Kansas Association of Health Care Executives

December 2020

From the Desk of the KAHCE President

Trenton Stringer

This is the time of year that we all like to reflect on the past 12 months and evaluate what has gone well and what could have been better, both personally and professionally. Looking back at my own year, what a year 2020 has been! As KAHCE President, I have had the opportunity to work with wonderful leaders from across the state. It is working with this team of leaders that gives me hope for our state as we face many challenges to providing care and serving our communities. 

COVID has definitely been one for the books in regards to challenges and disruptors in healthcare. It has forced us to come together and reimagine how we provide care during a global pandemic. Whether it has been innovations in telehealth platforms or relaxing insurance regulations that allow us to provide care in a safe environment for our patients, we can all agree that this has not been business as usual. Historically, if we were going to launch these initiatives across our health systems, we would take time to carefully plan, utilize pilot groups, gather feedback from patients, and then strategically roll these initiatives out across the system. However, during a pandemic, this does not allow for the appropriate amount of planning time. Instead, it takes groups of leaders putting in countless hours and constant communication between all parties as things are changing by the hour. Flexibility has been the key for 2020. Things are not “per usual,” and we are all adapting to make sure we are staying as safe as possible and still serving our communities. 

As for KAHCE, we have also had to adapt and have moved our usual Face-to-Face offerings to a virtual platform and continuously working on how to still engage members and participants in a meaningful way. This is something our Board has been working on as we get our feet wet in the COVID world, I look forward to 2021 and to see what we can offer to our leaders across the state. Since the 2021 ACHE Congress will be virtual, this allows us to allocate the funds that would have historically been used for student travel scholarships to offer more student membership scholarships and other initiatives that help our organization grow. It is this flexibility and thoughtful leadership that makes me proud to be a part of KAHCE. As we have voted to keep the current slate of officers, I know the momentum and knowledge that we gained in 2020 will serve us well as we tackle 2021. Be on the look out for the various offerings that KAHCE will be presenting next year, such as education, networking, roundtables, and more. 

Ultimately, 2020 has been an interesting year with its fair share of ups and downs. With the vaccines currently being distributed across the US and Kansas health systems, I cannot help but to feel a little bit of hope as we continue to navigate through these difficult times. And as we all continue to crank out work, do not forget to take care of yourselves – the state is counting on all of us. I want to sign off by wishing you all a Happy New Year and hope you all are able to get some much needed rest as we charge into 2021. Take care.

Message From Your ACHE Regent - Fall 2020

Patricia Sanders-Hall, FACHE

Dear KAHCE Colleagues,

It was my great hope that by this time in 2020, we might have good news to share about the fight against COVID-19 and some projections about getting back to in-person events. However, our state and Missouri, Oklahoma, Colorado, and places all across the nation are all seeing a rise in COVID-19 cases. We must remain diligent in our efforts as healthcare leaders to share information about precautions and be role models for our communities. We have heard from so many of you as well as from all across the nation about the many challenges being faced by frontline patient care staff as well as those unsung heroes who are working behind the scenes and in support roles to keep our facilities operating. Our communities are so grateful for all of the essential workers in healthcare as well as all of the other critical services workers whom we all need to keep us going.

In keeping with the continuation of these precaution efforts and in aligning with our national ACHE organization, KAHCE regrettably had to cancel our annual fall meeting. We offered election of our officers and Board by email ballot, and our annual Board retreat on November 12th was also a virtual event. KAHCE has announced virtual educational programs, and they have been well-planned and well-received thus far. We are glad this format will continue to serve us well into the future. Having this option for a state where many are unable to travel to on-site programs has been an unexpected improvement created by this pandemic,especially for our members living and working in rural areas. Finally, our Higher Education Network (HEN) visits will also be virtual.

I look forward to the Zoom visit with KU Health Services Management students on November30th and will report on a virtual visit to Wichita State University in the near future as well.

Please continue to check out the abundant articles and resources related to the Coronavirus on our ACHE website at www.ACHE.org to stay abreast of information and strategies from reliable, science-based professionals as well as from your colleagues across the country. If you believe you have developed the best practices you want to share, please contact me directly at KANSASREGENT or send to our Regional Director, Phillip Shaffer, at pshaffer@ACHE.org.

We are very pleased to announce the winners of the 2020 Kansas Regent Awards. The recipient of our Early Careerist Regent’s Award is Jackie Jeschke, MHSA,a Senior Consultant in Strategy and Integration at PYA in Overland Park. Jackie has served as an active member of our KAHCE Board and in the role of the Kansasco-chair of the Bi-state Kansas City Program Council. Our chapter is very grateful for Jackie’s leadership in continuing to bring quality education programs for healthcare leaders in the Kansas City area in collaboration with the Missouri Healthcare Executives Group. KCLPC is the only bi-state Local Program Council in the country.

Our Senior Executive Regent’s award was presented to Judy Corzine, FACHE, Vice President and Chief Information Officer at Stormont-Vail HealthCare in Topeka. Judy has served as past chapter president and has had an extended role as immediate past president in heading up our Nominating Committee. Judy has also taken on leadership with updating our chapter Bylaws and has served as on our Board in keeping our actions aligned with our charter rules and responsibilities. Our chapter has great admiration for all of the effort and time Judy has given to our organization, which is only one of several professional associations to which she belongs.

These two Regent awards were purposely selected to represent a change from the traditional leaders who have been past recipients. Though all were deserving, I wanted to send the message this year that healthcare consulting agencies, healthcare vendors and partners, and many of the non-clinical healthcare leaders in direct care facilities are also critical to the success of our mission to provide outstanding care. Another change instituted in this Regent term was the establishment of an award that will specifically recognize mid-careerist leaders as well as recognizing exceptional leaders in Kansas rural communities.

I will end my message with a renewed hope for better news about managing COVID-19more effectively in the near future. My sincere wishes for your good health,safety, continued courage, and strong spirits in these difficult days ahead.

Sincere Regards,
Patricia Sanders-Hall, FACHE
Regent for Kansas

Thanks to Our Sponsors

Robert "Bob" Bregant, Jr., FACHE
Teaser here

The Sponsorship Committee and Board of KAHCE would like to extend a thank you to our 2020 Sponsors. This pandemic year brought unique challenges! We missed being able to shake hands, have a cocktail and spend time, in person, learning about the great services and offerings these companies provide, but we look forward to those opportunities in 2021.

Thanks to our sponsors who provided support for our virtual educational events, including:

Title Sponsor

Event Sponsors

All KAHCE members are encouraged to support our sponsors in your business relationships. You can learn more by clicking the company name above. We also appreciate referrals for new sponsors.

We are offering the opportunity to sponsor both the KAHCE Spring Event, which is expected to be virtual, and the KAHCE Fall Event. Optimistic plans are to have the Fall Event in conjunction with the Kansas Hospital Association Annual Convention and Trade Show, which we hope will be in person.  

If you need additional information or are interested in participating, please contact Bob Bregant, Sponsorship Committee Chair, or Susan Pattie, Kansas Hospital Association.


Membership Report

Richard "Wes" Hoyt, Jr., FACHE

54 New Members in 2020!

Greetings and Happy Holidays To All!

It is a wonderful time of the year...especially this year.  As a chapter, we have pushed thru a lot of adversity and looked for creative ways to keep members engaged, while providing value added.  The year certainly brought hardship to many of our members as we had quite a few that didn't renew their membership at the beginning of the year but throughout the year, many did return and join our ranks.  We also welcomed 54 New Members to the Kansas Chapter and look forward to seeing them at our chapter events in the future.  This year has highlighted the importance of having a strong chapter that connects healthcare professionals across the state, at all levels.  It is this level of connectedness and networking that allowed us to overcome so many challenges as we fought COVID day after day, for many months.  Our strength was certainly in our friendships and relationships.

I want to highlight and congratulate our new members, new Fellows and recertified Fellows this September:


New Fellows:


Recertified Fellows:



This year has been a tough one for recruiting new members, but we’ve pushed through it and continue to show value to healthcare professionals around the state.  We are our best promoters.  Through our words and actions, we can continue to demonstrate the value of ACHE and KAHCE to others looking to grow professionally and network with peers. 

Remember, when you participate in our Leader-to-Leader Rewards Program, we will award you one point for each person you successfully recruit as a member. Be sure to remind your colleagues to list you as their sponsor on their applications to ensure you receive credit.

If you have any questions or would like more information about the benefits of ACHE membership, please contact the ACHE Customer Service Center at (312) 424-9400 or at contact@ache.org. I encourage each of us to share the KACHE and ACHE story and let others know why it is important to us and how it can benefit them. 

We launched a student scholarship program that will allow interested students to apply for a student membership sponsored by KAHCE.  Please reach out to any healthcare administration students you know and let them know about the program…we’ve sent the information directly to students in the programs we have access to but we know there are more we can reach.  We continue to promote this with non-member students, as well as member students and would like to see good participation, as the scholarship also facilitates involvement in chapter activities.

Another major change that occurred this year (takes affect January 1, 2021) is the change in membership tenure before being eligible to advance to Fellow.   Becoming a Fellow of ACHE has long been the gold standard for leadership in our field. After much discussion and consideration, and with the support of the Membership Committee, the ACHE Board of Governors has decided to change the membership tenure requirement for initial Fellow advancement from three years to one year, effective Jan. 1, 2021.

As your Membership Committee Chairperson, I would be remiss if I didn't provide a chapter wide reminder that January 1st is the beginning of a new membership year and "Dues are Due."  Most have already received email and physical mail reminders...please be on the lookout for the notices and take a moment to renew your membership for 2021.  Let's make 2021 one of our best years yet.   

Thank you for all your support to KAHCE…and a very special welcome to our new members.  




Challenge Yourself in 2021

Patrick Altenhofen, FACHE

Another new year is right around the corner, and with that, many of us will take on a variety of New Year’s resolutions. For 2021, I want to challenge any ACHE members to consider the resolution of advancement and a commitment to continued learning. FACHE is a great way to advance your knowledge and show the coveted acronym after your name.

As a reminder, the ACHE Board of Governors made the decision to change the membership tenure requirement for initial Fellow advancement from three years to one year effective Jan. 1, 2021. We remain confident the change will make Fellow status possible for more of our Members who meet the requirements and wish to advance to this important leadership level.

Keep in mind that while the membership tenure requirement was adjusted, the other  requirements for Members to obtain the FACHE credential remain the same.

If you have any questions about the FACHE requirements, the  deadline extensions or the process in general, please reach out to the ACHE Customer Service Center at  contact@ache.org or (312) 424-9400, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Central time.

I also want to remind members to keep tabs on the ACHE website for any virtual education events. These are a great way to get credits for advancement to FACHE as well as the opportunity to learn something new.

I hope everyone has safe and happy holidays! Cheers

Patrick Altenhofen, FACHE

KAHCE Advancement Chair

Vice President of Operations

Saint Luke’s North Region


Watch for ACHE Congress Scholarship Announcement

Re-imagine Healthcare Leadership

ACHE Congress on Healthcare Leadership

March 21-25, 2021

ACHE Congress has gone virtual this year, and KAHCE will be sponsoring the registration for some individuals to attend. Watch for an announcement in early 2021.

The Unexpected Side Effect of COVID-19: Collaboration

With the arrival of COVID-19 came chaos. And from that chaos rose innovations that have transformed healthcare delivery. Yet, according to healthcare executives, during the interim between the arrival of the pandemic and the innovations that followed, a remarkable phenomenon occurred: unprecedented collaboration.

Walls between siloed departments within hospitals tumbled down. Representatives from competing hospitals met to share information. Community organizations and public health departments exchanged data with health systems. Physicians, whose offices had closed, shared their personal protective equipment with colleagues on the front-line of the battle.

Innovation executives participated in roundtable discussions during the virtual HealthLeaders Innovation Exchange this summer to share experiences and ideas with other hospital and health system colleagues. One of the themes to emerge from that discussion was the value of collaboration in the innovation process and the many forms it has taken.
Read more about thee five ways collaboration has helped change the healthcare landscape during the COVID-19 pandemic, along with the advantages this type of cooperation provides to the industry.

--Adapted from “The Unexpected Side Effect of COVID-19: Collaboration,” HealthLeaders Media

Hope in Action

By nature and necessity, healthcare CEOs spend much of our time thinking strategically about the overall health and well-being of our organizations. We make yearlong, five- and even 10-year plans. But as healthcare leaders across the United States and globally have faced the tremendous challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, we have all had to pivot. Today, CEOs are leading day-to-day, sometimes hour-by-hour, amid great uncertainty.

Here are lessons learned during this evolving experience. 

Think Colleague, Not “Competitor

Since the COVID-19 crisis began, our organization has actively collaborated with and learned from other health systems in our state, region and beyond. Being located some distance from the New York metro area, we did not receive the same sudden influx of COVID-19 patients as our colleagues in the northern part of the state. This gave us time to adopt social distancing and other safety measures that likely prevented our hospitals from becoming overwhelmed. 

Though we are “competitors,” the health system leaders in our area view each other as colleagues, and that sentiment carried over into this crisis. A regional health coordinator, appointed by the governor of New Jersey, helped to coordinate obtaining equipment and making plans for patient surges, helping to ensure we had enough available critical care beds.

Especially during a challenge like this pandemic, it is beneficial for CEOs to take a step back, look at the big picture and determine how—collectively as health systems—we can respond to our community’s needs.

Focus on Communication

Communication has always been one of the most important skills for CEOs, especially in times of uncertainty. I often refer to the three M’s of communication: (1) Leaders should establish themselves as credible messengers whom people trust; (2) they should ensure their message is rooted in truth and best practice, with data to support it; and finally (3) leaders should communicate the messaging in a way that is authentic and easily understood. These attributes are not only important when leading staff but also when interacting with the community. 

My organization employed numerous communications vehicles during this crisis. For months, a daily news briefing went to all staff, which often included videos from senior clinical staff members providing important updates on topics such as changes to treatment protocols. 

We also created a new variation of our CEO podcast. Over several weeks, I had one-on-one conversations with employees from across the organization—from clinical staff to support teams to call advisers—about their experiences on the front lines. 

These discussions, called “Hope in Action,” were recorded and distributed—allowing the wider community to meet some of the front-line heroes helping to navigate this health crisis. 

Be Visible and Present

During a crisis, it is so important for our front-line workers and the entire organization to know that senior leaders are in this with them. I still do rounds in our EDs and ICUs, and I make sure to listen more than I speak. 

Visiting with staff during rounding has helped me better understand the resources and support staff need. It also inspires me. The most common thing I hear from staff members is the pride they feel knowing that their time and talent makes a major difference. 

During one podcast episode, an environmental services colleague from one of our EDs talked about how the pandemic has made him realize just how essential his role is to infection control. 

Hearing from the health system’s heroes like him has helped lift my spirits and motivated me.

Plan for What’s Ahead

We must look to the future and make plans that account for both current and future threats. 

Many people are practicing medical distancing, putting off needed treatment due to fear of interacting with healthcare facilities. In the months ahead, this could result in influxes of more—and sicker—patients as we attempt to return to a “new normal.”

In addition, members of our community face daily challenges, such as food insecurity, lack of transportation and behavioral health issues, many of which have been heightened by the events of 2020. 

When we eventually return to whatever new normal awaits, we are still going to be the force that’s needed to help this community heal and prosper.

--Adapted from “Hope in Action,” Healthcare Executive, by Dennis W. Pullin, FACHE, president/CEO, Virtua Health, Marlton, N.J.