Shaping Better Healthcare Experiences through Leadership

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Today’s podcast episode of Healthcare Experience Matters is a chat with Deborah J. Bowen, FACHE, CAE. She discusses the many ways we can better shape healthcare experiences through strong executive leadership.

Deborah serves as President and CEO of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE), the professional home of nearly 50,000 healthcare executives.

Deborah’s Journey 

Deborah has been with ACHE for 26 years and began her esteemed career in the selfless field of social work. In the early stages of her professional life, she served as a counselor to heroin addicts.

The rate of recidivism is very high with heroin addicts and people do not often get better; Deborah told us. She found herself working with addicts that were returning to troubling lifestyles with non-existent support systems. Observing this behavior got her very interested in healthcare policy. 

“When you can change the mind of a leader, you can influence thousands,” she said. 

Healthcare Leadership and ACHE

Founded in 1933, ACHE has been serving compassionate leaders in healthcare for more than 85 years. Its mission is focused on developing healthcare leadership excellence.

Members can earn the esteemed, gold standard Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE) credential. The FACHE credential signals board certification in healthcare management. Deborah is FACHE certified and holds a credential as a Certified Association Executive (CAE) too. 

According to ACHE’s website, “With today’s rapidly-changing healthcare environment, ACHE remains more committed than ever to being the preeminent professional society leaders can count on to help them gain valuable knowledge to improve health for their patients and their communities.

ACHE is also renowned for publishing its influential magazine, Healthcare Executive

Lessons Learned 

A subject that is still top of mind for many healthcare leaders right now is the pandemic. Deborah told us about the lessons learned and other observations of how COVID-19 shifted – and continues to shift – the overall landscape of healthcare.

“I don’t know that any other crisis has really demonstrated itself in such a pervasive way as the pandemic,” she said. “When I hear leaders reflect about the primary lessons learned, it’s really about prioritizing safety.”

Making sure that our humanity shows up in our patient care despite the immense struggles and hardships brought on by the pandemic is also a must, according to Deborah. 

The Final Word

Being able to adapt and change with the times is certainly a prerequisite for success in healthcare. Being a “change junky” is one of the reasons Deborah is so keen on this field.

“I have always enjoyed being in healthcare, it’s ever changing, it’s ever inspiring, and it’s ever challenging,” she said. 

We are thrilled to have had Deborah join us for this lively discussion moderated by our podcast host, Casey Callanan. We hope to have her back on the show again to share more of the wisdom and tools that have guided her successful tenure with ACHE.

“I’m a big fan of podcasts and I think the more we can reach people the better we are serving everyone,” she said.

Learn More

Please listen to today’s episode here:

If you want to learn more about Deborah and ACHE membership, please visit:

For more Healthcare Experience Matters episodes please make sure to listen every Thursday morning on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, YouTube or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Enjoyed today’s podcast? Listen to some recent episodes here: 

  • Supporting Team Members in Unprecedented Times 
  • Reflections of Transformation from a Physician Leader to Patient and Back 
  • Delivering the Best Healthcare Experience Possible in the Face of COVID-19 
  • More HX Matters Podcasts

    Our podcast is dedicated to transforming the health care experience so that every person can receive and deliver the best care.

    You can subscribe to our podcast for free on all major podcast platforms and for video of our interviews, you can always check out the Healthcare Experience Foundation (HXF) on YouTube. Catch up on all episodes of our podcast by subscribing and following us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Amazon Music and more.

    Meet Deborah J. Bowen, FACHE, CAE; CEO ACHE