South Florida Hospital News
Saturday August 8, 2020

test 2

July 2009 - Volume 6 - Issue 1


Forum: The Cure - Professional Association Tackles Current Issues

Are you disillusioned by a time consuming search and fragmented approach to job opportunities? We’ve got a cure for that.

Are you suffering closed door syndrome when searching for inroads into the local health care environment? We’ve got a cure for that.

Are you looking for new ways to deliver health care in all the wrong places? We’ve got a cure for that.

Hit a career plateau and don’t know where to turn? We’ve got a cure for that.

The Cure

Join the South Florida Health Executive Forum. Participate in a forum that will introduce you to new competencies for tomorrow’s executives; help you get on the inside track on career advancement; opine with experts on current issues; mentor students or mid level managers; and, generally get involved with standouts in the industry so that your professional perspective and personal energy will help shape the future of health care.

The South Florida Healthcare Executive Forum, Inc. (SFHEF), the local chapter of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE), is organized to improve healthcare delivery by providing opportunities for the professional and personal development of its members through educational and social activities.

Recently, current president Charles Felix, CPA, president-elect Nancy Borkowski, DBA, FACHE, and membership chair Alexandra Johnson, FACHE, shared thoughts on the forum’s efforts to provide a venue for professional and personal ethics, community contributions, career guidance, and professional development for health administrators from Dade, Broward and Monroe counties. SFHEF caters individually to its 400+ members at all levels of their career track from students to senior executives and even vendors engaged in the industry.


"Obviously, technical industry knowledge and leadership skills are vital in career success, however, opening the doors to available opportunities is a result of rubbing elbows with executives in the know. Many opportunities never get listed on but SFHEF provides 6 networking events annually where business to business connections are reinforced and peer to peer relationships are formed," according to Borkowski.

"Networking is one of the business dynamics that professional associations bring to members. A collegial or mentoring exchange is an asset to any job search, because it enables a more clear understanding of industry needs and a path to follow when packaging one’s skills to be positioned to meet that need," Felix agreed.

Co-sponsoring events with other professional development organizations brings a rich and diverse portfolio of talent to meetings. Johnson, a principal in Coleman Consulting, shares yet another beneficial perspective regarding networking in that it enables her to know members capabilities and feel comfortable referring her clients to them in an effort to meet the client’s need outside of her firm’s professional capabilities. "The true value of on-going networking is that you build relationships that enrich our professional development above and beyond job searches," she concluded.


Over the past decade, momentum regarding need for an industry update and culture transformation resulted in the development of more than 300 new competencies important in health administrative careers. These competencies, born out of a consortium of ACHE and other leadership Alliances cover ground from specific technical competencies to general professional competencies as a foundation for growth and development in the field, according to Borkowski.

"SFHEF’s six annual professional development programs drew record crowds this year in large part due to the expertise of panel members on everything from leadership development to legislative updates to topical issues including greening, patient safety and compliance issues," Borkowski noted.

Felix concurs that educational programming success is a result of an industry awakening to the need for revolutionary management and operational processes for change on the healthcare horizon.

"Health care academia adequately covers core competencies but this life experience exchange is beneficial to all who participate," Borkowski added.


Felix and Borkowski both submit that mastering "soft" leadership skills such as communication, team building and conflict resolution, accelerate the positive impact of financial, clinical and other technical solutions in issue management.

"I think the main ingredient that separates the good from the best is a ‘passion’ for health care delivery," Felix said.

Borkowski echoes the sentiment, " I’ve built my career in both academia and operations, and for me the key to success and satisfaction is that at the end of each day, I feel I’ve done something to make a difference, whether it is mentoring a student or providing input to an executive solution for a streamlined, efficient quality management scenario."

Personally, I find that leading volunteers requires us to tap into different ways to inspire those who are donating time. Membership is typically an ‘add- on’ to a full plate of career and personal obligations. As such, follow-through on even the best intentions may get shoved to the back burner. Not only does leading volunteers make you think outside the box but also to have at-the-ready a contingency plan when things don’t follow according to original expectations," Johnson advised.


The localized personality of SFHEF is both geographically and culturally focused. All programming is held in one of the three area counties served (Dade, Monroe, and Broward) and typically blends nationally recognized speakers with area experts on a panel to provide the latest in best case scenarios for attendees. The local flavor also is easier on tight travel and time budgets allowing people to get involved and seek out commonalities in an on-going way rather than one annual event. Future plans are underway to provide webinars for additional convenience when members can’t always attend a program at a specified time.

As current Membership Chair, Johnson notes that her goal for the Board is not the typical procurement role but rather in adding value to members and making it ‘safe’ for them to stay involved. "We embrace newcomers and initiate the on-going benefit of relationship building," she said. "Strengthening our ability to facilitate members in meeting their needs-- networking, skill building, participation or job finding - is a constant on our "to-do" list," she said.

The Forum also offers a 13 week study group for those who are preparing to sit for the rigorous board certification exam. Additionally, members collaborate with area universities in student case competitions, serving as judges to provide critique and feedback on topical issues presented by graduate and undergraduate students. These interactions provide insightful discussions of current issue management and often life long professional connections which add value to one’s personal and professional development.

For more information, visit
Share |