Western Florida

December 2019

Message from our Immediate Past President

Wrapping up and Looking Ahead

Dear WFC ACHE Members,

Each year, I think I look forward to the holidays more and more! The lights, the trees, the parties, time with family and the “elf on the shelf” pics just seem to get better and better each year. Again, this year, the WFC ACHE State of the Chapter Event was one of the highlights of the season! The Tampa Yacht Club was once again beautifully decorated, the food was wonderful, (especially the chocolate dessert) and the keynote speaker, Mr. John Couris, President and CEO of Tampa General Hospital shared the strategic pillars and core values needed to deliver “World Class” healthcare.

As I pass the gavel to our incoming WFC Board President, Dr. Zac Pruitt, I am pleased to reflect on the Chapter’s progress over the past two years. We continue to earn Chapter Merit awards, are in the top ten chapters for advancing members to Fellow and have grown our membership to over 900 members. This success is due to the dedication and commitment of the WFC Board Members, Committee Chairs and Volunteers. I am very thankful for the team work, support and sheer determination of these volunteers over the past two years! Zac will be a wonderful WFC Board President. He brings fresh ideas, high energy and a commitment to continue the WFC tradition of service and excellence!

Looking forward, 2020 is shaping up to be another successful year for the Western Florida Chapter. The Nomination Committee has put together a great slate of Board Officers. The nominees are all eager to serve Chapter members and bring some fresh ideas to the Board. On December 16th, the Board approved an aggressive strategic plan. To reach these ambitious goals, the committees will need help. I encourage each member to volunteer on one of the committees. There are many ways to volunteer and any commitment of time is appreciated. The old saying, “Many hands make light work.” is still true. The Program Committee has an exciting line up of events for 2020. The Chapter will be offering CEO round tables, local networking events and a solid line-up of Face-to-Face Educational Events including two leadership summits. The Membership Committee will increase its offerings to engage new members, help members interested in advancing to Fellow and build a mentorship program. The Board focus for the coming year is on engaging members and building a sense of community within the Western Florida Chapter. Please join us in these efforts!

I wish you all a very Merry and Happy Holiday and a Happy New Year!


Krys Berger
Immediate Past President, Western Florida Chapter
American College of Healthcare Executives

Message from our Incoming President

Western Florida Chapter's 2020 Vision

Dear Fellow WFC ACHE Members,

I am excited about my role as President for the upcoming year. After serving as faculty representative on the Board of the Western Florida Chapter of ACHE over the last couple years, I have had the pleasure of learning leadership best practices from Kelly Batista and Krys Berger. I hope to continue their excellent work serving you as President of the preeminent professional society for healthcare executives with career development resources.

I am currently an Assistant Professor at University of South Florida College of Public Health where I teach such courses as management, strategy, and consulting to healthcare management graduate students. In addition to teaching, I conduct research and write textbooks, most recently a casebook on Healthcare Quality Management, co-authored with other Western Florida Chapter Board members Candace S. Smith and Eddie Pérez-Ruberté.

The WFC Board met in October 2019 to plan our 2020 Chapter strategy. We set ambitious plans for the year to continue financial stability, accelerate membership growth, and increase value & service to our membership. Initiatives include a revamped website, establishing Chapter champions at local healthcare organizations, and supporting members’ advancement to Fellow. The Board will work together to implement these initiatives in order serve our members’ professional, educational, and leadership needs.

In the first quarter of the year, we will have a couple of Chapter events that we are excited about. In February, we will be hosting a Networking event in the Tampa area. This event will provide a more informal occasion to network and build connections among members. In March, we will host “Behavioral Health Approaches to Increase Value for the Organization and Meet Community Needs” at Lakeland Regional. Led by moderators and subject matter experts in behavioral health, this event will investigate how receiving both behavioral health and primary care treatment in one integrated setting can support patients and strengthen our communities.

Are you attending ACHE 2020 Congress on Healthcare Leadership this year? You should consider submitting a narrative for a poster at the 36th annual Management Innovations Poster Session. ACHE seeks innovations, such as improving quality or efficiency, improving patient or physician satisfaction, implementation of EHRs, uses of new technology, and similar topics. All accepted applicants are expected to be available to discuss their posters on Monday, March 23, between 7–8 a.m. Posters will remain on display March 23–25 at Congress. Please go to ache.org/CongressPosterSession for the full selection criteria. Submit narratives as an email attachment to PosterSessions@ache.org by Jan. 21, 2020.

Thank you very much for your membership in the Western Florida Chapter. I look forward to serving you in 2020!


Zachary Pruitt, PhD, MHA, CPH
President-Elect, Western Florida Chapter
American College of Healthcare Executives

Message from Your ACHE Regent

December 2019

While the temperature may be cooling down both the Northern and Western Florida Chapters remain on fire!

Unprecedented increases in the number of Fellows, dynamic face-to-face and qualified education programming, Higher Education Network engagement, and, Regent and other award recognition demonstrates there is no shortage of commitment to our profession nor to ACHE!

For example, this year, 29 members across the chapters earned the distinction of board certification (see list below).  This propelled the combined chapters above other chapters.  Specifically, this year the ACHE - North Florida Chapter had the highest number of members earn board distinction and our Western Florida Chapter made the top 10 ten of chapters with new Fellows! This success wasn’t by accident.  The summer Board of Governors workshop and show of support from chapter leadership across both chapters were significant contributors to the success.  While we all love numbers and statistics, the personal pride and feeling of accomplishment for the colleagues who earned the credential cannot be matched. Those of us who earned the credential years ago still remember that feeling!  WELL DONE to those who now wear the credential and the chapter leaders that supported each of the candidates!

While on this theme of congratulations, our next generation of healthcare leaders are eagerly focused on their careers.  At the University of North Florida, the Health Administration Leadership Institution, supported by UNF Health Administration Student Association hosted a lecture by Mr. Tom Gartland, former President of Avis Car Rental and author of “Lead with Heart:  Transform Your Business Through Personal Connection.”  Mr. Gartland’s message of opening ourselves and truly caring about each other, we can transform organizations left the audience with inspiration and a solid charge! At the University of West Florida, not only did they earn that status as a Higher Education Network (HEN) they have quickly moved to begin to develop their student association.  During my recent visit with them, it was very encouraging to be among not only diverse students but students who are completely comfortable with the differences between their career pursuits.  For example, one student described her intention to take her time, complete a BHA degree and then work in a practice for a while and plan her next steps accordingly.  Another student described a well thought through plan of education, fellowship, job stepping stones and the ultimate role of CEO at a mid-size hospital.  Both were impressive, neither wrong and both just right for them!

In late summer, many of us met at the FHA/ACHE awards luncheon where our ACHE Governor, Michael Mayo, FACHE, Baptist Health Downtown President, shared an update of ACHE activities and both the Florida - Eastern Regent and I gave Regents Awards.  A Regent award is an opportunity for us to recognize the good work of our colleagues and their commitment to ACHE. Please be sure to congratulate our colleagues on their well-deserved recognition.  They are:

Senior-Level Healthcare Executive Award

  • Nicole Thomas, FACHE, President, Baptist Medical Center South
  • Cheryl Eagan, FACHE, Senior Vice President, Support Services, Tampa General Hospital, Western Florida

Early Careerist Healthcare Executive Award

  • Sabrie Edmonston, Director, Transplant Outreach, Mayo Clinic Florida
  • Paul Wagner, II, Nursing Staff Coordinator, Manatee Memorial Hospital, Western Florida

The above accolades are just a scratch of the good working across the chapters.  Congratulations to each of you on your commitment to your professional growth and your chapter and ACHE as a whole.  I hope to see you around the region, if not in the region.  Let’s meet up at Congress!  Keep The Flame!!

North Florida – 20 new FACHEs

  • Chad Adams, FACHE
  • Thabata M. Batchelor, FACHE
  • Colleen Bell, MD, FACHE
  • Kyle W. Dorsey, FACHE
  • Lt Col Jeffrey S. Fewell, FACHE
  • Jon A. Gardner, MBA, FACHE
  • Stephene Garnett, FACHE
  • Thanh Hogan, PharmD, FACHE
  • Tammy J. Keeler, FACHE
  • Talib Mohammed Khan, FACHE
  • Krista Kolarik, FACHE
  • Maj David Maley, FACHE
  • Capt Tyler D. Maxwell, FACHE
  • Gary M. Pablo, MD, FACHE
  • Brent R. Phillips, FACHE
  • Maj Sean D. Rotbart, FACHE
  • Traci L. Solt, FACHE
  • Wade J. Taylor, FACHE
  • Maj Michael N. Tesfay, FACHE
  • Maj Rasheed Wedlow, FACHE

Western Florida – 9 new FACHEs

  • Frank Morgan, FACHE
  • Jennifer L. Storch, FACHE
  • Michael Peters, FACHE
  • Todd K. Sak, FACHE
  • Lt Col Neva J. VanDerSchaegen, FACHE
  • Michael Thomas, FACHE
  • Amanda Maggard, FACHE
  • Steven P. Schnortz, FACHE
  • Nathan Riner, FACHE

Data is based upon information available at the time the article was written.

Ann-Marie A. Knight, FACHE

Regent for Florida – Northern and Western

General Interest Article from ACHE

Learn the Art of Dialogue and Have Open, Productive Conversations

Open and productive conversation is absolutely critical in today’s high-velocity business environment. If our conversations go nowhere, failure will quickly follow.

The problem is that most of us think we are having conversations when we really are not. We often participate in one-way conversations–essentially monologues: I tell you what I want to tell you. You tell me what you want to tell me (or you tell me what you think I want to hear so I’ll leave you alone). We excel at taking turns talking, but neither side is exploring and discovering and building on what is being said. When this happens, the promise of a new discovery or breakthrough is lost. So we aren’t solving problems and are often creating them.

There is a difference between what typically passes for conversation and true dialogue. If two people are engaged in a dialogue, at least one of them can dependably benefit from the other’s experiences. That is why it is important to learn the art of dialogue and practice it daily in all communications. To help promote the art of dialogue, you must be curious about another's point of view and willing to:

• State your own view and ask others for their reactions
• Be wrong
• Accept that you may be unaware of certain facts
• Remain open to new information
• Change your mind
• Interpret how others are thinking and reacting and seek to understand their underlying feelings

Dialogue lets us discover more of our own intelligence and blend it with the knowledge and wisdom of others. Clear and powerful agreements can result from dialogue, whereas little worthwhile insight is likely to come from simultaneous monologues. These types of ineffective conversations can lead to a reactive cycle, in which people react instead of participate. If left unchecked, the reactive cycle can do more than kill the productivity of a conversation and even damage relationships.

A reactive cycle starts when someone says something with which you don’t agree, or may even strongly dislike. In a split second, your emotions are triggered and you may feel threatened or defensive. You react by attempting to control the situation, the person or retaliating. Doing so may trigger the other person's emotions, causing that person to now attempt to gain control, which, in turn, causes you to react again. This back-and-forth emotional interplay—this reactive cycle—results in another unproductive conversation or meeting.

There are three steps that can be taken to break a reactive cycle:
1. Identify it; where one of the parties notices the reactive cycle and literally “calls it out.”
2. One or both of the parties claim their responsibility for being reactive.
3. Both parties try to understand their own–and the other’s–viewpoints and emotions, and attempt to enter into a true dialogue by reframing their perspectives.

After we have named, claimed and re-framed a reactive cycle, we can engage in the type of open, honest and productive discussion needed to accomplish mutual objectives. By learning the art of dialogue we help ensure that everyone is on the same page and moving forward in the same direction.

—Adapted from "Learn the Art of Dialogue and Have Open, Productive Conversations," O'Brien Group.

Shifting Perceptions of Change From Episodic Solution to Always-on Strategy

Healthcare leaders are grappling with unprecedented disruption, resulting in a greater need for agile, change-ready cultures. A change-ready culture accepts that change is constant and understands that success will not come from point-in-time solutions, but rather from meaningful, perpetual improvement. To create a change-ready culture, leaders must shift the organization’s perceptions of change management from an episodic solution to an ongoing strategy that becomes part of the organization’s DNA.
As traditional approaches to change shift, leadership practices must evolve to align with the organization’s aspirations. By actively modeling desired behaviors, leaders reinforce the mentality required for changes to be successful. To cultivate an organization that is able to evolve continuously, its leaders should do the following:
  • See change as a transformative competency. Recognize that change is continuous, and multiple changes must occur simultaneously. This requires a culture that accepts change as the norm and becomes so good at changing that it thrives during disruption.
  • Focus on your mission. This is your “why” for transformation and needs to be clearly, compellingly and continuously articulated in order to engage key stakeholders.
  • Hold employees accountable. Make it clear that adapting is not optional and reinforce this mentality through validation, coaching, rewards and recognition.
If the transformation employees are asked to take on are interpreted as overwhelming and complicated, it will make it harder for the changes to be adopted and sustained. Change should not feel impossible to achieve, and it does not have to require a significant amount of effort. Here are several essential steps:
  • Establish a shared vision of transformation within your organization. This will help curb change-related stress and confusion regarding the way forward.
  • Leverage data to create a high-level view of the organization. Rather than focusing on a broad problem, conduct an objective assessment and diagnose the challenges at hand with quantifiable data. Share these insights broadly to promote buy-in.
  • Demonstrate why. After you build your strategy, share data with stakeholders to explain why changes are critical for reaching organizational goals.
  • Identify advocates. Seek out individuals who will display model behaviors and encourage others to contribute to growth and sustainable performance. They can help determine who will be affected by change and how certain team dynamics may impede or accelerate progress.
Change within healthcare is no longer an option; it’s a necessity for long-term viability. Make sure leaders make the essential mind shift, then build momentum for transformational capability.
—Adapted from "Elevating Change Management: From Point Solution to Continuous Transformation," by Tonia Breckenridge, Michelle Bright and Ryan McPherson, HealthLeaders, Oct. 14, 2019.

Healthcare Analytics: Foundations and Frontiers

A book by one of our own

In September 2019, one of our own chapter members, Ed Rafalski, FACHE, Chief Strategy and Marketing officer at BayCare Health System, published the book Healthcare Analytics: Foundations and Frontiers, which he co-authored with Ross Mullner.

The book is a comprehensive, practical guide which looks at the advantages and limitations of new data analysis techniques being introduced across public health and administration services.

Want to learn more? Visit www.CRCPress.com to get more information and order the book! This is definitively a book for the 2020s!.


Sponsorship Opportunities Available

Gain visibility, establish vital relationships and position your products and services with healthcare professionals in the local healthcare industry who are members of ACHE and have an opportunity to provide promotional materials to those who are expected to attend the events.

Sponsorship Benefits Diamond
Annual Education Programs
Special Event: Dec. Chapter Awards Dinner
Single Education Program
Sponsorship Cost $2,500 $1,000 $500
Tickets Two tickets to each education program Two tickets to special event Two tickets to one education program
Website & Quarterly Newsletter Logo—with link to your website—on sponsor page for the full year Logo—with link to your website—on sponsor page for six months Logo—with link to your website—on sponsor page for three months
Program Flyer Logo on flyers for each education program Logo on flyers for special event Logo on flyer for single education program
Event Recognition Introduction as sponsor at each education program & logo on slide in PPT deck Introduction as sponsor at special event/logo on slide in PPT deck & other recognition Introduction as sponsor at single education program & logo on slide in PPT deck
Event Display Opportunity to set up display table and hand out brochures at each education program Opportunity to set up display table and hand out brochures at two education programs Opportunity to set up display table and hand out brochures at single education program

Our Sponsorship Application Form is available on our chapter website. There are still many opportunities to sponsor programs in 2020. Do not miss this opportunity to put your product or service in front of this group of healthcare decision makers!

If you have questions or would like more information about our planned events and programs, or wish to arrange for an online link for payment by credit card, please contact our sponsorship chair at sponsorship@wfcache.org.

ACHE WFC Social Media Presence

Stay Connected with your Chapter!

To continue getting the best out of 2019, stay connected to The Western Florida Chapter on all our Social Media platforms. As many of you are aware, we currently have a website with our events, career tools, and board information. And, did you know the Western Florida Chapter is also on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter? If not, please take a moment to connect with us on all platforms for the latest news, updates and entertainment. Social media is a great way to stay connected with the chapter and casually engage in relevant content with chapter members and affiliates, so please feel free to tag us on your posts and share with us your endeavors. If you have any interesting content you would like to share with the chapter, please do not hesitate to reach out on any social media platform and connect with us in the digital domain.

Twitter: @wfcache

LinkedIn: ACHE Western Florida Chapter

Facebook: www.facebook.com/WFC.ACHE/

The WFC Communications Committee

Chapter Events

Mark your Calendar Now!

Here are the events we have planned for you in 2020!

Behavioral Healthcare

March, 2020 - Lakeland Regional

Networking Event - South Region

April, 2020

Symposium - Morale and Change

May, 2020 - Ft. Myers

Networking Event - North Region

June, 2020

Medical Education - Morning Event

July, 2020 - Tampa

Networking Event - North Region

August, 2020

Summit - Interoperability and Information Technology

September, 2020 - Tampa

Member Appreciation Event

October, 2020

State of the Chapter Awards and Networking Dinner

December, 2020 - Tampa Yacht & Country Club

Please, download our 2020 Programs Flyer here.

For more information about these events and to register, please, visit the Events page of our website.