Kansas Association of Health Care Executives

December 2015

President's Message

Bob Bregant, FACHE

Fall 2015 KAHCE Newsletter – President’s Message 

It is unbelievable that we are nearly to the end of 2015. The weeks and months fly by so fast it is hard to believe we are already to Christmas shopping season. I thought we were watching baseball just last week!

As I finish my term as President, I reflect on the contribution of so many of our members to continue moving our chapter forward. In December 2014, the Chapter Board of Directors attended a planning retreat to establish goals and objectives for this year. Follow this LINK to read the plan document including a summary of accomplishments. Our 2015 retreat is scheduled for December 9; I encourage anyone with ideas for our committees to email me with your input at bbregant@steelehealth.com.

The most important activities of the chapter, according to member surveys, are local education programing and opportunities to network with peers. In both areas the chapter had exceptional leadership under Patricia Sanders-Hall and the education committee, as well as David Fleming of the KCLPC and Monica McCarthy who led our student and early careerist committee.

We have also had great support from Melissa Hungerford as our Treasurer, keeping the board (and me) in line with our budget.  And Judy Corzine and her committee continue to provide quality newsletter publications and spearheaded an upgrade in our website this year.

Finally, I would like to thank Susan Cunningham of KHA who provides support to the board and organizes many of our activities. Susan is an invaluable member of our team who deserves a lot of credit for the success of the chapter. I will miss working with her as President.

Patricia Sanders-Hall will assume the Presidency in January. Rest assured, our Chapter will be in very capable hands under her leadership. Once more, thank you to all the members who served on our committees, volunteered during events, spoke on our panels and participated in any way. I hope all of you will continue to attend and volunteer as we work toward even greater accomplishments in the future.

Message from Your ACHE Regent

Greetings to all.  It is that time of year again for us to reflect and take pause on what we are thankful for.  On a professional note, like many, I continue to be thankful for the opportunity to work in the healthcare field where I can contribute to making a difference in the lives of others.

As the needle continues to move toward well care rather than sick care, we will continue to be challenged as professionals to stay networked and current with healthcare industry happenings and the new skills that will be required to be successful going forward.

I had the privilege of attending the ACHE Chapter Leaders Conference in October and was impressed with the progress on ACHE’s strategic direction.  You should feel reassured that the Board and leadership of ACHE are listening concerning what changes could be considered to improve the value proposition for members and how ACHE could make a bigger impact in the industry.

While mentoring is always good, we all have a personal responsibility to manage our career path. ACHE’s Career Resource Center offers you comprehensive, confidential career services, including:

  • Programs that enhance your career and leadership development
  • Services that help you better market your abilities
  • Tools to strategically plan your career
  • Opportunities that broaden your network and increase your professional contacts: including the Career Management Network, LinkedIn Tips and ACHE's Official LinkedIn Group
I encourage you to explore these tools on the ACHE website.

“Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving.” 
- W.T. Purkiser

Happy Holidays.


Janet Stanek, FACHE
Regent for Kansas
Sr. Vice-President & Chief Operating Officer
Stormont-Vail Healthcare


Membership Report

David Fleming

We are nearing the end of another year, and the Membership Committee has had a very interesting year. The Membership Survey gave us a lot of good information that we have been working on implementing this year. There have been 51 new members so far in 2015 and we are hoping to add 5 more in December.

We displayed at the KHA meeting in September and experienced very good booth traffic resulting in a number of leads for new members. Many thanks to the members of the committee for all the work in 2015 and we are looking forward to a successful 2016.

Welcome to our new members:

  • Bryan Adams, Leavenworth
  • Sarah Alford, Overland Park
  • Vicki Bond, Wichita
  • Michael Flanklin, Leawood
  • Jim Ford, Louisburg
  • Elizabeth Gibson, Overland Park
  • Prudhvi Rajan Karumanchi, MD, Topeka
  • Amy D Kincade, Topeka
  • Dan Lackey, Garden City
  • Sondra L Leatherman, Newton
  • Max Meschberger, Garden City

Recertified Fellows:

  • Katie Aldis, FACHE, Olathe
  • Jim Beatty, FACHE, Leawood
  • Amelia Boyd, FACHE, Hutchinson
  • Jennifer N Freund, FACHE, Prairie Village
  • Tracy D O’Rourke, FACHE, Topeka
  • Robert E Schneider, FACHE, Shawnee Mission
  • Dennis W Walker, FACHE, Andover

David Fleming
Membership Chairman

Student Members Attend KAHCE Annual Meeting, KHA Convention

Attending the KAHCE Annual Meeting and the KHA Convention as a student or early careerist provides great insight into current healthcare challenges and allows students to connect with local healthcare leaders. Below are some testimonies from students who attended this year.

"Attending my first KHA convention exposed me to many great experiences.  I was able to interact with healthcare leaders in a variety of roles across Kansas.  Additionally, I had the opportunity to attend various lectures and panel discussions on current and future trends in healthcare.  As a student, the KHA convention allowed me to build my network and provided me incredible educational experiences that I will never forget."

Laren Sawatzky, RHIA, MHSA Candidate
Rehab Medicine Administrative Assistant, University of Kansas Physicians
Master of Health Services Administration, University of Kansas (Expected Summer 2016)


"Please allow me a moment to express my gratitude for the recent KHA conference.  The renowned speakers were a highlight of this fascinating event.  In particular, Shawn Achor who presented on The Happiness Advantage was especially noteworthy.  I am also thankful for the numerous people I met who provided me some incredible insight as I discern my post-graduation career."

Justin Gassner, MBA Candidate
Healthcare Manager, United States Air Force Reserves
MBA-Concentration in Health Care Administration, Rockhurst University (Expected December 2015)


"As a future healthcare executive, I would like to thank you all for the great time I had at the KAHCE Annual Meeting.  Attending the conference sed a light on KAHCE's role in Population Health implementation.  Every healthcare executive would like to succeed in providing consumers with population health delivery - better health of a defined population with a lower cost.  It was a great opportunity to network with healthcare executives and a good platform to expand my knowledge on public health issues.  I am looking forward to the next KAHCE event."

Dina Fassakhova, MHSA Candidate
Administrative Intern, Saint Luke's Physician Specialists
Master of Health Services Administration, University of Kansas (Expected May 2016)

Communicating Change

Change is frequent within an organization. Whenever something is looming on the horizon, employees will look to you for information and answers. Whether this is layoffs, leadership change or simply rumors, you need to be prepared to foster an honest dialogue and share as much information as possible with employees.

Share What You Know

Even if you’re not completely sure of the exact steps that will be taken, explain what the final process is supposed to look like and what it might mean for them. Let’s say the topic is salary increases. Noting that management is looking over the options in front of them, but that decisions won’t be made until next year will give workers a stronger sense of relief. It may not provide much insight into the final outcome, but employees will feel better having some idea of what’s going on.

Listen for Concerns

Pay attention when you meet with employees to learn what worries they have. Setting up small group discussions with employees to discuss their concerns will help set in place a stronger peace of mind. Knowing their thoughts regarding the change can help you work to find out more information and allows you to share the details you think will quell their concerns.

Be Timely

Allowing employees to hear information through the grapevine rather than you is the biggest way to lose their trust and confidence—delaying bad news does not make it better. During these times, make communication with your team a priority.

—Adapted from Communication Solutions July 2015 newsletter, www.communicationbriefings.com


Checking In With Employees

Communicating and checking in on employees on a regular basis is important for a successful workflow. One-on-one meetings are a great way to consistently discuss duties, deadlines and questions and to keep in touch. The below will ensure the meetings are productive and necessary communication is shared in an effective manner.

Stick to a Specific Time

Consistency is key to beneficial communication. Connect with the employee regarding the day and time that would work best for both of you to meet on a weekly basis, and create meeting reminders for the discussion that extend far in advance. This ensures you will both be on the same page and that the meeting won’t be easily forgotten. Additionally, don’t cancel a check-in meeting at the last minute. There are exceptions, but sticking to a schedule shows your employee you value their time and creates a pattern that is easy to adhere to.

Create a Safe Space

Although constructive criticism on projects and management of workload is helpful for success, being respectful in delivering this feedback is a must. Employees should not be punished for speaking their mind. Make sure to answer their questions with respect, and try sharing something they’ve excelled in that week while offering suggestions for improvement in other areas. Such a gesture can boost morale and build trust. Creating a trusting environment will strengthen the bond between you and your employee.

Value Honesty

When chatting with an employee, strive to answer his or her questions as honestly as possible. If you can’t share something, explain why. And if you don’t have an answer, admit it and try to find out after the meeting.

Coach Employees
Instead of telling employees what to do, collaborate with them to help them find their own solutions and answers. This will help build their own confidence and their trust in you. Help them develop their skills so they feel empowered and engaged instead of dependent on you for advice.

Ask for Feedback

One-on-one discussions should not solely be a question-and-answer sessions. Engage in a real dialogue and ask employees what they desire from you and how you can help to manage them in a stronger way. They’ll welcome and appreciate the opportunity to give you their thoughts on your performance and other matters.

End on a Positive Note

At the end of each meeting, share at least one way in which the employee excelled that week. Thank the employee for his or her questions and the discussion itself, and express confidence in his or her abilities. Workers will feel better about meeting with you if you close on a high note. 

—Adapted from Communication Solutions May 2015 newsletter, www.communicationbriefings.com