President's Message

Happy Spring to All THEF Members,

I would like to thank you for allowing me to serve as the 2011 President of the Board of Directors. I am excited to work with a great team of colleagues to facilitate education and network opportunities for the members of the Triad Healthcare Executive Forum in the upcoming year.

As a reminder, the 2011 THEF Board of Directors are as follows: Pamela Sinclair, FACHE, President; Sam Seifert, President-Elect; Preston Hammock, Treasurer-Secretary; Wendy Hicks, Director; Johnny Veal, Director; and Paul Jeffrey, Immediate Past President.

We started this year off with a great quarterly educational session on March 23, 2011, called "Navigating Your Career," held at Advanced Home Care in High Point, NC. The speaker was Joan Evans, Chief Learning Officer and Executive Director of People Services for Moses Cone Health System, and President of South Rim Consulting LLC, where she specializes in executive coaching. Joan is a dynamic speaker and gave a wonderful presentation to a group of 63 people, ranging from students in healthcare masters degree programs to early and mid-careerists, and local senior healthcare executives. The topic was relevant to all the groups who were present, and it reminded us that our career paths are very much within our control and it takes careful and intentional planning on our parts to advance in the direction we wish to go.

I also had the opportunity to attend this year's ACHE Congress in Chicago. It was a huge event this year with just under 5,000 members in attendance. As always the lecture series were very well presented, and the networking opportunities were abundant. This is a very well-organized conference and invaluable for those in healthcare administration careers. If you have not gone, I would encourage you to attend next year to gain a further appreciation of what ACHE is all about. It is invigorating. 

Our team looks forward to another great year, and we are already planning the next educational event, which will occur in June or July! Stay tuned for the date announcement, as we look forward to seeing you all there.


Pamela Sinclair
2011 THEF Board of Directors


Message from the Regent

Fred T. Brown Jr., FACHE

Dear Colleagues,

I would like to work at least until 2014. I probably could retire earlier than that but I really want to see what we do with health reform and try to be a small part of the positive change that will be required. Since I started as a CEO of a community hospital in 1973 (before many of you were born) amazing breakthroughs have taken place in healthcare but I am not sure that our population is that much healthier. I went to England to study the British National Health Service in 1978 and at the time there were more CT scanners in North Carolina than in the whole United Kingdom. I also saw my first hospice (which did not exist in our state at the time), which has become such a positive service across our country. Although there were significant differences in the demographics of North Carolina and the United Kingdom, I really could not positively state that our healthcare system was significantly better. In the U.S. since then we have built remarkable hospitals, implemented amazing technology, trained world class physicians, nurses, and even healthcare executives, but to what end? Are we spending enough on prevention? Can we sustain the cost of what our population needs and demands? Will we “baby boomers” break the bank?

Our healthcare system has consolidated and will consolidate more. This has helped in some ways to improve efficiency and control costs. Consider, however, that a third of the hospitals in our state lose money from operations, that the federal plan to implement electronic health records is only funded at a level where 50% of hospitals and medical staff will be successful at achieving meaningful use. Does this portend that the other 50% of hospitals and providers become irrelevant? Is the intent of Federal Reform to reduce the number of hospitals and drive transformation of care delivery to something very different than exists now?

I have been at this career for more than 37 years and really thought when I first started out that we as a nation would have had all this figured out by now. I admit to being naïve but you would think that spending 20% of our GNP would have us at more advanced state than where we are in terms of the health status of Americans. Why are we ranked, depending on the study, as being anywhere from the 20th to 30th most unhealthy population of developed countries around the world? The awful truth came to me years ago. Healthcare delivery has little to do with health status in the U.S.

I have been asked why the healthcare system does not do more prevention and education for the populations served. It may sound cynical but the truth is hospitals and physicians do not get paid to do this now, but that is about to change. My suggestion is that we get ahead of the curve and work on population health improvement now. We know how to prevent diabetics from getting to a state of health where they have to be hospitalized. We know that calling patients seven days after discharge has no effect on readmission rates and these calls need to take place within 24 hours of discharge. Coaching and teaching patients and the community about healthy living, eating, and exercise can be accomplished in so many ways. Hospitals and doctors are not in this alone. We need to build coalitions of business, local and state government, public health, YMCAs, school systems and senior centers to name a few. To not undertake the initiative now is to continue to put our nations healthcare costs on those big state and federal credit cards with no spending limit (until we cannot make the interest payments).

Health Reform will not be repealed, but we do have a chance to make it into something that will better solve our health status and healthcare delivery problems. Now is an exciting time. I heard a professor last week at the Gillings School of Global Public Health at UNC say that we no longer could afford to “think outside the box. We had to start thinking outside the building!” As healthcare leaders we have never had such an opportunity to affect change that will be so meaningful to our communities, state and nation. My thought is we start now, keep an eye on Washington, but not wait until thousands of pages of policy has been written. Our consumers are getting older, our population is consuming more care and we have to turn the tide now or our children and my grandchildren will pay for our inaction.

Doing what we always have done is like trying to drive a car by looking in the rear view window. Now is the time for innovation, new community initiatives and for thinking “outside the building.”

This is my last message as your Regent for North Carolina. It has been a great honor.

I appreciate the opportunities to have worked with outstanding leaders in our four chapters and soon to be two subchapters. They are well-serving ACHE and its membership in our state. I also appreciate working with eight excellent educational programs in North Carolina. They are all doing great work preparing tomorrow’s healthcare leaders.

My best wishes to John Roberts, FACHE, as he begins his term as the new Regent. John is a good friend,  an excellent and experienced healthcare leader, and will be a wonderful Regent. 

Again, thank you all for your support.

Fred T. Brown Jr., MPH, FACHE

National News - Spring 2011

ACHE’s 2011 Premier Corporate Partners

ACHE would like to recognize our 2011 Premier Corporate Partners, whose year-round support helps ACHE further its mission and adds value to our membership. Our Premier Corporate Partners demonstrate commitment to ACHE and its affiliates in various ways, including providing financial resources, hosting networking events and offering educational opportunities. We are proud to recognize the following 2011 ACHE Premier Corporate Partners:

3M Health Information Systems
Allscripts Healthcare Solutions, Inc.
ARAMARK Healthcare
Cardinal Health
Conifer Health Solutions
GE Healthcare
Johnson Controls, Inc.
Philips Healthcare
Siemens Healthcare

ACHE Call for Nominations for the 2012 Slate

ACHE’s 2011–2012 Nominating Committee is calling for applications for service beginning in 2012. All affiliates are encouraged to participate in the nominating process. ACHE Fellows are eligible for any of the Governor and Chairman-Elect vacancies and are eligible for the Nominating Committee and Regent at-Large vacancies within their district. Open positions on the slate include:

- Nominating Committee Member, District 1 (two-year term ending in 2014)
- Nominating Committee Member, District 4 (two-year term ending in 2014)
- Nominating Committee Member, District 5 (two-year term ending in 2014)
- Regent-at-Large, District 2 (three-year term ending in 2015)
- Regent-at-Large, District 4 (three-year term ending in 2015)
- Regent-at-Large, District 5 (three-year term ending in 2015)
- 4 Governors (three-year terms ending in 2015)
- Chairman-Elect

Please refer to the following district designations for the open positions:

  • District 1: Canada, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont.
  • District 2: District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia.
  • District 4: Alabama, Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas.
  • District 5: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

Candidates for Chairman-Elect and Governor should submit an application to serve, a copy of their resume and up to 10 letters of support.

Candidates for Regent-at-Large and the Nominating Committee should only submit a letter of self-nomination and copy of their resume. Applications to serve and self-nominations can be submitted by U.S. mail and postmarked between Jan. 1 and July 15. Mail applications to serve to: Charles R. Evans, FACHE, chairman, Nominating Committee, c/o Julie Nolan, American College of Healthcare Executives, 1 N. Franklin St., Ste. 1700, Chicago, IL 60606-3529. Materials also can be sent via e-mail to or faxed to (312) 424-2828 by July 15.

The first meeting of ACHE’s 2011–2012 Nominating Committee will be held on Tuesday, March 22, 2011, during the Congress on Healthcare Leadership in Chicago. The committee will be in open session at 2:45 p.m. During the meeting an orientation session will be conducted for potential candidates, giving them the opportunity to ask questions regarding the nominating process. Immediately following the orientation, an open forum will be provided for ACHE affiliates to present and discuss their views of ACHE leadership needs. Following the July 15 submission deadline, the committee will meet to determine which candidates for Chairman-Elect and Governor will be interviewed in person on Oct. 27, 2011. All candidates will be notified in writing of the committee’s decision by Sept. 30, 2011.

To review the Candidate Guidelines, visit the Affiliates Only area of and select the “Candidate Guidelines” link on the left-hand side of the page. If you have any questions, please contact Julie Nolan at (312) 424-9367 or

Board of Governors Exam Fee Waiver Promotion 2011

ACHE is pleased to offer once again the Board of Governors Exam fee waiver promotion to ACHE Members who apply for the FACHE® credential between March 1 and June 30. Members must submit their completed Fellow application and $250 application fee during the promotion period. Pending application approval, ACHE will waive the $200 Board of Governors Exam fee. All follow-up materials (i.e., references) must be submitted by Aug. 31, 2011, to receive the waiver.

For more information on the promotion, go to  

Early Careerist Network E-Coupon Offers Savings Up to $300 on ACHE Education

Early Careerist affiliates under the age of 40 are automatically part of the Early Careerist Network (ECN) Special Interest Group that offers a complimentary package of resources for up-and-coming professionals. The annual coupon program is one ECN benefit that offers discounts on one of the following ACHE programs or services:

  • $300 coupon toward one ACHE two-day management seminar
  • $250 coupon toward one Online Tutorial session for the Board of Governors Exam
  • $50 coupon toward one ACHE webinar
  • $50 coupon toward ACHE’s Online Leadership Assessment
  • $50 coupon toward ACHE’s Emotional Intelligence Assessment

Early Careerist affiliates can select their 2011 coupon at

2011 Fund for Innovation in Healthcare Leadership Education Programs

The Fund’s 2011 ethics program, “Ethical Challenges and Responsibilities of Leaders,” will be led by Howard T. Prince II, PhD, director, Center for Ethical Leadership, University of Texas at Austin and offered on Aug. 10 in conjunction with ACHE’s New York Cluster. 

The half-day session will emphasize how the words and actions of leaders are some of the most powerful influences on ethical choices and behaviors. Participants will discover how to effectively influence those they lead and strengthen the culture of their organization to eliminate incidents of ethical misconduct.

A program exploring some of the central initiatives of the health reform legislation, “ACOs and Medical Homes: Steps to Creating Value-based Healthcare,” will be led by Brian J. Silverstein, MD, senior vice president, The Camden Group, Chicago, and offered on Oct. 11 at ACHE’s San Francisco Cluster. This six-hour session will reveal the underpinnings and operations of ACOs, bundled payments, clinical integration and the primary-care medical home to drive down costs and improve patient outcomes.
Participants will hear up-to-the-minute outcomes and experiences from the leaders participating in national demonstrations as they share their experiences on the journey toward value-based care.

Both programs qualify for Category I (ACHE education) credits.


2012 to 2014 Credentialing Changes


Throughout ACHE’s history the requirements for becoming board certified have evolved to ensure that the process of earning the FACHE credential and being recertified is rigorous, reflecting current trends and the significance of the credential as an indicator of professional development and commitment.

At its November 2010 meeting, the ACHE Board of Governors revised the requirements associated with earning the FACHE credential and for recertification to address the need for face-to-face education and to increase the required continuing education credits.

The changes, which also impact the definition of Category I (ACHE education) hours, will be fully implemented January 1, 2014. The detailed decision and rationale is contained in the attached document on the ACHE website: "Strengthening the Value of Fellowship: A Learning Community of Peers" and its companion document "Changes in FACHE Continuing Education Requirements: Q&A." These were written to communicate the Board’s decision. A Quick Reference Guide has also been created to communicate the changes.

Break Out of a Rut and Move Ahead

Opportunities abound for people who want to move ahead at work. Are you taking advantage of them? If you are tired of staying in the same place while others around you advance, make these strategies a part of your success plan:

  • Aim higher. Exceed expectations: Dress for the role you want, not the one you have. Do more than your job description requires.
  • Act instead of watching. Move off the sidelines when you see a colleague struggling or you see a way to do something better.
  • Put the organization first. Gain new perspective by thinking always about the organization’s best interests. Forget about your pay grade. You can have a professional demeanor and still be willing to roll up your sleeves and do whatever must be done.
  • Focus on priorities. Each day, list five must-do items that link directly to your performance objectives. Share your accomplishments with your boss at least once each quarter.


Survey Staff to Curb Conflict

Call it spring fever: Sometimes, for no apparent reason, everyone on the team is grumpy and grouchy, ready to erupt at the slightest provocation. If the mood does not pass, the problem might be more than the weather. List possible sources of conflict and hand the list out to staffers. Ask them to mark the three most important items on the list they think are contributing to the problem. Include these items and any others that seem likely:

* Values
* Perceptions
* Knowledge
* Assumptions
* Expectations
* Different backgrounds
* Willingness and ability to deal with conflict

Once you have an understanding of the source of conflict on your team, you can make plans to address those sources and restore your team’s equilibrium.

Adapted from Communication Briefings, March 2011; (800) 791-8699;

The Warning Signs of Career Disaster

Many of us have recurring dreams. Mine is that I’m driving down the freeway and can’t read the road signs until I’ve missed an important exit. Fortunately, it’s just a dream. But many people have trouble reading signs—not road signs, but career warning signs.
A career warning sign is any change that indicates possible career disaster. While warning signs may vary according to employment situations, there are three basic warning signs to look for.
Warning Sign #1: Sales are down in your company. 
While not everyone in an organization is involved with sales, all jobs are affected by sales levels. When revenues decrease, profits are held steady by cutting costs, which often means cutting jobs. Protect yourself by paying attention to your company’s sales.
While not all employees are privy to sales numbers, there are ways of finding pertinent financial information. Public companies must publish financial statements. And employees of nonpublic companies can also read the signs of declining sales, like:

•  Work load decline
•  Boss suddenly concerned about small costs, like pens and copy paper
•  Sales manager was fired or sales department reorganized
Alert employees are sensitive to such indicators. They keep their resume updated at all times and cultivate a growing professional network for potential future job leads.
Warning Sign #2: Management changes.  
Any management change has the potential to damage your corporate position. Be watchful during:
•  Mergers and acquisitions
•  Successive short-term management (e.g., three bosses in two years)
•  Retirement or replacement of senior management
Wise employees listen closely to new-management rhetoric. Is he making dramatic promises? Does he have a reputation as a job cutter? The first announcement of new management is the time to prepare your resume and cautiously explore outside options.
Warning Sign #3: You’ve lost favor with your boss.  
While “gut feelings” are often the first warning, some objective indicators are:
•  A less-than-exemplary performance review
•  No performance-based salary increase
•  Smaller than expected year-end bonus
•  Your input is not requested at planning meetings
•  Your suggestions are ignored

If you sense your position on the corporate totem pole is falling, trust your gut. When jobs are at stake, yours will be one of the first sacrificed. Prepare your new career plan.
These warning signs may seem obvious, but they are often ignored by those who fear change. Rather than take action, they lean on false hope that loyalty to the employer will pay off in the end.
Those who practice career management never confuse company loyalty with aversion to change. When career warning signs appear on the horizon, read the signs clearly so that you’re ready for the next exit with a strong resume, career plan, and interview skills.
Deborah Walker, Certified Career Management Coach
Read more career tips and see sample resumes at:

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