A hospital administrator for over 28 years, Joseph Yanish, MHSA, FACHE of Cranston, was inducted as President of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) Rhode Island Chapter on Jan. 17 by Diana Smalley, national chairperson elect and regional president of Mercy West Communities.
The ACHE is an international professional society of more than 40,000 health care executives who lead hospitals, health care systems and organizations. ACHE offers its prestigious FACHE credential, signifying board certification in health care management. ACHE's established network of more than 80 chapters provides access to networking, education and career development at the local level. Through such efforts, ACHE works toward its goal of being the premier professional society for executives dedicated to improving health care delivery.
“Thirty years ago, when I was a graduate student studying hospital administration at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., I was introduced to the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) by one of my Professors, Kurt Darr, known internationally as an expert in the field,” said Yanish. “He emphasized that membership in ACHE, the professional society for health care executives, was just as important to a young person entering the arena of health care management as the masters degree I was pursuing at the time.”
Yanish recalls that Darr felt staying current with policies, laws and technology was crucial to success in the health care industry.
“He highlighted the importance of pursuing the prestigious FACHE credential, which signifies board certification in health care management. He also challenged us to attend ACHE events to network with experienced health care executives, another source of mentoring and guidance that would help us achieve our personal and professional goals,” said Yanish.
Today, as an adjunct faculty member at Rhode Island College, Yanish teaches three different courses in the Health Care Administration Program. To this day, Dr. Darr remains a mentor, coach and friend to the student-turned-professor.
“I honor Dr. Darr by using two of the many textbooks he has authored in the field of health services management,” Yanish said.
Yanish recently received the ACHE RI Service Award for his devotion to charitable organizations within Rhode Island, community service and his mentoring of young health care professionals. He is a volunteer with Hasbro Children’s Hospital, the Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation, the Rhode Island Blood Center and Big Brothers/Big Sisters of the Ocean State.
“My appointment as president of the Rhode Island Chapter of ACHE is an honor and privilege that allows me to give something back to my profession,” said Yanish. “We conduct continuing education programs that offer insight and opportunities for candid discussion about the many issues in health care in Rhode Island today. We have over 100 members that represent every hospital in the state and many other components of the health services industry across the state. I remember the many executives that took time out of their busy schedules to help me along in my career over many years. Our members serve as mentors and advisors to young people interested in health care administration through the many networking events we sponsor throughout the year.”
Yanish, prior to his appointment at Providence VAMC (PVAMC) in 1993, held several management positions in the VA and private sector, including the George Washington University Medical Center and Beth Israel Medical Center. His VA career has included assignments at VA Medical Centers in Buffalo, Brooklyn and Providence.
He recalls beginning his career in hospital administration as an administrative resident at the VA Medical Center in Buffalo, N.Y., in January 1985.
“I had never been to Buffalo, so I had to adjust,” he said. “Our hospital experienced the ‘Blizzard of ’85’ the week I arrived.”
Buffalo experienced widespread power outages, 60 mph winds and streets closed with drifts of over six feet of snow.
“I was just 25 … and I learned very quickly that hospital administrators never sleep when there is a natural disaster,” he said.
Yanish is a 2010 graduate of both the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (Veterans Health Administration) Executive Career Field Candidate Development Program, a highly competitive national training program for VA executives and the VA's Healthcare Leadership Institute. He is a member of the VHA National American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) Regent’s Advisory Council (RAC) and the VHA National ACHE RAC Recruitment and Advancement Work Group.
Yanish holds a Bachelor of Science degree in public administration from the University of Scranton (PA) and a Master of Health Services Administration from the George Washington University. In 1993 he was appointed to the ACHE Regent's Advisory Council for Rhode Island. In 2002, he was awarded Fellowship in the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE) achieving Board Certification in Healthcare Management. Yanish was appointed to the Board of Directors for the Healthcare Executive Group of Rhode Island in 2004.
He has represented the medical center on the VISN Commodity Standards Committee, VISN Credentialing & Privileging Committee, VISN Community Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC) Task Force, VISN Strategic Planning Work Group, VISN Radiology Task Force and VISN Marketing/Outreach Committee. He has served on several national VHA Task Forces and Work Groups, including work as Co-Chair of the VHA National Affirming the Commitment Task Force while also serving several administrative details to the Office of the Deputy Under Secretary for Health for Operations and Management in VA Central Office, Washington, D.C.
ACHE represents over 41,000 health care executives worldwide and is headquartered in Chicago. Yanish and his wife Christine, a nurse anesthetist, have two sons, Christopher and Michael.