President's Message

Greetings, Triad Healthcare Executive Forum!  I have been honored to serve as your President for calendar year 2012.  With help from my colleagues on this year’s THEF Board, I am pleased to say that 2012 was a success.  We orchestrated four diverse, quality educational programs throughout the year culminating with last month’s session at the Grandover Resort where we heard from our NC Regent, John Roberts, and had an insightful presentation on the future of healthcare by area executives Jeff Lindsay from Forsyth Medical Center and Sanjay Saha from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.  In total, THEF provided two hours of networking time and 5 hours of educational time to over 160 attendees during the course of the year.  We received good feedback from all of our attendees and trust that these sessions provided good networking opportunities and educational value for the time and resources you invested. 

At our concluding Annual Meeting last month, we ushered in new Board leadership and membership to carry us through 2013.  I will be passing the baton to Wendy Hicks as President.  Sherry Nance is President-Elect.  Vivian Langley is Secretary/Treasurer.  And, Tony Potter and newcomer Garry Kauffman will serve as Directors.  Our chapter is in good hands for 2013 and beyond.  Please be on the lookout for new programming and other opportunities in the first few months of 2013. 

ACHE is the premier professional society for those of us who have chosen healthcare management as a career and THEF is our local affiliate chapter.  Thanks to everyone who supported THEF this year. In the year ahead please continue to be mindful of THEF as your local resource for quality programming on relevant healthcare topics and as a forum for meeting and networking with other area colleagues who share the same passion for healthcare as you do. 

Thanks again for a good year.  Best wishes for a joyous holiday season and a rewarding 2013. 



Message from Your ACHE Regent - Fall 2012

Message from Your ACHE Regent                            
Fall 2012


In my last two or three Regent messages I think I have whined enough about the lack of clarity and confusing times we are living relative to healthcare reform. I whined that we don’t have clear regulations, costs are up and reimbursement is decreasing, efforts were underway to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), we were waiting on the Supreme Court ruling regarding to constitutionality of ACA, then there was the pending elections, Congressional and Presidential, and then there was/is the uncertainties of the current session of Congress. Well, I have whined a little about how difficult our professional responsibilities are with the related complexities. That is enough whining from me. Except for the next couple of weeks of the current session of Congress, I think we have answers. Reform is in full force. ACA/Obamacare/reform can proceed.

I hope I have not implied that our industry and the delivery of healthcare services do not need reforming. Reform is very much needed. I have been pondering a recent comment I heard: “I am not impressed by those who ‘try to survive reform’. I am impressed by those trying to reform.”
But having said all that….what is the saying or curse; “may we live in interesting times”?
This is a good time for North Carolina ACHE affiliates to plan to attend the 2013 Congress. The event will be March 11-14. At this year’s Congress, you will find solutions to your toughest challenges through cutting-edge education, exceptional networking and comprehensive career development. Details are at
The Tuition Waiver Assistance Program is a great benefit for members who lack resources to fund tuition for ACHE education programs and/or those in career transition. Details are at
Help with Board of Governors Exam. Complimentary resources are available to help with obtaining board certification in our professional field, including a practice 230-question exam and answer key. What a deal! Details are at
All four chapters, Greater Charlotte, Sandhills, Triad and Triangle, have been quite active over the past several months. I have visited educational events and/or board meetings at all chapters. I have been impressed with the quality of the education sessions. Most of the chapters have “passed the leadership baton” to new officers and board members for 2013. As always I encourage North Carolina members to attend chapter events, volunteer for leadership opportunities, network and support chapter activities. You should be receiving email messages from your local chapters. If you have not heard from your chapter lately, there is probably a snag somewhere. First check your “profile” on the ACHE website to be sure everything is correct, then contact your chapter leaders directly. Chapter information is also at
In November, Duke Endowment, NCHA and SCHA sponsored the 12th annual Small and Rural Hospital Conference. ACHE Regent for South Carolina, William T. Manson III, FACHE and I, along with the Greater Charlotte chapter, hosted a breakfast for ACHE members. Bill and I gave an update on ACHE activities.

At the conference I learned about the “Community Health Leadership Fellows Program.” This fellowship is awarded to up and coming health professionals who are in the early stages of their careers and are already working in or their organizations targets rural and other underserved communities in NC. Details of this interesting opportunity are at Click on the Fellows Program.
I am hopeful that each of you had a thoughtful and thankful Thanksgiving season. One of these years I hope to slow down enough to somehow document all my blessings and things I am thankful for. However I know the list will be very long. On a personal note, Alice and I received a new blessing when our daughter and son-in-law told us about our second grandchild that is on the way!
One more thought about the Affordable Care Act. Millions of citizens will have access to some form of health insurance come 2014. We are less than 10 months from the beginning of the open enrollment periods. Are we ready?
John W. Roberts, FACHE
ACHE Regent for North Carolina


5 Ways to Keep Your Organization Upbeat

Optimistic people are happier and more successful than their pessimistic counterparts. So says Martin Seligman, PhD, known as the “father of positive psychology.” For example, in one of his studies, salespeople with the highest optimism scores outsold their pessimistic counterparts by 20 to 40 percent.

But it’s not always easy to stay upbeat when your industry and workforce are facing significant change. Here are five mental toughness strategies that will boost optimism at your organization:

1. Encourage self-evaluation. Ask team members to answer three questions every day: What am I doing well? What do I need to improve? How will I make this improvement?  Check in with a different worker each day. Talking to your people about their successes and their challenges—as well as your own—gives everyone a sense of forward movement, possibility and camaraderie.

2. Develop a team vision. What do you all want for the organization? Where do you expect it to be in a year? The more detailed the vision, the better. Post those goals where everyone can see them daily. Expectancy theory says: That which we focus on expands.

3. Develop a relentless solution focus. RSF is a technique that takes practice, but once you and your employees get the hang of it, it will have a dramatic effect on people’s mood and your organization’s success. RSF is one’s ability to quickly transform every problem-focused thought into a solution-focused thought.

4. Strive for any improvement, no matter how small. See even a tiny improvement in any situation as a win and part of the solution. That’s a positive mental technique that you can share and teach to others as well.

5. Teach them to “get it done.” Staying upbeat is more than just a set of thought processes. It’s also linked to discipline. Permeate your culture with the practice of finding a way to “get it done.” Employees gain optimism by knowing that they can control outcomes. They do that by tirelessly translating hope and confidence into success through disciplined action.

—Adapted from “5 ways to keep your business upbeat” by Jason Selk, EdD, Communication Briefings, December 2012; (800) 791-8699;

National News - Winter 2013

ACHE’S 2013 Congress on Healthcare Leadership: Changing Healthcare by Design
Join us in Chicago March 11–14 for ACHE’s 2013 Congress on Healthcare Leadership, the premier education event for healthcare executives.

Congress allows you to make the most of your membership in ACHE and get the best value for your educational dollar. Gain the knowledge and insight needed to lead your organization through reform, including key approaches to providing greater access to care, increasing quality and patient safety, integrating technologies, enhancing workforce strategies and more.

Not only does Congress provide you with key opportunities to learn from experts in the field—it helps you connect with other healthcare leaders and advance your career. Join more than 4,500 of your colleagues for an event that offers education on current as well as emerging issues, more than 100 seminars, numerous career development programs and unparalleled networking opportunities.

The 2013 Congress will also feature:


  • NEW! Networking Exchange

    Networking is one of the most valuable activities at Congress and this informal networking opportunity will allow you to do even more of it. The Networking Exchange lounge will provide a venue for participants to gather, share perspectives and discuss new approaches to the challenging aspects of healthcare leadership. Some of the tables in the lounge will designate current topics such as physician integration, patient safety and career advancement to serve as conversation starters. Optimize your Congress experience at the new Networking Exchange!
  • The Masters Series

    Returning to Congress and featuring new faculty for 2013, the Masters Series is designed to showcase the approaches and outcomes of some of the healthcare field’s most successful leaders in four critical areas: physician integration, information technology, clinical quality management and leadership. The Masters Series includes four, 90-minute sessions, each featuring two presenters. Participants will learn from the expertise and real-world experiences of these “masters” of healthcare leadership.
  • Emerging Topics

    Once again, ACHE is purposely leaving a handful of seminars open to make room for late-breaking topics. Please refer to for updates about these topics. Leaving these seminars open ensures that ACHE’s 2013 Congress is on the leading edge of changes as they occur.
  • Congress Express

    ACHE also offers Congress Express, an innovative way to experience many of the benefits and features of healthcare’s premier education and networking event at a reduced cost—Wednesday and Thursday only. Congress Express participants still enjoy Hot Topic sessions, a luncheon session and a networking reception while earning up to 12 ACHE Face-to-Face Education credits. With Congress Express, you can leave home after work on Tuesday, enjoy a full Congress experience on Wednesday and Thursday, and be back in the office on Friday morning.

    Watch for the complete Congress brochure in the mail or view it online at

Continuing the Legacy of a Leader

With ACHE President and CEO Thomas C. Dolan, PhD, FACHE, CAE, retiring in May 2013, the Foundation of ACHE is establishing the Thomas C. Dolan Diversity in Executive Leadership Program to honor his longstanding service to the profession of healthcare leadership and to further his strong commitment to achieving greater diversity among senior healthcare leaders.

To honor his significant contributions to the profession, the Board will be hosting a special event on Tuesday, March 12, 2013, with a reception and dinner from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at the Hilton Chicago. The event will also recognize Tom’s strong commitment to diversity and inclusion in healthcare leadership by establishing a program—the Thomas C. Dolan Diversity in Executive Leadership Program—to achieve greater diversity in executive leadership. The program will support an annual cohort of mid- and senior-level careerists who aspire to higher leadership roles by providing scholarship support to attend the Senior Executive or Executive program, specialized curriculum opportunities to address barriers in career attainment and enhanced career support.

Attendees may purchase individual tickets to the event or host tables. If you would like to support the Diversity in Executive Leadership Program through a table sponsorship, please contact Laura J. Wilkinson, CAE, vice president, Development, at or (312) 424-9305 to reserve your table at the event.

Even if you cannot attend the dinner, please consider honoring Tom by making a donation to this charitable initiative. No matter the amount, your donation can make a difference.

Visit to learn more about the program, purchase individual dinner tickets, write a tribute letter to Tom or make a donation. You may also purchase individual tickets as part of your Congress registration.

ACHE Nominating Committee 2013 Slate

The ACHE Nominating Committee has agreed on a slate to be presented to the Council of Regents on March 9, 2013, at the Council of Regents meeting in Chicago. All nominees have been notified and have agreed to serve if elected. All terms begin at the close of the Council meeting on March 9. The 2013 slate is as follows:

Nominating Committee Member, District 2 (two-year term ending in 2015)
Thomas S. Elmore, FACHE
Project Executive–Vice President
Medical Partners of America
Douglasville, Ga.

Nominating Committee Member, District 3 (two-year term ending in 2015)
Barbara L. Knutzen, FACHE
President, Agnesian Healthcare Enterprises, and Vice President, Performance Excellence
Agnesian Healthcare
Fond Du Lac, Wis.

Nominating Committee Member, District 6 (two-year term ending in 2015)
Col James J. Burks, FACHE
McGuire AFB, N.J.

Governor (three-year term ending in 2016)
Kathleen A. Bizarro, FACHE
Executive Vice President
New Hampshire Hospital Association
Concord, N.H.

Governor (three-year term ending in 2016)
Michael A. King, FACHE
President and CEO
Camden Clark Medical Center
Parkersburg, W.Va.

Governor (three-year term ending in 2016)
Marcel C. Loh, FACHE
Chief Executive
Swedish Suburban Hospitals and Affiliates

Governor (three-year term ending in 2016)
Andrea R. Price, FACHE
President and CEO
Mercy Health Partners, Northern Region
Toledo, Ohio

Christine M. Candio, RN, FACHE
Chief Executive Officer, Inova Alexandria Hospital
Senior Vice President, Inova Health System
Alexandria, Va.

Additional nominations for members of the Nominating Committee may be made from the floor at the annual Council of Regents meeting. Additional nominations for the offices of Chairman-Elect and Governor may be made in the following manner: Any Fellow may be nominated by written petition of at least 15 members of the Council of Regents. Nominations must be received in the ACHE headquarters office at least 60 days prior to the annual meeting of the Council of Regents. Regents shall be notified in writing of nominations at least 30 days prior to the annual meeting of the Council of Regents.

ACHE Call for Nominations for the 2014 Slate

ACHE’s 2013–2014 Nominating Committee is calling for applications for service beginning in 2014. All members 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 vacancies within their district. Open positions on the slate include:
-Nominating Committee Member, District 1 (two-year term ending in 2016)
-Nominating Committee Member, District 4 (two-year term ending in 2016)
-Nominating Committee Member, District 5 (two-year term ending in 2016)
-4 Governors (three-year terms ending in 2017)

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 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 the Nominating Committee should only submit a letter of self-nomination and a copy of their resume.

Applications to serve and self-nominations must be submitted electronically to and must be received by July 15, 2013. All correspondence should be addressed to Rulon F. Stacey, PhD, FACHE, chairman, Nominating Committee, c/o Julie Nolan, American College of Healthcare Executives, 1 N. Franklin St., Ste. 1700, Chicago, IL 60606-3529.

The first meeting of ACHE’s 2013–2014 Nominating Committee will be held on Tuesday, March 12, 2013, 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. All candidates will be notified in writing of the committee’s decision by Sept. 30, 2013, and candidates for Chairman-Elect and Governor will be interviewed in person on Oct. 31, 2013.

To review the Candidate Guidelines, visit the Members 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


ACHE Call for Nominations for Regent-at-Large

The ACHE Board of Governors is calling for applications to serve as Regent-at-Large in District 1 and District 6 beginning in March 2014. ACHE Fellows are eligible for Regent-at-Large vacancies within their district.

District 1 consists of Canada, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont.

District 6 consists of Uniformed Services and Veterans Affairs.

The goal of the Board of Governors in appointing Regents-at-Large is for the Council of Regents to mirror the diversity of ACHE Members and Fellows. To that end, the Board seeks applicants who are female or persons of color. The responsibilities of the Regent-at-Large, including suggested knowledge, skills and experience are included in the position description posted in the Members Only area of Appointments will be made by the Board of Governors in November 2013.

Fellows from District 1 and District 6 may apply to serve by sending a letter (see specifications below) via U.S. mail postmarked between Jan. 1 and July 15, 2013, to Thom D. Freyer, FACHE, CAE, American College of Healthcare Executives, 1 N. Franklin St., Suite 1700, Chicago, IL 60606-3529. Materials can also be sent via email to or faxed to (312) 424-2836.

Application specifications: Letters of application must include a statement by the candidate that addresses their qualifications for the position, including the characteristics identified by the Board of Governors that are noted above. Candidates may include up to two letters of support for their candidacy.

ACHE Job and Resume Banks Are Re-introduced

ACHE’s online Job Bank and Resume Bank are being re-introduced as a new resource with features to make it even easier for job seekers and employers to connect.

Job seekers will benefit from improved search functionality, new job notification options, enhanced job detail pages, a mobile-friendly version of the ACHE Job Bank and more. Employers will find value in a simplified job posting process, easier job formatting options, resume alerts and other benefits.

Registered users of the ACHE Job and Resume Bank will receive instructions for accessing their new accounts. If you have questions about the transition, please contact the Healthcare Executive Career Resource Center at (312) 424-9446.

Tuition Waiver Assistance Program

To reduce the barriers to ACHE educational programming for ACHE members experiencing economic hardship, ACHE has established the Tuition Waiver Assistance Program.

ACHE makes available a limited number of tuition waivers to ACHE Members and Fellows whose organizations lack the resources to fund their tuition for education programs. Members and Fellows in career transition are also encouraged to apply. Tuition waivers are based on financial need and are available for the following ACHE education programs:

  • Congress on Healthcare Leadership
  • Cluster Seminars
  • Self-Study Programs
  • Online Education Programs
  • Online Tutorial (Board of Governors Exam preparation)
  • ACHE Board of Governors Exam Review Course

All requests are due no less than eight weeks before the program date, except for ACHE self-study courses; see quarterly application deadlines. Incomplete applications and applications received after the deadline will not be considered. Recipients will be notified of the waiver review panel's decision not less than six weeks before the program date. For ACHE self-study courses, applicants will be notified three weeks after the quarterly application deadline.

If you have questions about the program, please contact Teri Somrak, associate director, Division of Professional Development, at (312) 424-9354 or  For more information, visit