Register for Congress—Early Bird Registration Pricing Extended

Join us for the 2021 Congress on Healthcare Leadership, March 22–25, a reimagined virtual experience. Register today for your Congress all-access pass; you will not need to select your sessions at this time. Bonus: The early bird registration pricing has been extended through March 11.

After you register, you will receive a communication in early March to select your sessions and personalize your schedule in the virtual event platform. Check the website often for updates on sessions and speakers.

Additionally, we’ve created chapter-level engagement opportunities during the virtual event. Chapter chat rooms on the Congress platform will help facilitate discussion among local members.

Call for Speakers

ACHE-WI is looking for experts within our membership to participate as a panelist or moderator at our upcoming virtual Face-to-Face credit events.

The moderator sets the tone, the pace and control of the content, staying ever-vigilant in keeping it relevant for the audience. It is the moderator’s responsibility to make sure the panel is lively, engaging and worthwhile.

The panelists are experts on the topic and can share examples and tools with the audience. They can share successes and lessons learned.

Our topics are as follows:

  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, April 15, noon
  • Disruptive Innovation in Healthcare Delivery, May 20, 4pm
  • Sustainability of Healthcare Organizations: A Plan of Action, June 17, noon

Learn more about the topics here. If you have the experience in any of these areas, please volunteer to participate as a moderator or panelist by completing the form below by Monday, March 1.

Complete the Call for Speakers Here

Note: You will need to provide a bio and photo with your submission.


Early Careerist Spotlight – Melissa Armstrong

Where were you at in your career when you joined ACHE?
After ten years of non-profit social work and exceptional education, I decided to pursue my MHA. I joined ACHE as a first year MHA student while working for UW-Milwaukee.

Where are you now in your career?
I currently serve the Advocate Aurora Medical Group’s Integrative Medicine department as their program coordinator. My role consists of managing the Integrative Cancer Care program spanning 17 cancer clinics in the state of Wisconsin. Additionally, I lead department research, professional education and special program development.

How has ACHE been valuable to your career progression?
The ACHE is recognized as the gold standard for healthcare administration. Throughout my career progression, ACHE has provided an elite network of resources across all sectors of healthcare and related education on industry best practices. My membership displays a commitment to our profession and developing exceptional leadership.

Who has been the most influential person in your career?
Dr. Jennifer Fink has been the most influential person in my career. Due to her mentorship, I was able to secure an amazing internship, a solid ACHE network, and my current leadership role. I am honored to call her a close friend

What is something that you are working on recently that you are excited about?
I recently received approval for a research protocol focusing on the correlation between integrative cancer therapies, opioid consumption, and emergency department utilization. The hope is we find a way for cancer survivors to use less medications and control their pain. The study team is looking forward to publishing our findings in the new year.

Tell me about a hidden talent of yours.
Most people don’t know I am bilingual. I am fluent in American Sign Language and licensed as an ASL Interpreter in the state of Wisconsin and Illinois. Aside from my current health care role, I continue to serve the Deaf and hard of hearing community by interpreting a few times a week.

Message From Your ACHE Regent – Winter 2021

Welcome to 2021! To start the year off right, we celebrated some incredible healthcare leaders in Wisconsin. On January 20, 2021, a virtual ceremony occurred presenting the 2020 ACHE WI Chapter Service and Regent Awards.

Service Awards recognize members’ contributions to healthcare management excellence through volunteer service to the chapter, ACHE, and the profession. Service award recipients include:

Exemplary Service Award

  • Kathleen M. Olewinski, FACHE, Dir of Health Care Admin Studies University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Distinguished Service Award

  • James D. McLain, FACHE, Deputy Director, Clement J Zablocki VA Medical Ctr

Service Awards

  • William E. Johnson, Jr., LFACHE
  • Alan S. Kaplan, MD, FACHE, CEO, UW Health
  • Teresa Lindfors, MBA, BSN, RN, FACHE, VP of Growth & Development,            Stoughton Hospital
  • James J. Sexton, LFACHE


2020 Regent Awards include:

The Early Careerist Award is given to affiliates of the College who have shown exceptional professional development. The 2020 WI Chapter award was given to Abraham A. Doolhoff, MHA – Manager of Virtual Care and Patient Access to Care at Mercyhealth Wisconsin. Abraham joined ACHE WI Chapter in 2014. Since 2018, Abraham has served on the Program Committee. In 2019, Abraham joined the Podcast Committee, has been instrumental in the process and development of the chapter podcast and serves as the podcast co-host. Abraham also served as a panelist in the October 2019 Face-to-Face Virtual Event: Telemedicine in the Healthcare Delivery System.

This year Chris Woleske, JD, FACHE – President and CEO of Bellin Health, Green Bay, WI, received the Senior Careerist Award. Chris began her role with Bellin Health in 1998, became the EVP and COO in 2016, and moved to her current position of President and CEO in October 2018. A few of her accomplishments include Cardiology Associates, Gastroenterology Associates, and NEW ENT. She has also led Bellin’s expansion to Oconto and Marinette. Chris has also volunteered her time serving on the Editorial Board of the ACHE Journal Frontiers of Health Services Management.

ACHE Wisconsin Chapter presented the Diversity Champion Award to Richelle R. Webb Dixon, MHSA, FACHE. Richelle is the new Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee, WI. Prior to joining Froedtert, Richelle served as system vice president for Common-Spirit Health in Denver, Colorado, where she led strategies to enhance integration and transformation performance in the health system, which spans 21 states.

Richelle is a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) and serves on numerous boards, including the Institute for Diversity and Health Equity. Richelle is also the Past President of the National Association of Health Services Executives (NAHSE), the premier organization for African American healthcare executives. Under her leadership, NAHSE strategically focused on advocacy, innovation, and organizational sustainability. Richelle is also active with the National Association of Latino Healthcare Executives (NALHE).


Recent Events:

ACHE-WI Coffee with the College Podcast

Episode 1: Resiliency – Springing Back (December 16, 2020)

Teresa Lindfors, MBA, BSN, RN, FACHE, Chief Strategy & Business Development Office, Stoughton Health, joined Janet A. Schulz, FACHE, Chief Information Officer, MyPath; Abraham A. Doolhoff, Manager of Virtual Care and Patient Access to Care; and Brian Michalski, Health System Specialist, Office of the Medical Center Director, Zablocki VA Medical Center and chatted about resiliency in the kickoff episode of Coffee with the College.


Upcoming Events:

On February 10, 4:00-5:00 pm, ACHE-WI Chapter will host an interactive member discussion on Telehealth and Innovation with Margaret Paulson, DO, FACP, Hospital Internal Medicine, NWWI Medical Director – Advanced Care At Home, Mayo Clinic Health System and Jamey Shiels, System VP Consumer & Digital Experience, Brand, Consumer Experience & Public Affairs, Aurora Health Care, Inc./Advocate Support Center. The discussion will include how to build a culture that supports innovation and patient engagement.

2021 Physician Leadership Development Conference will offer CME-certified education focused on developing leadership skills, as well as providing a forum for discussion, networking, and collegiality.

Physician Leader Learning Day (March 12, 2021/Virtual)

Physician Knowledge Sharing Event (September 14 & 15, 2021/In-person)

ACHE Qualified Credit As an independent chartered chapter of the American
College of Healthcare Executives, Wisconsin Chapter is authorized to award 6.0 hours
of ACHE Qualified Education credit toward advancement or recertification in the
American College of Healthcare Executives. Participants in this program who wish to
have it considered for ACHE Qualified Education credit should list their attendance
when they apply to the American College of Healthcare Executives for advancement
or recertification.

September 20-21, 2021 ACHE-WI 2021 Annual Conference, The Osthoff Resort

We made it. 2021 is here. May it bring the healing and happiness we all hope for. Continue to stay safe and healthy.

Your ACHE Regent,

Thomas N. Shorter, JD, FACHE
Regent for Wisconsin

Stop the COVID Spread! Coalition: “The Fight’s Not Over Yet”

Coalition launches new ad campaign promoting continued use of face masks, social distancing and hand washing as key measures in the fight against COVID-19

Madison, WI — The statewide coalition to combat the spread of COVID-19 launched a new ad campaign today calling on Wisconsinites to stay vigilant in the effort to curtail the spread of COVID-19. The ad campaign that will broadcast statewide on digital and broadcast media stresses the importance of wearing face masks, washing hands regularly, and continuing to practice social distancing as key, simple measures in the fight against the global pandemic.

“This past year, Wisconsin came together to take on COVID-19. Our frontline workers, businesses, and communities stepped up. And you are doing your part,” says the narrator in the ad. “We will stop the spread, but the fight’s not over yet. As many await vaccines, and our health care heroes battle new strains, we can’t let our guard down now.”

The launch of the Stop the Covid Spread! coalition’s public education announcement comes amidst a trend of falling COVID-19 cases, which could create a false sense of security. New strains of the virus that appear to be both more transmissible and potentially more deadly are spreading worldwide. Vaccine distribution in the state is also being hampered by a shortage of supply from the federal government, meaning much of the state’s vaccination capacity is being underutilized. By continuing to practice safe behaviors, including wearing masks, social distancing, and washing hands, we not only stop the spread, we save lives.

“Given the current pace of vaccination in Wisconsin, it will take some time for the vaccine to take hold in the state,” said Wisconsin Hospital Association President and CEO Eric Borgerding “And regardless of the political debates taking place in Madison, masks and other mitigation behaviors are critical factors in our COVID-19 fight. We’ve made great progress, and the health care community is very thankful for all that Wisconsin has done to slow COVID down, but we need to keep at it – mask up, maintain social distance, and wash hands.”

Since its launch in October, the “Stop the COVID Spread!” coalition has advanced an aggressive campaign encouraging the use of crucial safety measures to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. Coalition messaging has included public education announcements featuring a wide range of Wisconsin voices, including frontline health care workers from health systems throughout Wisconsin, members of the Green Bay Packers, Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, Congressman Mark Pocan, and UW System President Tommy Thompson, many of whom appear in the most recent ad.

“We are incredibly proud of the hard work and sacrifice that Wisconsinites have made over the past year, from the frontline workers in so many critical industries to the doctors, nurses and other healthcare personnel fighting this virus on a daily basis,” said Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce President & CEO Kurt Bauer. “It is time to double down on our efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19. We must continue to wear a mask, wash our hands and practice social distancing.”

The “Stop the COVID Spread!” coalition currently includes more than 135 of Wisconsin’s leading health care, business, and advocacy organizations. Notable coalition members include the Milwaukee Brewers, Milwaukee Bucks, Green Bay Packers, and representatives of local governments, chambers of commerce, and visitors bureaus from every corner of the state. The organizations have joined together with a shared goal of furthering public education about the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic in Wisconsin and the critical need for preventative measures. A full list of member organizations is below.

You can watch the new ad at:

Leadership Development Program Site Visits with Senior Leaders at Prairie Ridge Health and Sauk Prairie Healthcare

Our ACHE-WI Leadership Development Program (LDP) cohort was honored to spend quality time engaging with senior leaders at Prairie Ridge Health and Sauk Prairie Healthcare for virtual site visits. Special thanks to healthcare executives who generously shared their time, wisdom and valuable advice for leadership growth including: John Russell/CEO, Jamie Hendrix/VP, Melissa Mangan/CFO and Ann Roundy/VP from Prairie Ridge Health; and Shawn Lerch, FACHE/CEO, Ken Carlson, FACHE/VP and Lisa Pickarts/CNO from Sauk Prairie Healthcare!

Encourage Your Colleagues to Join or Advance to Fellow

As a chapter member, you are in a position of influence to grow ACHE, so please share the value of ACHE with your colleagues by participating in the Leader-to-Leader Rewards Program. Each time a new Member is recruited, or a current Member becomes an ACHE Fellow with the encouragement of another ACHE member, one point is awarded that can be redeemed for quality reward items. Sponsors must be listed on applications in order to receive credit.

Be sure to visit for more details about the program and to learn about referral cards for sponsors.

Reminder: FACHE Membership Tenure Requirement Change

We are grateful so many talented and dedicated leaders choose the FACHE® credential to demonstrate their commitment to healthcare management excellence.

Effective Jan. 1, the membership tenure requirement for initial Fellow advancement has been adjusted from three years to one year. We remain confident the change will make Fellow status possible for more of our Members who meet the requirements and wish to advance to this important leadership level. The other requirements for Members to obtain the FACHE credential remain the same.

If you have any questions about the FACHE requirements, the deadline extensions or the process in general, please reach out to our Customer Service Center at or (312) 424-9400, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Central time.

Join Us for ACHE’s Day of Giving

For more than 85 years, we have remained dedicated to advancing our members and healthcare leadership excellence. This Feb. 12—ACHE’s inaugural Day of Giving—we invite you to help advance healthcare leadership excellence by contributing to the Fund for Healthcare Leadership. The Fund provides scholarships for our Senior Executive and Executive Programs, immersive experiences for aspiring leaders, and wholly supports the Thomas C. Dolan Executive Diversity Program, a yearlong executive training and mentoring opportunity to prepare participants for C-suite positions.

When you donate to the Fund, you help provide resources for the future leaders of our field. Mark your calendars for Feb. 12—this year’s Day of Giving—and please join us in making a difference for aspiring leaders. Visit to learn more.

Congress Registration Is Open

Registration is open for the 2021 Congress on Healthcare Leadership, March 22–25. Join us for this reimagined virtual experience and earn up to 12 ACHE Face-to-Face Education credits for an early bird rate of only $449. Register by Feb. 22 to receive the discounted registration.

Register today for your Congress all-access pass. You will not need to select your sessions at this time. After registering for Congress, you will receive a communication in early March to select your sessions and personalize your schedule in the virtual event platform. Check the website often for updates on sessions and speakers.