Kansas Association of Health Care Executives

December 15, 2014

President's Message

Heather Fuller, FACHE

Thank you so much to everyone that attended the annual meeting and education in Overland Park! Over 100 KAHCE members and students attended the event and networking activities. Special thanks to Patricia Sanders-Hall, Bob Bregant, and Jonas Varnum and their committees for all of the time and planning that went into making the event a success! 

Please join me in welcoming Bob Bregant as the 2015 KAHCE President! Bob has done a fantastic job with the membership committee and working with the student/early careerist committee. I’m looking forward to what Bob and the rest of the KAHCE chapter will accomplish next year! I have enjoyed serving the chapter this past year as President, and would like to thank you all for your support and dedication to the chapter. 

Heather Fuller
2014 KAHCE President

Education Report

KAHCE offered 15 face-to-face credits in 3 separate educational programs presented in 2014. In the spring on April 24-25, a 9-credit 2-day program was sponsored in Wichita which included 6 credits for an on-location speaker. On Day 1, Michael Frisina, PhD, founder and president of The Frisina Group, LLC, presented the ACHE program, “Reducing the Impact of Hospital Readmission and Medical Mistakes” which offered many insights regarding the strategies needed for acute inpatient health care providers to avoid readmissions due to “never events” and the growing trend of acute care hospitals partnering with post-acute providers to meet this goal.

On Day 2, Martie Ross, JD, Principal with Pershing Yoakley & Associates moderated the panel, “Integrating the Principles of Patient-Centered Care” which included Rob Freelove, M.D. from the Salina Family Health Care Center; Karlan Haury, HIT Practice Consultant with the Kansas Foundation for Medical Care and Brian Weisel, Director, Quality Improvement and LEAN, Salina Regional Health Center as participants. This panel presented timely information about the “patient-first” culture in various facilities and emphasized the need for providers to create models which will improve patient access, increases communication and education to patients and families, avoids redundancy of testing and procedures and has care plans inclusive of patient/family input.

The second panel on Day 2 in Wichita this past April was entitled, “Healthcare Safety – Protecting Patients and Front Line Staff”. This panel was moderated by Kendra Tinsley, Executive Director, Kansas Healthcare Collaborative. The panel members were Gail Bouldin, Chief Nursing Officer, Phillips County Hospitals; Gregory Burger, PharmD, President Elect, Kansas Council of Health System Pharmacists; and Stephen Nesbit, DO, Chief Hospital Medical Officer, Via Christi. This panel was a very good continuation of many of several of the key points from the Frisina talk the day before but also presented many good take-aways not covered on Day 1. This panel discussed the value of reviewing and updating existing patient safety policies and procedures to meet current standards of practice; the need for executive engagement and outlined many successful strategies of Kansas facilities to protect patients and employees from preventable injuries and/or disease.

On June 24, 2014, the Kansas City Local Program Council worked with KAHCE to present the Panel, “Diversity and Inclusion: Business Implications & Imperatives for Healthcare Organizations”, moderated by Mahnaz Shabbir, President, Shabbir Advisors. The panel members were Ron Bakes, CEO, St. Luke’s East; John Clabaugh, Senior VP/Human Resources, St. Luke’s East; Gabriela Flores, Director, Office of Equity & Diversity, Children’s Mercy Hospital; and Erin Schilling, JD, Polsinelli PC. This robust panel was presented following the ACHE call to action in 2014 for all chapters to develop a Statement on Diversity and Inclusion. The discussion for this presentation included the broadening of the definition of diversity and many examples of effective programs and strategies from the organizations represented.

The final educational program for the 2014 year was presented as a pre-conference event prior to the Annual Kansas Hospital Association Convention and Trade Show at the Overland Park Convention Center on November 12, 2014. Three panels were presented offering a total of 4.5 face-to-face credits. The first panel was titled, “Building Health Care Facilities for the Future: Renovate, Rehabilitate or Replace” and Jon Jackson, Senior Vice President for Systems Integration at the University of Kansas Hospital, was the moderator. Panelists were Denny Hachenberg, CEO, Anderson County Hospital; Bill Woodhouse, Principal, ACI Boland; Rick Embers, Principal, Pulse Design; and Rob Welker, Principal, Hoefer-Wysocki. This panel explored the challenges of construction to meet quality goals, advanced technology, increased capacity needs and regulatory standards.

Panel #2 was titled, “Mitigating Health Care Risks” and was moderated by Dan Peters, JD, General Counsel, University of Kansas Hospital. This panel included Venus Buckner, Director, Risk Management, University of Kansas Hospital; Lee Norman, MD, Chief Medical Officer, University of Kansas Hospital and Jim Kilmartin, Director, Risk Management, Stormont-Vail. The very timely topic of health care facility preparedness for the Ebola Virus was discussed with sharing of information from the Centers of Disease Control as well as federal pandemic research.

The third panel for this program was “Health Care Facility Acquired Infections” moderated by Cheri Hunt, RN, MHA, NEA-BC, Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer, Children’s Mercy Hospitals & Clinics. Panel members were Meredith Shellner, RN, MHA, Infection Preventionist, Truman Medical Center, Lakewood; Jason Newland, MD, Medical Director, Patient Safety & systems Reliability; Holly Anderson, VP, Operations, Skilled Healthcare, LLC; and Joey Scaletta, BSN, MPH, Program Director, Health Care Associated Infections Program, Kansas Department of Health & Environment.

In addition to educational panels, the Education Committee added networking events and student development opportunities to this year’s programs to generate interest in membership and to support the health care leaders of the future.

Watch for information published soon about the next educational program for 2015 which will be in Wichita on April 30 and May 1.

2014 Education Committee: Rod Corn; David Fleming; Heather Fuller; Ken Klingensmith; Jonas Varnum; Carla Yost; and Patricia Sanders-Hall, Chair.

Annual Meeting/Election Report

On November 12, 2014, approximately 100 members, including 15 students attended the annual meeting and fall education session in Overland Park Kansas. 3 educational sessions were held a) “Building the Health Facility of Tomorrow: Rehabilitate, Renovate or Replace” b) “Reducing Health Care Risks/Ebola Planning” and c) “Prevention and Management of Facility Acquired Infections”.  The panel members were very experienced in their topics and provided great information and guidance to attendees.

During the annual meeting, the slate of officers and directors for 2015 were approved. They included:

  • Bob Bregant, FACHE, from Steele Healthcare Solutions of Overland Park as President.
  • Patricia Sanders-Hall, FACHE, from The University of Kansas Hospital in Kansas City, as President-Elect.
  • Tony Thompson FACHE, from Goodland Regional Medical Center in Goodland as Director.
  • Roger Barnhart from Ashland Heath Center in Ashland as Director.
  • Sharon Cox, FACHE, from Rawlins County Health Center in Atwood as Director.
  • Roger Masse, FACHE, from Ellsworth County Medical Center in Ellsworth as Director.
  • LTC Paul C. Graves from Munson Army Health Center in Leavenworth as Military Representative.
  • Monica McCarthy, KUMC, Kansas City, was selected for the student representative.
  • Melissa Hungerford, FACHE, from KHA will maintain her Secretary/Treasurer role.
  • Heather Fuller, FACHE, from Sunflower Health Network in Salina moves into the Past President role.

During the meeting it was announced that Janet Stanek, FACHE, Stormont-Vail Healthcare in Topeka, Kansas was selected to be the ACHE Regent for our District.

ACHE Service Awards were given to Rod Corn, FACHE, from Neuterra in Kansas City; Melissa Hungerford, FAHCE, from Kansas Hospital Association in Topeka; and Dave Engel, FACHE, from Phillips County Hospital in Phillipsburg. The Regent's Award was given to Bob Bregant, FACHE, Steele Healthcare Solutions, LLC in Overland Park.

The day ended with a KAHCE/ACHE/KCLPC networking session and then a Student Development and Early Career Breakout Session.

Respectfully submitted, Judy Corzine, FACHE, Communications Committee Chair

Membership Update

The membership committee has been working hard this year to meet our goals for 2014. We have developed a “Value Add” document and a postcard for soliciting membership leads that was distributed to KAHCE members.

We reached our goal for new members in 2014 by increasing our membership by more than 5%. We also had a very successful KHA annual meeting with leads for 12 potential new members.

I want to thank all who have helped with the membership committee this year, with a special thanks to our President-Elect Bob Bregant for his help and mentoring of the committee.

We look forward to a great 2015. If you are interested in helping with the membership committee please let me know.

Happy Holidays to all!

David Fleming
Membership Committee Chair

Diversity and Inclusion in Health Care: A Template for Leaders

In mid-June 2014, I received a call from Terra Levin, Regional Director for ACHE, asking me if I would be interested in presenting at the annual ACHE Leaders Conference in September. The topic she asked me to present was on Diversity and Inclusion in Health Care and the invitation arose from the fact that the KAHCE Chapter had recently submitted a program application for a July program on this topic. I was honored to receive this invitation but knew this would involve thoughtful preparation and engagement of the entire board of KAHCE. Instead of simply planning for an educational program, we embarked on having discussions at the board level each month on this topic. This coincided with the call to action from ACHE for each chapter to submit a "Statement on Diversity" in alignment with our national organization's position on the right of all people to have fair and equitable care and treatment regardless of race, age, culture, sexual orientation or gender. Through thoughtful dialogue and email communications with my fellow board colleagues, KAHCE adopted a statement and also a more open communication approach regarding this topic. This all began back in December 2013 at the annual KAHCE Board retreat when we began discussing the need to step forward as a professional organization to address this issue as a social and community health need and not as a partisan political agenda. We agreed long before we heard from ACHE about the Statement on Diversity that this was the right thing to address as leaders in health care.

Through the hard work of Kate Conrad, FACHE, a few ACHE members in the Bi-State Kansas City Local Program Council and an engaged group of faculty and students from the University of Kansas Healthcare Management program, we presented our educational session on July 24, 2014. It was a huge success with a great turn-out and excellent speakers. The panelists presented what they had already been doing in their organizations and many participants asked great questions. It was exciting to hear so many ideas and to know that there was already so much in place in many of the Kansas City metro area hospitals regarding equity of care. So the good news was, this was not starting from a blank page but building upon what was already started many years ago by many facilities and organizations in order to provide the best care to patients.

Immediately after our annual board retreat in December, I took lots of notes, asked a lot more questions and did more research and reading. I contacted the National Institute of Diversity in Health Care Management and requested more material and information. I had met the CEO, Fred Hobby, in September 2013, when the Missouri Healthcare Executives Group, past Missouri Regent Patrick Bira and the Bi-State Kansas City Local Program Council presented a program on Health Care Equity and Inclusion at Rockhurst University, Kansas City. Mr. Hobby and I met again at the ACHE Congress in March 2014 and spoke more about this topic. I took more notes.... I did more research.... I began feeling a greater sense of purpose to stay on-course with advancing this discussion in the Kansas chapter....

One of my first actions was to ask every board member to take a look at their own facilities and to report back what they were already doing. I didn't want anyone to feel they needed to do anything more than that because the experiences I had up to that point had convinced me that this was an area in health care that is often quietly done without a lot of marketing or fanfare. In other words, there was already an infrastructure to build upon. Assessing the current status seemed like the right move. I received some really good feedback and appreciated hearing from Magnet-designated hospital leaders such as Judy Corzine, RN, FACHE, from Stormont-Vail and Gigi Siers, RN from the University of Kansas Hospital as well as Marty Baumbach, LT, USC, US Navy, Medical Officer Programs about the embedded diversity policies they follow in daily operations. More information came in from other organizations, including Children's Hospital of Kansas City, St. Luke's East Hospital and Truman Medical Center-KC.

From the feedback I received and from the responses and information from local facilities, as well as from research and interviews conducted with experts on this subject, I formed the outline for my presentation to the Leaders conference. I decided it was a "template for leaders;" a work-in-progress that could be flexed to fit individual organizational cultures and circumstances.

The following is an excerpt of my slides presented at the ACHE annual Leaders Conference on September 28, 2014.


  • Present the current state at Kansas facilities: build upon the infrastructure already formed
  • Broaden the definition of diversity
  • Create realistic goals with short time frames
  • Replace dialogue and agreement with actions
  • Highlight local best practice models
  • Keep diversity awareness on the front burner


  • Not just race, ethnicity or skin color
  • Religion, culture, language and creed
  • Disabled: physical mobility or deformity; hearing/sight/speech impairment
  • Lifestyle and sexual orientation (LGBTQ)
  • Weight and size
  • Socioeconomic and educational status


  • Identify healthcare organizations with a long history of equity and diversity policies/programs
  • Find local leaders who are subject-matter experts
  • Create a community mission and message
  • Engage diverse community groups
  • Seek KAHCE leaders and health care organizations as champions


  • Adopt and Communicate Statement on Diversity
  • Place Diversity topics on Chapter Board agenda
  • Use Chapter Newsletter,E-mail and Social Media
  • Assign a Diversity and Inclusion Leader
  • Task Membership, Education and Mentoring Committees to achieve one diversity action/year
  • Take a "straw poll" of Board and Committees Chairs organizations' diversity policies and programs
  • Facilitate opportunities for open dialogue
  • Push the message: "Inclusion and equity of care aligns with the universal health care mission and is simply the right thing to do." Fred Hobby, CEO, National Institute for Diversity of Healthcare Management


  • Diverse background in one or more members of the Board - YES
  • Include Diversity on the Agenda of the annual Board Retreat - YES
  • Adopt a Statement on Diversity - YES
  • Add Diversity to two or more Board meeting agendas/year - YES
  • Approve and Sponsor a Diversity face-to-face education program YES
  • Receive board member reports on their facility policies and programs - YES
  • Assign a Diversity and Inclusion Leader - NEAR FUTURE
  • Task Membership and Mentoring Committees to implement one diversity action/year - NEAR FUTURE

Patricia Sanders-Hall, M.A., FACHE
Vice President, Ancillary Diagnostic and Therapeutic Services
The University of Kansas Hospital
Education Committee Chair and Board Member, KAHCE

The Secrets to Career Fulfillment

Come Monday morning, employees can yearn for the upcoming weekend and feel unmotivated and unhappy. However, research shows having a positive attitude about the week can greatly increase the success level and feeling of content for employees. In a survey of 850,000 people conducted by The Conference Board—a research group—researchers found those satisfied with their jobs tend to start the week off energized and motivated. Below are a few things fulfilled employees do differently.

  • Cut Back on the Small Talk.  Matthias Mehl, a psychology professor at the University of Arizona, found people who engage in deep discussions, as opposed to small talk, are happier. This is because human beings are driven to find and create meaning in their lives. People who are more talkative can make themselves happier and more successful by focusing their discussions on substantive work issues and cutting back on short, meaningless conversations. You should strive to incorporate just one more thoughtful conversation each day regarding a work issue and avoid at least one small-chatter session.
  • Avoid People Who Complain. Typically, there tends to be a group of people who complain about many aspects of their employing organization. However, complaining with no solution in mind is a dangerous habit. Sometimes just thinking more positively can create a better outlook on your position and organization. Search out ways to be authentically positive such as praising a coworker’s accomplishment or a team’s achievement of project goals.
  • Make Every Assignment a Challenge. Start looking at each large project not only as a way to get things done but as an opportunity to learn and expand your skill set. Doing more than what is required, such as researching industry trends related to the project, talking with colleagues for best practices and creating innovative ideas, can improve both your project and your organization. The amount and quality of work you contribute to your company will likely be valued, and even on the slim chance it’s not, intrinsically you will feel better about yourself by knowing you gave a project your all.
  • Find a Strong Mentor. Every great employee needs that extra push to acknowledge what he or she is truly capable of. This typically means finding someone who can instruct, guide and push you to be your best. Obtaining a mentor, whether that be a boss, senior colleague or even a family member, can help you to excel in your work. To find someone who will be the most beneficial to you, ensure there is trust in the relationship, the proposed mentor has sufficient time and there is good chemistry. Once a mentorship is created, ask the coach to help you understand what success looks like; and have him assess your strengths and weaknesses and define the next steps in your career.
  • Stay Committed. Some people looking for lifetime fulfillment will leave their jobs or stray from a secure path in order to find themselves. However, before jumping ship, a recommended strategy is to trying to bring a purpose to your current role. Take a long look at your position and find what differences you could make in your role or what you could do to challenge yourself more. Have regular conversations with managers, peers, family members and mentors who can give a valuable opinion. Also consider activities outside of work such as volunteering or new hobbies to obtain greater fulfillment.

Adapted from "5 Stealth Ways to Make Monday Better," by Chester Elton, www.inc.com