Winter THEF Program/Meeting Set

by Bob Byrd, FACHE

Tuesday, February 17, 2009 at Wesley Long Hospital

The Winter THEF Program/Meeting will be held as follows:

Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Wesley Long Community Hospital - Education Center
5:30 p.m. Networking/Light Refreshments
6:00 p.m. Program
7:00 p.m. Short Business Meeting

This pertinent and timely program will be presented by:

Joan H. Evans, B.S. PT, MBA
Chief Learning Officer,
Moses Cone Health System;
Independent Consultant for
Leadership Training and
Organizational Development;
Adjunct Senior Consultant for Staub Leadership Solutions

Ms. Evans explains that 2009 is underway and with it, more uncertainty, higher expectations and additional challenges.  There is no doubt that the times we are in are difficult.  So, as a leader what can you do to ensure your organization remains successful?

At the end of this presentation, participants will be able to:
1. Describe 5 leadership skills that are required to lead through difficult times.
2. Name 3 practical tactics they can immediately implement to more effectively lead their organization in difficult times.

If you plan to attend, please RSVP to by Monday, February 16, at noon.  We hope to see you at the meeting.

Message from the Regent - Winter 2009

by Fred T. Brown, Jr., FACHE

Read how to fight the "blue funk"....

Service Up and Beyond

What a year 2008 was! Gas at $4.25 a gallon, the market in turmoil, companies that we all thought were rock-solid failing or requiring massive government bailouts. We are fighting a major war on terrorism around the world and particularly in Iraq and Afghanistan. Unemployment is growing and for the first time in my career, I am finding that healthcare is not recession proof. We elected our nation’s first African American President and his and our challenges are daunting.

Due to uncertainty of the country’s financial future, businesses, including hospitals, are canceling or delaying capital projects. We are seeing evidence of graft and corruption as some of the trillion dollar stimulus/bailout programs monies are being used in ways that will not help anyone except the leadership in these companies. Many companies are not hiring, Americans are not consuming, and we probably have good reasons to feel sorry for ourselves.

I caught myself falling into this kind of blue funk over the holidays. I found myself wondering if my young grandsons could look forward to their lives being as full as mine has been, with potential for success almost guaranteed if you sought education and worked hard enough. What could I do as a citizen to help get our country back on track?

I volunteer in the local USO a night a week. It is located in the Charlotte Airport and literally thousands of young military men and women transit through every year. Fort Jackson, SC, Paris Island, SC, Fort Bragg, NC, Camp Lajeune, NC, Shaw Air Force Base and several other installations are located in North or South Carolina. Many of the volunteers at the USO are veterans from Vietnam, Korea and even World War II. One of those WW II veterans (who once spent 5 days in the Pacific before being rescued when his cruiser was sunk) opened my eyes last week when I was complaining about the bleakness of the nation’s current situation.

“What we need, he said, are Victory Gardens!” Sure, I thought. I can see my wife letting me dig up my front yard. He quickly said that what he meant by this was every one of us has to pitch in like Americans have always done. More people need to volunteer their time. More of us do need to think more about our energy consumption so America can be more energy independent. Knowing that I am in hospital work, he also said that if more of us were as trim and got regular exercise like the troops we hosted in the USO, we would not need to spend so much of our economy on healthcare.

Those of us whose work is providing healthcare usually think of ourselves as being in a “service” industry. We all work hard to do all we can for our customers and patients. If you believe my WWII friend, however, this is just not enough to get our nation heading onward and upward. His point is that we all need to go up and beyond what is usually expected.

I urge you to consider using your skills, experience, education and training in other ways that contribute to society. Volunteer with Habitat for Humanity. Work with the Red Cross. Think about “Meals on Wheels”. Volunteer to help tutor in the public schools. Find something that you can do that makes our society a bit better.

Healthcare organizations, by their nature, are often leading employers in their communities. The leaders of these organizations; you; are already in community leadership roles. Set the example, recruit others and see if you don’t feel better not only about yourself, but what our collective effort can do to insure a positive future for us all.

One more thing: when you see a Soldier, Sailor, Airman, Marine or Coast Guardsman in uniform in the airport or anywhere, stop and thank them for what they do.


THEF Scholarship Award Winners Announced

by Bob Byrd, FACHE

2008 recipients introduced at THEF Annual Meeting

Two Pfeiffer University MHA students were each awarded a $750.00 THEF scholarship in 2008.  The students, Ernestine Quick and Christy Benson (pictured L to R), were introduced at the annual THEF meeting at the Grandover Resort Hotel on November 6.

Ms. Quick is Manager, Supplemental Nursing Department, High Point Regional Health System.  Having earned the BSN degree from UNC Chapel Hill, Ms. Quick has been a staff nurse, charge nurse, unit coordinator, and performance coach.  She was named a North Carolina "Great 100 Nurse" in 2005, and she is active in the North Carolina Nurses Association.  While dedicating her life to health care, Ms. Quick enjoys being a wife and mother and singing in her husband's gospel group.

Ms. Benson is Clinical Information and Analysis Manager for the Quality Excellence Department at Moses Cone Health System.  She holds a BS in Computer Information Systems from Guilford College, a Certificate in Health Care Management from the UNC Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health, a Master Black Belt in Data Management from North Carolina State University, and a Six Sigma Green Belt.  Ms. Benson has been featured as an industry speaker for such groups as Voluntary Hospitals Association (VHA) Gulf States Region, Thomson-Reuters Healthcare, Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, Healthcare IT News, and the North Carolina Health Information Management Association.

The THEF Scholarship Program provides up to $1,500.00 in tuition assitance to one or more worthy recipients each year.  The Program's purpose is to provide financial support to professionals of member organizations in the Triad who are pursuing further graduate level education for a career in healthcare management.  Scholarships are awarded on the basis of applicants' past academic success and the likelihood for future success.

Congratulations to Ernestine Quick and Christy Benson.

THEF To Receive the Award of Chapter Merit

Award to be presented during the ACHE Congress on March 24 at the MacEachern Lecture and Luncheon

The Triad Healthcare Executive Forum was recently informed by the American College of Healthcare Executives that it would receive the 2009 Award of Chapter Merit at the MacEachern Lecture and Luncheon during the ACHE Congress on March 24.  THEF is one of thirty-three (33) chapters to receive the award.  Nine (9) chapters will receive the Award of Chapter Distinction, and one chapter will receive the Award of Chapter Excellence.  There are a total of 82 ACHE chapters.

THEF earned the award by meeting or exceeding the standard of increasing its membership by 8% during 2008.  Chapters could also earn awards by meeting or exceeding member participation standards at meetings, and by achieving targeted scores on the annual member satisfaction survey, which is distributed during the late fall by ACHE.

To earn a chapter award in 2010, a chapter must meet or exceed at least one of the following standards during 2009:

1. Provide at least 7.79 hours of chapter event programming per chapter member (programming hours times the number of attendees divided by chapter membership);
2. Have a net membership growth of 13%.
3. Receive 7.69 or higher on a 10-point scale in chapter member satisfaction.
4. Have a number of advancements equal to or greater than 10.5% of members eligible to advance at the beginning or the year.

THEF Has New Officers for 2009

The Triad Healthcare Executive Forum (THEF) has new officers for 2009.  They are:

President – Robert E. Byrd, FACHE, Senior Vice President, Alamance Regional Medical Center
President Elect – Christine L. Sternjacob, Senior Business Planner, Novant Health – Triad Region
Secretary Treasurer – Paul A. Jeffrey, Vice President/Administrator, Wesley Long Community Hospital – Moses Cone Health System
Director – Pamela M. Sinclair, Vice President Ancillary Services, High Point Regional Health System
Director – Samuel B. Seifert, Divisional Administrative Manager, Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center

All officers were unanimously elected at the THEF annual meeting on November 6, 2008 with the exception of Sam Seifert.  Sam was appointed by the THEF Board of Directors at its Jamuary 7 meeting, in accordance with the bylaws, to fill the unexpired term of Erwin Stainback.  Erwin was elected at the annual meeting but subsequently resigned due to relocating out of the Triad area (see the article about Erwin elsewhere in this newsletter).

A big thanks and congratulations go to these executives for agreeing to provide leadership to the chapter for 2009.

Erwin Stainback, FACHE, Leaves Triad

by Bob Byrd, FACHE

THEF Immediate Past President accepts new position.

After nearly nineteen (19) years with Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, Erwin Stainback, FACHE, resigned his position of Director of Surgical Services to accept the position of Vice President of Surgical Services at the Greenville Health System, Greenville, SC.  Erwin's last day at Baptist was January 9.

Erwin was the President of the Triad Healthcare Executive Forum (THEF) during 2008, the first year of the combined chapter membership structure of ACHE.  He previously served on the THEF Executive Committee as Vice President, Secretary Treasurer, and Assistant Secretary Treasurer.  THEF qualified for the 2009 Award of Chapter Merit under his leadership.  We will miss Erwin's passion for leadership excellence and organizational skills.

Congratulations and best wishes are in order for Erwin as he takes on his new career challenges.

THEF Board Adopts Goals for 2009

by Bob Byrd, FACHE

Know what your chapter seeks to achieve.

At its January 6, 2009 meeting, the THEF Board of Directors adopted the goals below for 2009.  Any feedback from members on these goals or any suggestions regarding chapter functions would be most welcomed.  Please feel free to contact any THEF board member or myself at  Your support or assistance on achieving any of these goals would be appreciated.  Remember, this is your chapter of our professional society.  Thank you.



  1. Provide four combined social and educational programs for THEF members and other health care management professionals.
    a. Obtain ACHE Category I approval for at least two educational programs.
  2. Provide an ACHE Board of Governors Examination preparation course.
  3. Conduct a successful Scholarship Program.
  4. Produce four high quality, interesting Quarterly Chapter Newsletters.
  5. Improve the THEF website for content and currency.
  6. Obtain 24 new members (based on 2008 goal).
  7. Have 2 members pass the Board of Governors Examination (based on 2008 goal).
  8. Have 8 members advance to Fellow (based on 2008 goal).
  9. Increase participation of membership in THEF activities.
    a. Improve awareness of automatic THEF membership of area ACHE affiliates through targeted  communications and activities.
    b. Provide frequent and timely announcements of THEF programs.
    c. Promote THEF as our professional society and the benefits of being involved.
    d. Achieve an average attendance at THEF programs of 40.
  10. Increase the participation of senior executives in THEF activities.
    a. Involve CEOs as presenters at THEF programs.
    b. Invite one or more CEOs to serve as an advisor to THEF activities.
  11. Achieve a Member Satisfaction Score of 8.0.
  12. Have representation at the ACHE Congress.
  13. Have representation at the ACHE Chapter Leaders Conference.

Results of ACHE Chapter Member Survey Are In

by Bob Byrd, FACHE

How does THEF compare to other chapters?

The results from the ACHE 2008 Chapter Member Needs Survey are in.  During late 2008, surveys were emailed to 140 THEF members.  Fifty-six (56) surveys were completed, for a response rate of 40%.  Surveys were also sent to members of all ACHE chapters.  There were 10 questions.  Here are what the respondents said:

1.  Overall Chapter Satisfaction - On a scale of 1 to 10, THEF members gave a mean satisfaction score of 7.03, compared to a mean score of 7.06 for all ACHE chapters.  The median score for THEF was 8.0, somewhat higher than the score of 7.69 for all chaapters.

2.  Chapter Educational Program Attendance - 53.6% of THEF respondents said that they attended a THEF educational program in 2008, higher than the 35.% mean score for all chapters.

3.  Satisfaction with Chapter Educational Programs - On a scale of 1 to 5, THEF earned a score of 4.03 on overall member satisfaction with educational programs.  This compared to a score of 4.02 for all chapters.

4.  Reasons for Not Attending - The top four reasons cited for not attending a THEF eduational program were (percent of respondents citing) 1) too busy (34.5%); 2) time of day (23.1%); 3) don't recall receiving a notice (15.4%); and 4) received notice too late (11.5%).  For all chapters, the top four reasons were 1) too busy (41.2%); 2) location (26.9%); 3) don't recall receiving a notice (17.3%); and 4) time of day (15.6%).

5.  Chapter Networking/Social Events Attendance - 42.9% of THEF respondents said that they attended a chapter networking/social event, compared to a mean score of 26.3% for all chapters.

6.  Chapter Networking/Social Events Satisfaction - Overall, THEF respondents were more satisfied with chapter networking/social events than members of all chapters.  On a scale of 1 to 5, THEF members gave a mean score of 4.21 for event value, higher than the mean score of 4.05 for all chapters.

7.  Reasons for Not Attending - The top four reasons cited for not attending a THEF networking/social event were 1) too busy (59.4%); 2) time of day (34.4%); 3) don't recall receiving a notice (25.0%); and 4) received notice too late (9.4%).  For all chapters, the top four reasons cited were 1) too busy (39.1%); 2) location (26.2%); 3) don't recall receiving a notice (23.6%); and 4) time of day (13.5%).

8.  Reading of Chapter Newsletter - 80.4% of THEF respondents said that they read the chapter newsletter, compared to a mean score of 66.4% for all chapters.

9.  Satisfaction of Chapter Newsletter - On a scale of 1 to 5, the overall satisfaction of the THEF chapter newsletter was 4.04, compared to a mean score of 3.88 for all chapters.

10.  Reasons for Not Reading Newsletter - The four top reasons cited for not reading the THEF newsletter were 1) didn't receive newsletter (50%); 2) too busy (30%); 3) not enough local news (10%); and 4) not useful (10%).  For all chapters, the top four reasons cited were 1) didn't receive newsletter (63.9%); 2) too busy (17.3%); 3) not useful (3.9%); and 4) not enough local news (2.3%).

If you would like a PDF file of the full survey results, please email Bob Byrd at


Fall Quarter ePoll Results

by Bob Byrd, FACHE

What are your preferences for program topics?

In the Fall Quarter 2008 THEF Chapter Newsletter ePoll, only nine votes were cast regarding preferences for chapter program topics.  The question asked and the number of votes cast were:

Which of the following topic areas would you most like to be presented at a future chapter program?

Quality Management - 2
Career Development - 2
Staff Management Techniques - 2
Facilities Planning - 1
Health Care Financing - 1
Physician Relations - 1
Other (email Bob Byrd) - 0

Brad Daniel, FACHE, Named Chair of "Healthcare Executive" Editorial Board

THEF's own solicits input for ACHE's distinguished magazine for healthcare leaders.

Brad Daniel, FACHE has been named Chair of the Healthcare Executive Editorial Board for the 2008-2009 term. If you have an idea for an article or suggestions regarding Healthcare Executive, please contact Brad at or (336) 945-6956.  Brad is President of Nouvista Health Strategy, a planning and CON consultancy based in the Winston-Salem area.

Fall THEF Program /Annual Meeting Well Received

by Bob Byrd, FACHE

Tom Stukes provided an excellent presentation.

Tom Stukes, a senior member of the Health Care Practice Group of Womble Carlyle Sandridge and Rice, gave an excellent presentation entitled "Legal Update 2008"  at this past year's annual meeting on November 6 at the Grandover Resort Hotel.  Mr. Stukes' Legal Update has become somewhat of a tradition for THEF at its annual meeting, and it is always well received.

This year, Mr. Stukes covered several topics, including:

  1. Stark III Changes associated with the 2009 IPPS Rule that includes a "stand-in-the-shoes" provision for physicians, restrictions on space and epuipment leases that are based on per-click and percentage arrangements, and restrictions on "under arrangement" situations.
  2. Antitrust activity by the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission with respect to hospital mergers and provider network price fixing.  Even prior mergers are being revisited.
  3. OIG Advisory Opinion 08-10 that dealt with a medical facility leasing its IMRT facility to urology practices to treat their own patients.  Even though the lease amount was on a fixed basis, the OIG determined that the arrangement violated the Anit-kickback Statute.
  4. Trends in North Carolina regarding physician-hospital arrangements, hospital affiliations, increased enforcement of DHSR and CMS-termination of Medicare provider status, and challenges to CON law.

If you were not one of the 40 persons in attendance, you missed a good and informative program.

Register Today for ACHE's 2009 Congress on Healthcare Leadership


Online registration for ACHE’s 2009 Congress on Healthcare Leadership is now open. Visit the new online registration page for information on various Congress resources.

*          Search Congress events and seminars by date, topic area and keyword
*          Obtain hotel and travel information
*          Connect with employers through the Employment Referral Service

Review and register for pre-Congress activities, Boot Camps, Career Development Programs and other activities.

Plan now to join your colleagues March 23-26, 2009, at the Hilton Chicago & Palmer House Hilton for more than 100 high-quality seminars, networking opportunities and career development programs to enhance your professional growth.

Last year more than 4,800 healthcare leaders attended Congress. Will you be part of the excitement in 2009? Register today

Call in the Authorities

Adapted from Communications Solutions, October 2008

When you want people to agree with you

When you want people to agree with you, it never hurts to have a little authority on your side. That authority can take many forms:

  • Cite your source. One of the most common ways of using the power of authority is to mention a credible source that backs you up. Referring to an industry standard, pointing to an internal report, or even mentioning that a respected higher-up endorsed the idea can give weight to what you say or write.
  • Be your own expert. Sometimes you have no one to back you up but yourself. So make sure others understand your credentials—point to your education, mention how many years you have been in the field, bring up a similar project you did that succeeded. In short, build your own credibility.
  • Dress the part. Yes, it is shallow, but looks matter. When you need all the credibility you can get, dress the part of an expert—whether that means a business suit, lab coat or work boots. Make sure your appearance sends the message that you know what you are talking about.

Adapted from Communications Solutions, October 2008, (800) 878-5331;

Dynamic Frames, Compelling Words

Adapted from Communication Briefings, April 2008

When writing, starting is often the hardest part.

When it comes to writing, starting is often the hardest part. Here are suggestions you can use, “formulas” to provide the framework for an interesting piece that draws readers in.

  • How to. Showcase your expertise—or someone else’s—and lead readers step by step toward an objective. Example: How to Write a Great Article.” If you can, offer resources that readers can use to find more information.
  • The list. Use this formula, and your piece will practically write itself. Example: “13 Things You Need to Know About Writing.” Write a short introduction and then launch into a list, using just a few sentences for each item on the list. Tip: Number your list, and include the total number in the headline.
  • Straw man proposal. Use your title and the introduction to state a premise—and then knock that premise down as you reveal, point by point, why it is flawed or incorrect. Example: “Are Writing Skills Becoming Obsolete?”
  • Case study. Raise a provocative question and then draw upon a few real-life examples to answer it. Example: “Does Punctuation Really Matter?”

Adapted from Communication Briefings, April 2008, (800) 791-8699;

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