Chapter News

End-of-Year Education

Three ACHE chapters highlight their annual conferences on education and networking.


ACHE—MN Chapter 
ACHE—MN Chapter hosted its 2023 Annual Conference, which served as a rallying point for healthcare leaders to unite in a collective vision for the future. Leaders from across the state converged, reigniting connections in a powerful in-person event.

The Education Committee was intentional in providing topics important to members, as identified through the annual education member survey. Two topics of high importance were AI and finance. The conference spotlighted pivotal roles leaders are navigating in the evolving landscape of healthcare, and Katie Kummer, FACHE, chapter president, connected the audience back to these themes throughout the day. 

Opening keynote speaker Paul Keckley, PhD, managing editor, The Keckley Report, challenged leaders to embrace external forces shaping the future of healthcare. His words were not just an opening address; they were guiding principles woven into the event and set the tone for the day.

The exploration of AI took center stage in a captivating panel discussion. The panel emphasized the need to embrace AI and the importance of setting early standards within organizations. The room engaged in a lively discussion that the healthcare field is at a transformative precipice where decisions today will define the knowledge and intelligence of AI, ultimately shaping the future of healthcare. A key takeaway from the discussion was that the more leaders embrace AI with established standards in place, the greater the potential to realize its benefits such as minimizing staff burnout and enhancing patient engagement. 

Another important topic at the conference was the future of healthcare financing. As provider organizations are acutely focused on reducing costs, addressing workforce challenges and improving access to care, leaders exchanged strategies for offsetting rising costs. The conversation delved into the future of data reporting between payers and providers and how to accelerate the shift to meaningful payment incentives that deliver results beyond lowering the cost of care. A resounding theme emerged: collaboration is key. To truly drive change, partnerships must be forged and work accomplished collectively.

At the end of the day, longtime healthcare leader Don Wegmiller, LFACHE, and ACHE Chair-Elect William Santulli, FACHE, inspired the audience to lean into their teams, invest in their leaders, provide opportunities beyond their resume and build bridges.

“The conference was a call to action,” says Kummer. “It provided an opportunity for leaders to transcend the confines of their daily responsibilities and focus on the future of care. The results of such collaborative and forward-thinking endeavors are the catalysts for transformative change in healthcare.”

Washington State Chapter of ACHE board members Dylan Blackburn, Andrea Turner, FACHE, Valerie Chrusciel, FACHE, Karin Larson-Pollock, MD, FACHE, and Tina Seery, RN, with guest speaker Delvecchio Finley, FACHE, ACHE Chair.

Healthcare Leadership Network of the Delaware Valley 
The Healthcare Leadership Network of the Delaware Valley in November completed its annual Partner Health Organization Leadership Development Series. Held over a three-month period in conjunction with local health systems, the virtual series consisted of panel discussions held online each month. Topics covered included creating colleague engagement in the virtual/hybrid environment, maintaining a resilient workforce and using mentorships to unlock career opportunities.

To ensure the panel discussed current trends, issues and interests, panelists from diverse backgrounds in health systems and leadership roles were selected. The panel discussion was an interactive way to explore the topics and bring together healthcare professionals with different perspectives that would lead to sharing a broad range of ideas. It was important to make sure the panel was diverse, and representation was balanced across the entire series.

The chapter covers membership across New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware, and choosing a virtual format aligned perfectly with its objectives, target audience and logistical considerations. 

“By incorporating these strategies, we were able to successfully create a virtual leadership development series that was well attended and well received,” says Dan van der Kwast, co-chair of the chapter’s Membership Service Committee. “The entire series presented different perspectives on the specific topics and provided a medium to recognize chapter sponsors and partner health organizations, acknowledge chapter accomplishments and promote ACHE.”

Washington State Chapter of ACHE
The Washington State Chapter of ACHE hosted its inaugural conference this past fall with the theme “Elevate & Empower.” The event’s goal was to bring local leaders together for a day of education, connecting with colleagues and having fun through a series of panel presentations and networking opportunities. 

The day began with a C-suite breakfast in which Karin Larson-Pollock, MD, FACHE, an ACHE Governor, led an impactful discussion focused on leaders’ “why.” Then, ACHE Chair Delvecchio Finley, FACHE, delivered an update about the great plans ACHE has lined up for the coming year. 

Following Finley’s update, the conference kicked off with an outstanding panel focused on change management, moderated by Theron Post, executive director of Performance Excellence Northwest. The panel provided great insight into how to develop champions to sustain change within organizations. The second panel focused on connecting physicians to the financial goals of their organizations. Shannon Fernandez, corporate strategy officer, Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic, and Michele Forgues-Lackie, senior vice president/CFO, UW Medicine Valley Medical Center, shared a wonderful dialogue from diverse perspectives on successful tactics for establishing and sustaining physician engagement in the turbulent financial times the industry has seen. 

After a networking lunch, the afternoon panels kicked off with a robust discussion on creating sustainable clinically integrated networks. Ramon Guel, manager, clinically integrated networks, MultiCare Health System, facilitated the discussion among leaders of ACOs within the Pacific Northwest. 

“As the landscape of healthcare continues to change, the partnership between health systems and community providers is becoming more and more important,” says Dylan Blackburn, chapter president. “Sustainability of those relationships will be imperative to ensure access to affordable, high-quality care for patients.”

The final session of the day keyed in on the importance of equity of care. The panel delivered an in-depth discussion on how important it is for healthcare organizations to continue focusing on delivering patient-centric equitable care. “Our leaders shared how work like this not only improves patient outcomes, but can also improve employee satisfaction and retention, supporting the community’s ability to deliver quality care,” says Blackburn.

To find your chapter, search the chapter directory on To discuss your ideas for chapters, contact Stacey A. Kidd, CAE, director, Chapter Relations, Department of Executive Engagement, at (312) 424-9323 or