Kansas Association of Health Care Executives

September 30, 2021

From the Desk of the KAHCE President

Trenton Stringer

As you all found out, the KAHCE Annual Meeting and Fall Education fell victim to COVID again this year.  KAHCE’s Education Committee, under the leadership of Todd Willert, will be offering virtual Face-to-Face credits between now and the end of the year to make up for the Fall event. The education committee was able to offer a great, virtual panel discussion on September 8. The topic was “Reinventing Customer Service in Healthcare.” A special thanks to Jarrod Urban and Fred Neis on their work organizing that event. Be on the lookout for registration links that will be sent out as we have some great panels and topics lined up over the next couple months.

Kansas City Local Programming Council (KCLPC) will hosta virtual Face-to-Face panel discussion on October 6. The topic of discussion will be “Improving the Health Status of Your Community” with a diverse group of panelists. Should be a great event to attend! To register for this event, go to www.kahce.org

The KHA Convention is going to be virtual this year. The Convention will be held on Oct. 12 and Oct. 27 from 10:30a-4:30p. In addition to an amazing line-up of speakers, there will also be virtual networking roundtables worked into both days of the convention.  There will not be a virtual Trade Show portion this year. To register for this event, go to https://registration.kha-net.org/

The KAHCE Board of Directors will be meeting on November 12 for our strategic planning retreat. We look forward to seeing what initiatives we can bring to our members in this ever-changing environment.  I welcome your input on how we can make KAHCE more effective for you!  If you are looking to be more involved, we are looking for more Board members for KAHCE. If you are interested or know someone who would be a good fit, please reach out to Judy Corzine, Nominating Committee Chair.

KAHCE will present two awards this year, The Early to Mid-Career Leader Award and the Senior Executive Leader Award. As a reminder, the Early to Mid-Career Leader Award is for professionals under the age of 40. Please submit your nominations to Susan Pattie by October 20. Along with the name of the person you are recommending, send as much biographical information that you can.

As we round into the final quarter of the year, I hope everyone is able to safely spend time with your families and friends. I wish every luck with your continued operations as I know we are all feeling the stress from staffing vacancies as we try to recover from fluctuating volumes over the past year and a half. As many of you know, I am definitely an extrovert, and I look forward to when we can meet again truly FACE-TO-FACE! So stay safe and healthy and we will see you soon.

Message from Your ACHE Regent - Summer 2021

Richard "Wes" Hoyt, Jr., FACHE

Greetings KAHCE Healthcare Leaders,

Happy August! It is great to write to you again and share the latest updates from ACHE. I admit, when I last spoke with all, the last thing on my mind was ramping up for another round of COVID-19 response. I cannot begin to express my admiration and gratitude to each and everyone for continuing to fight the latest variant of COVID-19 while also taking care of our communities. Thank you.

As we continue our efforts to meet the healthcare needs of our communities, our role as healthcare leaders is critical to helping us persevere and overcome this crisis. Daily, we are tested, as well as our teams. Our Mission and Vision statements and our Core Values are relevant and provide the framework for our actions:

Vision – To be the preeminent professional society for Leaders dedicated to advancing health.

Mission – To advance our members and healthcare leadership excellence.

Core Values -We are committed to and live out our core values through our work:

Integrity – We advocate and demonstrate high ethical conduct in all we do.

          Lifelong Learning – We recognize lifelong learning is essential to our ability to       
          innovate and continually improve ourselves, our organizations, and our profession.

– We lead through example and mentoring, and recognize caring must 
          be the cornerstone of our professional interactions.

          Diversity and Inclusion
– We champion diversity and foster inclusion to advance 
          equity in the workplace and the communities we serve.

Recently, the Board of Governors met to discuss the proposed strategic plan after receiving feedback from the various districts. Here are the key themes from the Strategic Planning Retreat: Catalyst, Connector, and Trusted Partner.

In our role as Catalyst,ACHE will commit to leading for equity and safety. In doing so ACHE will:

 • Be a thought leader and champion to drive solutions that advance equitable care. As

priorities, we will:

Leverage organizational partnerships (including chapters) to drive DEI efforts.

Be an essential resource to leaders in creating diverse, equitable, and inclusive


Grow the number of diverse member leaders.

 • Recommit to and amplify the importance of safety, providing the tools and strategies

needed to drive toward zero preventable harm.


In our role as Connector, ACHE will commit to growing our professional community across the healthcare continuum by leveraging our partnerships with chapters and other organizations. In doing so, ACHE will:

 • Identify new ways to enhance the ACHE/chapter partnership and better leverage the role

of chapter leaders and volunteers in providing value to members.

 • Strengthen our interprofessional community by making ACHE the professional home for

healthcare leaders across the care continuum.


In our role as Trusted Partner, ACHE will commit to deepening engagement with members and the healthcare community through education, networking, and career services to inspire and cultivate leaders to advance health. In doing so, ACHE will:

 • Grow the membership community to enhance opportunities for leaders to learn and grow.

 • Accelerate the adoption of board certification (FACHE) as the gold standard for leading.

 • Expand partnerships with CEOs/C-suite/employers by supporting their efforts to develop

a strong, resilient leadership workforce.

 • Educate, engage and inspire those newer to leadership roles, including early careerists, to

fulfill their highest potential in the profession throughout their careers.

 • Accelerate the use of technology to proactively meet the challenges of a rapidly changing

environment and create unparalleled learning experiences.

There will be more to come as the strategic plan is broken down into objectives and goals at the chapter level.

Some incentives and programs currently being offered by ACHE include:

2021 Membership Drive – Refer your colleagues today. Receive a $25 discount coupon through the Leader to Leader Rewards Program for every new member you refer. New members joining in August can save 58% on their membership for the remainder of 2021.

Please remember to explore the virtual Face to Face offerings sponsored by ACHE. You can find the listing of courses on the ACHE webpage, under the Learning Center tab à Virtual Face to Face Courses.

Reminder…Still Time Left: Recent Grads Can Transfer to Full Membership for Free: Now through Aug. 30, Student Associates can transfer to full membership free of charge and experience all the benefits of being a Member. Full membership means automatically belonging to ACHE’s Early Careerist Network, being able to begin accruing Member tenure toward the one-year requirement to become a Fellow, and participating in ACHE’s Leader-to-Leader Rewards Program. Recent graduates can jumpstart their career today by visiting My ACHE to transfer to Member status. Visit ache.org/Students for more information about transferring.

As healthcare leaders spread across the state of Kansas, I encourage all to stay abreast of the issues that impact our profession. A key resource and advocate for all of us is KHA. Please visit their website for frequent updates on state and national topics. https://www.kha-net.org/       

I also encourage all to visit and bookmark the Kansas Association of Healthcare Executives webpage for the latest news and updates. This is also where you will find the quarterly newsletter. https://www.kha-net.org/AlliedOrganizations/KAHCE/        

It is an honor and privilege to serve as your Regent. I hope to see you all at our next face-to-face education opportunity. If I can be of service to you or your organization, please reach out to me. I can be reached at rwhoytjr67@gmail.com or LinkedIn (rwesleyhoyt). Thanks for all you do for our Chapter, profession, and communities. It isn’t easy work, and it is totally exhausting. I will close by sharing some words that I find inspiration in, from Francis of Assisi, “Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.”

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: Celebrate our New Members

Patrick Dickes

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


  • Debra Jackson, Abu Dhabi
  • Brian H. Lawrence, MHA, Coffeyville
  • Tarunjeet Mann, Lenexa
  • Simonna Smolich, MHA, Overland Park
  • Kathryn Taff, Overland Park
  • Anthony Thomas, Plainville
  • Carolyne Wehner, Prairie Village


  • Nichole M. Chamley, MSN, RN, Onaga
  • David Myers, Wichita
  • Kara E. Patton, Wichita
  • Jeremy W. Rabe, Dodge City
  • Krit Sarai, Lenexa
  • Tammy Smith, Pratt
  • Wendy Stilwill, Leawood
  • Marcia Swann, Dodge City
  • Olivia Weaver, MHA, Kansas City
  • Valerie Zimmerman, Kansas City


  • Christi Cole, MBA, Neodesha
  • Jarrod Dusin, Overland Park
  • Robert L. Gibson, Kansas City
  • Terry J. Siek, MSN, Hays


  • Jennifer DeBord, Overland Park
  • Jake Kessen, Olathe
  • Suzanna P. Koel, Atwood
  • River J. Meisinger, MBA, Lenexa
  • David Wild, MD, MBA, Leawood

New Fellows

  • John S. Fitzthum, FACHE, Hays
  • Sameh F. Moawad, DO, FACHE, Wichita

Recertified Fellows


  • Allen E. Van Driel, FACHE, Smith Center


  • R. Scott Chapman, FACHE, Manhattan
  • MAJ Jennifer DeWaters, FACHE, Fort Leavenworth

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.

Patrick Altenhofen, MHSA, FACHE
KAHCE Advancement Chair
Vice President of Operations
Saint Luke’s North Region
Email: PAltenhofen@saintlukeskc.org
Cell 816-377-7139

The Impact of Remote Work on Reading Body Language

Many people are fully aware of how their body language can communicate their feelings and emotions to the outside world, whether intentionally or not. For instance, crossed arms might signal defensiveness or hostility, consistent eye contact can relay a sense of confidence, leaning forward can suggest engagement and interest.

But with the widespread shift to remote work in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of Americans have shifted to remote work, and for many that remote work is likely to remain a feature of employment for the foreseeable future, even as the pandemic subsides. This means, among other things, that common visual cues around body language are more difficult to pick up in the new remote world. There is widespread use of video conferencing tools, but these don’t fully mimic the nuances of in-person body language.

There are many relevant cues that can be picked up through various aspects of digital communications in a manner similar to how body language is read. The ability to read that language is important for creating a positive work environment in remote and hybrid settings.

Something as simple as including a smiling emoji on an email or text can help set a friendly, disarming tone with colleagues and subordinates and change an email requesting a status update of a project from something that could be taken as demanding and impatient to a casual, friendly check-in.

The fact that millions of Americans have shifted to a remote work setting means that it’s more important than ever to be conscious of how communication is received. While working in-person in an office allowed coworkers to rely on body language to communicate more effectively, that becomes more challenging in a remote setting.

Nevertheless, digital body language can help bridge the gap as long as employees understand how to leverage it. It’s another form of communication that companies should be alert to as they help train their employees for success in the new world of work.

—Adapted from "The Impact of Remote Work on Reading Body Language," by HR Daily Advisor, a sibling publication to HealthLeaders, July 19, 2021.

Tackling Important Conversations Virtually

Regardless of the circumstances, executives are always seeking effective, efficient methods of communication. But these days, executives need virtual ways to communicate that are just as effective and meaningful as face-to-face encounters.

For many, communicating in the virtual space has become the preferred method of doing business.

Following are strategies for getting the most out of day-to-day work communications, engaging with remote employees and having meaningful conversations virtually.

Good Manners Equals Great Communication

Many of us have been working remotely for months; however, we can’t let our guard down and forget virtual meeting etiquette. Some recommendations for maintaining good virtual meeting manners include:

Have an agenda and stick to it. If possible, send out an agenda a day or two before the meeting. An accurate agenda not only lets everyone know exactly what will be discussed but also gives meeting participants the opportunity to ask or answer questions prior to the meeting.

Punctuality matters. When participating in a virtual meeting, a tardy host is almost as frustrating as the recurring chime that announces the addition of a latecomer. Arrive a few minutes early and have the meeting program running in the background of your computer while you are working on other tasks. Finishing a meeting on time is just as important as arriving on time.

Remove potential distractions. Silence your mobile phones, block time on your shared calendar, close the window to unnecessary websites, and let others who are working or living in your virtual office space know you’re in a meeting and are not to be disturbed, if possible.

Mute yourself. Unless you’re presenting, be sure to mute yourself. It’s amazing how much background noise microphones pick up.

Dress for success. Although many bedrooms currently are doubling as home offices, loungewear is never acceptable office attire.

Can You Hear Me Now?

We all want to be heard. And when communicating in the virtual space, it’s often difficult to know if we’re being heard or seen or even understood. Prior to 2020, most of us took for granted those little acknowledgements that let us know when we had successfully connected with another co-worker. Today, most of us aren’t able to give our co-workers an encouraging pat on the shoulder, provide a hug to someone who might be grieving, or even onboard a new employee with a tour of the office and traditional meet-and-greet welcome lunch.

With remote work and the use of virtual platforms the norm for the time being, finding connections with each other is critical to preserving our mental health and ensuring a necessary standard of production to remain successful. Here are simple ways leaders can preserve connections with their teams:

Prioritize daily face-to-face check-ins. A quick, 10-minute “huddle meeting” with your team at a set time each day can foster an atmosphere of collaboration and teamwork. Ask all participants to turn on their video, if possible. We all communicate much more effectively when we can be heard and seen.

Celebrate milestones and accomplishments—regardless of size. Though we might not be physically together, that shouldn’t stop us from getting together in the virtual space to celebrate each other and our accomplishments. Continue celebrating birthdays, work anniversaries and team wins—big and small.

Collaborate and educate. As an executive, you’re part of a senior leadership team. Being a good team member includes sharing helpful information with other leaders. When meeting with your peers, include time on your agenda for ongoing training, best practice sharing and problem-solving. “What are you currently reading?” is a great question to spark an information-sharing session. 

Do lunch. Remember how nice it was to get out of the office for a bit and share a bite to eat? It’s still possible to create that same atmosphere of connection and conversation, even when working remotely. Consider sending lunch via food delivery apps to one person or your entire team.

When an In-Person Meeting Is Needed

All executives are tasked with performing duties such as delivering difficult news, negotiating contracts or disciplining an employee. Meetings related to these situations are best conducted in person. Face-to-face interactions allow meeting participants to share a common space, where distractions are minimized and technological issues eliminated. Unlike virtual meetings, an executive can control the environment of the in-person meeting and keep distractions and interruptions to a minimum. In-person meetings allow for a fuller sense of connection and trust over virtual meetings.

Because of our experience navigating 2020, we are all much better equipped to work in this new, virtual space. And now that we know better, we can all do better.

--Adapted from “Tackling Important Conversations Virtually,Healthcare Executive, Jean Willey Scallon, FACHE, regional vice president, operations, Signature Healthcare Services LLC, Corona, Calif., and an adjunct professor at Indiana University in the O’Neill School.