Washington State Healthcare Executives Forum

October 2017

President's Message

by Dina E. O'Leary, MBA, FACHE

Hello WSHEF colleagues,
Last quarter I wrote about moving beyond your comfort zone. I often wear a bracelet that reminds me “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”  The other phrase that often adorns my arm is, “She believed she could. So she did.” I purchased it shortly after beginning my new career in a new industry.

Having worked for the same company for 14 years – starting work somewhere else was a little terrifying.  Completely changing industries compounded that terror. How do you do that? Then again, how do we take on any new challenge? Just like eating an elephant…it must be done one step at a time. How do you know if you will succeed? Simple, you don’t. You must find a way to believe that you can and then make it happen, one step at a time.

I recently attended the one-hour credit and reception sponsored by Change Healthcare that was part of the ACHE Cluster here in Seattle. The panel was discussing Improving throughput – something most hospitals struggle with. The three panelists had all utilized Change Healthcare’s program to improve their throughput. They each emphasized putting a plan together, using the tool to measure and evaluate what’s happening within their system, and then sharing that information with their staff and empowering the staff to improve the situation. How did they know it would work? They didn’t. They did each believe that providing their employees with accurate and timely information would allow the employees to figure out how to better manage and time the various components of care for the patients and the tasks and services surrounding the care of the patients would make their own work easier and, as a result, improve throughput. What is measured, can be managed.

What challenges do you face at home or at work? Do you believe you can be successful? Are you?
Learning and growing by taking advantage of the opportunities offered by your professional organization is a great way to help strengthen your skills and contacts. If you didn’t have the opportunity to attend ACHE Congress or Cluster (or even if you did!) I hope to see you at our upcoming annual breakfast meeting on October 12th in conjunction with WSHA’s Annual Meeting. We will have an interesting panel discussion on the future of retail healthcare here in Washington state.

Our Loft9 Sponsored education series also continues in October with a panel discussion in Bellevue on the evening of the 25th. This is a joint program between Loft9, WSHEF and our own Asian Health Leaders Forum. Additional information is available in this newsletter and on our website.

Recently several members of the WSHEF Chapter Leadership team were able to attend an ACHE Chapter Leaders conference in Chicago. We are working for you – finding ways to improve our offerings and our educational and networking opportunities. Conversations are in the works for joint programming with some of our neighboring chapters. We are hoping to provide opportunities for our members in other parts of the state. If you would be interested in assisting us with programming opportunities beyond the Puget Sound Region, WE WANT YOU! We are looking forward to providing programming in areas such as Vancouver, Tri-Cities, Spokane, and more! Let us know what kind of programming you want to see and where you would like to see it! Perhaps your facility or your favorite winery would be a fabulous venue for a Face to Face Meeting, Panel Discussion, or Meet-n-Mingle. Please contact me or another board member with your ideas, suggestions or willingness to coordinate!
Dina E. O'Leary, MBA, FACHE
President, Washington State Healthcare Executives Forum

Message from Your ACHE Regent


After record temperatures here in the Great Northwest, we are back to school and fall has arrived. For lifelong learners it is always back to school month, reminding us of the ACHE core value of Lifelong Learning: We recognize lifelong learning is essential to our ability to innovate and continually improve ourselves, our organizations and our profession.

Recently I had the opportunity to observe presentations by University of Washington Executive MHA program graduates. I would also like to personally congratulate Dajzsa McDaniel, UW MHA class of 2018, on the completion of her summer internship with Harborview Medical Center. These are the everyday heroes in your organization, dedicated to advancement and I would be proud to have any of these graduates on my team.  What talent is already in your system that can help you tackle key issues in healthcare delivery and care transformation? 

The ACHE Seattle Cluster was held September 25-28 with leaders from around the country networking in our beautiful state. The coming months provide many opportunities to network with colleagues. Our WSHEF Annual Meeting & Breakfast is on October 12, which coincides with the Washington State Hospital Association Annual Member Meeting to maximize attendance from members throughout the state. If you will miss me at any of these events, I will also be visiting the Washington State University and Eastern Washington University healthcare management programs later this year. 

In closing I ask for your partnership to support relief efforts with our colleagues in Texas/Florida/Puerto Rico/Nevada who are dealing with tremendous personal and organizational loss as a result of natural and manmade disasters. The months and years to come will be challenging as they adapt to a changed community; I trust we will all learn from this experience and continue to improve the readiness and resilience of our own communities. 

Serving leaders who care,

Andrea Turner, MHS, FACHE

Connect with me via Twitter @WAStateRegent

WSHEF Fellow's Spotlight

Vikki Noyes, Chief Operating Officer at Confluence Health, started her career in healthcare at age 17 as an x-ray transporter at Banner Health. After earning her Bachelor’s in Radiology from Northern Arizona University, she worked through the cardiac catheterization lab, to CT, angiography, and then MRI. In addition to being a clinical tech, Vikki got involved with marketing MRI (a new invention at the time!!) and her path to management began. Her excellent work got her promoted to supervisor of MRI, followed by a huge jump to Director of Radiology.

Vikki remembers “a painful learning curve” to figure out this new position, wade through the politics of the work environment, and learn all of the regulatory information that was necessary for Radiology. It was in this position that she determined that mentoring and development needed to be top priorities. The lack of a succession plan and transparency had catapulted her into a position that was unnecessarily difficult to navigate. Despite the difficult transition, she continued to shine and was given more and more departments to direct.

At the time, Banner Health required two things of their administrators: to have a Master’s degree and to become an ACHE Fellow. So Vikki went for it, obtaining her MBA and working through the credentialing process for FACHE. This allowed her to become the Associate Administrator, where she was in charge of all non-nursing staff at the hospital. 

Here’s where things get interesting! At an ACHE conference, Vikki connected with a CEO who was recruiting, and through that connection Vikki became the Vice President of Operations at Scottsdale Health. Vikki says a significant advantage of being a member of ACHE is the networking opportunities that it provides, as well as their distribution of timely, valuable information about healthcare and its future.


WSHEF Advancement Committee Needs You!

WSHEF Advancement Committee – Volunteer Opportunities


WSHEF members are often looking for opportunities to assist with an event or activity. The Advancement Committee has some great opportunities for WSHEF members looking for a chance to become more involved and give back to our profession. Please consider one of the following opportunities:
Fellows Only Event – These events are tailored to members that have attained the Fellow certification in the American College of Healthcare Executives. Help or lead the selection of a sponsor, venue, speaker and other logistics to host another outstanding opportunity for ACHE Fellows to network and gain additional healthcare knowledge. In the past, proceeds of these events have gone to the Foundation for Healthcare Excellence.
Advancement Information Sessions – Are you a recent Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives? Are you interested in getting the next batch of members motivated to work toward their own Fellow credential to demonstrate excellence in healthcare management? Then consider volunteering to lead or assist with the development of Advancement Information Sessions every three to six months. Ideally these session or webinars will provide 1.5 hours of information on the steps for a member to take to move to the next level as a certified healthcare executive with the ACHE Fellow designation.
Board of Governors (BOG) Exam Study Group – Getting ready for the BOG exam to apply toward your Fellow credential with ACHE? Consider a study group to help motivate and guide your preparation. Study groups will follow the format of the ACHE preparation guides and have periodic online meetings as determined by the group. The groups share the initial preparation of the discussion using the ACHE recommended materials. As an added bonus, each member that successfully passes the BOG exam within a year of the end of the Study Group can submit the receipts for the ACHE study preparation books and receive a $240 refund.
Board of Governors Exam Study Group Facilitator – One member of the study group who is interested in running the study group can also apply to be a study group facilitator. If selected, the member will have the ACHE exam preparation webinar series and the preparation books covered by the chapter. The facilitator will help arrange the study group meetings and assignments. The group normally rotates taking lead on each topic to be covered at study group meeting. Virtual meetings will be encouraged to allow for remote BOG exam candidates to be able to participate.

Asian Healthcare Leadership Forum is looking for you!

Call for Capstone Project Proposals!!


The purpose of this message is to provide an overview of an evidence-based management research initiative sponsored by the Masters in Health Administration (MHA) Program under the auspices of the MHA Capstone Course, which lasts for 10 weeks during the Spring Quarter (late March – early June). We seek to partner student project teams, under my proactive guidance, with healthcare executives in the field of practice. Below is an outline of the rationale for undertaking such projects, which lie under a larger action research umbrella.  
Overview: Learn more about how your organization can benefit from working collaboratively with UW faculty and graduate students to enhance problem-solving capability through evidence-based management inquiry. Our intent is to develop organizational and student competence in evidence-based management research modalities, also known as action research. Hence, organizations interested in fostering analytical capacity and disseminating outcomes by publishing and presenting findings nationally and internationally will benefit the most.    
Attached are informational materials as well as the project proposal guidelines. Should you intend to submit a proposal, or even more than one, please send it/them in using the project outline format provided here. I will follow-up with you to discuss specific requirements, project scope, deliverables, and our academic timeline to ensure collaborative efforts will meet our combined needs.
DEADLINE: Please submit proposals not later than Tuesday, 16 January 2018.

To obtain additional information, contact Suzanne J. Wood, PHD, MS, FACHE (sjwood@uw.edu; cell – 757-651-4897), program faculty in management and strategy, for the University of Washington’s Masters of Health Administration (MHA) and PHD in Health Services programs.

Welcome New Members, Fellows and Re Certified Fellows

Welcome New Members!

Moo Young Baek Lynnwood
Sierra Barrett Sunnyside
Leslie D. Carey Yelm
Katheryn Christiansen Lynnwood
Lee Colburn Wailuku
Dawn Cotter Seattle
Kirsten Foose Nine Mile Falls
James G. Heffley Spokane
Panachon Lor Auburn
LCDR Reynalda McBee, RN
Sarah McCarthy Seattle
Karan Shorey
Mary R. Sichko
George Stoffel Snoqualmie
Matthew Graham Redmond
Lillian Hozakowska Chicago
Amira Khablein Kirkland
Lisa M. LaPlante Monroe
Aracelly Quezada Kirkland
Ryan Smith Seattle
Veronica A. Smith Bellingham
Tamara Swart
Tiffany Williams-Rice Sunnyside
Louise M. Barker, RN Alexandria
Christine Brubaker-Holland University Place
Albert Cabrera
Kari Feeney Seattle
Jeff N. Hignite, II
Hsien Sing Sam Hsieh Grand Coulee
Bobbi Meins Bellevue
Mia Shim, MD Seattle
Wendy Zheng Seattle

Welcome New Fellows!!!

Lily A. Haken, FACHE Spokane
Darcy Jaffe, FACHE Seattle

Andrew D. Hamilton, FACHE
Susan Stacey, FACHE Spokane

John M. Gallagher, FACHE Sunnyside

Congrats to Recertifying Fellows!!

John E. Kent, FACHE Tacoma
Adrianne N. Wagner, FACHE Everett
Steven M. Saxe, FACHE Olympia

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:



2017 Officers and Board Members

WSHEF Officers:

  • Dina E O'Leary, MBA, FACHE, President
  • Pam Rock, FACHE, President-Elect
  • Martin Benning, MHA, FACHE, Immediate Past President
  • Lori Nomura, JD, Secretary
  • Bill Reid, MS, FACHE, Treasurer*
*Treasurer elect for 2017, Jim Sapienza, FACHE has taken a new role out of state. Treasurer position will be filled by Bill Reid, FACHE on an interim basis.

 WSHEF Board Members:

  • Brian Barry
  • Joel B Flugstad, MHPA
  • Aaron Hefel
  • Sheridah Lemmon
  • Karin Larson-Pollack, MD, FACHE
  • Ryan Sundquist, MHA

 ACHE Regent, WA ( within District 5)

  • Andrea Turner, FACHE

MILITARY Representative

  • Michael S. Frankel

         Term ongoing 


      University of Washington

  • Melissa Moran-Hodge, MHA Candidate

         Term ends April 2018

      Washington State University

  • Kelly Lalita Mohammad, MHPA Candidate

         Term ends April 2018

Thank you to our Chapter Sponsors!





We're a not-for-profit organization, founded by local community health centers. We serve members of all ages and provide access to high-quality doctors, nurses, and specialists across the state. We are the only Washington State health plan founded by local community health centers. We invest and foster growth in the communities where you get care.



Foster Pepper PLLC’s health care practice is a principal focus of our firm and consistently recognized as a top practice by U.S. News-Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” survey. The firm’s attorneys are experienced in virtually all areas of health care and life sciences law, including governance and organization of public and private hospitals, human subjects research, medical staff issues, regulatory compliance, state and federal tax and tax-exempt issues, structuring joint ventures, and transactions. We are proud to represent several hospitals around the region, as well as serving as special or general counsel to most of the public hospital districts in the state. 


At Loft9 Consulting, we’re as focused on the expertise we deliver as on the experience we create. Loft9 is the only consulting firm that combines a Co-Delivery model with the best available talent.Every Loft9 engagement includes a delivery consultant partnered with a dedicated Co-Delivery consultant to bring you the most reliable, consistent, and effective team possible. Our focus on active collaboration gives you the benefit of multiple perspectives and insight that really elevates outcomes.



Ogden Murphy Wallace, P.L.L.C. is a leading multispecialty law firm committed to providing practical, cost-effective legal services to businesses, municipal entities, and individuals. The firm has served Pacific Northwest clients for over 100 years, providing valuable legal services as our clients' affairs have prospered and expanded.




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 Programs Committee Co-Chairs at wshef.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.