She says her award came not so much from her staff contributions but from her work as an “ambassador” in the 16 years since she left. However, Perry knows they are intertwined. “One of the reasons that I've been able to be so successful in promoting ACHE … is because I became very familiar with all of the programs,” she says.
Read profile of Brett Lee, recipient of the ACHE Young Executive of the Year Award
Read profile of Kenneth Graham, recipient of the ACHE Gold Medal Award
Now an adjunct professor at University of New Mexico, Perry, 76, teaches an online seminar for the ACHE titled “Management Mistakes, Moral Dilemmas and Lessons Learned,” has worked as a healthcare consultant and has published two books on healthcare management in the past 10 years.
“Retirement has been the busiest full-time job I've ever had,” Perry says. “I've mentored some very highly regarded, prominent healthcare executives. I really do believe that is the thing that is unique about healthcare management—this very strong, competent community of executives that networks and mentors and are available for each other.”
Fanning, 68, recalls his tenure as chairman with a feeling of deja vu. “It was an exciting time in terms of the changes in healthcare and some of the challenges, all of which are being repeated today,” he says, citing “government reform, pressures on hospital costs, diversification into other activities, joining systems.”
As CEO at Northeast/Beverly, which he joined in 1980 at the age of 37, Fanning inherited a tough financial situation but led the organization out of the fiscal woods and built a vertically integrated system centered around four hospitals. “Part of the excitement of the 20 years was building the system and recruiting a management team that had the skills to make our system successful,” he says. “We put the institution in good stead for the kinds of challenges that exist today.”
Since leaving Northeast/Beverly in 2000, Fanning has worked in consulting, handling turnaround situations, and has served on numerous boards and on ACHE committees.
“The big thing with the college is the educational offerings and the importance of staying up to date on what's going on,” he says. “The degree of change seems to accelerate geometrically every 10 years. We're on one of those curves today. … I suspect things are never going to slow down in healthcare.”
Ed Finkel is a frequent contributor to Modern Healthcare. Contact him at [email protected]