Kettering Health Network: The Calm of the Network Operations Command Center

John Weimer, VP, Trauma, Emergency Services & Operations Command Center

The facility that you’re walking into right now is our Network Operations Command Center. On our left-hand side, we have our transfer call center nurses and staff. They are talking to physicians that are on campuses that are liable in Teletracking about needs of patients, where do they need to go. They’re also talking to our primary care physicians, our unaffiliated hospitals throughout the region trying to come in. On the right-hand side of the room is our logistics and our transport team, so they’re managing over 40 ambulances. They’re getting patients in-between our facilities, as well as getting folks to testing, whether they need to go back home, and in a critical event, they’re moving our heart attacks, our strokes, any patients that need to go directly to the OR.

We see a thousand eighty patients a day. All that’s now done in this site, where you can see no chaos, it’s quiet, people are happy, they find meaning in the work that they’re doing, but it’s because as a health system, we decided to do something different. I think that’s the amazing thing about this network is we’re a faith-based and our value and innovation run through our blood, so the change in the culture, even though it was hard at first, the buy-in is there because we’re involving people who are seeing what it looks like. These are their neighbors, their loved ones, that’s what the folks are going through here.

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Early Careerist Spotlight – Ben Jarvis

Where were you at in your career when you joined ACHE?

I joined ACHE while I was completing my Health Systems Management graduate degree at Rush University in Chicago. I was able to participate on the Regent’s Advisory Council as a Student Advisory Committee member. I also found great value in many of the events put on by the local chapter in Chicago, the Chicago Health Executives Forum (CHEF). These experiences led me to continue my involvement with ACHE-WI upon my return to Madison.

Where are you now in your career?

I am currently the Director of Specialty Programs and Clinics for Musculoskeletal Services with SSM Health Dean Medical Group. Prior to this role, I served as a Clinical Manager in a variety of surgical specialties including Orthopedics, Urology, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, and Cosmetic Surgery.

How have you been involved with ACHE-WI?

Leadership Development Program
Program Committee

How has ACHE been valuable to your career progression?

ACHE has truly been an incredible resource to my career progression since day one of my involvement. As a student, ACHE and CHEF provided numerous opportunities to attend networking events, as well as access to a variety of professional development and educational resources. I was fortunate to secure a post-graduate Administrative Fellowship, in part thanks to some of the connections that I made as a student member of ACHE. After moving back to Wisconsin four years ago, the ACHE-WI chapter has helped me to pick up right where I left off in Chicago by allowing me the opportunity to connect with a wide range of leaders in healthcare. Completing the ACHE-WI Leadership Development Program has also had a tremendously positive impact on my growth in healthcare leadership.

Who has been the most influential person in your career?

My father owned and operated a pharmacy for 35 years in a small community in Northern Wisconsin. While those “mom and pop” pharmacies are few and far between these days, watching him serve as pharmacist, HR, legal, maintenance, IT, etc. taught me so many life lessons. Most of all, it instilled in me the value of performing meaningful work while also helping others. I did not take the most direct path into the healthcare field, but thanks to him I always knew in the back of my mind that this is where I would end up some day.

What is something that you are working on recently that you are excited about?

I have just recently transitioned from a Clinical Manager role to a Director level role which in itself is very exciting, challenging, and rewarding. I’m moving back into the musculoskeletal service line which I am very passionate about. In addition, moving from managing a large number of front line and clinical teammates to leading other managers and overseeing even larger scale operations is a challenge that I am very much looking forward to.

What is the best gift that you ever received?

Undoubtedly my two boys! My wife, Meghan, and I have been blessed with two baby boys in the last three years. Charlie will turn three in August and Jordan just turned one in May. They make me the luckiest guy in the world and have been the greatest gift I could ever ask for.

Leadership Development Program Visits HSHS/Prevea Health and Marshfield Clinic in Eau Claire

ACHE-WI 2019-2020 Leadership Development Program (LDP) Cohort X kicked off their 2019 Site Visits in Eau Claire, spending the morning at HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital and Prevea Cancer Center and then traveling to Marshfield Medical Center – Eau Claire for the afternoon on June 28th. Our early careerists learned about the two organizations, toured the facilities and met with senior leaders from the respective organizations. The group engaged in meaningful discussions with key executives about leadership challenges and gained valuable career advice.

Key takeaways included: Learn from failure; Trust your instincts; Personal relationships are what matter. Recommended books: “The Practice of Adaptive Leadership: Tools and Tactics for Changing Your Organization and the World” by Ronald A. Heifetz and Marty Linsky; “The Mind of the Leader: How to Lead Yourself, Your People, and Your Organization for Extraordinary Results” by Rasmus Hougaard and Jacqueline Carter.

The day started at HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital and Prevea Cancer Center with site tours and breakfast. The group spent the morning with senior leaders including: Andrew Bowman, RN, Executive Director – Specialty Services, HSHS & Prevea Western Wisconsin Division; Toni Simonson, PhD, FACHE, Executive Director, Behavioral Care, HSHS & Prevea Western Wisconsin Division; Andy Bagnall, FACHE, President & CEO, HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital and HSHS Western Wisconsin Division; Ken Johnson, MD, Chief Medical Officer & Vice President of Clinical Operations, Prevea Health Western Wisconsin; Ashok Rai, MD, President & CEO, Prevea Health. An engaging Q & A with C-Suite executives from HSHS and Prevea Health focused on clinical collaboration; adaptive leadership; value-based initiatives; market trends; physician relationships; effective communication; and career advancement strategies.

The LDP group then traveled to Marshfield Medical Center – Eau Claire for a welcome lunch, campus tour, and conversation with leaders from Marshfield Clinic Health System. Topics focused on building & designing modern healthcare facilities, and healthcare leadership challenges & innovations. Executives leading our roundtable discussion included: Patrick Board, VP of Operations; Jeff Tucker, VP of Business Development; Ryan Neville, FACHE, Chief Administrative Officer, Marshfield Medical Center – Neillsville (ACHE-WI Chapter President and LDP Cohort 2 alum); Criss Gutsch, Regional Oncology Manager; Miriam Gehler, Administrative Director – Regional Operations; and Susan Bugni, Service Line Administrator.

The site visit was co-hosted by Jennifer Benrud, Executive Director, Prevea Health and Jeron Jackson, System Oncology Service Line Director, Marshfield Clinic Health System. The ACHE-WI Leadership Development Program cohort was joined by Salim Perez-Ortiz from the ACHE Puerto Rico Chapter, a post graduate healthcare administration intern at Advocate Aurora Health as part of the ACHE Summer Enrichment Program, which made it an even more enlightening learning experience for everyone.

LDP Cohort X Site Visit at HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital and Prevea Cancer Center in Eau Claire

Pictured (left to right): Will McMullen; Jeron Jackson; Derek Angle; Jenny Benrud;
Bethany Seeboth; Salim Perez Ortiz; Nick Ladell; Chris Gries.

LDP Cohort X Site Visit at Marshfield Medical Center – Eau Claire

Pictured (front row, from left): Bethany Seeboth, Salim Perez Ortiz, Derek Angle, Jeron Jackson;
Back row (from left): Chris Gries, Will McMullen, Jenny Benrud, Nick Ladell.

August 13 – Newsmaker Event with Milwaukee Health Commissioner Jeanette Kowalik

Milwaukee native Jeanette Kowalik moved home last year to take over the city’s beleaguered health department, following reports that the agency failed to follow up with families of lead-poisoned children.

Since then, the department has taken steps to increase transparency and accountability, including moving forward with a plan to establish a Board of Health comprised of community members and clinical representatives. Kowalik, who previously served as associate director of the Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs in Washington, D.C., has also taken aim at the city’s lead crisis, its high infant mortality rate and persistent racial disparities.

Wisconsin Health News will check in with Kowalik at an Aug. 13 Newsmaker Event in Milwaukee.

Register now

Support Available to Take the Board of Governors Exam

Do you need help to successfully prepare for and pass the BOG Exam? The exam is comprehensive, consisting of multiple-choice questions that test 10 core knowledge areas. Here is an in-person resource available.

ACHE’s Board of Governors Examination Review Course

This course is scheduled for Sept. 23–25 in Atlanta. This 2½ day, faculty-led program provides testing strategies, sample questions and a better understanding of the examination’s content, structure and scoring. Participants also earn 19 ACHE Face-to-Face Education credits.

Members must meet all criteria associated with the FACHE® credential before sitting for the exam. More information about the process for advancing to Fellow status can be found on

Leading for Safety

One of ACHE’s key strategic priority areas is to amplify the importance of safety and provide the tools and strategies healthcare leaders need to foster zero-harm workplace cultures and environments. ACHE and the IHI Lucian Leape Institute developed Leading a Culture of Safety: A Blueprint for Success, a guide that can be used to direct efforts and evaluate an organization’s success on its journey to zero harm, by convening more than 50 highly regarded healthcare executives and quality and safety experts.

Visit and download the Blueprint. Then, on that same page, you can also sign the Pledge to Lead for Safety and take the Culture of Safety Organizational Self-Assessment as steps toward implementing impactful, systemic change.

Earn Swag by Participating in the Leader-to-Leader Membership Rewards Program

July is a great time to join ACHE. New members or former members whose membership lapsed in 2018 or earlier can join for $80, which is 50 percent off the regular dues rate. In addition, any Member, Fellow or Faculty Associate can earn points for rewards through the Leader-to-Leader Rewards Program. The ACHE member must be listed as the referral name on the new member application and will receive the points once the memberships are activated. Check out the rewards you can receive when you redeem your points.

Please note that this offer is not available for members suspended in 2019.

Becoming a Visionary Leader at Any Organizational Level

Creating a unifying vision for their organizations is a fundamental skill for leaders. However, building that vision has become more associated with top-level leadership than with directors, managers and others throughout the organization. Consider these critical vision-creation opportunities, each of which can propel your professional development:

Helping the CEO Shape the Company’s Vision

Good senior leaders know they are missing critical information as they are typically removed from many customer experiences and operational realities. Being a conduit of the insights and experiences of others who will be touched by the work can help senior executives improve that sense of connection. Further, raising your hand to volunteer your own perspective in collective problem-solving opportunities helps you develop your own vision-creation abilities.

Translating the Company Vision to Make it Relevant for Your Team

Even if you do not have the chance to help shape early drafts of your company’s vision, if you are a leader at any level, you will likely be directed to work with your team to translate that vision. Though on a smaller scale, this in itself is “vision crafting” and it will benefit from the same kind of broader perspective senior leaders themselves will want to seek. Even if you are simply “translating” vision from the upper part of the organization, take some time to solicit ideas from other parts of the company that also have a stake in your unit’s performance aspirations, being sure to crosscheck your translation with those senior leaders guiding the overall vision.

Catalyzing Your Own Vision

Sometimes a new company vision does not begin in the C-suite, but instead bubbles up from lower-level leaders already using it to drive innovation and change in their own units. Your organization may not be ready for—or even sympathetic to—bottom-up vision development. However, the need for continual innovation in today’s operating climate may give you the opportunity to promote new ideas from your own local experiences that can demonstrate potential for broader growth and even reinvention in your company.

Getting Yourself Into the Vision Game

Here are a few tips to position yourself for vision-building moments:

  1. Get a clear idea on what a vision is and why it matters. Do not confuse vision (an aspirational picture of future success) with mission (why an organization exists), values (the principles and moral beliefs by which the organization chooses to operate) or strategy (the decisions about where and how to compete that bring a vision to life).
  2. Watch for opportunities to contribute. Contribute to the vision-work underway by other leaders. Translate an agreed upon enterprise vision down to the unit you are leading, or focus the work of your team on a local or regional vision. Catalyze innovative change for the organization based on some front-line innovation in which you are involved.
  3. If you find a vision-building opportunity, do not do all the deciding alone. Just as a senior leader might benefit from seeking your contributions to a major corporate vision, share the process with others working with you in any of your own vision-building. It will sharpen your collaboration skills as well.
  4. Learn by watching or studying how others go about the vision-building process. Talk to other leaders about visions they have developed to understand how and why those visions turned out the way they did. Study visions of companies documented in the business press or learn from partners or clients about the visions they have for their organizations. You will better understand what makes for successful vision-building, which you can then bring to the next opportunity in your own organization.

Because developing a vision for an organization sets the stage for strategy and higher performance, it will always be seen as an essential capability for top leaders. However, this does not mean that vision is always above your paygrade. Visioning requires practice, and there is no better way to get that practice than by building your craft through smaller or sudden opportunities to make a contribution that comes your way.

—Adapted from “You Don’t Have to Be CEO to Be a Visionary Leader,” by Ron Ashkenas and Brook Manville, Harvard Business Review, April 4, 2019.

Hospitals Must Focus on Scale to Combat New Competitors

Today, hospitals are struggling to hold onto their outpatient business in the face of new competitors that have the scope and technological capability never before seen in healthcare.

UnitedHealth/Optum and CVS Health/Aetna are aiming to unbolt outpatient business from legacy hospitals. Amazon, Apple and Google are investing heavily in healthcare from numerous angles, looking for the most effective entry points to care and services. Hospital organizations are doing what any company would do when confronted with a highly disruptive environment like this: They are trying to gain the financial and intellectual resources to compete in a new world.

Hospitals are making this transition in the face of a difficult financial reality. Moody’s Outlook for 2019 projected that revenue growth for hospitals would continue to decline under pressure from weak inpatient volume and low reimbursement payments. At the same time, expenses would continue to grow faster than revenue. In this situation, the normal response of any company in any industry would be to seek scale in an effort to meet this new level of competition and adjust to a emerging business model. That is exactly what is happening among hospital stakeholders. “Bulking up” is a logical response.

Organizations need to grow along with everyone else. Scale will help ensure that America’s hospitals can keep pace—that they can continue to build on their deep community connections, expertise treating the full range of health conditions and history of serving our most vulnerable populations.

Scale will be critical, but it is not an end in itself. Scale is a means to gain intelligence—to get the best intellectual capital, to tap information about a vast group of people, to test new ideas and then to scale those ideas. Nevertheless, scale is the platform that will allow hospitals to acquire the resources—such as more working and intellectual capital, and significant digital capabilities—to compete in this brand new healthcare marketplace.

—Adapted from “Why Hospitals Must Seek Scale,” by Kenneth Kaufman,, Dec. 20, 2018.

Research Solutions Sought for 2020 Congress

Authors can submit proposals to present their research at the annual Forum on Advances in Healthcare Management Research during next year’s Congress on Healthcare Leadership. The lead presenter of each selected proposal will receive a complimentary registration to Congress. Please visit for the selection criteria and submission instructions. Submit your abstract, of up to 400 words, by July 10.