The Edmond Sun

March 18, 2013

Mercy regional president to serve as chairwoman of health care association

Smalley travels to Chicago to address 56th Congress on Healthcare


Special to The Sun

EDMOND — The American College of Healthcare Executives, an international society of more than 40,000 members from 66 countries, has elected Mercy Regional President Di Smalley as 2013-14 chairman.

During the past year, in her position of chairwoman-elect, Smalley met with a variety of audiences to speak about the future of health care. This week, she will speak to ACHE members about what it means to be a caring leader when she addresses the 56th Annual College of Healthcare Executives Congress in Chicago. Smalley is the second nurse and the fifth female officer of the college since the three-year officer term of chairman-elect, chairman and immediate past chairman was established in 1933.

“As chairman, Di will preside over the most influential association representing hospital executives throughout the world,” said Lynn Britton, president and CEO of Mercy across seven states. “It’s an honor for Mercy to support Di as she steps into this important role. We’re absolutely confident in her ability to address the challenging issues facing health care — both nationally and globally.”

Since assuming the three-year position last March, Smalley has focused on conveying the importance of health care as a basic right of all people. She will work to unite leaders from all walks of health care to set a clear vision of the industry’s future.

“We can’t ignore the health care access issues facing families across our country,” Smalley said. “We must be strong as we navigate through this time of change and transition, addressing shrinking funding and rising costs. Health care leaders cannot afford to be the silent majority.”

ACHE supports and leads a number of initiatives advancing the management and improving the delivery of health care. A primary activity for ACHE is education of health care executives about the public policy field and process. Further, ACHE works to raise awareness of the roles of its members to policymakers and other key stakeholders and serves as the ethical basis for professional practice of health care executive leadership.

ACHE offers credentials and board certification to the world’s leading health care executives. With more than 80 chapters in its network, ACHE provides a global health care perspective and access to networking, education and career development at the local level. ACHE is known for its magazine, Healthcare Executive, and its career development and public policy programs.

Smalley joined Mercy in 2007 and has nearly 40 years of health care experience. She began her career in nursing and has a bachelor’s degree from Midland Lutheran College in Fremont, Neb., and a master’s degree in public health from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, Minn. Board-certified in health care management as an ACHE Fellow, Smalley served as the ACHE Regent for Nebraska from 2002-06 and served as an ACHE Governor from 2009-12.

Mercy is the sixth largest Catholic health care system in the U.S. and serves more than 3 million people annually. Mercy includes 32 hospitals, 300 outpatient facilities, 38,000 co-workers and 1,900 integrated physicians in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. Mercy also has outreach ministries in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. For more about Mercy, visit www.mercy.net.