Skip to content Skip to main navigation Skip to footer

Region 3, Metropolitan Chicago Regent Fall Message

ACHE Members of the Metropolitan Chicago area,

I had the honor of addressing attendees (well over 100!) of the Metropolitan Chicago area Administrative Fellow event this fall.? Most of these individuals have applied for, and by now, been accepted into Administrative Fellow or Resident positions for next year?s cycle (July through June).? They asked the panel, ?What types of skills or characteristics are you looking for in a new graduate??.

I answered this way?.?I want you to have guts.? Be bold.? Stick your nose into everything you can.? Read everything, speak to whomever you are given the opportunity to speak with.? Ask to be part of things.? Stretch yourself.? Listen to your gut and test your gut.? Don?t waste a minute, use this time to its fullest.?? ?And you know this, these words aren?t just directed to new graduates.

Later in our careers we might need and want different input, maybe this structure will resonate for you ? Advise, Mentor and Coach.? Often times developing new skills and experiences require tools ? and ACHE and your local chapter, Chicago Health Executives Forum (CHEF), have these for you.

(As a side note, if you are thinking, ?What is an Administrative Fellow or Resident position?? How do I create this program in my organization??, I am happy to answer these questions.? Just email me at

Advising ? Consider volunteering to participate in the CHEF Executive Shadow Day!? Geared toward early careerists (non-students who are technically under the age of 40/early in their career), FACHEs host ACHE members for the day in their work environment.? It will be held around Groundhog Day in early February (get it, see your shadow?).?? Arth Patel, chapter member, generously volunteered to assist with the pairings this year and will be in touch through chapter communications and emails regarding the details.? What a better way to offer advice to an early careerist than to host one for a day!

Mentoring ? This relationship has been defined as a voluntary relationship in which one professional contributes to the professional development of another.? Sounds amazing!? The ACHE Career Management Network offers such relationship matchings.? See for further details – both to volunteer your services in the network, and to use the career management network.? If you are a FACHE and you participate in the Network, you can use this experience as a qualification for a healthcare activity event needed to certify and recertify as a FACHE (bonus!).

Coaching ? Another opportunity to give back/pay it forward (whichever way you?d like to look at this point of your career) is by using, REALLY DIVING INTO, the unique, comprehensive career management tool?CareerEDGE?, created by ACHE this summer.? This complimentary benefit to your ACHE membership will allow you to create a personalized, online Career Dashboard with career management tools, job site links, news items and more. In addition, the CareerEDGE Framework will help you establish or refine your career goals, support you while you learn more about yourself and the marketplace, and allow you to build a solid career plan based on identifying where you are today and where you need to be to reach your career goals.? Just for members, features include:? a personalized online ?Career Dashboard? with career management tools and job site links; access to free assessments (!) including a 360? Working Style tool and a modified version of ACHE?s popular Healthcare Leadership Competencies Assessment Tool; and, a process to help you make the connection between clarifying goals, identifying the competencies required for success, assessing the level of progress toward developing needed skill sets.? This program helps you identify continuous learning programs, products and services that align with leadership development efforts.? Take the time to focus on your career and future success. Visit to learn more or contact ACHE’s Career Resource Center at or (312) 424-9375 with questions.

As this year?s ACHE and Chapter Award season is well underway, let?s take a moment to highlight a few of the winners who were recognized last year.? Please click through for details on this year?s nomination process.? Each newsletter I will highlight a few of our recognized colleagues to remember their incredible achievements (and inspire each of us to use our guts!).

2014 Career Achievement Award – The Career Achievement Award gives special recognition to individuals who have made a significant impact on the healthcare industry. This award recognizes senior level healthcare professionals who have demonstrated an active commitment to advancing the healthcare management profession, and who are role models in their organizations and community.

Lee B. Sacks, MD, Exec. Vice President, Chief Medical Officer, Advocate Health Care

Lee Sacks, MD has served as executive vice president, chief medical officer since 1997 and is responsible for health outcomes, safety, clinical transformation, information systems, risk management/insurance, research, medical education and clinical laboratory services at Advocate Health Care. He also serves as Chief Executive Officer of Advocate Physician Partners, the clinically integrated network with 4,500 physicians serving 610,000 attributable lives. Modern Health Care recognized APP as the nation?s largest ACO in 2013 and 2014. He serves as Chair of the ACL lab operating committee, the joint venture that provides laboratory services to the Advocate and Aurora systems. Dr. Sacks held the position of Vice President of Lutheran General Health Plan (PHO) and Vice President, Primary Care Development for Lutheran General Health System prior to the merger that created Advocate. He completed his undergraduate work at the University of Pennsylvania, earning a Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering. He received his medical degree from the University of Illinois, College of Medicine, completed a family practice residency at Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge and then provided patient care for thirteen years in suburban Chicago. Dr. Sacks was the recipient of the 2009 Institute of Medicine Chicago/CQPS Ortho S. A. Sprague Memorial Institute Recognition Award in Patient Safety and the 2010 American Academy of Family Physicians Robert Graham Physician Executive of the Year Award.? He is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives.?

2014 Healthcare Leadership Award – The Healthcare Leadership Excellence award was established to recognize a mid-career individual with a sustained track record within the local community or community healthcare institution, which has fostered advancement of the field of healthcare management.? This award highlights a Chicago-area healthcare leader who has consistently demonstrated administrative achievement and creativity in one or more of the following areas: development and adoption of best practices in healthcare management, successful stewardship of capital projects or significant organizational initiatives, operations performance improvement, healthcare public policy initiatives, professional mentoring, or community leadership or volunteerism.

Heriberto ?Eddie? Cruz, Vice President of Operations Access Community Health Network

Eddie Cruz is an experienced senior executive with extensive health care background, who currently serves as the Vice President of Operations for Access Community Health Network. ACCESS is one of the nation?s largest federally qualified health center organizations. With 35 community health centers, ACCESS provides primary and preventive health care services for more than 175,000 patients throughout Chicago, as well as Cook and DuPage counties. Eddie?s career reflects his diligence and tenacity. He began his career in health care immediately after high school, working as a hospital orderly and then as a patient care technician in his hometown of Milwaukee, WI. After moving to Chicago and holding a support position in a hospital?s critical care unit, Eddie accepted a position at Advocate Medical Group, where he increasingly assumed greater levels of responsibility and rose to the position of Practice Manager. Eddie joined ACCESS in 2003 as a regional operations director to assume responsibility for the operations of 16 ambulatory, multi-specialty health centers including several support departments. In 2009, he was promoted to the newly created position of Deputy Operations Administrator. In his current role as Vice President of Operations, Eddie is responsible for all health center operations and behavioral health service line. Passionate about delivering quality patient care, Eddie is an agent of change and has an established track record of accomplishments that include providing leadership for the creation and launch of new and improved educational, clinical and operational initiatives such as ACCESS? Dramatic Process Improvement (DPI) effort, which in just a few months? time significantly reduced patient appointment cycle times and no show rates, as well as improved same day access and patient satisfaction. Eddie also helped lead ACCESS to recently attain its coveted Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Level III designations across multiple health centers. Eddie is a member of ACHE and in 2013, he was selected as one of six scholars for the inaugural American College of Healthcare Executives Thomas C. Dolan Executive Diversity Program and received the National Forum for Latino Healthcare Executives 2013 Emerging Leader Award. Eddie is bilingual and holds a Bachelor of Science in Commerce from DePaul University and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from National-Louis University.

I have a few miscellaneous topics about ACHE member that I don?t think I have highlighted before ?

  1. Recertification Waivers:? Fellows age 60 or older and planning to retire in the next five (5) years may be eligible to receive a five-year recertification waiver.? With this waiver, Fellows are exempt from recertifying during their mandatory recertification year and throughout the next four (4) years.? Unemployed Fellows can also request a recertification waiver.? To be eligible for an unemployed recertification waiver, Fellows must become unemployed while holding an active ACHE membership, be actively seeking employment in healthcare management and not be employed as a consultant or a healthcare organization.? For more information, contact the Customer Service Center at 312.424.9400 or
  2. Attention Student Associate Programs:? There are two ACHE programs around the corner to consider?.The Dent and McGaw Scholarships and the Richard J. Stull Student Essay Competition in Healthcare Management application are due soon!? For details:
  3. CHEF chapter Membership Drive – Ending December 31, 2015, please encourage healthcare colleagues and friends to connect, succeed, learn, advance and lead by joining ACHE and therefore becoming a member of CHEF. In conjunction with ACHE?s Leader-to-Leader Program*, CHEF is inviting all Members, Fellows and Faculty Associates to recruit new Members to ACHE/ CHEF. You will earn rewards through ACHE?s Leader-to-Leader program as well as compete for prizes from CHEF. To join ACHE/CHEF, a person must have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree and a commitment to the profession of healthcare management.? Remember that Members are getting TWO memberships for the price of one ? membership in ACHE and membership in the local chapter, CHEF. ?Note that when a new member joins anytime between September and December, their first year?s dues of $150 cover the remainder of 2015, plus all of 2016! ?Just make sure that your ?recruit? references you in the designated area on his/her application. ACHE and CHEF will be keeping track of the number of new members you recruit for purposes of ACHE?s Leader-to-Leader Program and CHEF?s Membership Recruitment Drive. ??There are prizes for members who recruit the most new members!? This is an opportunity for you to simultaneously reward your commitment to healthcare excellence on both a national and local level. ?For more information on ACHE?s Leader-to-Leader Program and its rewards, please go to for more details. NOTE that applications must be completed, submitted and accepted by December 31st to count toward CHEF prizes.

And don?t forget? The ACHE Tuition Waiver Assistance Program!? To reduce the economic 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. All requests are due no less than eight weeks before the program date. Incomplete applications and applications received after the deadline will not be considered.

And last but not least, I hope to see you at an upcoming local chapter event!? See for details on these events and to register!

Live these values each day?.As Members of the American College of Healthcare Executives, we are committed to:

  • Integrity:? We advocate and demonstrate 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.
  • Leadership:? We lead through example and mentoring, and recognize caring must be a cornerstone of our professional interactions.
  • Diversity:? We advocate inclusion and embrace the differences of those with whom we work and the communities we serve.

Make advising, mentoring or coaching a way to developing your ONE GOAL this year!

Anita Halvorsen, FACHE


Back to top