Welcome to Healthcare Executive Forum, Inc. (HEF),  the Western New York Chapter of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE)!

Join us for 2 Amazing Upcoming Events

1) Healthcare 2022 and Beyond – Virtual Forum

Register now on Eventbrite at the following link:


2)  Improving the Health Status of the WNY Community Through Collaboration – Free Virtual Forum 

Register now on the ACHE website at the following link – (Note: You do not need to be an ACHE member to attend, but you must create an account to register):


The HEF Q3 Newsletter – Highlighting Innovative Healthcare Leaders

Innovative, Collaborative, and Passionate: Two WNY Leaders Bearing Healthy Fruit

An interview with Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus (BNMC) Health and Well-being Department leaders Marla Guarino, BNMC Farm to Hospital Catalyst, and Elizabeth “Beth” Machnica, BNMC Director of Community Well Being.

BNMC leaders Marla Guarino and Beth Machnica

BNMC Health and Well-being Department leaders Marla Guarino and Beth Machnica

Quick, think of those individuals you know that are extremely passionate about improving the lives of fellow Western New Yorkers, creating innovative programs and carrying out tremendously effective activities that touch the lives of so many, noticeably changing our community for the better. Then multiply by 10. Or, maybe by 100! That’s Marla and Beth… Read the full story.

VA’s MaryAnne Gray is interviewed by HEF Treasurer Roger Leising on Innovative CPR Training that is Saving Lives

To watch the full video, click on the picture below:

MaryAnne Gray - RQI at VHA

MaryAnne Gray – Veteran’s Health Administration Critical Care Nurse Educator

MaryAnne talks with HEF about the VA’s efforts to incorporate new technology with novel training methods of CPR skills through the Resuscitation Quality Initiative (RQI), and much more.

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WNY Frontline Heroes

The Healthcare Executive Forum (HEF) of Western New York would like to show our appreciation for the angels and heroes that have kept all of us in the WNY community safe through all their hard work during this pandemic. HEF is very proud to recognize and award the following amazing individuals as “WNY Frontline Heroes.”

Colleen Jordan: Every Day is a Different Challenge, But It’s What She Loves

Colleen-Jordan, Catholic Health Long Term Care Nurse Edcuator

Colleen Jordan, Catholic Health In-Service Coordinator, Long Term Care Nurse Educator

“Every day during this Pandemic has been a different challenge for me, but it’s what I love,” says Colleen Jordan, one of Catholic Health’s only Long-Term Care Nurse Educators who, like many others this year, also turned into ward nurse, mentor, psychologist, admin assistant, COVID screener, and just about any staff position needed. Colleen was asked to pitch in at Catholic’s facilities like Father Baker Manor Long Term Care facility in Orchard Park as well as St. Joe’s Post-Acute Center, which is specifically designated for many Erie County COVID-19 patients.

From the beginning, Colleen has been supporting those at the very front lines of Western New York’s battle against the virus. She sees her job as passing on knowledge, maintaining dignity for residents, training in proper use of PPE, quelling people’s fears, while also just being a caring nurse. Working many extra hours and weekends, with long shifts in the most difficult COVID-19 units, Colleen’s duties from early last year became something that no simple job description sheet could adequately detail. Read full story…



Amy Hiam: Above and Beyond Doesn’t Even Begin to Cover It

Amy-Hiam-Catholic Health RN, CCD, Father Baker Manor

Catholic Health RN, CCD, Father Baker Manor

Amy Hiam, a 22 year veteran of Catholic Health’s Father Baker Manor in Orchard Park, who has worked in multiple wards with patients of all health conditions, is one of those amazing individuals that can lay claim to having seen just about everything from the front lines of an elderly and rehabilitation care facility. So when Amy says, “This Pandemic is like nothing I have ever been through before in all 22 my years,” you can be sure she means that her world completely changed at the beginning of 2020, giving her all to others at the very front lines of what we are still learning was the emotional focal point of the tragedy that took the lives of so many elderly Americans. “It was the first time, and let’s hope it is the last I ever see of something like that again,” she says.

A Registered Nurse at Father Baker, Amy often works a regular 12 hour shift as ‘normally’ one of 3 nurses for a 40 bed unit of subacute patients in the 160 bed state-of-the-art skilled nursing and rehabilitation facility. ‘Normally’ refers to pre-pandemic times, of course, before the large numbers of staff who came down with COVID-19 symptoms were themselves quarantining at home, necessarily leaving a skeleton crew of Amy and her colleagues to work well beyond 12 hours a day. Read full story…


Lynne Laverdi: A True Leader at the Front We Can All Get Behind

Lynne Laverdi, Director of Nursing

Lynne Laverdi, Director of Nursing, McAuley Residence, Catholic Health

“Just like every facility throughout the world we just weren’t prepared for, and still don’t know, what we will face,” says Lynne Laverdi, Director of Nursing at McAuley Residence, the skilled nursing and sub-acute rehabilitation facility on the Kenmore Mercy Hospital campus. Around the beginning of the Pandemic, during a leadership shuffle, Lynne was asked to step in as Acting Administrator of the 160 bed, 190 or so staff facility that splits into care for long-term and sub-acute patients. She says the exact numbers of staff aren’t that important to her, because she sees everyone throughout her system as individuals, all in the same boat. “During the COVID surge, we have worked collaboratively across Catholic’s system to take on admissions in a rapid manner, working together to put protocols in place so that now local patients can be quickly and safely accommodated,” notes Lynne. Sounding like the strong leader that her staff relied on in the most difficult of times, Lynne’s empathetic side shines through in everything she says and does.

“I remember the initial first positive COVID-19 case we had, and I was very fearful myself. We didn’t know how contagious the virus really was, and what were the long term affects. I remember thinking if it was contagious even with wearing all the protective gear recommended by the CDC,” says Lynne. “I could just see the fear in the eyes of my staff, but I remember having to set my feelings aside to swab the first patient to test. I just kept thinking to myself, this is exactly why I went into nursing. No matter what, I must take care of those who can’t care for themselves.”  Read full story…


2020 – Q4 Awardees —

Carol Czuprynski, RN, BryLin Admissions Psychiatric Nurse Carol Czuprynski: The Calm in a COVID Storm


Jessica Bauer-Walker, BA, CHW, Executive Director of the Community Health Worker Network of Buffalo Jessica Bauer Walker: The COVID Super Organizer


Jillianna Wasiura, RN, BSN, CIC, Roswell Park Senior Infection Prevention and Control Coordinator Jillianna Wasiura: It May Be About Team, But It’s Also About Individual Heroes


Kim Winde, RN, BryLin Director of Admissions

Kim Winde: More Than a Triage Nurse


NOMINATE A WNY HEALTHCARE HERO! Help HEF nominate a person or group of people to be highlighted by us as a front line heroes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please nominate someone you believe is making a difference in our community, either on the front lines or behind the scenes, that deserves this recognition. This person does not need be an ACHE member.

To nominate a hero, fill out our brief online form here: WNY Front Line Hero Nomination Form

News & Upcoming Events

The Latest:

About HEF – Presentation at Our Recent Event

The following document introduces HEF and highlights all of the amazing things its members are doing to support healthcare executives throughout Western New York by focusing on the issues that matter most. It also explains why you should get involved today to begin making a difference for healthcare workers and patients. There is no better time to support the heroes of our Western New York healthcare community. Join HEF and ACHE today!

Our Recent Signature Events

Virtual Forum on “Diversity and Inclusion in Healthcare”

DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION IN HEALTHCARE” was conducted on Wednesday, June 9, 1 – 2:30pm.

Diversity and Inclusion in Healthcare

Diversity and Inclusion in Healthcare

Virtual Forum on “Embracing a Dialogue on Gender Equity in Healthcare”

GENDER EQUITY IN HEALTHCARE” was conducted on Tuesday, March 9, 1 – 2:30pm.

Gender Equity in Healthcare 3-9-21

Gender Equity in Healthcare Virtual Forum

Virtual Forums on “Equity of Care” and “Ethical Challenges in Healthcare Leadership”

EQUITY OF CARE” was conducted on Wednesday, September 16, 1 – 2:30pm.

Scan QR Code to Register

Equity of Care Virtual Forum


ETHICAL CHALLENGES IN HEALTHCARE LEADERSHIP” was conducted Tuesday, September 22, 1 – 2:30pm.

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Ethical Challenges in Healthcare Leadership Virtual Forum