President's Message

Kimyatta C. Washington

Dear THEF membership,

From the onset, 2010 has brought healthcare to the national forefront with the recent passage of healthcare reform through the United States Congress. As we continue to follow the final details of the legislation, THEF will provide programming to educate the membership on the impact of the national changes at the local level and how to best prepare your organization for the challenges and benefits associated with the changes.  I would like to thank the Eastern North Carolina Local Program Council for leading the way in planning an educational event at the end of 2009 to discuss the implications of the various reform proposals brought before Congress.

In February, the THEF Executive Committee and members met for the annual planning retreat to set educational priorities for the remainder of 2009-2010 program year and 2010-2011 calendar.  The retreat was very productive as it gave us the opportunity to recruit new committee members and get a jumpstart on planning for next year.  Topics discussed included IT/EMR requirements, hospital mergers/acquisitions, and ED coverage–just to name a few.  Based on the feedback received during the retreat, THEF’s Education Committee is planning a seminar on June 10, 2010, to discuss CON legislation and its impact on service line development.  Please save the date.  Further details are soon to come.

In addition to our proposed educational programs for the upcoming 2010-2011 year, THEF is striving to advance members through ACHE.  To achieve this goal, we have created a subcommittee of the Education Committee to organize study groups, purchase educational materials, and establish a mentorship program with current fellows to support individuals through the process.

This year THEF continued its partnerships with our local graduate programs.  The UNC-HESA/THEF dinner event was a success with more than 100 participants.  We have also created a partnership with Pfeiffer University’s Master of Health Administration (MHA) program.  We look forward to fostering this relationship by providing student specific programs.

If anyone is interested in becoming more active at the chapter level, please contact any board member.  All of our contact information can be found on the THEF Web site at  We look forward to seeing you at our June 10 event!

Message from the Regent - May 2010

Dear North Carolina ACHE Fellows, Members and Student Associates,

Since I communicated with you last, I decided to do a bit of “secret shopping” and had my right hip replaced on February 25. I am doing great, thank you. Even someone of my long tenure in the healthcare field can occasionally be amazed about how far we have come. This procedure usually meant a two-week hospital stay when I first started in the early seventies. I was in Carolinas Medical Center for 26 hours, stood up within five hours of surgery, and was climbing stairs the next morning before my discharge! Nursing and physical therapy were great! Thanks to many of you for your good wishes and notes. While I hope you never have to have this procedure, I can personally attest that knowing what I know now, I should have had this done two years ago when the orthopedic surgeon suggested it.

North Carolina will need to elect a Regent later this year! My three-year term is in its last year. The time has quickly gone by but thank goodness for term limits in ACHE! (Don’t you wish we had these in the U.S. Congress?) Requirements for becoming the Regent include being a Fellow or achieving Fellow status by Sept. 3, 2010. I want to commend all of our chapters that are doing such a great job in our state in growing our membership. Regents are elected by the membership. I hope several of you will consider putting your name in consideration. It has been a high point in my professional life. It is hard work at times, but it is very rewarding. Please feel free to give me a call if you would be interested in serving.

Career development, including resume review, resume posting and position vacancies are all on the ACHE Web site, As Regent, I am often contacted by members looking for positions in our state. I am glad to help, but often find that the member has not looked at the Web site and has not developed a network to assist in their search. If you are looking to make a career move, try and find a reasonable number of friends and colleagues in the field with whom you can confidentially share your career objectives. Make sure they have your up-to-date resume on file. As they hear about vacancies or receive calls and e-mails from executive search firms, your name should be top of mind. If you have five folks keeping their eyes and ears open for you, your potential for hearing about and seeking that perfect job is greatly improved.

If you think your career would be enhanced by having one or more mentors, you are right. It has been my experience, however, that many young healthcare executives (and some not so young) do not know how to have a mentor. The answer is pretty simple: you need to ask! When you find that person in your organization or in other organizations who has been successful, made an impact and is someone whose advice you would seek, make the first move! Ask the person if you might call them or visit from time to time when you need advice about a particularly complex or challenging issue. While you may get turned down, most executives will be flattered by the question and say yes. You don’t even have to use the word “Mentor," but with time and conversation, a professional relationship should develop and your career will be better for it. Mine certainly is.

I realize this message is a bit rambling but it tells what I am thinking lately: One, healthcare is more exciting and challenging than it ever has been; two, leadership of your organizations and in ACHE has never been more important; and three, with challenge comes opportunity and as you are seeking career opportunities, think ACHE, building a network and finding a mentor!

It is a privilege to be your Regent.


Fred T. Brown Jr., FACHE
Regent for North Carolina

Join the ACHE Official Group on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a social networking tool to help affiliates exchange information, build contacts and share ideas. Join the ACHE Official Group on LinkedIn today to make new business contacts with other ACHE affiliates and enhance your current relationships with a growing online network of leaders in the healthcare field. This group is exclusively for ACHE affiliates.

To join the ACHE Official Group on LinkedIn, you must have a profile. To create a profile, visit Once you have completed your profile, you are ready to join your colleagues around the country.

Click here to get started now.

Listening as a Key Leadership Strategy Component

Successful leaders don’t talk all the time; they pay close and constant attention to the people they want to influence. If you want to do a better job of leading people, start by becoming the kind of leader your people feel comfortable talking to. Here are some guidelines.

  • Ask good questions. The best questions generate detailed answers and thorough discussions. Instead of telling people what you want them to do, ask them what they think they should do and why. Listen before you speak, and then ask more questions that explore their thinking.
  • Don’t solve problems for people. Your employees will bring you problems and ask you what to do. Resist the impulse to tell them, or to handle the problem yourself. Instead, talk about what caused the problem, explore options and—again—listen to ideas. Even if the solution ultimately comes from your head, people will feel better about putting it to work knowing they had a fair chance to share their opinions.
  • Pay attention to feelings. You don’t have to be a psychologist to understand and take into account the emotions of your employees. Let people vent when they’re upset. Acknowledge their anger when they feel they’ve been treated unfairly. Smile when they make a joke. You may not agree with their feelings, but you do need to validate them.
  • Look forward, not back. Always steer your discussion toward the future. Avoid dwelling on past mistakes or last year’s triumphs. Don’t ignore the lessons of experience; instead, take a long-term perspective that motivates people to move forward.

Adapted from “Make Listening a Key Component of Your Leadership Strategy,” Communication Solutions, July 2009; (800) 878-5331;

Power Pack Your PowerPoint

Are your PowerPoint presentations putting audiences to sleep? You can take your PowerPoint from boring to boardroom quality with just a few simple tips. Instead of using PowerPoint as the visual equivalent of a road map to your speech, try thinking of PowerPoint as a magazine, a great Web site or even a movie.

PowerPoint is an excellent visual tool that can be used to win people to your point of view, but most people don’t take advantage of all that it has to offer.

Don’t give your audience the same old/same old. Make your presentation more powerful by putting these expert tips into action.

1. Use words sparingly.
A common rookie error is to write everything you want to say on the PowerPoint slide. Bad idea. Your audience members can read too, and they’ll be bored in minutes if you’re just reading the presentation word for word.

In order to engage your audience in what you are actually saying, use words sparingly on the PowerPoint slides. One sentence to make them think is far better than 10 bullet points that put them to sleep. Use text sparingly to point out key issues, ask questions or make a call to action.

If you need notes to remember what to say, keep them with you. Use the slides to keep momentum going.

2. Make it visually appealing.
“A picture is worth a thousand words” is definitely true in PowerPoint. A single image can make a powerful statement about your message—and make your message much more memorable.

Thankfully, you are not limited to the clip art that comes with PowerPoint. One of the best resources for royalty-free, high-quality images is at
(DGL stands for Design Gallery Live.) There is a box at the top of the page that allows you to search over 150,000 images, including photos and clip art. They’re easy to download and add to your presentations, and they make a huge impact.

Or consider adding your own images. Would you rather see an Excel spreadsheet of the shipping department’s fourth quarter results or a photo of the guys in the shipping department, hard at work and smiling in front of a sign that says “98% Delivery Reliability”? Which one would you remember?

3. Keep it simple.
It can be tempting to use all of PowerPoint’s bells and whistles, including dissolving transitions, sound effects and slide printouts. But the most effective presentations are not the ones that use a Star Wars-style title fade or a door knock sound; they’re not the ones with 15-page handouts. They’re the ones that leave you thinking about the key points of the presentation after the slides are all done.

Keep it simple when you design a PowerPoint presentation. You don’t have to use every single PowerPoint feature to be a power user. Determine what your main points are and focus on those. Sell the message you want to get across. Use PowerPoint as a tool to communicate with your audience.

By using PowerPoint to power pack your presentations, you’ll make your message
—and yourself—more memorable. Change the way you think about and use PowerPoint, and all of your presentations will be a success.

Adapted from “Power Pack Your PowerPoint,” by Marie Bouvier. For
more information, visit


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