ACHE of Iowa – Message from the Regent

ACHE of Iowa

Message from the Regent

February 2017

Hello ACHE of Iowa Members!

As health care executives, none of us are at a loss of things to do. From the minute we start our day until the time we close our email feed at night, we work on numerous projects, programs, and deadlines.  Do you sometimes wonder if all of these projects and programs are making a difference?  What should we be working on?  In Christian tradition, the prophet Isaiah said “Listen to me, you that pursue righteousness, you that seek the Lord, return to the rock from which you were hewn, and to the quarry from which you were dug.”  In other words, remember your foundation, your bedrock principles.  In grad school we learned to improve healthcare by reducing cost, improving quality, and increasing access.  Victor Hugo said “Change your opinions, keep to your principles; change your leaves, keep intact your roots.”  So, in the midst of juggling all those priorities, keep the main thing the main thing…let your leadership principles be your guide.

Congratulations to those members who have recently re-certified as Fellows!

  • Brian Evans, FACHE, CEO, Clark Co. Hospital
  • Daniel Gillette, MD, FACHE, VP, Behavioral Health, Unity Point Health-St. Lukes
  • Jason Harrington, FACHE, CEO, Lakes Regional Healthcare
  • Marcia Hendricks, RN, FACHE, CEO, Madison County Health Care System
  • Michelle Cassabaum, FACHE, COO/CFO, 21st Century Rehab
  • Jay Willsher, FACHE
  • Todd Linden, FACHE, CEO, Grinnell Regional Medical Center
  • Michelle Niermann, FACHE, COO, UnityPoint Health-St. Luke’s Hospital
  • Lynn Whisler, FACHE, VP Operations, Mary Greeley Medical Center
  • Tom Mulrooney, FACHE, VP Surgical/Cardiovascular Services, UnityPoint Health-Des Moines
  • Steve Simonin, FACHE, CEO, Iowa Specialty Hospitals & Clinics

And, welcome to these new members!

  • Carol Ayangbile, Director Patient Experience/Inpatient Business Ops, UnityPoint Health Trinity
  • Robert Heen, COO, The Iowa Clinic
  • AJ Smith, Decision Support Coordinator, Mary Greeley Medical Center
  • Linda Wendt, RN, Executive Director, Payor Strategies, UnityPoint Clinic
  • Tobin Jacks, MD, Iowa Department of Corrections
  • Jan Myers, Director, Skiff Medical Center
  • Phil Stover, CEO, Medical Oncology & Hematology Associates
  • Lisa Curnes, VA Central Iowa Health Care System
  • Marianne Hellums
  • Jayson Pullman, CEO, Haywarden Regional Healthcare
  • Chelsea Van Vark, Administrative Fellow, Mercy Medical Center-Des Moines
  • Anna Cigrand
  • Gwen Larsen
  • Brett LeFevre
  • Christen Sewell, Radiation Therapist, UnityPoint Health
  • John Stoebe, JD, Law Clerk, ARAG Legal Insurance
  • Benjamin Taylor, Administrative Fellow, Trinity Health
  • Katie Tunning, Manager, Data Analytics, University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics

ACHE of Iowa’s Education Committee is working on our calendar of events for 2017. Our goal is to provide you with enough face-to-face credits in Iowa to recertify for your FACHE Board certification without leaving the state.

If you are interested in serving on a committee for ACHE of Iowa, go to the leadership section of our website and contact the chairperson of the committee you are interested in serving on.

Check out our newly updated ACHE of Iowa website: Save it to your desktop for quick access to our educational events calendar, newsletters, chapter leadership and job board.

Strong leadership is necessary for quality health care. Gain the knowledge and networking you need through ACHE of Iowa.  Stay strong in your health care leadership.


Warm regards,

Dave Hickman, FACHE

ACHE Regent for Iowa

2017 ACHE of Iowa Regent’s Award and Service Award


Each year the ACHE Regent for Iowa recognizes a member of ACHE of Iowa for their contributions to the advancement of healthcare management excellence and service to the ACHE of Iowa chapter

This year’s award is presented to Dr. Tom Vaughn, Associate Professor in the Department of Health Management and Policy at the University of Iowa. Tom joined the UI faculty in 1995, and has been the Director of the MHA program since 2005.  He has served on the Board of ACHE of Iowa for the past several years as the UI MHA program representative, and has been a solid supporter of ACHE.

Please join me in thanking Tom for his many years of service to education and to ACHE.


Dave Hickman, FACHE

ACHE Regent for Iowa



ACHE of Iowa President Update

Welcome to Summer!

It’s difficult to believe that we’re nearly to the halfway mark of another year. ACHE of Iowa has been off to a strong start, offering a well-received panel session on patient experience in Des Moines in April and a networking event and pre-conference workshop in conjunction with the IHA Summer Leadership Forum. Our pre-conference workshop – planned at the request of our members – afforded attendees with 3 face-to-face credit hours and a fantastic presentation on breakthrough thinking.

We will have a busy fall as well with 1.5 hour panel session on implementing change successfully at the University of Iowa’s Healthcare Executive Symposium on September 29. We also hope to see you at IHA’s Annual Meeting in Des Moines for our annual breakfast, advancement to fellow session, and an afternoon education session that will provide 3 face-to-face credit hours – all on October 19. We’ll also pair up with the Nebraska chapter for an event and hope to offer a panel session in the Waterloo area this fall as well – watch for details.

Was advancing to fellow status on your personal goals list for 2016? It’s a great way to demonstrate your capabilities in and commitment to our field. Waverly Health Center CEO Jim Atty, FACHE, chairs our Membership Committee and is ready to answer your questions about advancement. Come see him at IHA’s Annual Meeting on October 19, or feel free to contact him any time at

We look forward to seeing you at our events this fall.

Michelle Niermann, FACHE
President, ACHE of Iowa
Executive Vice President / COO, UnityPoint Health – Cedar Rapids


Read the ACHE Regent for Iowa, Dave Hickman’s, message to our members:


Read the previous ACHE of Iowa President Update here:
Spring 2016 President Update