President's Message

Tracy Schmidt, FACHE

UHE Membership:

I am excited with the calendar of events we have planned for 2009. Please take time to mark these on your calendar now. Not included on the calendar are networking events resulting from an ACHE chapter innovation grant. The purpose of this grant is to increase networking and association between those members of our chapter who are early in their career and those in senior leadership positions. We envision these networking events to involve a small number of chapter members over meals at nice restaurants in a number of locations in Utah. Sign-up opportunities will be sent to you over the next few months. Mark Moody will lead this project and we look forward to having many of you participate. 

I have one last observation and thought in relation to the economy and how it is impacting our organization and community. I encourage you to identify one way you could help someone on a personal basis and one way your organization could help those in need. From all reports, it looks like the coming year will be economically challenging.

Tracy Schmidt
Utah Healthcare Executives

From the Regent's Desk

by David D. Clark, FACHE

An update from our Regent on UHE and ACHE activities.  

Dear UHE Chapter Colleagues,

As recently discussed during our UHE Chapter meeting, the American College of Healthcare Executives is the premier professional society for health care leaders throughout the United States in many parts of the world. The ACHE has four values that all of us embrace, including integrity, lifelong learning, leadership, and diversity. During these troubling economic times, I feel it’s more important than ever to embrace the values of ACHE.

Integrity: As we strive to become more creative than ever in finding best practices and implementing those practices, it’s important that we do so with integrity in all our decision making processes. The challenge to become more efficient operationally has never been greater. Whether we are striving to improve our revenue cycle, strengthen our supply chain management, or improve employee productivity, we should always do so within the frame works of integrity in our decision making process and being leaders with integrity.

Lifelong Learning:  Many of us are scrambling right now to learn all we can to keep our organization financially solvent. We have a community stewardship to provide quality and affordable care. Our commitment to lifelong learning challenges each of us to stay current on Joint Commission standards, CMS core measures, 2009 patient safety goals, operational improvement initiatives, and the list goes on and on. We should always promote a learning organization and commit ourselves to be lifelong learners. 

Leadership:  Of course, to get through turbulent times, strong leadership is needed. The ACHE provides a number of educational opportunities, including the ACHE Congress on Healthcare Leadership, to help us improve our leadership skills so that we can make better decisions for the organizations we represent. A number of other opportunities for developing our leadership skills are available to all ACHE members either through our local chapter of UHE or at the national level from ACHE educational offerings.

Diversity: As you all know, the ACHE embraces diversity in health care leadership. The College advocates inclusion and embraces the differences of those with whom we work and the communities we serve.

In conclusion, as the Regent for Utah, I am very interested in helping all members of UHE understand the vision and values of the College. By so doing, I believe that we will be better people, better leaders, and as a result, we will strengthen the mission of ACHE which is “to advance our members and healthcare management excellence.”

David D. Clark, FACHE
Regent for Utah

Executive Spotlight: MG David Rubenstein

Utah Healthcare Executives will have the opportunity to talk informally with ACHE chair Major General David Rubenstein, FACHE at the UHE Breakfast on April 17th. The following is a biographical sketch of MG Rubenstein. 

Major General David Rubenstein, FACHE is a Major General in the U.S. Army. He also serves as the 2008-2009 Chairman of the American College of Healthcare Executives. Board certified in healthcare management as an ACHE Fellow, General Rubenstein was an ACHE Governor from 2002-2006 and the ACHE Regent for the Army/Western Region from 2000 to 2002.

Prior to his current appointment, General Rubenstein was the Commanding General, Europe Medical Command, and Command Surgeon, U.S. Army Europe. General Rubenstein is a member of the American Hospital Association, Association of the United States Army, Association of Military Surgeons of the United States (AMSUS), and Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States. He has been awarded the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Order of Military Medical Merit, Ray E. Brown Award from AMSUS, and Federal Excellence in Healthcare Leadership Award, which was presented by ACHE's then District 8. He has twice been named in Modern Healthcare’s list of the 100 most influential people in healthcare.

Please come meet MG Rubenstein at the UHA Breakfast taking place in conjunction with the UHA Annual Meeting in St. George on April 17th. Review the registration brochure online at


Executive Spotlight: Cliff Park

by Kevin Brooks

Each issue of UHE's newsletter will feature a healthcare executive in the Beehive state. The featured executives for this edition is Cliff Park

Cliff Park’s advice to any healthcare executive is, “You have to have a passion for the work we do and every decision has to be made with the patient in mind.”  As an Operations Officer at Utah Valley Regional Medical Center it is clear Cliff walks his talk.

Cliff was born in Anaconda, Montana in a family with 1 brother and 5 sisters.  His family moved to Evanston, Wyoming when he was a child.  As a young man he learned to work hard doing various manual labor jobs and before his first “real job” at Taco Time.  After graduating from high school, Cliff attended Brigham Young University where he pursued a degree in Organizational Behavior.  Cliff met and married his wife Mandi prior to attending BYU.  Subsequent to receiving his bachelor’s degree, Cliff moved his young family to Tooele, UT and took a job with Intermountain Healthcare as a training coordinator for the IDX implementation team.  His first job as a healthcare executive presented itself back home in Evanston, Wyoming where he worked in administration during the transition of hospital ownership from Intermountain Healthcare to Community Health Systems (CHS).  Eventually, Cliff became the CEO of the Evanston hospital.  After proving to be a successful CEO and leader, CHS asked Cliff to move to Sunbury, Pennsylvania to be the CEO of a 127-bed community hospital.  Cliff served in that capacity from 2005-2008 when he was presented with the opportunity to return back to the West  as an Operations Officer in Intermountain Healthcare’s Urban South Region where he currently works.

Cliff enjoys spending time with his wife and four daughters, ages 16-11.  They are busy in numerous athletic endeavors and they also enjoy camping, hiking, and fishing.  Cliff also enjoys reading books related to history.


Education Update

Mark your calendars now for the following UHE educational programs.

Mark your calendars now for the following UHE educational programs:

March 11         
ACHE Webinar : “How Nurses Spend Their Time: Effects on Quality, Safety and Retention”
10-11:30 a.m. (broadcast to 2 sites) 

March 23-26               
Congress on Healthcare Leadership, Chicago, Illinois        

April 17               
UHE Breakfast at the UHA Annual Meeting
Featuring remarks from ACHE Chair General David Rubinstein (retired)
7:30 a.m., The Dixie Center, St George, UT

May 13   
Panel Discussion: “Sustaining a Financially Vibrant Healthcare Organization”
11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Location TBA

June 10   
Panel Discussion (UHE/ACHE Education Day)
11:30 a.m – 1:30 pm.
Location TBA 

July 15       
Panel Discussion: “Green Hospitals and Healthcare”
11:30 a.m – 1:30 pm.
Location TBA 

September 16   
Panel Discussion: “Talent Management for Bench Strength Development”
11:30 a.m – 1:30 pm.
Location TBA 

October 7               
ACHE Onsite Seminar in conjunction with UHA Fall Leadership Conference                     Topic: TBA
Location: The Homestead Resort,  Midway, Utah

Awards and Advancements

Utah Healthcare Executives congratulates the following individuals who have advanced within ACHE or received recognition related to their healthcare careers. 

Utah Healthcare Executives (UHE) recently presented its 2009 Utah ACHE Regent Awards, recognizing two executives for their exemplary work in healthcare administration. Congratulations to Alberto Vasquez, CEO of Garfield Memorial Hospital, for being recognized with the senior careerist award, and Rand Kerr, CEO of Lakeview Hospital, for his recognition as outstanding early careerist. 

Alberto grew up in a migrant worker family and is one of 15 children. He had the opportunity to attend Brigham Young University and graduated with an accounting degree. He later completed a masters in Health Administration. Alberto's first job was as a data analyst with Cottonwood Hospital. He has been with Intermountain Healthcare for 23 years, and has served as administrator at Garfield Memorial Hospital since 2004. Alberto and Meredith, his wife, are the parents of four children.

"I am humbled and honored to receive this award," Vasquez said. "Although the award was given to me, it is really a reflection of the great people I work with at Garfield Memorial Hospital."

Rand grew up on farm in Iowa and later enrolled at Brigham Young University, earning a B.S. in Psychology. He then attended Tulane and earned his Masters in Health Administration. 

Rand started his healthcare career at St. Mark’s Hospital in Salt Lake City as Assistant Administrator. He later relocated to Alaska Regional Hospital where he served as COO. Rand returned to St. Mark’s Hospital as COO and was later named CEO of Lakeview Hospital in Bountiful. "I have been blessed to work with such great people!!" commented Rand. 

Congratulations to these two outstanding healthcare executives! 



Improve Your Work-Life Balance

Employees, especially senior managers, simply do not have the time they want for their families, hobbies or just relaxing. They may experience long work hours or stressful environments. Below are some tips to help you achieve a better work-life balance:

* Work smarter, not harder. Much of the stress and long work hours that staff members experience is due to working in inefficient ways. Continue to streamline and improve how you conduct your work.

* Reassess the sacrifices you are currently making. Recognize that you do have choices. For example, many employees, especially those recently entering the job market, have made the conscious decision that they will not sacrifice their personal life for their work. They have accepted jobs that provide them with the working environment and schedule that better suits their life priorities.

* Force yourself to better organize your time and energy outside of work. Apply the same rigor and discipline outside of work as you do at work. Set goals and priorities, plan ahead and develop schedules so that you can maximize the meaning and enjoyment you attain from your personal life.

Source: Bruce L. Katcher, PhD, president, Discovery Surveys Inc.

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