|by Dina E. O'Leary, MBA, FACHE|
I am pleased and excited to take on the role of 2017 WSHEF President and to represent your state chapter for ACHE. I would like to thank and acknowledge Martin Benning, MHA, FACHE for his leadership this past year as our President. Together with our previous President, Dr. Karin Larson-Pollock, MD, FACHE and our amazing volunteer board of directors and committee chairs this year promises to bring our chapter to a new level. The work led by both Karin and Martin over the last two years has produced long range plans that will continue to help our organization grow and serve your long term needs for education, professional development, and networking in the years to come.
For those of you whom I have not yet met, I would like to briefly introduce myself. My start in healthcare was in the Dallas-Fort Worth area where ACHE is huge. I began my membership through the DFW chapter which first accepted me as a student member, selected me as a mentee, and then provided a scholarship for me to attend my first ACHE Congress. If you want to get a young careerist hooked, what a way to go! When I arrived in Seattle I sought out the local ACHE chapter…but it was difficult to find. I finally connected with what was then Puget Sound Healthcare Executives Forum. I later served as Secretary – which at the time also included membership, newsletter, database, etc. I remained on the board through our evolution from PSHEF to WSHEF when ACHE decided to make the transition to state wide chapters.
Then, I took a step back. My husband and I began having children. I was involved in my local Rotary club, which led to a position on the board and later presidency. Work was busy and my employer didn’t view ACHE as a priority. Just like with so many things other life priorities took precedence. I attended meetings here and there and maintained my Fellow status…but ACHE wasn’t compelling enough to me to do more than go through the motions.
As Martin has discussed in previous newsletters, WSHEF has recommitted to understanding the challenges healthcare leaders in Washington are facing and is focusing on how to deliver new, meaningful solutions to healthcare leaders; how to adapt the ACHE brand to the needs of new and emerging healthcare markets; and how to enhance the core offerings of ACHE to leaders. Quite frankly, we all have busy lives and busy careers and increasing demands on our time. For any of us to find the time to attend a WSHEF or ACHE event it needs to strike a balance between the time and bandwidth we are willing to make available relative to our needs for professional development, networking and best practice sharing. It is our hope that our new focus will compel you to view WSHEF and ACHE as a priority for your career.
So what might those events be? Socially, we will continue to host our Meet & Mingle events. We were excited to host our first Meet & Mingle in Spokane a couple of weeks ago thanks to an excellent group of student members who are also planning for future events. For those closer to Seattle we have monthly Meet & Mingles scheduled through June with the next being held April 6 at the Garage in Seattle. We are also working to reschedule the snowed out event in Bellevue. But what would work for you? We would love to host an event near you and would be happy to help you make it happen! Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s make a Meet & Mingle happen near you!
March brings with it the annual ACHE Congress in Chicago! I hope to see many of you there. We would love to gather anyone from the chapter who is able to attend for dinner or drinks at some point during the event! If you cannot make it to Congress but need to gain more credits to become a Fellow or to recertify, keep in mind ACHE is holding a Seattle Cluster in late September. We are also planning to bring a multi-credit event to the eastern half of our state and will have more details on that soon.
By the time this newsletter is published, our breakfast event, which was held jointly with the WA AK HFMA Health Plan Provider Summit, will have successfully taken place on Feb 22. We continue to work with the other regional health care leadership organizations to provide quality programs. Speaking of which, save the evening of Monday, April 24 for an event at the University of Washington. Planning by members of the UW MHA program and WSHEF is nearly complete. A panel discussion will be led by local experts on understanding the policy proposals and implications coming out of the other Washington (DC) to repair/repeal/replace the ACA. This will be a great event.
This past fall our Diversity committee partnered with the Asian Healthcare Leaders Forum for an event with Dr. Brian Wong, MD MPH (Author of Heroes Need Not Apply), “Culture: The Force Behind Strategy.” The November event was a follow-up to his excellent presentation at our Annual Meeting. The Diversity team is continuing to work on additional programming, including the 3rd Annual MHA & WSHEF Diversity Recruitment Event. This event is focused on improving the diverse applicant pool to the UW MHA program. A panel discussion will include UW MHA professors and various professionals of color from the region designed to motivate diverse undergraduate students to apply to the program. This event is planned for Tuesday, April 11, 4 PM, at the UW Campus. More to come!
The board and our committees are really working to provide both networking and for-credit events that will be compelling enough to gain your involvement. We are continuing to look at ways to provide more programming outside of the greater Seattle area. If you are in the Tri-Cities, Spokane, Olympia, Vancouver, wherever you are, we want to hear from you. Help us make something great happen – whether it is a Meet & Mingle or a for credit event. We would love to partner with you.
On that note, our Secretary Lori Nomura, JD has assisted the board in developing sponsorship opportunities. I would like to take a moment to personally thank Lori for her work. I would also like to thank our new partners in sponsorship for our events in the upcoming year including: The Advisory Board; Community Health Plan of Washington; Foster Pepper, PLLC; Loft9; Ogden Murphy Wallace Attorneys; and SCI Solutions. We are particularly excited by the opportunity presented to us by Loft9 with whom we are working to put together a sponsored series of compelling programs.
On behalf of the board, I’d like to thank you again for providing me with this opportunity to serve and represent you for ACHE. Please let us know how we can add value to your career as healthcare leaders in 2017. Please also let us know how we may compel you to provide ideas and a little volunteer work to assisting us in providing you and your colleagues that value.
Dina E. O’Leary. MBA, FACHE
President, Washington State Healthcare Executives Forum