Celebrating Associations: American College of Healthcare Executives

Celebrating Associations is a blog produced by .orgCommunity that highlights achievements of associations and the great impact on the industries they serve.

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Association and History: The American College of Healthcare Executives is an international professional society for health care executives dedicated to improving health care delivery. It offers:

  • The FACHE® credential
  • 79 chapters that provide networking, education and career development at the local level
  • Healthcare Executive magazine
  • Career services and development
  • Books and journals on health services management including textbooks for college and university courses

The Foundation of the American College of Healthcare Executives advances health care management excellence through education and research—including the annual Congress on Healthcare Leadership.

About Its Members: ACHE’s 48,000 health care executive members lead hospitals, health care systems, and other health care organizations.

We’re celebrating at ACHE because…of a successful 2016 Congress on Healthcare Leadership, held March 14-17 in Chicago.

And also because…of its CareerEDGE™ program, an interactive and comprehensive tool for planning and managing careers at any level—available as a complimentary benefit to ACHE members.

We’ll learn more in an interview with Elizabeth Summy, CAE, ACHE’s executive vice president and chief operating officer, who leads the organization’s career services, communications and marketing, Health Administration Press, human resources, management information systems, member services, performance excellence and professional development areas.


Q: What makes the recent ACHE Congress an event to celebrate? 

A: We’re thrilled about this year’s annual congress—the 2016 Congress on Healthcare Leadership—that occurred this March in Chicago. It’s our premier event and the 58th annual meeting we’ve held.

Running a conference for more than 4,000 attendees can be challenging, but we do it really well. There wasn’t a blip on the radar. Satisfaction was high. Buzz was good. It was incredibly well executed, and that speaks to the professionalism and commitment of ACHE staff and their focus on creating a great member experience.

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Credit: ACHE/ICDA

This year, we introduced several new aspects to the congress. Our new career resource center was very popular—more than 600 members signed up to have their resumes reviewed by volunteers. We also held mini-courses called “theaters”—similar to TED Talk-style presentations—that were very well received. Authors and speakers each gave 15-minute talks, which is very different from our traditional 1.5-hour and 3-hour-long sessions. We wanted to revitalize our exhibit hall so we held the theaters there. We also added more lounges and a photo booth.

ACHE Congress white boards
New addition to ACHE’s annual congress: Inspirational white boards Credit: ACHE/ICDA

Another fun addition was adding white boards in the hallways. One of our meeting planners came up with six questions and laminated each one on individual white boards. Questions included: How many congresses have you attended? What’s the best part of being an ACHE member? What is your leadership advice? By the end of the congress, the posters were completely covered with comments from attendees. It was a really great way to engage attendees. We really didn’t have to promote them—they were in a visible location and folks either stopped to add comments or to read what was written.

2016 FACHE convocation ceremony
2016 FACHE convocation ceremony Credit: ACHE/ICDA

 

 

 

 

At the annual congress, we preserve a lot of tradition—like our convocation ceremony for new ACHE Fellows—but also do little things to create a new buzz. We want attendees to leave the conference remembering what they learned and how they felt—welcomed into a great community of leaders.

Q: Tell us more about CareerEDGE, and why it’s so popular.

A: CareerEDGE launched in May last year. Within seven to eight months, 1,300 members had created accounts. CareerEDGE is a career portal that can be personalized to one’s career stage. It offers resources to help minimize gaps and increase marketability. Users can access tools to create a career plan, take assessments such as Emotional Intelligence or Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, create customized job feeds, and find a mentor or coach.

It also provides a planning framework for thinking about career success in health care, and a process for clarifying goals and identifying competencies required for success. In addition, CareerEDGE participants can use the portal to stay abreast of ACHE events and services to help with networking and professional development.

A new product, InterviewEDGE, was launched at the congress. InterviewEDGE is an online interview tool used for practice on answering sample interview questions that are organized by leadership position or management role. Answers are recorded so you can review your responses and make adjustments before stepping into a real interview.

Q: If you could wave a magic wand and accomplish or obtain anything for ACHE, what would it be?

A: I’d like to be on the other side of implementing our AMS, NetFORUM. A year from now when this system is live, it will change the way we do our work—in a good way. The opportunities we have with a new AMS will be exciting and transformative. It will allow us to better understand our membership and create a better member experience. It’s going to make us more efficient, build capabilities that will allow the organization to grow, provide better content management, enhance our ability to deliver education, and create a more dynamic website.

Q: What do you think will be the biggest challenge facing associations over the next 10 years?

A: Continuing to be a highly adaptive business and right-sizing offerings to reach respective audiences.

Q: What do you enjoy most working for ACHE?

A: I’ve been involved in health care my entire career through the acute care, policy and association sectors. I also have my master’s degree in health administration. In June 2013, I joined ACHE and truly feel like an instrument in advancing health care management excellence.

ACHE offers superior education and customer experience. The organization is committed and dedicated to helping our members and creating a community that supports them. ACHE is focused on performance excellence, and I’m proud to be part of an organization that’s always trying to do better.


Share YOUR Story: What great things is your association doing for its profession or for its operations? How is your organization delivering on its mission and its strategic plan? Contact heather@orgcommunity.com for details about submitting a story or to be interviewed. 

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