San Diego Organization of Healthcare Leaders

Spring 2018

President's Message

As we approach this year’s ACHE Annual Congress in Chicago, I am very pleased to have the opportunity to participate in a national organization that is creating a positive impact on delivering quality care, building a culture of safety, and enhancing the patient experience across the continuum of care. The sessions and the speakers at Congress will be inspiring and give members the opportunity to get involved in their communities by sharing knowledge and practical applications to address the challenges we face in a changing healthcare environment.

Closer to home, I am honored to report that our SOHL Chapter has received the ACHE Award of Chapter Distinction and the Award for Sustained Performance. Whereas it’s always great to be awarded and recognized with such a high honor for performance in 2017 from ACHE, there is much more to the story.

Our chapter is unique in that our performance is not just being sustained but continues to improve over time. It is only through the commitment of our board, chapter members, and volunteers that allows us to deliver such quality programming. Our calendar is full of valuable programs and events that enrich the path to professional development. 

That level of performance simply cannot be accomplished without teamwork. I know “teamwork” is an often overused term, but the San Diego SOHL chapter exemplifies the concept. Thanks to the efforts of previous chapter leaders, our chapter is characterized by diversity and giving people at all stages of their career the opportunity to roll up their sleeves and contribute. We get fantastic involvement from our VA and military health communities and we welcome technology and service innovators—along with our hospital and health system members—to get involved in helping us craft quality education, networking, career advancement, and community service programs.

We also welcome the involvement of complementary organizations across southern California—HCE, HIMSS, HFMA and others—to provide a comprehensive series of valuable communications and educational opportunities to members. We are also grateful for our team of committed sponsors who help underwrite these efforts.

Our culture of inclusion has helped us build a thriving team here in San Diego. We would welcome the opportunity to have your involvement—please contact me or any Board member to find out how.

Message from Our ACHE Regent

Resources. As healthcare leaders, the focus of our work is on resources - finances, human capital, equipment, technology. Much of our time is spent seeking out, planning, utilizing, and evaluating those resources.

But how do you use resources for professional development and advancement? Do you take the time to explore what is available and evaluate what can be useful? One of the key benefits of belonging to a professional association is having resources available and accessible. ACHE offers exceptional resources for education, advancement and professional growth, through its educational programs, publications, career development services, the 2018 Resource Guide, the Executive and Senior Executive Programs, and of course,

Closer to home, our two chapters, the San Diego Organization of Healthcare Leaders (SOHL) and Health Care Executives of Southern California (HCE) provide many resources, including numerous educational and networking programs, mentoring activities, BOG Study series, service days as well as opportunities to be involved in committees. Our chapters work very hard to provide local programming, so it is possible to receive face-to-face credits close to home. It's up to you to use your resources for whatever lies ahead, and ACHE and our local chapters offer a great place to start.

Congress 2018! With the theme of Be Part of Something Bigger, ACHE Congress in Chicago will be held March 26-29 and promises to be very big. For attendees, the week is always filled with outstanding educational sessions, career development, and a chance to connect with colleagues from across the country. For those of you who have advanced to Fellow in the last year, convocation is a stunning moment to walk with your colleagues and celebrate your extraordinary achievement. For students attending the first time, Congress is an opportunity to network with others and experience enlightening educational sessions.

If you are planning to attend, please join the three California chapters – SOHL, CAHL and HCE at our annual reception on Sunday evening, March 25. On Monday morning, March 26, join the Opening Session, along with more than 4,000 members from across the country. At that session, one of our very own, Richard Cordova, FACHE, Past Chairman of ACHE, will receive the Gold Medal Award. Rich has been a leader and mentor to countless professionals and has spearheaded diversity and inclusion initiatives in our field. Let's join together to give a great Southern California cheer as he receives ACHE's highest award at Congress.

Congratulations to SOHL for receiving the ACHE Award of Chapter Distinction and an Award for Sustained Performance. Congratulations to HCE for receiving an ACHE Award of Chapter Merit. These awards will be presented at Congress on Tuesday, March 27. I want to thank the Board members and volunteers for their hard work and dedication to bringing quality education programs and events to all of our members.

Finally, in April, I encourage you to attend our Western Region College Bowl in Los Angeles. Graduate and undergraduate students teams from California, Nevada, Arizona, and Oregon will compete. 

It is always an inspiring day to see the fine work of our students and encourage them as they pursue their paths in healthcare leadership.

Our Chapter Presidents, Darrell Atkin (SOHL) and Victor Carrasco, FACHE (HCE), Board members and I look forward to seeing many of you at the events and programs in the coming months.  

Ellen Zaman, FACHE 
Regent for California - Southern 
Associate VP of Government Relations 
Children's Hospital Los Angeles

Welcome Our Newest Members of SOHL!

Please join us in welcoming the following new members, who have joined SOHL since December 2017:

  • Dimitrios G. Alexiou, FACHE President & CEO, Hospital Association of San Diego & Imperial Counties
  • Allyn E. Ambrose                   
  • Kerry S. Ashment, Vice President, NuCentury Inc.
  • Idal Beer, VP of Medical Affairs, BD
  • LCDR Benjamin R. Blevins, MD, Associate Chief Medical Officer, Naval Medical Center San Diego
  • Capt Kevin J. Brown, MD, U.S. Navy
  • Qiana Brown, Health System Specialist, Naval Medical Center San Diego
  • Jim Burlew, President/Founder, JB Consulting & Associates, Inc.
  • Colin Cadman, CBIZ
  • Jeremiah Y. Chambers, National University
  • Maj Michael Chan, Civil Affairs Officer, United States Marine Corps
  • Mike Christman, Recro Pharma
  • Todd M. Cook, Vice President, Sharp HealthCare
  • Jennifer Dawson, FACHE, Senior Director of Quality, Human Longevity
  • Erica Eacott, North County Health Project, Inc.
  • Christopher Giese, FACHE, CEO, eAudit Solutions
  • CDR Darryl E. Green, Director for Healthcare Operations, Naval Medical Center San Diego
  • Cory Gu, Prism Healthcare Partners
  • Scott G. Hardtman, LFACHE, Executive Director Supply Chain Management, Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian
  • Vivian Harp, Rady Children's Hospital
  • William L. Harris, FACHE, Director of Operations, Pacific District, Territory 1, VA Office of Information & Technology
  • Brannen Henn , Philips Healthcare
  • Savannah P. Humphreys, Administrative Fellow, Kaiser Permanente
  • Deborah M. Jacobs, FACHE, Director, West Region, Catalyst - A Haskell Company
  • PO2 William D. Jones, Jr., Logistic Specialist, US Navy
  • Veronica Kaitz , Scripps Health
  • Barbara S. Kennedy, FACHE, North County Health Services
  • Omar Khawaja, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Palomar Health
  • LT Anna Elisa Lacanilao, LT/Healthcare Administrator, Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton
  • Paromita Laskar, Sharp HealthCare
  • LCDR Richard D. Maiatico, Lieutenant Commander, US Navy
  • HMC Kristen M. Matson, HMC, US Navy
  • LCDR Mary L. Neal, Finance Management Intern, US Navy
  • Matthew G. Nelson, HMC     
  • Stephanie Ngo, Senior Care Consultant, Anthem
  • Jyoti K. Osten, Sharp Health Plan
  • Shraddha C. Patel, FACHE, Director Health Sciences Planning, UC San Diego Health
  • Patrick C. Pieper, Vice President, MSP Implementations & Operations, Aya Healthcare
  • Nessa Rezaeian                    
  • HM2 Joseph A. Rivera, Search & Rescue Med Tech/Aerospace Med Tech, USN/Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron Two One
  • CAPT Thecly H. Scott, PhD, RN, US Navy
  • HMC Corey D. Smith, US Navy
  • Sharon Tam, Kaiser Permanente
  • Kirsten Y. Thrush, RN,Naval Medical Center San Diego
  • HM1 Caesare R. Torres, Leading Petty Officer       
  • Chet C. Uma, CEO, Aetna Better Health of California
  • JP Ursick
  • PO1 Mario R. Villalta, Leading Petty Officer, US Navy
  • Maria L. Wanderley
  • Nicole Wells, Associate, Dummit Buchholz & Trapp
  • HMC Jessica L. Wentlent, Chief Petty Officer, Naval Medical Center San Diego
  • John Wood, PhD, Founder & CEO, Cardinal Point Healthcare Solutions
  • LCDR Joshua A. Wymer, US Navy
  • George A. Zara, LFACHE

Check Out ACHE’s Enhanced Executive Coaching Directory

ACHE’s Career Resource Center is pleased to bring you an enhanced version of the Executive Coaching Directory. Executive coaches offer personalized support to individuals pursuing professional growth. While ACHE is not endorsing the firms or individuals listed, we hope that our directory accelerates your research process as you assess the qualifications, practice methods and fees of an array of executive coaches. Not only does this upgrade provide a better experience for members seeking executive coaches, the coaches promoting their services benefit as well. 

The new platform features include:

  • Enhanced search capabilities for members seeking an executive coach. You can now search coach profiles based on location, area of expertise and more!
  • Improved profiles, including the listed coaches’ website, social media outlets and a professional headshot.
  • Advanced technology that provides members and coaches with a more user-friendly experience.

Check out the Executive Coaches Directory today! If you have questions or need assistance, please contact us at

ACHE Senior Executive Program

ACHE’s Senior Executive Program is designed for senior-level C-suite healthcare executives who strive to become visionary leaders. Past participants have included vice presidents, health system leaders, COOs, CMOs, CNOs and CFOs who aspire to become CEOs. The program’s locations and dates are as follows:

  • Chicago (June 11–13)
  • San Diego (Aug. 20–22)
  • Orlando, Fla. (Oct. 29–Oct. 31)

The Senior Executive Program is tailored for senior leaders, providing them with an opportunity to gain skills in decision making, problem solving and team building. Participants explore crucial topics impacting the healthcare environment, how to lead an organization to success and ways to achieve lifelong learning goals. Enrollment is limited to 30 healthcare executives, and participants must attend all three sessions. A limited number of scholarships are available for qualified individuals. For more information, contact Catie L. Russo, program specialist, in ACHE’s Division of Professional Development, at (312) 424-9362, or visit

ACHE Executive Program

ACHE’s Executive Program is designed for the next generation of healthcare executives who strive to excel in management and achieve organizational excellence. Past participants have included mid-career executives or administrative directors, service-line leaders and department heads. The program’s locations and dates are as follows:

  • Chicago (June 11–12)
  • San Diego (Aug. 20–22)
  • Orlando, Fla. (Oct. 29–Oct. 31)

The Executive Program is tailored for mid-level managers, providing them with an opportunity to assess their skillsets in order to develop stronger leadership capabilities and prepare them for change within their organizations. Participants explore a wide range of topics essential to their professional career growth and their healthcare organization’s advancement. Enrollment is limited to 30 healthcare executives, and participants must attend all three sessions. A limited number of scholarships are available for qualified individuals. For more information, contact Catie L. Russo, program specialist, ACHE’s Division of Professional Development, at (312) 424-9362, or visit

Board of Governors Exam Fee Waiver Campaign: March 1–June 30

The Board of Governors Exam fee waiver promotion for ACHE Members to save $200 when they submit their Fellow application, will take place between March 1 and June 30, 2018.

Eligible members must submit their completed Fellow application, $250 application fee and meet all requirements—including the three years of ACHE membership tenure and five years of executive-level healthcare management experience—by June 30 in order to receive approval to take the Board of Governors Exam. Pending application approval, ACHE will waive the $200 Board of Governors Exam fee.

ACHE’s Leader-to-Leader Program

When you share the value of ACHE membership with your colleagues through encouraging them to join or advance to Fellow status, you can earn points to obtain rewards such as a gift certificate toward an ACHE education program, a polo shirt, a backpack tote, a water bottle and an umbrella. If you sponsor three or more Members who successfully achieve Fellow status, you can even be entered into a raffle for a free registration to ACHE’s Congress on Healthcare Leadership.

Each time a person joins ACHE or advances to Fellow status and lists your name as a sponsor on the application, you earn a point. The more points you earn, the more rewards you can receive. Points expire on Dec. 31 of the year following when they were earned (e.g., a point earned on Jan. 1, 2018, will expire on Dec. 31, 2019). You can check your available points and discount program coupon codes in the My ACHE area of To ensure colleagues reference you, referral cards are available that you can pass out so you receive the credit you deserve.

When you help grow ACHE, you make a strong statement about your professionalism and leadership in the healthcare field and also strengthen the organization.

For more information on the program, go to

ACHE Member Communities Enhance Membership Experience

ACHE offers four community groups that align with our members’ professional backgrounds and commitment to diversity and inclusion. Make members in your area aware of these communities and encourage them to join one or more that meet their professional needs and goals (pending they meet the requirements).

ACHE Forums: Asian Healthcare Leaders | LGBT | Healthcare Consultants | Physician Executives

Sign up today: Join or renew one or more of these groups for an annual fee of $100 each in addition to your ACHE membership dues. All benefits are accessible online and include a newsletter, an exclusive LinkedIn Group and special designation in ACHE’s online Member Directory.

2018 Fund for Healthcare Leadership

On behalf of the Fund for Healthcare Leadership, we thank all of our generous supporters for their commitment to ACHE’s mission to advance our members and healthcare management excellence. Over 2,800 outstanding individuals and organizations have joined our growing list of leaders who care. Among that distinguished group, Catholic Health Initiatives (Kevin E. Lofton, FACHE), John M. Haupert, FACHE, HCA, John J. Lynch, III, FACHE, Memorial Hermann Health System (Charles D. Stokes, FACHE), Navicent Health (Ninfa M. Saunders, FACHE) and New York-Presbyterian (Michael J. Fosina, FACHE) opted to make an even bigger impact on the future of healthcare by committing to a major gift in 2017. Your commitment helps the Fund for Healthcare Leadership provide scholarships for ACHE’s Senior Executive and Executive programs, as well as back the Thomas C. Dolan Executive Diversity Program. The Fund looks forward to more opportunities for outreach in 2018. 

6 Key Healthcare Trends to Watch in 2018

At the start of 2018, the healthcare industry is on the cusp of more significant change, according to a recent Health Affairs Blog post. Highlighted below are six trends to be on the lookout for.

Insurance Market Stability, With Some Exceptions

The healthcare reform strategy of Republicans going forward will likely be to focus on the states, granting them waivers to experiment with insurance programs and expand Medicaid coverage. That said, healthcare leaders are viewing 2018 as a year of greater insurance market stability. On the other hand, bad debt continues to climb, which means some healthcare leaders still face major financial threats.

Renewed Focus on Value-Based Care

CMS will likely continue to ramp up the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 that incents clinicians to take risks with alternative payment models. Private sector actions also appear to be expanding and accelerating the value-based payment movement, disrupting the status quo.

Continued Rise of Consumerism

To ultimately succeed, health leaders realize that they need to, above all else, excel at attracting and engaging patients, families, caregivers, and consumers. More and more, providers will work with patients, families and caregivers to develop approaches to more actively manage their health and healthcare.

Embracing Standardization and Waste Reduction

Healthcare leaders have a larger and more urgent financial imperative to identify and isolate wasteful practices, cost outliers and the root causes for inefficiencies. These efforts will rely heavily on having accurate and actionable data and analytics.

Increased Drug Market Competition

Congress and the FDA will continue to explore new initiatives designed to unleash more competition that can moderate drug price trends. Efforts could include developing more generics where competition is lacking, streamlining the generic drug approval process, eliminating loopholes that prevent the introduction of competitor drugs and promoting biosimilars.

Data Warehouse Growth and Strides in Interoperability

While providers wait for new interoperability provisions, they continue to build data warehouse systems, enhance data analytics, and train their workforce on IT-related competencies.

—Adapted from “What To Watch In Health Care In 2018: Six Key Trends,” by Susan DeVore, Health Affairs Blog, Jan. 29, 2018. 

CIOs Rank Most Overhyped IT Innovations

When it comes to emerging technologies, not every innovation will make their mark on healthcare in the long run. For instance, CIO members of the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives ranked blockchain technology as the most “overhyped” IT trend in a recent CHIME study, Healthcare IT News reports. Although blockchain technology aims to improve data integrity and advance data security, 48.2 percent of CIOs fail to see its transformative potential. Other “overhyped” trends, according to the survey, include:

Cloud computing (23.2 percent)

Machine learning (7.1 percent)

Natural language processing (7.1 percent)

Instead, many healthcare organizations are focusing on trends that can make a tangible, positive impact. According to 50 percent of the CIOs surveyed, these promising innovations include Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources and application programming interfaces. Additionally, 14 percent of CIOs said their organization has launched a dedicated IT innovation center and 25 percent said their health system has formed a partnership focused on innovation with a healthcare IT startup.

—Adapted from “FHIR transformative, blockchain overhyped, CIOs say,” by Mike Miliard, Healthcare IT News, Jan. 19, 2018. 

Special Thanks To Our Platinum Sponsors

The generosity of SOHL's Platinum Sponsors make all that we do possible! Special thanks to the following (listed in alphabetical order):