Washington State Healthcare Executives Forum

Fall 2015

President's Message

by Karin Larson-Pollock, M.D.

ACHE Colleagues –

It was wonderful to see so many of you at our WSHEF annual meeting on October 8, where our keynote speaker Chas Roades, Chief Research Officer of the Advisory Board, gave an outstanding presentation on healthcare market trends.  For those of you who registered for the event, we heard loud and clear that you want copies of the slides, so those will be sent to you from our chapter this week.

In the hectic schedules of all of our lives, especially going into the holiday season, I have decided to keep my message short. One of the biggest takeaways from Chas’ presentation, for me, is how do we provide value to our customers – whomever they are?

The WSHEF Board of Directors will be meeting in January to update our strategic plan, and we want to hear from you.  So in the extra few minutes you would spend reading my remarks, email me at wshefpresident@achemail.net, and let us know what would be valuable to you as a member of the WSHEF chapter.

Better yet, I’d love to have you join me at our next Seattle Meet & Mingle – THIS THURSDAY (October 15) – 6-8pm at Varlamos Pizzeria in Seattle. It will be a fun, informal time to network with colleagues – and share your thoughts.  Here is a picture from our recent gathering on September 28 at the Swiss in Tacoma. 






Fellow Spotlight: Jan Bennett, MS, FACHE

Jan Bennett, a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives, has had success and shown determination from the early stages of  her educational career. Jan graduated Cum Laude with dual degrees from Florida International University, and continued onto graduate school at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where she graduated with a Master’s of Science in Health Law with a focus in Regulatory Compliance.

Jan has had over 25 years of senior level healthcare leadership experience in healthcare risk, quality, and patient safety. In addition to being an ACHE Fellow, Jan has certifications in LEAN, quality, safety, and will be a certified Six Sigma black belt this fall through WSU.

Jan made the transition to Washington state in early 2014 where she took the position of Senior Director of Quality and Patient Safety at Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic, which is a highly awarded two-state Patient Centered Health Home. She not only leads quality and risk departments, but also performance improvement (LEAN), Infection Control, Employee Health, document management, and laboratory point of care testing. At YVFWC she leads teams, staff, and physicians, along with other senior leaders, in supporting YVFWC’s mission to be the model Patient Centered Health Home. She has continued to show her ability and leadership in transforming healthcare and working with medical staff to maintain a high level of quality recognition and patient safety throughout the organizations she has worked for. She successfully led YVFWC through a recent HRSA audit, having fully met all requirements with nine best practices noted.

ACHE has allowed Jan timely educational offerings and opportunities to network with other senior healthcare leaders in her area, and to meet people she may otherwise not have to see what they are doing to solve similar issues that she also is challenged with in her career. She was involved in the Florida chapter before re-locating to Washington, where she has continued her involvement. Obtaining her Fellow designation has helped her gain recognition in the healthcare arena as a non-clinical leader. She hopes to gain more chances to become involved in educational opportunities with WSHEF. One piece of advice that Jan has for young aspiring healthcare leaders that want to obtain their Fellow designation, is to just do it! Don’t put it off; it requires you to learn, network, and grow as a leader. Jan says that “mentors and information will always be keys to success.”

Checking In With Employees

Communicating and checking in on employees on a regular basis is important for a successful workflow. One-on-one meetings are a great way to consistently discuss duties, deadlines and questions and to keep in touch. The below will ensure the meetings are productive and necessary communication is shared in an effective manner.

Stick to a Specific Time

Consistency is key to beneficial communication. Connect with the employee regarding the day and time that would work best for both of you to meet on a weekly basis, and create meeting reminders for the discussion that extend far in advance. This ensures you will both be on the same page and that the meeting won’t be easily forgotten. Additionally, don’t cancel a check-in meeting at the last minute. There are exceptions, but sticking to a schedule shows your employee you value their time and creates a pattern that is easy to adhere to.

Create a Safe Space

Although constructive criticism on projects and management of workload is helpful for success, being respectful in delivering this feedback is a must. Employees should not be punished for speaking their mind. Make sure to answer their questions with respect, and try sharing something they’ve excelled in that week while offering suggestions for improvement in other areas. Such a gesture can boost morale and build trust. Creating a trusting environment will strengthen the bond between you and your employee.

Value Honesty

When chatting with an employee, strive to answer his or her questions as honestly as possible. If you can’t share something, explain why. And if you don’t have an answer, admit it and try to find out after the meeting.

Coach Employees
Instead of telling employees what to do, collaborate with them to help them find their own solutions and answers. This will help build their own confidence and their trust in you. Help them develop their skills so they feel empowered and engaged instead of dependent on you for advice.

Ask for Feedback

One-on-one discussions should not solely be a question-and-answer sessions. Engage in a real dialogue and ask employees what they desire from you and how you can help to manage them in a stronger way. They’ll welcome and appreciate the opportunity to give you their thoughts on your performance and other matters.

End on a Positive Note

At the end of each meeting, share at least one way in which the employee excelled that week. Thank the employee for his or her questions and the discussion itself, and express confidence in his or her abilities. Workers will feel better about meeting with you if you close on a high note. 

—Adapted from Communication Solutions May 2015 newsletter, www.communicationbriefings.com


Communicating Change

Change is frequent within an organization. Whenever something is looming on the horizon, employees will look to you for information and answers. Whether this is layoffs, leadership change or simply rumors, you need to be prepared to foster an honest dialogue and share as much information as possible with employees.

Share What You Know

Even if you’re not completely sure of the exact steps that will be taken, explain what the final process is supposed to look like and what it might mean for them. Let’s say the topic is salary increases. Noting that management is looking over the options in front of them, but that decisions won’t be made until next year will give workers a stronger sense of relief. It may not provide much insight into the final outcome, but employees will feel better having some idea of what’s going on.

Listen for Concerns

Pay attention when you meet with employees to learn what worries they have. Setting up small group discussions with employees to discuss their concerns will help set in place a stronger peace of mind. Knowing their thoughts regarding the change can help you work to find out more information and allows you to share the details you think will quell their concerns.

Be Timely

Allowing employees to hear information through the grapevine rather than you is the biggest way to lose their trust and confidence—delaying bad news does not make it better. During these times, make communication with your team a priority.

—Adapted from Communication Solutions July 2015 newsletter, www.communicationbriefings.com



Member Announcements

Welcome New WSHEF Members: 


 Rachel Aronovich, Seattle

 Christopher D. Ayers, Graham

 Brody Barnes, Camas

 Toni Borlas, North Bend

 Anna M. Cullen, McChord Afb

 Kevin Gumm, Walla Walla

 Amy Hargrave, Lacey

 Kent Hargrave, Edmonds

 Frank Hurtarte, Camas

 Sharon V. Johnson, Tacoma

 Eileen Papale, Spanaway

 Gary H. Rakes, Lake Tapps

 Ronald G. Rehn, DHA, Colville

 Julie Rickard, PhD, East Wenatchee

 Alicia Shields, Ephrata

 Karen Story, Tacoma

 Naresh Thapa,

 Matthias Warner, Seattle



 James Alvarez, Bremerton

 Musa Camara, Lynnwood

 Charlotte A. Foster, Seattle

 Victor Kao, Seattle

 Josh Martin, Aberdeen

 Gwen O'Keefe, MD, Seattle

 Laura Schiefelbein, PharmD, Bellevue

 Jude Verzosa, MD, Enumclaw



 Akakpossa Ananou, Oak Harbor 

 Angie Estey, Bellevue

 Kevin Fleming, Maple Valley

 Errin Humphrey, Kirkland

 Don Lonam, Seattle

 Elya E. Moore, Bellingham

 Elham Morshedzadeh, Medina

 Andrew Mullenix, Seattle

 MAJ Christopher Richelderfer, Olympia

 Sunil Ummat, MD, Bellevue

Congratulations to Members Who Passed the Board of Governors Exam: 


 Merry-Ann Keane, Friday Harbor


Congratulations to Members who Advanced to Fellows or Recently Recertified: 

New Fellows


 Marlon K. Borbon, FACHE, Brea

 Paula Roychaudhuri, FACHE, Seattle


 Levi Anderson, FACHE, Gig Harbor

 Susan M. Manfredi, ND, FACHE, Seattle

Recertified Fellows


 LTC Douglas H. Galuszka, FACHE, Tacoma
 J. Ronald Johnson, FACHE, Spokane

 Carol Skowronski, FACHE, Renton

 Lance E. Welch, FACHE, Portland


 Katherine J. Bell, FACHE, Seattle

 Richard E. Cohan, FACHE, Renton

 Andrew B. Cosentino, FACHE, Seattle

 Jeanell M. Rasmussen, RN, FACHE, Bremerton


 Drexel DeFord, FACHE, Seattle

 Glenn S. Kasman, FACHE, Puyallup


UW Executive MHA and Medical Management Programs

For your professional development!

The University of Washington's Graduate Programs in Health Services Administration offers healthcare professionals two options for increasing their management and leadership skills: the Executive Master of Health Administration Program (MHA), and the Certificate Program in Medical Management (CPMM).

Both programs are designed for those who want to meet the need for skilled leaders in the ever-changing healthcare delivery system. Physicians, nurses, other experienced clinical practitioners, and health service managers enter these programs to become more effective leaders and meet the increasingly challenging expectations of the patients and families, stakeholders, and communities they serve.

The Executive MHA Program has a 24-month format that combines three-day intensive on-site meetings with teleconferencing, independent assignments and team projects. Applications for admission have an annual deadline of April 30. For details, visit: http://www.uwexecutivemha.org.  

For details on the Medical Management Program, visit: http://www.pce.uw.edu/certificates/medical-management.html

To ask questions about either program, contact Maggie Helsel, the program coordinator, at mhap@u.washington.edu or 206-616-2947.

WSU Spokane MHPA program

If it is time to futher your education and earn a master's degree in health policy and administration, WSU offers an exciting program designed around a working proressional's schedule. 


The Master of Health Policy and Administration (MHPA) degree is a vigorous, CAHME accredited, and personalized program that prepares future leaders in the dynamic and growing field of healthcare management. WSU HPA students enjoy small class sizes (12-20 students), which facilitate opportunities for strong and lasting relationships with both peers and professors. Students are required to participate in individual and group based projects and be actively engaged in class discussions. Additionally, students are provided valuable professional connections by networking with local healthcare professionals through site visits, guest lectures, student body events, and alumni events. 

A hallmark of the MHPA program is the completion of an internship. The required internship allows the student to gain leadership experience in the health care environment, explore the field, develop professional contacts, and contribute to career planning. The Department of Health Policy & Administration will help the student find an internship that meets your needs, or the student may arrange their own internship.  

Graduates of the program work in a wide range of career fields including hospital management, public health, managed care, group practice management, and financial management. Since 2013, 90% of WSU MHPA graduates secured employment within 3 months of graduation!

The program is ideal for working health care professionals who want to enhance their management skills or advance to management positions. To attract and accommodate our working professional students, our classes are offered from 4:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., four days a week. Additionally, the program accommodates both full-time and part-time students. 

WSU Spokane’s Department of Health Policy and Administration is a proud member of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) which provides waivers for out-of-state tuition in 16 states. For more information regarding WICHE, please visit www.wiche.edu.

To learn more about the MHPA program, visit: http://spokane.wsu.edu/admissions/HPA/ or contact the Academic Coordinator, Robin Durfee, at robin.durfee@wsu.edu or 509.358.7987.

ACHE: Become Board Certified in Healthcare Management

Ready to Advance to Fellow?

Why Board Certification - You want to go to board certified physicians for your care, so why not go to an organization with board certified healthcare executives. Earning the distinction of board certification as a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives demonstrates your competence, dedication and commitment to lifelong learning. Visit ache.org/FACHE to learn more about Fellow requirements and apply online.

Advancement Information Session - Do you want to learn more about the value of board certification and the steps to completion? Then come to the Advancement Information Session sponsored by the Washington State Healthcare Executives Forum. There are two ways to participate. In-person or at your desk through a webinar. These sessions will be held twice annually. For more information about future information sessions you can contact Steve Saxe at smsaxe@comcast.net.




ACHE 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 on the FAQ page of the tuition waiver application. 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 tsomrak@ache.org. For more information, visit ache.org/TuitionWaiver.

Your Career & Development - JOB BANKS

If you are a member of ACHE you have access to a robust, national job bank. It can be found at:

ACHE Job Bank

We are pleased to provide a link to the WA Healthcare News Job Bank. This is an excellent source of information about positions in our local geographic area. The available position list has also been extended recently to contain some positions in other parts of the country.

WA Healthcare News Job Bank

DELIVERY of WSHEF Newsletter (Disclaimer)


To ensure delivery of your chapter newsletter, please add info@wshef.ache.org to your email address book or Safe Sender List. If you are still having problems receiving our communications, see our white-listing page for more details:



2015-2016 Officers and Board Members

WSHEF Officers:

  • Karin Larson-Pollock, MD, FACHE, President
  • Martin Benning, FACHE, President-Elect
  • Andrea Zavos Turner, MHS, FACHE, Immediate Past President
  • Lori Nomura, JD, Secretary
  • Jim Cannon, MHA, FACHE, Treasurer

 WSHEF Board Members:

  • Scott Bond
  • Bill Reid, FACHE
  • Sandra Slater-Duncan, FACHE
  • Carol N. Velasquez, FACHE
  • Gregg Davidson, FACHE
  • Steven Saxe, FACHE
  • Jacqui Sinatra
  • Joel Flugstad

 ACHE Regent, Interim (District 5)

  • Gregg Davidson, FACHE

MILITARY Representative

  • Jonathan Evans 

         Term ongoing 


      University of Washington

  • Rachel Shangraw, MHA Candidate

         Term ends April 2016

      Washington State University

  • Chris Cleason, MHPA Candidate

         Term ends April 2016

WSHEF Vision & Values

To be the premier professional society connecting leaders in Washington State to learn, share, and transform health care.


To advance Washington state ACHE members' healthcare professional excellence through interaction and communication and fostering professional development.

As members of our Chapter, we are committed to:

We advocate and emulate high ethical conduct in all we do.

Lifelong Learning
We recognize lifelong learning is essential to our ability to innovate and continually improve ourselves, our organizations and our profession.

We lead through example and mentoring, and recognize caring must be a
cornerstone of our professional interactions.

We advocate inclusion and embrace the differences of those with whom we work
and the communities we serve.

We recognize service to our communities is an integral part of who we are as
healthcare professionals.

We take initiative to build partnerships in advancing professional
development within and outside of our healthcare community.


Our Goals
Service Excellence                                                                                                                    



Get Involved! WSHEF Board and Committees

Get Involved!

WSHEF needs your help and expertise!

We want you to get the most out of being a member of our organization. How can you get involved?

Attend educational sessions and bring a colleague; promote ACHE and WSHEF membership in your organization.

Provide a venue for an event.

Volunteer and join a committee; suggest programming ideas.

Together we can develop relationships with other healthcare professionals, enhance our educational offerings, and address critical healthcare issues on local, state, and national levels.


WSHEF Committees and Chairs:

Programs Committee: Jacqui Sinatra and Joel Flugstad, Co-Chair

Communications Committee: Lori Nomura, Chair

   Vandna Sharma Chaudhari, website co-chair

   Sue Miller, newsletter co-chair

Membership and Advancement Committee: Steve Saxe and Bill Reid, Co-Chairs

Diversity Committee: Gregg Davidson and Daniel Montanez, Co-Chairs

For more information on WSHEF committees and contact information, see the WSHEF Website


Effective January 1, 2008, all ACHE members located within the chapter's assigned geographic territory are automatically members of the chapter as a benefit of being an ACHE member. Only ACHE members are eligible to hold membership in the chapter.
If you are not a current ACHE member, we encourage you to join by visiting the ACHE website. Nonmembers are welcome to attend chapter events. If you would like to be added to the chapter's nonmember mailing list to be notified of future programs and events, please send an email to info@wshef.ache.org.