Washington State Healthcare Executives Forum

June 2016

President's Message

by Martin Benning, MHA, FACHE


“To be a successful healthcare leader these days you have to become comfortable with ambiguity and volatility,” is what my colleague Mike Waters, SVP of Physician Services at Providence has said to me on multiple occasions. As leaders we are challenged and inspired by what the future holds for us in healthcare. Each day we face increasing pressures to deliver and support high-quality care with a new level of service that patients are demanding. Consumerism is on the rise with new expectations for simplicity, transparency, quality and experience. Internal and external forces continue to help us learn how to innovate in service to our patients and communities and we continue to shift our mindset and culture of provider- and process-centric to population- and customer-centric. New market entrants are disrupting the status quo and developing new models of care as well as differentiated products and as the dust settles from ICD-10, MACRA is right around the corner. 

These are indeed ambiguous and volatile times and I’ve never been more excited to be a healthcare leader. This is our opportunity to break the traditional mold of healthcare and reinvent how we care for our populations. At ACHE Congress this spring I had the chance to meet with many leaders and attend several sessions focused on healthcare disruption. Many were excited about the possibilities it brings but also tentative to move from concept to operations. Many shared innovative ideas in the areas of retail and virtual care all the way to acute and post-acute channels. I invite all of you join the conversation of what you are doing or what you are seeing in the way of healthcare innovation and disruption on our WSHEF LinkedIn page.      

Martin Benning, MHA, FACHE
President, WSHEF

More News From ACHE:

Apply for the Thomas C. Dolan Executive Diversity Program by July 8. During this year-long program, EDP scholars will receive specialized curriculum opportunities that address successful navigation of potential career challenges and enhance executive presence. Each scholar also will benefit from one-on-one interactions with a specially selected mentor and participation in formal leadership education and career assessments. The EDP will empower participants with enhanced self-awareness, critical leadership skills and an expanded network of leaders to help prepare the EDP scholars for their ascension to C-suite roles in hospitals, health systems and other healthcare organizations.
Visit ache.org/ExecutiveDiversity for more information or to apply. Please direct any questions about the Thomas C. Dolan Executive Diversity Program to Cie Armstead, director, diversity and inclusion, at carmstead@ache.org or (312) 424-9306.

The Foundation of ACHE’s Fund for Innovation in Healthcare Leadership is accepting donations to the Thomas C. Dolan Executive Diversity Program. Gifts—no matter the amount—will help shape the future of healthcare leadership. Visit ache.org/Innovation to make a donation.

Official Notice for the 2016–2017 Council of Regents Elections.
The 2016–2017 election process has begun to select new Regents who will serve on the American College of Healthcare Executives Council of Regents—the legislative body that represents ACHE’s members. Service is a unique opportunity to exercise your leadership ability, share innovative ideas and act on behalf of other ACHE members.

All Fellows who wish to run must submit either a letter of intent to ACHE via certified mail postmarked no later than Aug. 26, 2016, or an electronic letter of intent to elections@ache.org. When submitting the letter, please use this form and return it to the attention of Caitlin E. Stine, Regent Elections Coordinator, Division of Regional Services, American College of Healthcare Executives, 1 N. Franklin St., Ste. 1700, Chicago, IL 60606-3529. If you submit your letter electronically, and you haven’t received confirmation that it was acknowledged by Sept. 2, 2016, please contact Caitlin Stine at (312) 424-9324 or cstine@ache.org.

Members are assigned to a Regent jurisdiction based on their address. Fellows who are uncertain about their jurisdiction or would like additional information about Regent responsibilities should contact Caitlin Stine.

New Regents each will serve a three-year term on the Council of Regents beginning at the close of the 2017 Council of Regents meeting during ACHE’s annual Congress on Healthcare Leadership.

Tuition Waiver Assistance Program.
To increase the availability of ACHE educational programming for Members experiencing economic hardship, ACHE has established the Tuition Waiver Assistance Program.
ACHE makes available a limited number of tuition waivers to Members and Fellows whose organizations lack the resources to fund their tuition for education programs. Those in career transition also are 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 at least 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 for complete information. Incomplete applications and those received after the deadline will not be considered. Recipients will be notified of the waiver review panel's decision at least 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.

Message from Your ACHE Regent - Spring 2016

I want to begin by saying thank you. I am honored to be able to serve as Interim Regent for Washington and thank ACHE for the privilege to serve the state of Washington this convocation year. 

Last month, I was in Chicago at Congress for orientation sessions and my first meeting of the Council of Regents.  During that process, I had time to reflect on the Mission, Vision, and Core Values that define this organization. What struck me, that at the core of all the words, are members -- you and I. In all the words, we are asked to advance each other, to mentor, to improve, to lead through example, to include, and to learn. When I think of ACHE, it is you whom I have met and worked with over years, here in Washington. ACHE is collectively all of us and, every day, we provide membership value in ACHE by helping each other, hiring each other, and mentoring each other.

In 1990, I moved from Upstate New York to Seattle, having just finished graduate school in Boston. I found myself in a new city looking for what to do with my emerging career. I landed at Group Health Cooperative, in Tacoma, to work on quality improvement. I had the good fortune to meet and work with Linda A. Tieman, RN, FACHE, who was the regional chief nursing officer. I remember clearly her handing me an application to join ACHE. She said “Join it – it’s the best professional group in healthcare.” I became what was then an associate member and began prepping to take the Board of Governors Exam and Fellow interviews. 

As my career progressed, I volunteered and was invited to become a part of the Regents Advisory Council for Regent Andrew G. Fallat Jr., LFACHE. There I first met future Regent Gregg A. Davidson, FACHE, and Joseph A. Marotta, LFACHE. Andy challenged the group of us, with guidance from Joe’s experience in NYC, to do two things.  First, create a local healthcare executive group – what became the Puget Sound Healthcare Executives Forum (PSHEF), later the Washington State Healthcare Executives Forum (now the official state chapter). Second, he asked to deepen the connection with the universities that had programs to prepare people for a Masters in Healthcare Administration.  We began an outreach with the University of Washington where we began to become more involved with the mentor program for students and where I was able to first connect with many faculty and students. 

I then was able to serve on the RAC for Regent Kenneth D. Graham, FACHE, where he pushed us to continue to grow the local and eventually state-wide organization. I had the opportunity to serve as president of PSHEF. Former Regent Steven M. Saxe, FACHE, ushered in the first official Chapter of ACHE with the formation of WSHEF. The chapter grew under tireless efforts of Pamela R. Rock, FACHE, James J. Sapienza, FACHE, and Sandra L. Slater-Duncan, FACHE as chapter leaders. Each of these people served as excellent models for me – committing a lot of time and energy to making this work. 

I have had the opportunity to work with former Chapter Presidents Gary J. Smith, PhD, FACHE, Mary Ann Keogh Hoss, PhD, FACHE, Kimbra Wells Metz, FACHE, Andrea Z. Turner, FACHE, and most recently Karin Larson-Pollock, MD, FACHE. We have been blessed by a wealth of Washington talent. I am excited to partner with Martin F. Benning, FACHE, the incoming chapter president, whom I met many years ago through the chapter. 

There are also many others who have all worked and led, and today ACHE in Washington is the sum of all these contributions.

So as my term begins – I’d like to ask you to engage with our local chapter – our community. If you have not attended a Meet and Mingle – try to attend your first one. If you’d like to organize a gathering – we will help you. If you have not been involved in chapter leadership – sign up to help on a committee. If you have not mentored a student -- I am happy to connect you to a program near you. If you are looking to advance to Fellow – I and the chapter are eager to help. Join me in making ACHE WA your professional home. 

Again, thank you for the honor to serve and please let me know how I can be of help. 

P.S.: For those of you who are on Twitter – I invite you to follow me @WAStateRegent where I will be tweeting about various health happenings around the state, and sharing photos from Health Education Network (HEN) visits and Meet and Mingles. 

In Health,

William J. Reid, FACHE
Regent for Washington


Master These 4 Vital Conversations

The conversations you have with employees are critical to building trust, morale and productivity. Grasp them to ensure that your team reaches its full potential. 

  • Goal-setting discussions. Meet early and often with employees to discuss goals that will challenge them while fulfilling your organization’s mission. Work together to set performance standards and deadlines so that employees know exactly what is expected of them.
  • Recognition meetings. Employees should hear directly from you when they are doing something right. Take every opportunity to recognize and praise their good work, especially on tasks that are new and unfamiliar. Reinforce positive performance with specifics, acknowledging the exact contribution they made to the team. 
  • Redirection talks. Occasionally, you will have to correct a performance issue or revaluate your team’s path. Be prepared to sit down promptly with your employees to outline what’s wrong and what needs to change. Remain clear and firm about expectations and consequences. 
  • Wrap-up conversations. At the conclusion of an important task or project, meet with your team to discuss success and improvement areas, and to celebrate if appropriate. This approach also is useful when an employee masters a new skill. Let employees know when you appreciate their work, and remind them of how their efforts contribute to the organization’s success. 

—Adapted from Communication Solutions April 2016 newsletter, www.communicationbriefings.com.


Listen With Intent to Strengthen Leadership Skills

Strong listening skills are essential to your success as a leader, but you can’t just nod your head in assent when employees and customers are speaking. You must always listen with a purpose so both parties learn something from every conversation. Here are some tips:

  • Study your own listening style and habits. Discover when you’re most likely to actively listen. Is it the morning? The end of the day? Are your listening skills better walking through the workplace or in an office with the doors closed? Everyone has their own habits, strengths and gaps. Be aware of yours and play to your strengths. 
  • Engage in active listening. Your brain can think faster than anyone can talk. As such, your mind can easily wander while you’re supposed to be listening. One way to make sure this doesn’t happen is to give your brain something to do: evaluate information, obtain knowledge, understand the person better, etc. Enter into conversations with a specific goal, and then put your brain to work achieving that goal. In other words: Make your brain too busy to wander. 
  • Offer continuous feedback. Don’t wait until the conversation is finished to respond to what you’ve heard. When your employee makes a key point, jump in and restate the point to make sure you understand it. Then offer your feedback right then and there. After that, move to the next point. This will keep you involved in the entire conversation and elicit better results from each meeting.

 —Adapted from Communication Solutions April 2016 newsletter, www.communicationbriefings.com.



Member Announcements

Welcome New WSHEF Members: 


  Lauren Beam, Seattle
  Tony Copley, Seattle
  Lucius Daye, Olympia
  Katherine Hollman, Seattle
  Onora Lien, Tukwila
  Tracey Mullian, Puyallup
  Frankie A. Nogales, Bothell
  Lawrence Roybal, Sammamish
  Stephen Schaefer, Veradale
  Edna Shim, Seattle
  Gurdev Singh, Bellingham


  Aryanna Conyer, Spanaway
  Blaine MacDowell, Olympia
  Cecilia Zapata, Puyallup

  Lavelle Brown, Seattle
  Vincent Chiu, Seattle
  LT Brendan Good, Bremerton
  Kevin Hellyer, Graham
  Ndingui Moussavou, Shoreline
  Peter L. Rooks, Vancouver
  George Semenov, Seattle
  Channing Smith, Spokane
  Matthew Williams, Kenmore


Congratulations to Members who Advanced to Fellows or Recently Recertified: 


New Fellows:


 Parke A. Corbin, FACHE, Tacoma
  Zachary P. Griffin, FACHE, Seattle
  Jeffrey W. Richey, RN, FACHE, Seattle


Recertified Fellows

  Dina E. Feil-O'Leary, FACHE, Seattle
  Roxanne Olason, RN, FACHE, Lake Stevens


  Mary Ann Keogh Hoss, PhD, FACHE, Spokane

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 professional'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. To learn more, visit ache.org and then go to the credentialing page. 

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:



2016 Officers and Board Members

WSHEF Officers:

  • Martin Benning, FACHE, President
  • Dina O'Leary, FACHE, President-Elect
  • Karin Larson-Pollock, MD, FACHE, Immediate Past President
  • Lori Nomura, JD, Secretary
  • Jim Cannon, MHA, FACHE, Treasurer

 WSHEF Board Members:

  • Scott Bond
  • Bill Reid, FACHE
  • Pam Rock, FACHE
  • Carol N. Velasquez, FACHE
  • Gregg Davidson, FACHE
  • Ryan Sundquist
  • Jacqui Sinatra, FACHE
  • Andrea Turner, FACHE

 ACHE Regent, Interim (District 5)

  • William J Reid, FACHE

MILITARY Representative

  • Jonathan Evans 

         Term ongoing 


      University of Washington

  • John Heyde, MHA Candidate

         Term ends April 2017

      Washington State University

  • Randolf Briggs, MHPA Candidate

         Term ends April 2017

WSHEF Sponsors

Thank you to our Meet & Mingle Sponsor! 




SCI Solutions enables health systems and their provider networks to gain economic value through better community-based care coordination. By operating a cloud-based service for more than 10,000 physician practices and 700 hospitals and imaging centers, in 275 geographic markets in the U.S., SCI connects health systems to their community partners in ways big IT systems can’t. Provider networks use SCI’s service to coordinate patient care transitions, obtain insurance authorizations, schedule patients, and automate referrals. An integrated analytics toolset identifies referral opportunities and monitors performance. As a result, healthcare organizations experience increased outpatient revenue, better coordinated care and greater physician satisfaction. 

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!

Volunteer Opportunities

Looking for ways to connect with more healthcare leaders? Volunteer for a WSHEF committee!

As a volunteer organization committed to being the premier professional society connecting healthcare leaders in Washington State, WSHEF depends on volunteers to run its programs and provide service to its members. Opportunities abound for individuals looking to connect with other healthcare professionals, learn more about WSHEF programs and services or give back to the healthcare professional community. WSHEF has volunteer opportunities for the following committees:  

If you are passionate about continuing education and professional development, consider volunteering for WSHEF’s Programs Committee. Programs Committee participation can include annual committee membership, where you participate in setting the vision and long-term strategies for WSHEF sponsored events. Volunteering can also be event specific, allowing you to volunteer for the amount of time you are able to commit. Event specific volunteering is a great way to meet your local colleagues and support your local ACHE chapter. Time commitment for events is typically 3 months and totals less than 10 hours, serving in ways such as:

•  Event Planning (Location, Speaker, Topic, etc…)
•  Event Materials & Promotion
•  Day of Event Support (Check-in/Greeters, Setup, etc…)

If you’re interested in volunteering with the Programs Committee, please reach out to Joel Flugstad & Jacqui Sinatra (Programs Committee Co-Chairs) atwshef.membership@achemail.net.

Beyond joining a committee, there are other ways to get involved. Write an article for the newsletter, attend an educational session and bring a colleague, provide a venue for an event or serve as a mentor for an MHA student. Just email one of the contacts above to get connected.  


Host a Meet N Mingle in Your Area


Get to know your colleagues!  Watch for Upcoming Meet-n-Mingle Events in your Neighborhood
•        Have you wondered if there are ways you can meet more of your local healthcare colleagues – that  mysterious thing called “networking”?
•        Are you looking to find a next role?  You looking for the right candidate?
•        Is there a problem you are tackling at work and wonder if others are working on a similar issue?  Or are you just looking for others who will understand what the heck you are talking about?
•        Know where all the local healthcare execs hang out after work?
The highly popular Meet-N-Mingle events are happening at different venues across our state. As future dates and locations are finalized, an invitation will be sent out.
Meet-n-Mingles are informal gatherings of area WSHEF members at a local restaurant or pub. There is typically a small fee to cover appetizers. While this is not a formal education program, someone will be there to share upcoming WSHEF and ACHE events and activities. 
So, rather than heading out into the usual rush-hour, head over to a local Meet-n-Mingle for a nosh and a drink and get to know your fellow executives. We want to put A U in COLLEGE! (hint: colleAgUe)
By the way, we are always looking for local hosts around the state and we will help you do all the planning. If you have an interest in holding a future Meet-N-Mingle in your area let the membership committee know at wshef.membership@achemail.net.

Thanks, and get networking people!


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.