Kansas Association of Health Care Executives

June 2021

From the Desk of the KAHCE President

Trenton Stringer

I hope everyone is in the midst of planning vacations or family get togethers as vaccination rates continue to rise and we slowly return to pre-COVID norms. I’m writing this article in a much different state of mind since my last summer article. No doubt our teams have endured a lot of changes and challenges over the course of this pandemic, but our efforts in healthcare have not been in vain.

A few months ago, ACHE held the first virtual Congress. The topics and speakers were really engaging – I think my personal favorite was the ZipLine presentation about the drone delivery of medical supplies in Africa. It will be interesting to see how these technological advancements continue to mold our industry.

If you haven’t attended any of the KAHCE virtual events, our Education Committee will be putting on a couple more before our Fall Education Conference that is taking place on September 8. We are following KHA’s lead on whether this event will be in-person or virtual. We are planning for both, but hoping for in-person.

Elections will be coming up in the fall, so please be on the lookout for the email with the new slate of officers. If you are looking for opportunities to get more involved in KAHCE, we also have several committees that are looking for additional members. We would be happy to have you on our teams!

Finally, I want to thank our Board of Directors for guiding us through the past year and a half. It is because of their quick efforts that we were able to adapt and still offer value to our members. Hope everyone is doing well. See you soon!

Trenton Stringer
KAHCE President

Message from Your ACHE Regent - Spring 2021

Greetings Kansas Chapter Healthcare Leaders,

Happy Spring and Early Summer. It is a pleasure and honor to write to you as your new Kansas Regent. I am extremely thankful for this opportunity and look forward to serving all of you for the next three years.

As I transition into this role, I want to publicly acknowledge the great leadership and mentorship we received from Patricia Sanders-Hall over the last three years. Patricia is the epitome of a selfless servant and poured her heart and soul into our chapter and helped us transition as a chapter to respond to many of the challenges we are currently facing in the healthcare profession. Thank you, Patricia! You are a “Rock Star,” and we look forward to your continued support and engagement in the chapter and with our young healthcare leaders.

Recently, I participated in the Regent’s Leadership Conference and, during the event, was reminded of our Mission, Vision, and Values, as well as our overarching goal. I believe the reminder is important as we can all get busy, and often overlook the value we bring to and through a professional society like ACHE.

Mission: To advance our members and healthcare leadership excellence.

Vision: To be the preeminent professional society for leaders dedicated to advancing health.

Core Values: Integrity, Lifelong Learning, Leadership, Diversity, and Inclusion

Our Goal: Educate, Engage, and Inspire Leaders to Improve Health

The words seem simple yet powerful as they provide the guiding light for us and our efforts. This past year has been a test for all in the healthcare profession, and our leadership throughout has never been more important. Even as I write this article, I know we have leaders in the middle of the fight, dealing with periodic spikes in new cases, as well as very tired, exhausted employees. Please keep them all in our thoughts and prayers.

It is very important for us to ensure we are representing and meeting the needs of all our members. At the time of this writing, we have just over 400 members in our chapter, representing urban centers, frontier areas, and rural/semi-rural areas. This makes for a very wide range of topics that affect our chapter and members. We are looking for new volunteers for our various committees within the chapter. These volunteers will help us achieve a balance in our governing body that represents all the different scenarios we face in Kansas. Through strong committees that represent all members, we ultimately strengthen our networking, diversity, and educational opportunities. We are also looking for seasoned leaders that are willing to be mentors for our student and early careerist members. If you are interested, please reach out to me…I would love to speak with you and get you connected with an early careerist or student. The value of ACHE isn't static and will change throughout our careers as we transition through different phases. Engaging our early careerists and students is a fundamental way to show the value of ACHE create a passion for our profession and our professional society. With recent changes to our scholarship program and the enhanced opportunities for students to participate in ACHE, we can certainly start young healthcare leaders on a path to success.

There are some exciting updates from ACHE this year:

The window for the 2020 Fellow Recertification class has been extended to December 31, 2021.

Tenure to be eligible to compete for Fellow status has changed from 3 years to 1 year. The remainder of the requirements remains constant.

Board of Governors Exam Fee Waiver Campaign: Between March 1 and June 30, 2021, Candidates who apply for initial advancement to Fellow, submit their $250 application fee, and are authorized to sit for the BOG Exam, are eligible to receive a waiver for one attempt at the Exam. (Based on the current roster, we have almost 100 members that are eligible to compete for Fellow status.)

Between Jan 1 – Sept 30, 2021, chapters may offer up to nine hours of virtual face-to-face credit via panel discussion templates. Capacity will remain at 75 participants.

ACHE is promoting a growing library of virtual face-to-face education courses. The courses cover a wide range of topics and count towards recertification requirements. (Learning Center on ACHE webpage)

Complimentary Webinars are being offered by ACHE. The webinars are generally one hour in length, and the upcoming schedule can be found on the ACHE webpage under Learning Center – e-Learning – Webinars.

In addition to visiting the ACHE website and seeing all the offerings and events, I highly encourage all KAHCE members to visit and bookmark the KAHCE webpage and stay abreast of local chapter news. This is a great way to get updates on the various committees, education offerings, and networking opportunities. Visit: https://www.kha-net.org/alliedorganizations/kahce/

Again, it is an honor and privilege to serve as your Regent, and I look forward to meeting all of you and searching for ways to make our chapter the best in the land. If I can be of service to you or your organization, and you wish to contact me, I can be reached through email (rwhoytjr67@gmail.com) or LinkedIn (rwesleyhoyt).

Thanks for all you do to represent our chapter, profession, and communities. Keep up the great work.

Richard W.(Wes) Hoyt, LTC (Ret), FACHE
Chief Operating Officer
Hutchinson Regional Healthcare System
Regent for Kansas
(620) 899-0566

Membership Report: Share the Value of ACHE and Its Rewards

Susan Runyan

Attracting new members to ACHE/KAHCE creates inherent benefits for our members and increases the overall impact and competitive edge of our organization. Our new members, highly talented and motivated healthcare professionals, help us inspire forward thinking strategies and innovative programs. They increase the depth and breadth of our community, thus helping us to advance our profession.

There are potential new members all around you, with benefits for everyone:

    Colleagues: Gain skills and abilities to address opportunities and challenges.
    Organizations: Share a common framework to develop goals and strategies.
    Communities: Become better equipped to serve your populations.
    You: Strengthen your leadership skills.

As an ACHE/KAHCE Member, Fellow or Faculty Associate, we’d like to encourage you to participate in the Leader-to-Leader Rewards Program. Your success will generate broad reaching benefits for everyone and …ACHE will reward you for your effort! Share with a Colleague (ache.org)

ACHE is also offering a 43 percent reduction in membership fees for every new member. Click Join Today and Save to get a friend started. Join

Help me recognize the newest members to ACHE and the KAHCE Chapter: 


  • Anjalee G. Carlson
  • Jennifer Duke
  • Lorna Jarrett, MS
  • Melissa A. Jensen
  • Aaron Cannon
  • Brandy L. Cuevas
  • Cathy Dahl, DO
  • John C. Heaney
  • Marsha Jamison, MSN, RN
  • Joseph W. Rogers, PharmD
  • Preston M. Sauers
  • Reetu Singh, III, MD
  • Barbara J. Broome
  • Randy C. Roatch
  • Michelle L. Sweet

Please join me in congratulating the latest ACHE and KAHCE Chapter members who have become Recertified Fellows:


  • Ronald Baker, FACHE, Overland Park
  • Katherine A. Conrad, FACHE, Lenexa
  • Heather Fuller, FACHE, Salina
  • Paul W. Luce, FACHE, Paola
  • COL John J. Melton, FACHE, Fort Riley
  • Curtis R. Hawkinson, FACHE, Marysville

Connect with Kansas Health Care Executives

Bob Bregant, FACHE

KAHCE offers the opportunity to serve as a Sponsor at one of our next educational events scheduled for July 12 (virtual), August 4 (virtual) and September 8 (in person, tentatively, the day prior to the Kansas Hospital Association Annual Convention in Wichita, Kansas). KAHCE is the premier professional association for Hospital and Healthcare executives in the state.

The theme of the virtual events are "Emergency Preparedness" on July 12 and "Ethical Challenges" on August 4. The September event is still in the planning stage but will be an all-day event.

Event Sponsorships:

Single Virtual Event Sponsorship - $500 (Choose either July 12 or August 4)

Multiple Virtual Event Sponsorship - $750 (Both July 12 and August 4)

Single In-Person Event Sponsorship - $1,000 (September 8 only)

Premier Keynote Event Sponsorship - $1,000 (Choose either July 12 or August 4)

The Premier Keynote Event Sponsorship is the only sponsorship that offers your company the opportunity to provide a 30-minute presentation immediately preceding a virtual educational event. The presentation must be on a relevant topic approved by the KAHCE Education Committee.

Benefits for Event Sponsorships include:

  • Recognition/company logo on all Event promotional materials
  • Opportunity to make an introduction of your company during the program
  • Staff a company exhibit at the event (in-person event only)
  • One complimentary registration to the Educational and Networking events, including a lunch table with attendees in September (in-person event only)
  • One use of the sponsored event attendee mailing list

Title Sponsorships:

Title Sponsorship - $2,500 (all events)

Benefits for Title Sponsorship include:

  • All Event Sponsorship benefits
  • Designation as a Title sponsor in all chapter materials throughout the year
  • Name, logo, company description and hyperlink on chapter website throughout the year
  • Two complimentary registrations to the Educational and Networking events, including a lunch table with attendees in September
  • Opportunity to submit an article for publication in the KAHCE Chapter Newsletter
  • KAHCE offers exclusive sponsorship within each industry.

If your company is interested in participating, or if you need additional information, please contact Bob Bregant, KAHCE Sponsorship Committee Chair, or Susan Pattie, Kansas Hospital Association. Thank you for your consideration.

Robert "Bob" Bregant, Jr., FACHE 
KAHCE Sponsorship Committee Chair 
President, Steele Healthcare Solutions 
10100 West 123rd Street 
Overland Park, KS 66213 
913.669.8505 (phone)

FACHE Requirements Have Eased

Patrick Altenhofen, FACHE

Over the last few months it has been so exciting to hear about the interest from KAHCE members in advancing to Fellowship and receiving their FACHE. For those interested and unsure of next steps, please keep in mind that the requirements have changed.

  • Be an ACHE member for at least 1 year (this is the most recent change – it used to be 3 years!)
  • Have earned a master's degree (or other post-baccalaureate degree)
  • Currently hold an executive healthcare management position and have a minimum of five years of healthcare management experience
  • Two professional references from current fellows (FACHE)
  • Complete a minimum of 36 continuing education hours related to healthcare management and administration within the three years prior to submitting an application (12 hours must be ACHE Face-to-Face education)
  • Complete four volunteer activities within the three years prior to submitting an application. Two of these activities must be community/civic and two of these must be healthcare-related activities

For those that have made the decision to work towards achieving your FACHE, but struggle to keep track of your progress, use the ACHE website (https://www.ache.org/fache/start-or-continue-my-application).

I know everyone is busy but there truly is no better way to continue to challenge yourself as a healthcare executive and showcase your expertise than to achieve and maintain your FACHE credentials.

I hope everyone’s summer has started off well!

Patrick Altenhofen, MHSA, FACHE

KAHCE Advancement Chair

Vice President of Operations

Saint Luke’s North Region

Email: PAltenhofen@saintlukeskc.org

Cell 816-377-7139

Sponsored Students Reflect on 2021 ACHE Congress

American College of Healthcare Executives Congress on Healthcare Leadership was a valuable experience which will impact the trajectory of my education and future career. Hearing from renowned health care leaders, such as Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Gawande, about their approaches to managing evolving change throughout the COVID-19 pandemic was not only insightful, but inspiring. Learning about what worked well and what didn’t work well, will be helpful wisdom when creating leadership strategy in the future. The innovative ideas, such as utilizing Zipline drones to deliver health care supplies to patients’ homes, really opened my mind to the possibilities of the future of health care. It’s an exciting time to be a part of health care leadership, especially as we pave the way in a post pandemic world. I am grateful to be a part of health care administration and the opportunity to attend ACHE Congress. I look forward to attending in future years during my career! – Nicole Romanelli


I got the opportunity to sit in on the ACHE Virtual Congress this spring, and I was so very happy I did.  One of the presentations was called "If Disney Ran Your Hospital.”  I thought this presentation was impactful because of the real-life comparison of Disney and our hospitals across the nation.  One of the takeaways that I took from it was the "HBH - Human. Business. Human".  He said to start with the human and make the connection, then take care of your business, and exit with the human and the connection you made with that human again.  You don't want your business to be the last thing that the human remembers from their visit - you want them to remember the connection.  I think a connection with our patients is very important because a connection means you are understanding and listening to them.  It makes me think a little bit more about how I approach patients and people in general.  Another takeaway was the story about the company, Zipline.  The reason this stuck with me is because of the innovation that came with it.  Healthcare is constantly changing, and innovation is important with that change.  Even if you think your idea is small, still present it as it might just change the life of someone or a company.  -- Amber Clouse, RHIA


Having the opportunity to participate in the ACHE Virtual Congress was sensational. During the course of events, I was able to network and make connections in the field of healthcare management which have been invaluable. I’ve been working in the field of health for 7 years and am soon to graduate with a master’s degree in Health Administration. Getting to know industry expectations, particularly with the Career & Resume and Career Development sessions has been illuminating and will certainly help me land the position of my dreams. That being said, the Virtual Congress also offered several perspectives from industry leaders and innovators that provide a guiding light on the current position of healthcare and the challenges that lie ahead. The Virtual Congress has opened doors for me, and I look forward to attending future events. Being a member of ACHE, I can confidently say that the road ahead may be laden with obstacles, but events like this will offer clarity and allow for a sensible step forward. -- Mackenzi Truelove


The American College of Healthcare Executives 2021 Virtual Congress was an amazing experience! One of the most impactful sessions I attended was What Would Happen if Disney ran a Hospital. The session was unique because it broke down what makes Disney different in the entertainment industry and the cues we can take from their success and use while caring for our patients. In addition, hearing from leaders in the field of medicine including Atul Gawande and Dr. Anthony Fauci was an incredible opportunity. As a student, the insight and direction they provided was excellent. Attending ACHE Congress allowed me to explore different disciplines within healthcare administration and was a great networking opportunity. – Derek Reese


Many of the sessions I attended revolved around post-grad fellowships for Admin programs. It was great to learn from people who have, and are currently going through, fellowship programs and how they have been able to impact their careers with it. Given the highly competitive nature of these programs, having insight on the benefits of the fellowship and things to look out for, questions, to ask, and ways to approach the application and interview process were especially insightful for me as I begin my application process here in a few months. In addition to this, I especially enjoyed the sessions revolving around employee engagement and health equity. While there were sessions solely focused on finance and the business aspect, this pandemic exposed many healthcare admins and executives for not working to care for patients and employees, causing a further divide between the staff and executives. On the opposite side, it also revealed those admins who worked tirelessly to make sure that their staff and patients were well taken care of and had all the resources they needed, even when the admin team we're able to work from home while medical staff were on the front lines. Given that this is a big focus for me in my future career, it was great to see that current leaders are recognizing this importance and spreading the message to other current and future leaders! -- Edward T. Ernst Jr., PTA, Cert. VRS


I want to start off by saying thank you to KAHCE for financially paving the way for several members to attend ACHE Congress. This was my first time attending, and it was a fantastic experience. I am blessed to be a part of the KAHCE organization, and I look forward to the days ahead, where I can positively impact others the way this organization has me. I had many key takeaways from Congress, including understanding your service lines (are they profitable, are they increasing or decreasing in market share, do they fit within your mission), and knowing the reasons behind those answers; anticipation of more employer-based insurance plans (employers become payer); bridging communication through cross-training or developing cross-functional teams; and many other great topics. Thank you again, to all of KAHCE, for helping me attend and allowing me to be a part of this great chapter of ACHE. – Brady Hoffman


Leading Growth in Lean Times

There is no doubt the pandemic has challenged even the strongest hospitals and health systems, exhausting staff, destabilizing finances and putting growth plans firmly on the back burner.

Though McLaren St. Luke’s is not immune to these challenges, the 300-bed community hospital is also primed for growth. With strong quality outcomes, engaged employees and tremendous community support, St. Luke’s has served the growing Toledo, Ohio, suburb of Maumee for more than 100 years.

In August, the hospital was acquired by McLaren Health Care, an integrated health system with 15 hospitals and health plan operations across three states. The partnership provides additional resources to support the hospital’s long-held vision of expanding services to allow more people to receive care close to home. By seeking out partnerships with small, independent hospitals and large physician groups, McLaren St. Luke’s senior leadership is working to expand services to fill unmet community needs in a fiscally responsible manner.

People First

A hospital’s success for achieving growth in uncertain times hinges on its ability to earn and maintain the trust and support of its employees and physicians. This is even more important during the pandemic, as caregivers make significant sacrifices to care for patients and one another.

Employees and physicians need to know that the administration is in their corner and that growth will not come at their expense. Clear and decisive leadership communication builds consensus quickly and shares not only the organization’s broader vision but also a road map for getting there. McLaren St. Luke’s values empowering leaders and using their knowledge to form a complete picture that allows leadership to make informed decisions and effectively communicate with their teams as they navigate uncharted waters.

Clinical Excellence as a Cornerstone

While it may not be a typical growth strategy, McLaren St. Luke’s is making the standardization of clinical practices a cornerstone of its expansion plans. Anchored by the belief that adherence to evidence-based protocols produces better outcomes, the hospital is pursuing several important designations to support staff in their efforts to deliver a higher level of care, safely and reliably.

In addition to becoming one of only 13 hospitals across the country to earn certification from DNV GL Healthcare as a Primary Plus Stroke Center, McLaren St. Luke’s will be pursuing national verification of its trauma program from the American College of Surgeons. These certifications ensure caregivers have received rigorous training in care protocols proven to yield the best patient outcomes. Our leadership team regards these designations as not just an opportunity to expand key service lines but, more importantly, an opportunity to strengthen core competencies to meet vital and often time-sensitive patient needs.

Responsibly Meeting Community Needs

As part of McLaren Health Care, McLaren St. Luke’s now has the ability to leverage the system’s collective size and scale to reduce expenses and improve efficiencies. This allows the hospital to achieve greater purchasing power, improve supply chain operations and add technology.

These advantages cannot be underestimated in today’s environment, but looking beyond the balance sheet to achieve growth amid limited resources is a wise strategy. For McLaren St. Luke’s, that means a focus on enhancing (not duplicating) services that already exist in the market. By seeking out partnerships with small, independent hospitals and large physician groups, McLaren St. Luke’s senior leadership is working to expand services to fill unmet community needs in a fiscally responsible manner.

For example, the hospital is leveraging clinical resources available through the McLaren Health Care network to explore adding of needed oncology services and rebuilding its cardiovascular program. Though no organization can be everything to everyone, concentrating expansion efforts in areas where McLaren St. Luke’s can add clinical value allows the hospital’s leadership team to make the most of limited resources.

As the pandemic tests the limits of many organizations, the crisis does not have to be a deterrent for growth. With a strong vision and a commitment to the fundamentals, McLaren St. Luke’s is seizing this moment to execute strategic growth opportunities and find new ways to fulfill its mission.

--Adapted from “Leading Growth in Lean Times,” Healthcare Executive, Jennifer Montgomery, RN, FACHE, president and CEO, McLaren St. Luke’s, Maumee, Ohio.

How Providers Can Continue to Support Mental Health Services Post-Pandemic

While the pandemic is subsiding, provider organizations can continue to focus on expanding behavioral health service access through telehealth. The behavioral health services space experienced heightened attention as people suffered from greater levels of stress, anxiety, and depression during the pandemic.  

Urvashi Patel, PhD, chief analytics officer, Brighton Health Plan Solutions, a healthcare enablement company based in New York, said there was a shortage of behavioral health workers prior to the pandemic, and it has only underscored the importance of adequately supporting mental health services. She added the need for greater access to pediatric behavioral health services will be evident over the next year.

When asked what hospital executives can do to address the issue, Patel said provider organizations can continue to focus on expanding behavioral health service access through telehealth. She added telemedicine apps that offer mental health services through text or chat features can provide convenient access for patients and lead to improved appointment compliance.

Hospitals and health systems should also explore models of integrated care that coordinate treatment with behavioral health specialists and primary care doctors. She also said another opportunity exists for health systems in states where advanced practice nurses can practice psychiatry on their own, noting tapping into this workforce can meet patient demand.

While there has been a significant drop-off from the record-high overall utilization of telehealth at the start of the pandemic, Patel said behavioral health utilization through virtual care has only seen a slight decline.

Patel added that behavioral health services might have a longer staying power when delivered through telehealth and could aid in removing the stigma for patients when seeking mental health treatment.

—Adapted from "How Providers Can Continue to Support Mental Health Services Post-Pandemic," HealthLeaders, by Jack O’Brien, April 27, 2021.