West Tennessee Healthcare executive, Lisa Piercey, heading regional organization
While her day job has its own set of demands, West Tennessee Healthcare's Executive Vice President Lisa Piercey has added President of MidSouth Healthcare Executives to her resume for 2017. With nearly 250 members from across West Tennessee, the regional chapter of the American College of Healthcare Executives is helping healthcare executives network, obtain continuing education and further develop their leadership skills.
The American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) is the premier society for healthcare executives in the nation. Membership in chapters is open to all healthcare executives but there are member subsections for niche groups such as physician executives, early careerists, and women/minorities. "We enjoy support and close collaboration with our parent society," said Piercey, who currently serves as the organization's president. "ACHE has over 40,000 members and is led by a distinguished Board of Governors."
Midsouth Healthcare Executives (MHCE) serves the needs of West Tennessee's healthcare leadership community. The chapter generally meets eight times per year, with at least one event in Jackson. While the bulk of its membership resides in the Memphis metropolitan area, MCHE's membership is open to professionals from hospitals and health systems, consulting firms, healthcare associations, managed care companies, pharmaceutical companies and other organizations that provide and support the delivery of health services across West Tennessee.
"For me, the initial benefit of becoming a member was to begin my path to board certification in healthcare management," said Piercey. "It is an arduous process that takes several years, but being certified as a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE) is a distinguished honor, allowing me to join an elite group across the nation, in the widely recognized highest level of certification available for healthcare executives."
While the chapter follows the lead of the ACHE and focuses on diversity and ethics in healthcare, Piercey says her personal goal for the chapter is more membership directed. "I want to see our membership grow, especially outside of the Memphis metropolitan area. We have a wide variety of healthcare facilities throughout rural West Tennessee, and our local leaders can make significant contributions to the organization, especially as it pertains to management of small and/or independent hospitals, medical group practices, nursing homes, etc.," she said. "Networking - really building relationships, not just exchanging business cards - with other local healthcare professionals is crucial to sharing best practices and discovering the nuances of various settings, such as for-profit, not-for-profit, academic, and philanthropic."
With its close tie to the University of Memphis' Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA) program, MHCE affords graduate students and faculty the opportunity to interact with, and learn from seasoned healthcare executives. In fact, MHCE was recently recognized by ACHE as having the nation's highest year-over-year chapter membership growth (over 15 percent), something Piercey attributes to the engagement of students who transition to membership after graduation.
Not one to not be involved, Piercey jumped into leadership in MHCE after just a few years of membership. "I joined the board in the progressive ranks of education chair, treasurer, vice president. In December of 2016, I was installed as chapter president for the 2017 year" she said. "Due to my chapter work locally, I was appointed in 2015 to the Management Series Editorial Board for the Health Administration Press, and I currently serve as the chairman of that group. We frequently review and offer input on manuscripts of proposed healthcare publications, which allows me to stay current on industry theories and commentary, on the national level."
Much as it is across the nation, Piercey says the issue most pressing for members, as well as all healthcare executives, is healthcare reform. "Today's healthcare leaders must remain educated and flexible on alternate payment models," she said. "As well as the changing management techniques required to implement these paradigm shifts."
While MHCE as a group does not necessarily have a specific political platform, it does uniformly and consistently advocate for affordable access to healthcare for all, as well as sustainability of healthcare organizations. "We educate policymakers and business leaders on the complexity of healthcare and remind them that the provision of medical services in our current system is not always amenable to free market capitalism," said Piercey. "It is not as simple as flipping a switch and changing laws to meet either party's agenda. When the intricacies of practicing and administering healthcare are ignored, people die."
As her time as president of MHCE enters its last quarter, Piercey is thankful for the opportunity to serve the organization. "While, this leadership role requires additional time and effort outside of my traditional job duties at West Tennessee Healthcare, the meaningful relationships and national exposure gained far outweighs the costs," she said.
Upcoming Mid-South Healthcare Executive Event
October 5 - Tower Center Memphis - Topic "Cybersecurity"
You do not have to be a member to attend
Registration information is available at www.mhce.org