ACHE Membership

By Topic: Leadership By Collection: Blog

Baljeet Sangha, FACHE, was recognized in 2021 and 2022 as the top performer in our Leader-to-Leader Rewards Program, a referral program designed to recognize ACHE members who recruit colleagues and encourage current Members to advance to Fellow. Here he shares the rewards—both material and intangible—of participating, as well as tips and insights on what is meaningful to prospects. Two more incentives? ACHE membership is half off for new members when they join in July. Also in July, members earn two points per Member they recruit.

Throughout my career, my ACHE peers have provided extensive coaching, counseling and insights. These relationships have grown from acquaintances, to colleagues, and now friends. They have imparted knowledge and training to make me a better healthcare professional and better global citizen. In addition, ACHE has a tremendous amount of resources for education and career advancement that I have used to realize opportunities in my own career.

That’s why I not only recommend, but actively recruit new members into the ACHE community. It’s reassuring to know I am building our ranks with insightful, intelligent and resilient leaders who only make the organization stronger.

While those of us who champion ACHE certainly aren’t doing it for a reward, ACHE has created the Leader-to-Leader Rewards Program to help recognize the time and investment members have made to support the membership goals and career advancement of others. Any member (early-, mid- or senior-level careerist) is eligible to participate, and as a bonus you’ll earn points you can redeem toward education programming and ACHE-branded items.

In all my conversations, I’ve found some benefits particularly resonate with prospective members. Here are a few tips and talking points to help you bring your colleagues on board:

  1. Tailored education and career development.
    When looking for their next opportunity, potential members may realize there are areas of their own training and experience they can improve on, which is where ACHE’s industry-leading education and Career Resource Center come in. Whether in-person or virtual, leaders have a wide range of options for professional development, mentoring, assessments and more. The Job Board is also a transparent and well-respected resource, exclusive to members, that offers the ability to search for new opportunities that meet their needs and match their timing.
  2. Local chapter resources close to home.
    I like to impress upon prospective members how critical membership in the local chapter is. Chapter members will truly appreciate the challenges prospective members face every day, as there are always added layers of complexity unique to a state, county or city. As we continue to work beyond our hospital walls to collectively improve population health and face the challenges before us, a local network within the community is always beneficial as the local network is best suited to truly appreciate the challenges a member from that same region is facing.
  3. The “intangible” benefits.
    Inspiration comes in all forms, and ACHE is representative of the many ways inspiration touches us. When the going gets tough, seeing leaders who have your same shared experiences of challenges and struggles, and seeing how they navigate and overcome them, is not just inspiration—it’s validation. This validation that you are not alone and have resources and best practices at your fingertips, offers a level of comfort that while it is intangible, it is palpable.
  4. Fellow certification is a respected industry standard.
    The Fellow credential represents a level of excellence that is respected and admired across the field. It brings about an immediate level of understanding, legitimacy and credibility that is unmatched anywhere else. Also, having a network of peers you can consult with on any number of topics, including insights on career challenges and opportunities, is incredible.

    In addition to encouraging Members to advance to Fellow, I’ve had the privilege of being a reference for many Fellow applicants. While it is a significant step that is critical for a Member, it is a humbling privilege to be someone a Member looks up to, and whom they believe will be their voice and advocate to joining the esteemed American College of Healthcare Executives. It may seem like a lot of pressure, but ACHE has incredible tools and templates for first time Fellows who are writing a reference, which help assuage those pressures.
The Leader-to-Leader Rewards Program is a fantastic program that recognizes all that our members do every day. It is a privilege to be part of the process to grow the membership of ACHE. It also represents the potential of what all members can do, at any level, to help grow our network and our profession. When a member I’ve referred joins or advances, I feel humbled that my colleagues, who I believe have done so much for their communities, still look to me to represent them. I feel inspired by the great things our new members do, and it galvanizes me to keep doing more, so I can be a peer they recognize as being shoulder-to-shoulder with as we work to effect change in our communities. And I feel reassured that the value of ACHE grows stronger day by day, because of the incredible leaders we each bring into the fold.

Baljeet Sangha, FACHE, is COO/deputy director, San Francisco Health Network/San Francisco Department of Public Health.