Your article on the process of becoming board certified in healthcare management as a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives misses a very significant point (Paying dues by doing less, Aug. 20, p. 6). The current credentialing system actually increases the requirements for board certification. In the past, an individual could earn board certification with only two years of healthcare management experience and as few as 12 hours of continuing education credit. Now, becoming board certified is limited to those who not only pass a rigorous examination, but also have a post-baccalaureate degree, five years of experience in healthcare management and at least 40 hours of continuing education credits. As ACHE chairman at the time this change was made, I was pleased to have been interviewed for the article. However, I was disappointed that my comments about the rigor of the FACHE credential were not included. The ACHE Board of Governors made the change to the credentialing system for one reasonto strengthen the ACHEs mission to advance healthcare management excellence. Given the increasing variability in educational and experiential backgrounds of individuals entering healthcare management, a commitment to credentialing and continuing education is more critical than ever. The current path to earning the FACHE credential is both rigorous and relevant to the emerging leaders of our profession. We are proud of all the healthcare executives who have become fellows and earned the distinction of board certification.
William SchoenhardExecutive vice president/chief operating officer SSM Health Care St. Louis