Building off the comments of ACHE President and CEO Deborah Bowen in the video, new ACHE Chair Christine Candio, R.N., took the opportunity when she kicked off the 2014 Congress to encourage hospital leaders (and soon-to-be leaders) to embrace the opportunities that lie ahead and “capture the future.”

“I look upon our profession as a vocation,” Candio told the more than 4,000 Congress attendees on a brisk Monday morning in Chicago. “It is something that I live and love to do.”

Candio, CEO of Inova Alexandria (Va.) Hospital and senior vice president of Inova Health System, used the metaphor of the beachgoer to drive home her message: Before rushing into the seemingly welcoming water, the astute swimmer assesses the risks so as to not get swept away by the riptide. The same goes for today’s challenging health care landscape. Leaders must identify their (and their organization’s) strengths and minimize weaknesses so “they won’t be controlled by the tides and currents.”

Candio also noted that ACHE is going to have to adapt to stay relevant for current and future members. Among other things, board members are looking at new ways to deliver educational and other content to members. And, the college will look to expand collaborations across the field. This is especially relevant as new models of care continue to emerge.

As Bowen notes in the video, Candio is leading a task force that will assess career development for future leaders.

Following Candio, famed health care journalist and analyst Susan Dentzer took the stage and pointed the spotlight on innovations taking place in the field to propel health care closer to the Triple Aim.

As any good journalist will do, Dentzer, now a senior policy adviser at RWJF and analyst with PBS NewsHour, first set the stage. She recited a laundry list of statistics with which we are all too familiar — the U.S. spends a lot on health care and has some of the poorest outcomes. The one that really caught my eye was this Health Affairs study showing a dramatic rise in female mortality. Also, showing a very unflattering picture of people standing in line for a Paula Deen restaurant, Dentzer rattled off the alarming statistics about obesity in the U.S. — one-third of adults and 17 percent of youth are obese.

“This is us,” she said.

As if she and Candio planned it, Dentzer then turned her attention to highlight some hospitals that are forging a new path. She referenced the Everyone Swims program that Seattle Children’s has launched with King County officials. The program, which includes swim lessons and clinics, has helped to dramatically reduce the rate of childhood obesity. The program was born out of the hospital's community health assessment, which is required by the Affordable Care Act.

But it’s not just patient care where innovation is happening. Dentzer touted Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center’s out-of-pocket estimator. This online tool allows patients to get a picture of what they’ll have to pay for a procedure.

“The responsibility lies on all of us — on all of you to confront these challenges,” she said, closing out her keynote. “There are opportunities to produce better health, better health care and have it all cost less.”

How is your hospital innovating?
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