Breakthrough: Connect. Learn. Lead.

Breakthrough: Connect. Learn. Lead.

Feb. 22 and 23, 2018 | Grand Traverse Resort & Spa

Breakthrough is an experience that will inspire and mobilize you to pursue real change. Healthcare executives, senior leaders and trustees will co-create a better way to deliver care, engage people and drive results.

Why you can't miss Breakthrough

Brainstorm board at BreakthroughPart curated content, part unscripted theater, Breakthrough’s learning zone format is unique, with a hub-and-spoke setup where faculty and registrants analyze and discuss solutions to common problems, such as behavioral health integration, high reliability and population health. You’ll learn, share knowledge, explore different ideas, brainstorm and get it all down on paper. The MHA will revolutionize your learning experience!

See who you'll meet at Breakthrough

Participant List

Updated Feb. 14, 2018


Chat box iconLearn how to treat patients and interact with people based on their needs and wants and develop your culture to maximize their satisfaction.

Target iconExamine how to center systems processes on the right target — the patient — and how to reliably implement established best practices.

Prize ribbon iconFoster a leadership culture, language and style that reinforces teamwork and results.

Tools iconRecognize the signs of burnout, promote resilience, and develop tools to combat frustration, build trust and connect emotionally.

Puzzle iconGain strategies to deal with issues such as poverty, food insecurity and violence.



Thursday, February 22

9:30 – 11:30 a.m.
Preconference: Planning NexGen Healthcare
By registration only. More information under Related Events.

Registration Opens

1 – 2 p.m.
Keynote Session:
Population Health ↔ Patient-Centered Care: Are Your Goals Aligned?

2 – 2:30 p.m.
Preamble to Learning Zones

2:30 – 3 p.m.
Refresh and Zone Finding

3 – 4:45 p.m.
Learning Zones

4:50 – 5:15 p.m.
Learning Zones Lightning Round

5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Fire & Ice Reception

Friday, February 23

7:30 – 8:30 a.m.
Continental Breakfast and MHA briefing

8:30 – 9:30 a.m.
Plenary Session - Accelerating Quality, Safety and Efficiency: A Systems Approach

9:30 – 10:15 a.m.
Panel on Combating Physician/Caregiver Burnout 

10:15 – 10:45 a.m.
Hotel Check-Out/Break

10:45 – 11:30 a.m.
Closing Session: If You Can See It, You Can Be It

11:30 a.m.


Benjamin Anderson

Benjamin AndersonImproving the health status of residents in rural Kansas has been the mission for Benjamin Anderson, work that reflects his passion for helping the underserved. Since June 2013, Anderson has led Kearny County Hospital, a critical-access facility in the small town of Lakin, KS, where he is committed to helping underserved and struggling populations. In 2014, Anderson was recognized as one of Modern Healthcare’s Up & Comers recognizing young executives who have made significant contributions in the areas of healthcare administration, management or policy.


Cheryl Gibson Fountain

Cheryl Gibson Fountain, MD, FACOG, is associate professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Oakland University-William Beaumont School of Medicine Cheryl Gibson Fountain, MD, FACOG, is associate professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Oakland University-William Beaumont School of Medicine and an attending physician at Beaumont Health System. Gibson Fountain is also the current president of the Michigan State Medical Society (MSMS).


Jeff Henderson

Best-selling author Jeff Henderson From humble beginnings in South Central Los Angeles, to life as an imprisoned drug dealer, and then as creator of Food Network's reality series, “The Chef Jeff Project,” and best-selling author, Jeff Henderson is a role model for anyone who needs the encouragement to reinvent their life. Since he discovered his passion and gift for cooking in the unlikeliest of places – prison – Jeff has completely turned his life around, and today serves as a popular and powerful voice for self-transformation.


Gary Kaplan

Gary Kaplan, MD, FACP, FACMPE, FACPE, practicing internal medicine physician and chairman and CEO of the Virginia Mason Health SystemGary Kaplan, MD, FACP, FACMPE, FACPE, practicing internal medicine physician and chairman and CEO of the Virginia Mason Health System, Seattle, is recognized as one of the most influential physician executives in healthcare. He chairs the National Patient Safety Foundation Lucian Leape Institute and is immediate past chair of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement Board of Directors. Dr. Kaplan received a degree in medicine from the University of Michigan.


Barbara Petee

Barbara Petee is the chief advocacy and government relations officer for ProMedicaBarbara Petee is the chief advocacy and government relations officer for ProMedica, Toledo, OH. With a specific emphasis on community relations and redevelopment, she is responsible for connecting organizations and agencies in collaborative work so that the mission of ProMedica — to ensure health and well-being for all citizens — is achieved.


Robert Piccinini

Robert Piccinini, DO, is a psychiatrist in Sterling Heights. He received his medical degree from Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine and has been in practice for more than 20 years. Piccinini is the former president of the Michigan Osteopathic Association.


Gary L. Roth

Gary L. Roth, DO, is the medical director for the Michigan Health & Hospital Association Gary L. Roth, DO, is the medical director for the Michigan Health & Hospital Association and a leader for the MHA Keystone Center for Patient Safety & Quality. Roth is also a clinical associate professor of surgery at Michigan State University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine and practices cardiovascular and thoracic surgery.


Norma Tirado

Norma Tirado is vice president of Human Resources, Information Technology and Organizational Transformation at Lakeland HealthNorma Tirado is vice president of Human Resources, Information Technology and Organizational Transformation at Lakeland Health, Saint Joseph. Tirado leads the efforts around combating burnout and bringing joy back to the workplace.


Martha Whitecotton

Martha WhitecottonMartha Whitecotton is the senior vice president of Behavioral Health Services at Carolinas HealthCare System in Charlotte, NC. She is responsible for strategic development, execution and oversight for behavioral health services for the system across all care settings, and is also responsible for physician services.

Hotel Information and Event Details

Hotel Information

Venue and Overnight Rooms: An overnight room rate of $120 for hotel guest rooms and $150 for tower guest rooms has been secured for Breakthrough attendees (rooms subject to state and local taxes and resort fee). Room rates can be honored before and after the conference, based on availability. Room reservations can be made online by using the code “MHA0218” on the Grand Traverse Resort & Spa website. You may also call (800) 968-7352 to make a reservation.  Mention the MHA to receive the discounted rate. After the cut-off date of Jan. 31, room reservations and rates will be confirmed based on availability.

Event Details

MHA-member and Sponsor Registration Fees

On or Before Jan. 30: $500 per person

After Jan. 30: $545 per person

Guest fee: $75 per person

Preconference fee: $50 per person

Registration and Confirmation: Registration is available via the new MHA Member Portal. Confirmation of your online registration will be sent immediately. Payment for online registration can be made using a VISA, MasterCard or American Express credit card. Payment is due at time of registration. Call Erica Leyko at (517) 323-3443 with questions.

Register Now

Group Discount: A $20 per person registration discount will be available for teams of five or more people from the same hospital (does not apply across hospitals in a system). The discount will be applied when five or more people are registered. For assistance, please contact Erica Leyko at the MHA at (517) 323-3443.

Spouse/Guest Fee: Guests who are not employees, governing board members, or medical staff of registering organizations are welcome to attend the meeting and networking functions for $75.

Attendance Policy: Attendance at MHA Health Foundation conferences is open to MHA members, conference sponsors and invited guests only.  Please contact Clark Ballard, senior vice president, Member Relations & Education, with questions regarding membership. MHA name badges must be worn for admittance to all conference events. Breakthrough is funded entirely by registration fees and is not supported by MHA dues.

Continuing Education Credit: The MHA Health Foundation will award 6 hours of continuing education credit to participants attending the conference. The MHA Health Foundation is authorized to award 6 hours of pre-approved ACHE Qualified Education credit (non-ACHE) for this program toward advancement or recertification in the American College of Healthcare Executives. Participants in this program wishing to have the continuing education hours applied toward ACHE Qualified Education credit should indicate their attendance when submitting application to the American College of Healthcare Executives for advancement or recertification.

Cancellation Policy: Fifty percent of the registration fee will be credited to the card used for registration payment if notice is given by Feb. 16, 2018. No refund will be issued after this time. Registrants may send an alternate.

Winter Weather Policy: Very rarely has the MHA cancelled a conference due to inclement weather, but severe weather conditions can prevent registrants from attending a conference. If the MHA conference is not cancelled, it is our policy to offer a voucher worth 50 percent of the paid registration fee to those who submit a request in writing. The voucher can be used toward payment at a future MHA conference by the individual who could not attend.

Special Needs: If you have any special needs or concerns regarding program site access, dietary restrictions, or your participation in the program, call Erica Leyko at the MHA at (517) 323-3443.  Inquiring in advance will enhance our ability to respond to your individual needs!

Conference Attire: Business casual dress is appropriate for the conference.  Please dress in layers, as the room temperature may vary.

This event may be photographed, videotaped, or shared via social media or other promotional platforms. Your attendance will indicate your consent for the use of such images, video, and written content about the event for educational and/or promotional purposes.

Related Events

If you're joining us at Breakthrough, you won't want to miss these other opportunities to connect with Michigan's healthcare leaders. 

Preconference – Planning NexGen Healthcare

Disciplined strategic planning and execution starts with an engaged board of directors and senior executive team. They establish expectations and ensure that the organization commits to monitoring progress in execution, recalibrating the strategy as needed. Planning must be informed by the health needs in your region and consider market forces, such as consumer price sensitivity and competition from nontraditional providers. As part of the strategic planning team, board members are an integral part of the discussion on the organization’s strengths and the gaps it needs to fill to attain its desired strategic role. 

The Breakthrough preconference, Planning NexGen Healthcare, will outline the 10 responsibilities of governing boards and how to conduct an effective strategic planning process and measure service line success. The session will be led by Stacy Cantu, chief governance officer for Texas Health Resources, a $4 billion health system in Arlington, TX.

The fee to attend is $50. Registration is available via the MHA Member Portal

CEO Dinner

The CEO dinner allows CEOs the opportunity to informally discuss issues with Brian Peters, CEO, and Clark Ballard, senior vice president, Member Relations & Education. Seating is limited and reservations will be secured on a first-come, first-served basis. The dinner will be held the evening prior to the conference, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Feb. 21, in the Aerie restaurant at the resort. Please RSVP no later than Feb. 9 to Erica Leyko at the MHA. Questions about the dinner can be directed to Erin Steward, vice president, Member Relations & Education. 

Healthcare Leadership Academy

The MHA, in partnership with the Michigan State University Eli Broad College of Business, the MSU College of Osteopathic Medicine and the Michigan Osteopathic Association, is offering the Healthcare Leadership Academy: Business Strategy for a Changing Landscape. The academy is designed to teach physicians skills associated with influence, strategic conversations and building trust, while also developing knowledge of innovative care delivery and financing models.

Module 1 will be held Feb. 23 and 24, and Module 2 will be held March 19 – 21.

Learn More

MHA CEO and Senior Leadership Orientation

The MHA invites chief executive officers and other senior leaders who are new to Michigan hospitals to an orientation session that will both introduce them to the association and provide an opportunity to offer valuable input on the MHA’s priorities and strategic initiatives. The orientation will be held following Breakthrough on Friday, Feb. 23, at the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa. The session will begin with lunch at 11:30 a.m. and end at approximately 1 p.m. For more information and to RSVP, contact Andrea Duguay at the MHA.

Don't delay, register now to secure your place at Breakthrough. Contact us for more information.

Register Now

Thank You to Our Sponsors

Platinum Sponsors


Coverys logo

Michigan Professional Insurance Exchange


Silver Sponsors

Alliance HNI Health Care Services

HPS logo

Kitch Attorneys & Counselors

Lumeris logo


Bronze Sponsors

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan

Consumers Energy logo

Michigan Association of Nurse Anesthetists logo

MHA Service Corp



At Breakthrough, the socializing revs into high gear with a “fire & ice” reception that includes a themed menu of winter cocktails and bite-sized indulgences, and a surprise guest. Review the sponsorship program for more details on all sponsorship opportunities. Sponsorship will be accepted through Jan. 12, 2018. 

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Leading Michigan to Better Health

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