Quarterly SOHLstice
Fall 2018
In This Issue
President's Message
Message from Our ACHE Regent
Welcome Our Newest Members of SOHL!
The 10th Annual SOHL Conference - Facing the Drug Crisis: Politics, Costs, Consequences and Solutions
National News Q3 2018
Increase in Healthcare M&A Activity Continues in 2018
IHI Publishes Guide for Providing Safe Home Healthcare
Activation and Transition Planning is Key to a Successful Move
Disasters and Healthcare: Are you Ready?
Meet the Inventor of NEXTGENPCR [Interview Part 1 of 2]
Special Thanks to Our Platinum Sponsors
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Chapter Officers


Regent (California - Southern)
Ellen Zaman, FACHE
Children's Hospital Los Angeles


Darrell Atkin
Darrell Atkin Associates


President Elect
Dasha Dahdouh
Rady Children’s Hospital / County of San Diego


Immediate Past President
Nia Price
California Baptist University

Spshelle Rutledge 
National University

Amy Kasahara 
UC San Diego Health


Howard Salmon


Board of Directors

Membership Co-Chair
Angela Rivera
CTG HealthCare Solutions

Membership Co-Chair
Allison Noel
ECG Management Consultants

Programs Co-Chair
Jared Vogt
Rady Children’s Hospital

Programs Co-Chair
Jennifer Arevalo

Marketing Co-Chair
Shawn Amirhoushmand
Generations Healthcare-Friendship Manor Nursing

Marketing Co-Chair
Michelle Martin
Casa Palmera Treatment Center

Career Development Co-Chair
Andrea Gonzalez
Scripps Health

Career Development Co-Chair
Edwin Kofler
UC San Diego School of Medicine

Volunteer Coordinator
Vicki Shumulinsky
West Health

Barbara Gerber
Devon Hill Associates, LLC

Imperial County Liaison
Shiloh Williams
El Centro Regional Medical Center

Military Liaison
Jose PonCevega
Naval Medical Center San Diego

VA Liaison
Sara Bass
VA San Diego Healthcare System

Subcommittee Members

Diversity Council
Melody Schiaffino
San Diego State University

Annual Conference
Johan Otter
Scripps Health

Annual Conference
Michael Van Gorder
Rady Children’s Hospital

Michael De Castro
ECG Management Consultants

Social Media
Alice Dang
Scripps Health

Sarah Bass
VA San Diego Healthcare System

Ada Clark
VA San Diego Healthcare System

Early Careerist Network
Melinda Hudson
UC San Diego Health

Early Careerist Network
Amy Shackleford
UC San Diego

Executive Program
Steve Martin
TRICARE Regional Office

Executive Program
Nora Bota
County of San Diego

Advancement Study Group
Jose PonCevega
Naval Medical Center San Diego

Advancement Study Group
Edwin Kofler
UC San Diego School of Medicine

Graduate Program Council, San Diego State University
Brandy Lipton
San Diego State University

Graduate Program Council, UC San Diego
Robert Kaplan
UC San Diego School of Medicine

Graduate Program Council, National University
Peggy Ranke
National University

Student Liaison, San Diego State University
Sarah Norwood

Student Liaison, UC San Diego
Celerina Cornett

Student Liaison, National University
Aubrianna Butler

Graduate Student Initiative, San Diego State University
Caitlin Cole


College Bowl
Peggy Ranke
National University

Senior Advisors Council
Mary Parra
Neighborhood Healthcare

Mark Campbell
TRICARE Regional Office – West

Alice Dang
Scripps Health

Aaron Byzak
Galvanized Strategies

Chisun Chun
Rady Children's Hospital

Legal Counsel
David Balfour
DiCaro, Coppo & Popcke

Website Manager
Carol Cannizzo
IKOR International

Activation and Transition Planning is Key to a Successful Move

The following article was contributed by SOHL-sponsor, Catalyst, a Haskell Company, and written by Debbie Jacobs, Director-West Region. The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the article represent those of the author and not necessarily SOHL.

The San Diego region is experiencing an unprecedented number of new hospital and ambulatory construction projects consisting of millions of square feet and costing millions of dollars. The drivers of this local healthcare construction boom include a need to comply with seismic code requirements, numerous antiquated buildings being incapable of delivering contemporary clinical services, and increasing consumerism, which is impacting everything from service locations to inpatient room design to patient-family amenities. The time from master planning through construction completion spans years, even decades in some cases, and requires a tremendous investment of human and financial resources over that time. While the planning and construction of the new building is complex and time consuming, it is an activity with which most healthcare leaders are at least familiar with and have probably had some direct experience. What healthcare leaders find much more unfamiliar and daunting is the task of activating the new building and transitioning operations so the building is ready to safely treat patients on Day 1.

What is activation and transition planning?

Activation and transition planning is the coordination of the physical, clinical, human resource, and operational components of the move into a new building or space to facilitate an on-time, on-budget, safety-event-free move. 

Given the sheer number and magnitude of operational changes that typically come with the opening of a new building, the number of staff who must be oriented to new processes and life safety procedures, and the natural anxiety that always surfaces, an effective activation schedule which lays out the tasks to be accomplished in a detailed manner is paramount. An integrated activation schedule, much like orchestra score, describes what should be done, by whom and when, resulting in staff being able to competently conduct Day 1 operations. This planning usually requires a minimum of 18 months, and could take as many as 36 months, depending on the size of the building and scope of services.

Organizations that have successfully activated new hospital buildings have identified the following factors as key to their success:


 The opening of new space to better meet the needs of both consumers and staff is very exciting at first, however, it is easy for leaders to become overwhelmed with the complexity of the move in addition to keeping day-to-day operations humming along. Some organizations conduct an activation readiness assessment to determine where the organization has the resources and capabilities to execute the activation and transition plan, and in what areas it may need outside assistance or expertise. The graphic below reflects the areas of activation readiness that organizations should consider when determining their available resources and capabilities.

While activation and transition planning is complex with a lot of moving parts, it can be broken down into the following six major activities (which often occur simultaneously):

Project Management

Solid project management is the glue that holds the activation and transition process together. It includes the development of the project organizational structure and team charters, an integrated activation schedule, a transition budget, and an issue identification tracking tool and process. In addition, project management should include on-going facilitation at the leadership team level with documentation of all decisions and issue resolutions.

Activation Planning and Implementation

Activation Planning includes all significant activities that are necessary to open the building. While the exact scope of activation planning will vary somewhat between organizations, it generally includes a human resources strategy and staffing plan, a communication strategy and plan, a change management strategy and plan, and an information technology plan.

Operations Planning and Implementation

Operational planning is where a lot of time and energy are expended to prepare to transition services from one location to another. Imagine the planning involved in transitioning the nursing care model for an 18-double-bedded room nursing unit to a 24-private room unit. That’s a lot of change! During this activity the future state operational vision will be established, performance standards defined, and workflows documented. Inter-departmental process flows need to be defined as well and documented in operating manuals for future staff training.

Staff Training and Development

Staff training and development is a huge undertaking and cuts across multiple parameters, i.e., process, technology, life safety, security, and physical design. Once the scope of training is determined, a detailed training strategy and plan need to be developed, executed and monitored. Day-in-the-life scenarios are created to test real patient-family situations and identify issues to be addressed in advance of opening day.

Move Planning and Implementation

Move planning focuses on the physical move of equipment, technology, medical equipment, furniture, and patients. “Department relocation and move” manuals are often developed to provide staff and patients-families with consistent information on the details of the move. A Command Center is established and operational both during and post move to address any issues or concerns that arise.

Post Move Stabilization

Post move stabilization allow staff the time to adjust to the many changes in their day-to-day work. The Command Center remains operational for several weeks after the move to respond to urgent staff and safety concerns. For a period of 3-6 months after the move there should be a moratorium on physical changes to allow the staff to acclimate to their new environment. Any outstanding move issues should be resolved and a post move evaluation completed.

Time spent in activation and transition planning is the differentiator between merely existing in a new space and optimizing its ability to effectively support the delivery of patient-centered care. Activation and transition planning allows staff to understand how the new space will support their work long before occupancy. With well executed activation and transition planning, move day can be simply the  “opening day performance” after many carefully orchestrated “rehearsals.”

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