Message from the President

by Paul A. Jeffrey

Carrying out the mission into 2010.....   






Summer season is coming to and end, and many are gearing up for back to school season.


At the Triad Healthcare Executive Forum we worked over the summer on planning the two final educational programs for 2010. In the planning of these programs we took into account the school calendar year and scheduled our third Education Program for September 15. This should give everyone time to settle in with “re-entry” of the school days routine. The fourth and final education program is our THEF Annual Meeting scheduled for November 11, 2010. So please do mark your calendars.


The September meeting will address industry and market trends that have created new sets of opportunities and challenges for health systems relevant to physicians as members of a medical staff, partners, employees, and as competitors. Given these new sets of dynamics we thought you might enjoy a discussion with healthcare executives from the Triad on the topic of Medical Staff Relations.  This will be a very interesting program and it is approved by the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) for 1.5 Category I credits. Please be in the look out for other e-blast announcements.


The THEF Annual meeting this coming November will have our usual agenda including the Legal Update by Tom Stukes from the Law Offices of Womble, Carlyle, Sandridge and Rice, PLLC. This should be an extremely interesting discussion in the coattails of Health Reform enacted earlier this year. In addition we will present ACHE special awards to two healthcare executives of the Triad.


Please be aware of proposed changes to Category I Programming.  On June 28, 2010, the ACHE Board of Governors discussed a proposal to redefine Category I (ACHE education) to include only face-to-face educational programming at both the national and chapter levels. The Board acknowledged this is a complex issue that substantially impacts affiliates, chapters and ACHE. Therefore, the Board approved a systematic and transparent process for exposing this proposal to Regents and chapter leaders and for collecting input and feedback. The process includes webinars for Regents and chapter presidents in August to explain the proposal and to solicit feedback. This feedback will be provided to the Board for their consideration at the November Board meeting.

The webinars include a presentation that covers the current philosophy of ACHE education and the meaning of fellowship and the rationale for the proposal to include only face-to-face education in the definition of Category I. To assist chapters, particularly those serving remotely located affiliates, the proposal includes increasing the number of Category I credit program hours chapters can provide to 12 hours per year, with 6 of those hours offered in a one-day conference. The webinar presentation will be recorded and available for viewing. Stay tuned for more on Category I proposed changes.


Hope you were able to squeeze in vacation time during this unusually hot summer. Look forward to seeing you at our September 15 meeting.






Paul A. Jeffrey


Triad Healthcare Executive Forum


Wesley Long Community Hospital


Message from the Regent - Summer 2010

Fred T. Brown Jr., FACHE

Dear Colleagues,

Most of you have seen the commercial where a kind act is observed by a bystander who does a kind act for another person and so on until the originator is a recipient of a kind act. This “Pass it Forward” theme also will be the theme of the Fall District Meetings and Chapter Leaders Conference late September in Chicago. I look forward to seeing some of you there.

This “Pass it Forward” theme is so in tune with what I believe the American College of Healthcare Executives is about. Sure we “pass it forward” by providing assistance to our consumers and patients in the organizations in which we work but also ACHE helps us in our work by providing education, mentorship, guidance and support to members. We are collectively working to pass on professionalism and improved performance. These efforts improve our membership performance, which in turn means better healthcare outcomes and so on.

I am a bit of a football nut so indulge me and let’s think about what it takes for teams that we all know are going to be good every single year.  What do they have in common? These teams all have lasting traditions and high standards that are passed forward to new recruits. These teams will all have senior players (Mentors) who take younger players, teach them and bring them along in their football skills. All of these teams have coaches who understand that strong minds as well as bodies are important in winning. Most of these teams also understand that a great team is better than a gaggle of great individual players. These teams know how to win and pass this knowledge forward.

These teams also measure performance and outcomes. I attended college on a football grant-in-aid.  I was an offensive lineman, a right guard that “pulled” or “trapped” about every play. I also snapped on points and field goals, played on the kick off and return teams and even played defensive end my senior year. At least five times I played all 60 minutes of a game. (My son thinks this is when players wore no face masks and leather helmets). My fellow lineman and I all played on the first team our sophomore year so we played together for three years. We had performance measures that fans still hold in high regard today. (44 points average scoring per game, 7.6 average yards per offensive play, beating Appalachian State 56-6 (49-0 at the half) our senior year, and conference champions all three years.) Our shared measurement however, was not any of these numbers or any individual accolades but rather that our quarterback, Jack Huss, had a clean jersey at the end of the game! If so, it meant he had not spent any time on the ground having been tackled and we were collectively doing our job. To this day Jack will tell folks he could have worn the same jersey at all of the home games without it ever having to be cleaned.

I was drafted by Uncle Sam after graduating and saw only a few games at my college over the next four years. The teams were OK, but we had failed to “pass forward” our pride and traditions. The talent of the players, if anything was better than when I played, but the outcomes were much worse. We had new coaches and team mates that did not seem to understand that they were playing as much or more for their team members as they were the college. Some players even seemed to be playing for individual glory.

I have always wondered if I and the rest of my team had done a better job of “passing it forward” to the younger players, the football program would had stayed nationally ranked like it was when we played.

As I went on to graduate school and began my healthcare career, I also soon noticed that good healthcare organizations seemed to “pass forward” pride in doing good work and achieving excellence for their communities. I found that hospitals with more resources were not always the best places to seek care and that hard to measure attributes such as teamwork, individual responsibility and caring were often the difference between a good organization and a great one.

As leaders, is it not our job to “pass forward” as many of the positive attributes of our organization as we can? Should we not seek ways to have everyone involved in supporting care take pride and responsibility for the good work they do...and then pass this forward to new members of the work force? If you can help figure out how to do this well at every level of your organization, you will have a wonderful career!

Provision of good healthcare is more than just a job. It can be a great tradition. It is a core attribute of a good community. It is a career than can give us back more than one gives. At its best, it is precious to behold and once found, so important to “pass forward” to all.

It is an honor to be your Regent.

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

ACHE Regent Elections - National News

National News
Summer 2010

ACHE Regent Elections

The 2010–2011 Council of Regents election process is under way, with the following 27 jurisdictions open for election:

* Arizona
* California—San Diego/Imperial Counties
* California—Southern
* Canada
* Florida—Eastern
* Florida—Northern and Western
* Illinois—Metropolitan Chicago
* Illinois—Southern
* Maryland
* Michigan
* Minnesota
* Mississippi
* Missouri
* Montana
* Navy
* New Jersey
* New York—Hudson Valley/Adirondack Area
* North Carolina
* North Dakota
* Ohio—Northern
* Ohio—Southern
* Pennsylvania—Eastern
* Pennsylvania—Southern, Central and Western
* South Carolina
* Texas—Central and South
* Texas—Southeast
* Vermont

Chapter officials whose territory is located in one of these jurisdictions should encourage their members to run for Regent. Serving as a Regent is a unique opportunity to exercise leadership abilities, share innovative ideas and act on behalf of ACHE affiliates.

All Fellows who wish to run for election must submit either a letter of intent to ACHE via certified mail postmarked by September 3, 2010, or an electronic letter of intent to Certified mail is preferred. The letter of intent must include a current business title, business address and telephone number and be sent to the attention of:

Jennifer L. Connelly
Regent Elections Coordinator
Division of Regional Services
American College of Healthcare Executives
One North Franklin Street, Suite 1700
Chicago, IL 60606-3529

If you submit your letter of intent electronically and do not receive confirmation of its receipt by September 7, 2010, contact Jennifer Connelly at (312) 424-9328 or

Go to the Affiliates Only area of to learn more about these upcoming elections.

Board of Governors Examination Review Course

To help prepare applicants for the Exam, ACHE will offer the Board of Governors Examination Review Course on October 13–15 in Phoenix. Passing the Exam is one step on the path to earning the distinction of board certification as a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE®). The Exam consists of 230 questions testing 10 core knowledge areas. This review course provides information on all 10 areas, as well as testing strategies, sample questions and a better understanding of the examination’s content, structure and scoring. To register, go to or contact our Customer Service Center at (312) 424-9400. For more information about becoming a Fellow, contact our Customer Service Center or go to

Fund for Innovation in Healthcare Leadership Offerings

ACHE is offering two new special sessions in conjunction with upcoming clusters.  Funded in part by the Fund for Innovation in Healthcare Leadership, these programs are one way that the Fund brings innovation to the forefront of healthcare leadership.

Featured at the Atlanta Cluster is “The Digital Medicine Revolution in Healthcare,” taking place on Tuesday, September 14. World-renowned physician and thought leader Eric J. Topol, MD, director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute and chief academic officer at Scripps Health, will lead this one-time offering by revealing how wireless digital technology and genetic mapping will transform healthcare in unprecedented ways.

Dr. Topol will discuss innovative technologies, current research and the implications for the healthcare field. In addition, a selected group of healthcare leaders will share their experiences with wireless innovations, genomics and personalized medicine while serving as discussion leaders on the progress, limitations, caveats, outcomes and future application of digital technologies. This program qualifies for 6 hours of Category I (ACHE education) credit. In addition, ACHE is accredited by other organizations to provide continuing education credit.

On Wednesday, October 6, in conjunction with the San Francisco Cluster, ACHE and the Fund are presenting “Ethical Wisdom: Doing the Right Thing Every Day, Everywhere in the Organization.” This proactive, half-day seminar, led by Jack A. Gilbert, EdD, FACHE, exposes healthcare executives to the challenges and some very practical solutions to the ethical dilemmas they encounter.

Dr. Gilbert, director of the Master of Healthcare Innovation program at Arizona State University, will share the outcomes of his research and practice working with healthcare organizations on some of their most pressing ethical issues. His key determination is for healthcare leaders and their staff to always do the “right thing” throughout their organization. Responding to the keynote presentation and providing perspective from the practitioner side are healthcare executives Delvecchio S. Finley, FACHE, vice president, Operations, at California Pacific Medical Center; Carrie Owen Plietz, FACHE, chief operating officer at Sutter Health–Mills Peninsula Health System; and
Jerrold A. Maki, FACHE, vice president, Clinical Services, at Stanford Hospitals & Clinics. This program qualifies for 4 hours of Category I (ACHE education) credit. In addition, ACHE is accredited by other organizations to provide continuing education credit.

For those already participating in these clusters, continue your professional growth with these important sessions, or participate solely in these programs. For more information about these one-time offerings and the Fund for Innovation in Healthcare Leadership, visit or call ACHE’s Customer Service Center at (312) 424-9400.




Avoid Committing Gaffes With Your Multicultural Work Force

Whether you manage a huge multinational firm or a small office, chances are you’ve got at least a few people from another culture in your group. You can’t take for granted that what works for your native employees will be equally effective in managing foreign-born workers. Keep these pointers in mind:


  • Find out how to communicate. Workers in some cultures may have learned to rely on what others in their work group tell them, rather than on management communications. You may need to designate someone to pass along information to these employees. Remember, too, that in some cultures people are uncomfortable with public praise, so find out whether workers would prefer to receive positive feedback in private.
  • Assign mentors or buddies. If possible, pair up a foreign-born employee with another worker from the same culture, so the more experienced employee can answer questions and show the newer worker the ropes. If that’s not possible, assign a mentor from your work force, but provide some training so the person doesn’t create friction.
  • Keep your door, and mind, open. An open-door policy is usually good employee relations, but employees from different countries may not be used to the idea of addressing their superiors directly. As above, designating an intermediary may be your best bet. Set a good example, though, by getting out of your office to ask questions and share information.
  • Eliminate jargon and slang. You already know this, but it bears repeating: Be sensitive to buzzwords and figures of speech that may not be obvious to people from another country. On the flip side, find out what kinds of slang might be offensive in another culture.

Adapted from “Are You Unwittingly Committing Gaffes With Your Multicultural Work Force?” Communication Solutions, April 2010; (800) 878-5331;

Become a More Confident Writer

Writing confidently has as much to do with your state of mind as your ability. Here are several ways to write more confidently.

1. Read a lot. Read widely in new genres and formats, and not just within your own area of expertise. Seeing how other authors formulate their paragraphs and project meaning will help form structures in your own mind. The more widely you can read, the more expansive will be your points of reference and the influences you can draw on when you sit down to write.

2. Write a lot. The more you write, the more you’ll relax and the less you’ll agonize over every sentence. Start a blog, write articles for free distribution or write for a charity.

3. Learn to accept criticism as feedback. Sometimes it takes a fresh pair of eyes to identify room for improvement, to which you’d otherwise be blind.

4. Approach every project with maximum effort. You’ll gain the satisfaction of knowing you did the best job you could.

5. Don’t confuse the writing stage with the editing process. As with beating writer’s block, just get words onto the page, and then shape and mold them to your heart’s content afterward. Perfection is something you can always aspire to but will rarely reach in the first draft, if ever. Even Shakespeare would probably tear up a few of his manuscripts if he were to revisit them today.

6. Appreciate that the occasional doubt in your own writing is part of the creative process. It is what keeps you striving for higher standards. Use it as motivation to improve and to learn how to become a better writer, which is a lifetime pursuit in itself.

Adapted from “10 Ways to Become a More Confident Writer,” by Matt Ambrose. For more information, visit

Find Out Who's Waiting to Welcome You

You never know who you will meet at your local ACHE Chapter - a welcoming place where you can connect with other healthcare leaders in a professional, friendly and supportive environment.

You will also find many opportunities to learn and grow in your career at a convenient location closer to home, saving you time and money on travel.

Connect Today. Contact our chapter leadership to find out who's waiting to welcome you.

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.

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