Western Florida

June 2020

Message from our President

President's Message

Thank you, WFC ACHE members! Thank you for working so hard during this pandemic. Many of you are risking your health to care for our community, and I am grateful to you. If you ...

Thank you, WFC ACHE members! Thank you for working so hard during this pandemic. Many of you are risking your health to care for our community, and I am grateful to you. If you are staying home to do your part, I wish you freedom from anxiety and quiet from the storm.

As the pandemic response evolves, we will be rescheduling our postponed or canceled Chapter events. We are considering all options, including virtual meetings. We will be transparent about our approach how we operate future events. 

Regarding virtual meetings, we recently hosted two very successful Virtual Networking Events facilitated by Mo Kasti, an ACHE WFC Board member, CEO and founder of two healthcare companies, CTI Leadership and Virtual Health Services. It was great to bring together our valuable network of healthcare executives to support each other during these uncertain times. If you attended these events, then remember to use the MyACHE self-reporting tool to collect credits for your journey to board certification with ACHE.

In addition, our virtual “Emerging Leader Mentorship Program” has launched with great success. This nine-month mentorship matches early careerists with retired executives. The mentor-mentee pairs are working through the curriculum together. I am very excited to hear about their professional development!

Finally, as we venture into the “new normal,” please feel free to reach out to me for ideas. These are uncharted waters, and I welcome your guidance.



Zachary Pruitt, PhD, MHA, CPH

ACHE Western Florida Chapter - Chapter President





Message from Your ACHE Regent

Summer 2020

While you all were working hard before February, I am confident that your pace has picked up tenfold since then. At the beginning of this year ...

How are you doing?

I checked. My last note to you was titled “Are you Ready”? The focus was on your professional development and reminding you that as busy as you probably are, you must take time to sharpen your skills. Well, while my feelings on that haven’t changed drastically, in this time of COVID-19, there are some other things we should consider.

While you all were working hard before February, I am confident that your pace has picked up tenfold since then. At the beginning of this year, we couldn’t have imagined being where we are today. So, let me not consume your time, but share some simple thoughts.

While you focus on meeting the needs of your patients, staff, and other stakeholders, remember to include yourself on that list and be mindful of what others may be experiencing. You may feel as though you don’t have time, but we all have to make time, please allow me to offer a few things for you to consider for your well-being.

  • Take a stroll or power walk – You may notice that I make no mention of running. That’s just not my thing, but for me, walking and checking out the world and its glory is humbling
  • “Play” in your garden – Soil under fingernails is a beautiful thing! You can get lost in the sounds of nature and find fun ways to recharge
  • Get creative - Have you seen all the things people are doing? Do something you wouldn’t normally do and then do it differently from others! If nothing else, you will get a good laugh, and that itself will be nourishing!

Concerning caring for others, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that horrible things are happening across our nation right now. They may be sitting heavily on your heart. They may also be sitting on the mind of co-workers, patients, and other stakeholders and could be impacting the way they interact with you, fellow staff members, and/or patients. Though we are all extremely busy, slow down long enough to check on each other. The true test of our humanity and leadership won’t be measured by the number of things we keep operational (although that is important) over these days. The true test will be how we treat and care for each other.

As administrators, let’s set the example for others to follow, take care of yourself, check in with others, and set a tone of collegial respect and empathy for others. Until next time, be safe!

Warm regards,

Ann-Marie Knight, FACHE
Regent for Northern and Western Chapters

We Stand in Support

A Message from the Director of Diversity and Inclusion

As the country reels from the recent deaths of George Floyd, Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, now, more than ever, is our time as health care leaders ...

"Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much." - Helen Keller

As the country reels from the recent deaths of George Floyd, Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, now, more than ever, is our time as health care leaders to acknowledge and address how racial inequities impact our staff and the patient populations which we serve and work to create safe spaces for reporting and discussing inequity.

The Western Florida Chapter of American College of Healthcare Executives acknowledges the atrocities taking place within the African American community and stand in support of ending the violence, injustice, and intolerance of people of color. We have always placed diversity and inclusion as a top priority, and we will continue to work with leaders to improve the diversification of leadership, which should match our diverse patient populations and surrounding communities. 

Together as leaders we can work to eliminate health disparities, health inequities, and partner with colleges and universities to provide more diverse and inclusive pathways to leadership. Our long-term commitment to the improvement of diversity and inclusion in health care leadership includes:

  • Conducting an ongoing assessment of diversity in our chapter area
  • Creating a survey to gain further insight into perceptions of diversity and inclusion efforts. 
  • Reviewing current composition of all chapter committees and set goals to increase diversity.
  • Encouraging recruitment of minorities and women through the nomination committee.
  • Discussing the recruitment of minority interns/fellows with potential fellowship sites -.
  • Developing a scholarship and including support for specific population groups, i.e. African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and LGBTQ for education/Congress expenses.

While we may not have all of the solutions to the racial inequities, we surely can continue doing our part in reducing and eliminating those inequities and collaborating with the community to address the needs of quality healthcare and diversified leadership. During this time, we ask that we all work together to support, encourage, and uplift each other.

Lead with Humanity


Veronique Perry, MSHA, MBA

Director of Diversity and Inclusion 




Articles of Interest from ACHE

National News

COVID Resources, ACHE Job Center, and more ...

COVID-19 Resources

Thank you for the work you are doing in your healthcare organizations and communities to manage the impact of COVID-19 and take care of patients. We are well-aware these are extraordinary times for you as leaders. 

Now more than ever, it is important to remain connected to your professional society and fellow healthcare leaders. Our COVID-19 Resource Center is updated regularly with perspectives from front-line leaders, documents, and downloadable webinars and podcasts. We are here to support you.

ACHE Job Center

Recognizing that employment and hiring needs continue to evolve amidst the landscape of COVID-19, we encourage all ACHE members, associates, registered employers, and recruiters to leverage the ACHE Job Center in support of recruitment efforts and job search needs during these unprecedented and uncertain times. 

Save $225 on the Exam Fee 

Obtaining the prestigious FACHE® credential signifies hard work, dedication and commitment. To thank you for your efforts, the $225 Board of Governors Exam fee will be waived for approved applications when you submit your completed application by July 31, 2020 (including the application fee and all supporting documents).

Learn more about the requirements to sit for the Exam and the resources available to help you prepare.

Coming Soon: New and Improved ACHE Leadership Mentoring Network

Mentoring is one of ACHE’s highest priorities. We believe no matter where you are in your career, mentoring is an integral part of professional growth and leadership development. We are currently working on launching a new digital mentoring platform designed to enhance the mentoring experience and broaden the reach for mentoring experiences and support overall. Watch for more information coming later this summer.

Forum on Advances in Healthcare Management Research 

We know this has been an unusual year with so many efforts directed toward responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. In preparation for ACHE’s 2021 Congress on Healthcare Leadership, we are moving forward with the call for proposals for the Forum on Advances in Healthcare Management Research. ACHE is inviting authors to present their research at the 13th annual Forum on Advancement in Healthcare Management Research. This session will take place during the 2021 Congress, March 22–25. The lead presenter of each selected proposal will receive a complimentary registration to Congress. Please visit ache.org/Congress/ForumRFP.cfm for the selection criteria and submission instructions. Submit your up-to-400-word abstract by July 10, 2020. 


How to Use Virtual Visits to Connect Coronavirus Patients With Loved Ones

AdventHealth is connecting hospitalized patients and families with virtual visits, including coronavirus patients. To curb the spread of COVID-19, hospitals across the country have placed strict limits ...

AdventHealth is connecting hospitalized patients and families with virtual visits, including coronavirus patients.

To curb the spread of COVID-19, hospitals across the country have placed strict limits on visits to hospitalized patients. Visitation restrictions have been troublesome for COVID-19 patients, with families unable to see their loved ones for many days or weeks, and seriously ill patients dying without contact with their families.

For COVID-19 patients, virtual visits at AdventHealth have generated significant benefits, says Pam Guler, MHA, vice president and chief experience officer at the Altamonte Springs, Florida-based health system. "This has been meaningful for our patients, their families, and our caregivers. Many caregivers have told stories of creating a moment that has deep meaning not only for families and patients but also has touched their hearts."

AdventHealth features nearly 50 hospitals in nine states. During the COVID-19 pandemic, physical visits to hospitalized patients have been limited to a single loved one in the case of an end-of-life situation, childbirth, and a child in the hospital.


AdventHealth recently launched virtual visits for hospitalized patients with the distribution of 1,000 Chromebooks and some iPads throughout the health system's hospital campuses, Guler says. The cost of the initiative was minimal because the Chromebooks were already in hand for another project, which has been delayed, she says. "The investment has been more about helping our team members to understand what they need to do."

With help from the health system's information technology staff, Guler has a team of 65 experience leaders who facilitate the virtual visits. In one recent week, the health system conducted 1,350 virtual visits. "Our information technology staff loaded the Chromebooks in a way to make it as easy as possible to use Google Hangouts, Facebook Messenger, and Facetime. We are using Google Hangouts quite a bit for video chats."


AdventHealth has put protocols in place for hospitalized COVID-19 patients to have virtual visits with loved ones, including for end-of-life situations, Guler says.

There are three primary considerations for virtual visits with all COVID-19 patients:
  • To limit the number of people in a patient's room for infection control, a bedside caregiver in full personal protective equipment brings a Chromebook or other device into the room.
  • The device can be held by the bedside caregiver or placed on a bedside table if the family requests privacy for the virtual visit.
  • After the virtual visit, a disinfectant is used to sterilize the Chromebook or other devices.
The protocols for end-of-life situations are more involved, she says. "We have to facilitate calls more when there is an end-of-life scenario and the patient is not able to be an active participant."

The first step is for an experience leader to contact the family and to see whether they want to have a virtual visit. Then the family is asked whether they want to have a hospital chaplain included in the virtual visit.

Once a virtual visit has been arranged, an experience leader initiates the call to the family and hands off the device to a bedside caregiver outside the patient's room. In most cases, the bedside caregiver holds the device, so the family gets a full view of the patient.

Although ICU bedside caregivers are experienced in working with the families of dying patients, they have received training to help them facilitate virtual visits, Guler says.

"This is a very deep and meaningful situation and interaction, and we have shared some words the caregivers might say. They may ask the family whether there is anything they can do to be the family's hands as the family is talking with their loved one, such as, 'Can I touch your loved one's hand?' They have protective equipment on, but they can be the hands of the family. The caregivers try to do anything they can to bring a human touch to this virtual experience."
Many family members can participate in an end-of-life virtual visit, she says.

"In one end-of-life situation, we had 15 family members on the virtual chat, along with their family pastor. The patient could not respond, but the family was able to say some last words. They said how much they loved the patient. Their pastor prayed with them. It was deeply meaningful and facilitated by a caregiver who held the device. In that situation, the caregiver did not need to say anything."


AdventHealth plans to continue providing virtual visits for hospitalized patients after the COVID-19 crisis is over, Guler says.

"We want to continue virtual visits in the future. Even in a non-COVID-19 scenario, we often have patients who have family across the country. With this platform now in place, contact does not just have to be through telephone. We are already exploring ways that we can have virtual visits in the future in a non-COVID-19 world."

—Adapted from "How to Use Virtual Visits to Connect Coronavirus Patients With Loved Ones," HealthLeaders, by Christopher Cheney, May 1, 2020.

Coming Soon

Virtual Networking Event

The Virtual Networking Event will be facilitated by Mo Kasti, an ACHE WFC Board member, who will address how we can take care of ourselves and each other and build our new normal.

On June 30th at 4:30 pm, our Chapter will host a Virtual Networking Event facilitated by Mo Kasti, an ACHE WFC Board member, distinguished author, thinker, speaker, strategy advisor and leadership coach. Mo is the CEO and founder of CTI and the nationally recognized Physician Leadership Institute (PLI).

During this Virtual Networking Event, Mo will facilitate best practices from our healthcare leaders across Western Florida and Central Florida. While we were thriving along in the old normal, suddenly our work and our lives got disrupted by COVID-19. Such major and sudden disruption created uncertainty, ambiguity and stress. As we try to reactivate our clinics and hospitals, it is a good time to take time to reflect, on our experiences, take care of ourselves and each other and build our new normal.  

In this ACHE networking session on June 30, 4:30 pm, Mo Kasti, from CTI Leadership would help us explore: 

  1. Ways we are adapting and recharging? 
  2. Lessons learned that can lead to Post Traumatic Growth individually and collectively
  3. What is coming next? 
  4. How do we re-imaging our services in the new normal?


We look forward to connecting with you all for this Virtual Networking event on June 30th at 4:30 pm.

ACHE WFC Membership

Remember Your Membership!

As we face unprecedented challenges, specifically in healthcare, it is more important than ever to have a professional network to help ...

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”  - African Proverb

As we face unprecedented challenges, specifically in healthcare, it is more important than ever to have a professional network to help all of us “go together.” The value of sharing experiences, insights, ideas and mutual support has been heightened by recent events, and the challenges remain.

Our Chapter is taking steps to adapt to the “new normal,” we’ll be working under for a while, in ways that have been detailed elsewhere in this newsletter, but all of that can’t happen without you – our Members. With the priorities and challenges we’ve all be coping with the past few months, renewing your ACHE membership might not have made it to the top of your to-do list. If you still need to renew, please take a moment in the next few days to take care of that.

For those who are considering membership, go to www.ache.org to apply for membership in the category that makes sense for you. There you can find details, fees, applications and everything else you need to become a Member. (When you join ACHE, you automatically become a Member of the Western Florida Chapter, if your address is in our geographic territory… no additional fee.)

And for those Members who are interested and eligible for the Board of Governor’s Exam to earn the FACHE credential, we are meeting in the next couple of weeks to agree on dates for the Exam Prep course and exactly how that will work.

Let us know if there are any questions we can answer about your membership by emailing Paul Grossman, Membership chair, Western Florida Chapter ACHE at Paul@PLGExperienceSolutions.com. Take care and stay safe.

Chapter Events

A Letter from the Programs Director

The WFC ACHE Programs Calendar for the remainder of 2020 is currently being revised. First, though, I want to take a moment to pause ...

The WFC ACHE Programs Calendar for the remainder of 2020 is currently being revised.

First, though, I want to take a moment to pause and acknowledge each and every one of you. You are working tirelessly, sometimes around the clock with no down time. You are making a difference in the lives of others. You are supporting your teams and your families. You have been balancing and juggling in a way that I can only compare to those individuals that somehow manage to spin multiple plates at the top of sticks that they balance on their chins and toes – all while standing on one foot. 

I am amazed by you.

We have all been both witness to and participants in a rapidly changing environment. The adjustments that were made initially are starting to shift into adaptations. There is an increased focus on communication and resiliency. Care delivery is transforming. Mask-wearing is becoming as thoughtful and respectful as the handshake; and, online deliveries of medications, groceries, and supplies appear to be on an upward trajectory. 

While I acknowledge each of you and these many adjustments, I wonder, how do we advance

How do we translate these experiences into meaningful education that will support current and future healthcare leaders? What can the WFC ACHE provide to each of you that will both encourage you and enhance your knowledge? How can we provide quality content and interactions safely? 

The answers to these questions lie within the revised 2020 Programs Calendar which, I am thrilled to share, will be distributed very soon! 


Sabrina Rice, MHA, MPH, CPH

ACHE Western Florida Chapter - Programs Director




Sponsorship Opportunities Available

Gain visibility, establish vital relationships ...

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.