Category Archives: Member Spotlight

Member Spotlight – Sameer Kokan

Sameer Kokan
Consulting Manager
ProspHire, LLC

 

Why did you join ACHE?

I joined ACHE as a student pursuing my MHA in order gain a better understanding of what I could expect in the professional world. I wanted to be part of an organization that focused on healthcare management excellence, and would help get me on the right path to helping contribute to wellness in my community and beyond. ACHE was, and continues to be, the perfect fit.

Looking back, have you been lead to opportunities because of your membership in ACHE?

I have been able to connect with a wide array of healthcare professionals, drawing on their knowledge and experience to help me in my career. Specifically, ACHE Congress is a great opportunity to create and foster those connections.

What would you tell other professionals who have not joined ACHE as to the benefits of membership?

An ACHE membership gives you access to a vast international network of professionals in various areas of the healthcare industry. These members are willing and able to help each other by sharing ideas, making connections, and providing mentorship. Additionally, there are great educational opportunities available as part of membership that can help you stay up-to-date on the ever-changing healthcare environment.

Are networking opportunities throughout Western Pennsylvania something that draws your attention?

Absolutely! Healthcare in Western Pennsylvania is a very unique environment, which fosters tremendous opportunity. The sheer amount of work that needs to be done leads to a wide variety of important and fulfilling roles within the industry. Networking is particularly important in my role as a Consulting Manager at ProspHire.

What would your words of encouragement be to early careerists about pursuing healthcare leadership positions given the ever changing healthcare environment?

I would tell them not to limit themselves by being too narrowly focused on a specific aspect of healthcare. I’ve been fortunate to have a career that covers a broad spectrum: pharmaceuticals, IT, healthcare construction, patient experience initiatives, and consulting. By putting myself in different situations and roles, I’ve learned what I enjoy doing. Maybe more importantly, I’ve also learned what I don’t enjoy doing. Your career will not be linear, but rather will take many twists and turns. Keep focused on your long term goals, but understand that there are many ways to arrive at your destination.

Member Spotlight – Lee Clinton, FACHE

Lee M. Clinton, FACHE
CEO and President
Titusville Area Hospital

Why did you join ACHE?

I joined ACHE because my colleagues, that held positions that I aspired to someday achieve, were not only members, but also held ACHE credentials.  This included my early mentor and various faculty at the University of Missouri where I completed my graduate degree.  In addition, my alumni association holds annual social events at ACHE Congress for alumni and students alike.  All of these factors made ACHE membership important to me because it was significant to the people I looked up to.

Looking back, have you been lead to opportunities because of your membership in ACHE?

Although I cannot say there is a direct cause and effect relationship, I’m confident that my membership and participation in ACHE and organizations that value ACHE membership has created opportunity for me. I believe the FACHE credential is respected, valuable, and worth maintaining.

What would you tell other professionals who have not joined ACHE as to the benefits of membership?

There are many benefits of membership, from the simple website functions of the affiliate directory and job board that membership provides access to; to the quality education and networking ACHE provides.  But to me, the most important benefit is the FACHE credential and the opportunity to show the competence of gaining board certification in healthcare management.

Are networking opportunities throughout Western Pennsylvania something that draws your attention?

ACHE of Western PA has done a fabulous job of providing networking and educational opportunities throughout the region to lessen the travel burden for those who reside and work out outside the greater Pittsburgh metro area.  Having served on the Missouri chapter’s local programing council in the past; I can appreciate the amount of effort it takes to coordinate an event. 

What would your words of encouragement be to early careerists about pursuing healthcare leadership positions given the ever changing healthcare environment?

It’s an exciting and challenging time to be in healthcare!  There is a lot of change occurring very rapidly, especially in Pennsylvania.  This will create opportunities and need for capable and competent leaders in the new environment.  My advice is to be engaged, gain experience, and persistently add value where you can in your present position to create growth opportunities for yourself.  Finally, make your bosses life easier.  Bring solutions, not just problems; instead of forwarding a huge email with a lot of data, add an executive summary.  Simple things that give busy people a few minutes of their day back go a long way.

Member Spotlight – Rob Jackson, FACHE

Robert C. Jackson, Jr., MBA, FACHE,
Chief Executive Officer – Grove City Medical Center

Why did you join ACHE?

When I started working at Grove City it was my first hospital operations job and the CEO was a huge supporter of ACHE and he made it clear that if you wanted a career in hospital administration you belonged to ACHE.

Looking back, have you been lead to opportunities because of your membership in ACHE?

Absolutely!  The value of networking with peers throughout the area is priceless.  A number of interesting arrangements and projects have been born out of connection made thorough ACHE.

What would you tell other professionals who have not joined ACHE as to the benefits of membership?

It gives you access to a professional community and network that you could never build on your own.  The colleagues you meet through ACHE live the ups and downs that you do and being able to pick up the phone and talk with someone who has been there makes all the difference.

Are networking opportunities throughout Western Pennsylvania something that draws your attention?

I personally try to attend as many of the Face to face education sessions as possible.  There is no better way to earn the face to face credits required for your fellow certification than learning from and sharing with your colleagues.

What would your words of encouragement be to early careerists about pursuing healthcare leadership positions given the ever changing healthcare environment?

Bloom where you are planted and make the most of every opportunity.

Member Spotlight – John Gennaro, FACHE

John Gennaro, FACHE
Director, Erie VA Medical Center

Why did you join ACHE?
ACHE connects leaders across the healthcare industry and provides ongoing learning in the ever changing healthcare environment.  As a young careerist in 1999 I choose to join ACHE to network with leaders in healthcare and grow professionally.

Looking back, have you been lead to opportunities because of your membership in ACHE?
My status as a Fellow in ACHE has provided me the opportunity to give back to the field of healthcare.  As an active member of the local Western PA Chapter, I have been able to share my professional experience and engage the community in discussion on Veterans healthcare.

What would you tell other professionals who have not joined ACHE as to the benefits of membership?
Join! No matter an early careerist or a senior executive, ACHE, provides a professional network of peers in your local community.

Are networking opportunities throughout Western Pennsylvania something that draws your attention?
Healthcare is ever changing and dynamic.  Having members who represent all sectors of the industry allows for adult learning which you cannot pick up in the classroom or a piece of literature.

What would your words of encouragement be to early careerists about pursuing healthcare leadership positions given the ever changing healthcare environment?
Be a go to player…If you feel uncomfortable with a stretch assignment or being asked to present…Good because you are growing professionally and personally!

Member Spotlight – David Scott, FACHE

David Scott, FACHE currently serves as President and CEO of Ohio Valley Hospital.  He has been with Ohio Valley Hospital for 30 years and in the role of President and CEO since July 2010.  He holds a Masters of Public Health in Hospital Administration as well as a Bachelors of Science in Health Information Management from the University of Pittsburgh.  Mr. Scott also sits on the Board of Directors of the Healthcare Council of Western Pennsylvania.

Why did you join ACHE?

I actually joined as a graduate student in 1981-1982.  The University of Pittsburgh’s graduate program encourages students to join in order to learn more about the profession, get to know others and network.

Looking back, have you been lead to opportunities because of your membership in ACHE?

The best thing ACHE has done for me, and that I have always found to be very helpful, is the annual conferences reinvigorate you in terms of thinking and the profession.  And it opens your eyes to what others are doing and what they have accomplished.

What would you tell other professionals who have not joined ACHE as to the benefits of membership?

When I have encountered others over the years who are not members I tell them that ACHE helps you to establish a professional identity, enables you to network with the same people who have the same career goals and aspirations, and keeps you up to date with the state of the art thinking.

Are networking opportunities throughout Western Pennsylvania something that draws your attention?

Yes, as I have found in all of the programs that I have done, you gain a better perspective when speaking with others that have worked through similar challenges.  They may also have resources that you may not have thought about or difference contacts then you may have.

What would your words of encouragement be to persons early in their career (0-7 years) since healthcare has changed so much since 1982 to today, so they keep moving forward in this profession?

There are a lot of exciting opportunities and innovations in this profession.  So much is happening through technology and IT.  Things are rapidly changing.

Member Spotlight: Raymond Graeca

Raymond A. Graeca is CEO of the Penn Highlands Healthcare System. Graeca received his master’s degree in health service administration from Tulane University in New Orleans in 1973 and was previously President of DuBois Regional Medical Center from November 1990 to September 2011.  He was president at Corry Memorial Hospital in Corry, Pennsylvania for 12 years and has also served in the administrative capacities at John Peter Smith Hospital, Forth Worth, Texas; Garland Community Hospital, Garland, Texas and Medical City Dallas Hospital, Dallas, Texas.  Graeca served in the U. S. Army Finance Corps as an accounting specialist and was employed by the General Accounting Office in Washington, DC, as an account-auditor.

He was on the board of directors for the Hospital Council of Western Pennsylvania for 22 years.  He is also a Board Member of Western Pennsylvania – VHA where he also serves on the Finance Committee.

He has been involved with the American College of Health Care Executives at the Fellowship level, American Hospital Association, Hospital Association of Pennsylvania, as well as several college advisory boards.  He is a member of the Hospital Association of Pa. Strategic Planning Committee as well as the Tax Exempt Committee.  Graeca is past chairman of the DuBois Area Economic Development Corporation and past chairman of the St. Catherine of Sienna (DuBois) Parish Council.  He served for 6 years on the School Board of the DuBois Area Catholic School System, and is currently a member of the school Finance Committee.  Graeca also is a founding member of the Free Medical Clinic in DuBois, and has served on the Board since its inception in 1997.  He and his wife, Mary live in DuBois.  They have three children and seven grandchildren.

Why did you join ACHE?

ACHE provides an opportunity for healthcare leaders at all levels to become a member of a professional organization that offers educational opportunities, networking events, professional development, and resources on the latest healthcare trends to keep you and your organization ahead of the curve.

How long have you been a member?

I joined ACHE as a student and have renewed my membership each year. ACHE is well worth the investment and has been part of my professional development my entire career.

How has ACHE contributed to your career and professional development?

Healthcare is a rapidly changing and evolving industry, and through my ACHE membership I am able to further my professional knowledge on the local, regional, and national healthcare activities and trends.  The educational sessions and seminars being held at the local and national level are very valuable for healthcare leaders to be able to share best practices, pursue new ideas, and develop strategies. Through by attendance in the various seminars and networking events I have established relationships with other healthcare leaders that I am able to use as consultants and share ideas with.

How does ACHE impact your team in your workplace?

ACHE offers many educational opportunities that can be very beneficial for your team. As Penn Highlands Healthcare System continues to expand, I encourage my team to become a member and to review the educational opportunities for their own professional growth and development. For example, we recently sent some of our leaders to a contract negotiation session; an opportunity our organization was not able to offer, but ACHE was a great resource to fit our need.

What would you say to those who are considering signing up for ACHE?

As stated before, the educational and networking opportunities are endless. The informal networking opportunities have made an impact on my career and my success as a healthcare leader. I have established great partnerships over the years that may have started over a lunch break during an educational session.

What would you say are some of the benefits of participating in the local chapter events?

The local ACHE chapter events provide networking opportunities for all levels from students to executive level leaders. The local educational opportunities that are offered throughout the year have been very beneficial and the convenience of being able to drive to an event and drive home the same day is invaluable. It is also a good way for students to begin to meet and learn from healthcare leaders throughout Western Pennsylvania. I have met great students that I have been able to serve as a mentor and provide recommendations as they start their first job or internship.