Message from your ACHE-NJ President
In June 2019 I found myself elected to be the next President of the American College of Healthcare Executives – New Jersey Chapter (ACHENJ). A position that has been held by great Healthcare leaders of New Jersey for nearly thirty years. I was honored, humbled, excited, and could not wait to put my stamp on healthcare in New Jersey with our fantastic Board and over 900 members.
Recently, June 2020 rolled around and I find myself as President, but in a completely different world than when I was elected. We are in the midst of a public health crisis that has not been seen in a century, unfortunate racial divide, and an economic nightmare.
Like many healthcare organizations, my strategic plan, goals, and objectives that were created have been completely scrapped. Gone are the face to face meetings, happy hour meet and greets, and in person educational opportunities. At first, I was disappointed that I would not get the opportunity to put those plans into effect. However, I began to view this as an opportunity for our chapter like never before. As Franklin D. Roosevelt said, “Don’t allow our doubts of today limit our tomorrow.” Our new plan, objectives, and goals would be unique, insightful, and timely that will help guide healthcare in New Jersey during this rollercoaster of a ride.
I am proud to say that our Board did not falter for one second. We immediately put a meet and greet in place for new members and had over 160 participants that were excited, engaged, and optimistic for the future. Additionally, we shifted our yearly agenda to assist new and old healthcare leaders of New Jersey with the information and educational opportunities to come out stronger during this unfortunate time. As the epicenter for the COVID-19 crisis, we immediately put out a webinar (that sold out immediately) for the warriors on the frontline entitled: Calling All Healthcare Heroes, Courage and Strength to Overcome COVID-19. This was a first of its kind that was directed to our healthcare providers during the peak of the novel Coronavirus given by Dr. Patrick Swift. His compassion and empathy was just the medicine needed during this time. Next, we put together a webinar series that will occur every two weeks throughout the summer dedicated to current events dealing with COVID-19. We have lined up amazing National and local healthcare executives, 7 different interesting topics, and increased our capacity to open it up to hundreds of our members. Lastly, we wanted to focus on our students as this can be a scary time for them in the job market. Our Board created a mentorship program that partners our students with some of the best healthcare executives in New Jersey. We are excited to begin this program in the Fall.
The concept of “Jersey Strong” began after Hurricane Sandy ravaged our great state in 2012 and we have again banded together to be just as strong as ever. Thank you to those fighting these battles every day. The American College of Healthcare Executives of New Jersey will be there for you to provide the necessary tools to assist with winning these new found battles and come out “JERSEY STRONG!”