rampton, Entrepreneur, Nov. 10, 2017.

Ransomware Tops List of Health Technology Safety Hazards

ECRI Institute named ransomware and other cybersecurity threats as the No. 1 hazard that warrants the greatest attention for the coming year. In the healthcare environment, ransomware and other types of malware attacks are more than just an IT nightmare. They are a potential patient-safety crises that can disrupt healthcare delivery operations, placing patients at risk.

Endoscope reprocessing landed in the No. 2 spot for 2018, as many healthcare facilities still struggle with consistently and effectively cleaning, disinfecting and sterilizing these instruments between uses. Reprocessing failures can lead—and have led—to the spread of deadly infections. Other topics on the list include bed and stretcher support surfaces that remain contaminated between patients, missed alarms, equipment malfunctions resulting from the use of incompatible cleaning agents, patient burns from electrosurgical electrodes that are not safely holstered between uses, and unnecessary radiation exposures during digital imaging procedures.

The ECRI Institute Top 10 Health Technology Hazards for 2018 list identifies potential sources of danger involving medical devices and other health technologies, as well as practical strategies for reducing risks, establishing priorities and enacting safety solutions.

—Adapted from “Ransomware and Other Cybersecurity Threats Top ECRI Institute’s Annual Health Technology Hazards List,” by Laurie Menyo, ECRI Institute, Nov. 6, 2017.