ACH Announces New Fellows!

The Board of Directors of the Academy of Communication in Healthcare has elected the
following members to Fellowship in the Academy in 2020: 

Carol Chou, MD, FACH
Susan Eggly, PhD, FACH
Timothy Gilligan, MD, MS, FASCO, FACH
Christopher Koenig, PhD, FACH
Christy Ledford, PhD, FACH
Cathy Risdon, MD, DMan, CCFP, FCFP, FACH
Elaine Wittenberg, PhD, FACH

Please join the Board of Directors in congratulating our new ACH Fellows!

ACH Fellowships

Purpose of Fellowship in the ACH:
The Executive Committee and the Board of Directors of the Academy of Communication in Healthcare (ACH) proposes to honor publicly those of its members who make substantial contributions to the ACH mission by awarding to those individuals the honor of being designated a Fellow of the ACH (FACH).

Criteria for Fellowship in the ACH:

  1. Be a member of ACH in good standing for a minimum of five (5) years.
  2. Have attended at least three (3) ACH courses (e.g., ENRICH, Winter Course) or conferences (e.g., ACH Research Forum, ACH hosted International Conference on Communication in Healthcare).
  3. Demonstrate behavior consistent with the ACH mission statement and the basic beliefs we share as an organization:
    • ACH believes that the healing human relationship among healthcare professionals, patients and their families is a critical aspect of healthcare. We believe that highly performing interpersonal and inter-professional delivery systems are necessary to achieve the greatest benefit from our biotechnical services.
    • ACH believes in the highest quality, most fully accessible and cost-effective health care for all.
    • ACH believes that relationship skills, communication skills, and teaching skills are learnable and teachable.
    • ACH believes that improved relationships and communication enhance team and patient satisfaction, reduce errors and grievances, improve efficacy, efficiency and safety, and enhance health outcomes, as documented in the peer-reviewed literature.
    • ACH believes that organizational investment in the continuous quality improvement of relationships and communication rewards the organization in many dimensions.
    • ACH believes in learner-centered methods of teaching and coaching, facilitating discovery of learning needs and preferred learning styles.
    • ACH leaders and teachers live the relationship-centered human values we teach, with each other in the organization and in our interactions with patients, family members, colleagues on the health care team, clients, and interested others; we strive to remain curious about and respectful of all forms of diversity that our individual experiences bring to our relationships.
    • ACH is committed to evidence-based practice in healthcare and teaching, grounded in highest quality research that continually informs our work.
    • ACH is committed to promoting diversity in its membership and leadership, including but not limited to diversity in profession, seniority, interests, gender, race/ethnicity, and sexual orientation. It believes that such diversity is critical to attaining the best research, scholarship, teaching, health care and other strategic goals of the Academy. Accordingly, ACH believes it essential to assertively recruit under-represented minorities into our organization.
    • ACH is committed to assisting in the training of under-represented minority healthcare professionals and to reducing healthcare disparities.
    • ACH is committed to human relationships grounded in integrity, congruence, transparency, empathy and unconditional positive regard.
    • As a non-profit human service organization, ACH adheres to a clear mission and assures that resources are used on mission-centered activities.
  4. Sign a statement attesting that any/all relevant professional licenses are in good standing.
  5. Adhere to the submission requirements as outlined.
  6. Earn a total of 15 points from any combination of the following activities or accomplishments with a minimum of 1 point coming from the service to ACH category.


Service to the ACH (minimum of 1 point must come from Service to the ACH category)
ACH Board Officer (President, President-Elect, Treasurer)
(4 points per 2 year term)
ACH Executive Committee member (VP)
(4 points per 2 year term)
non-office holding ACH Board member
(3 points per 2 year term)
ACH committee chair (non-conference/course related)
(3 points per 2 year term)
ACH committee member (non-conference/course related)
(1 points per 2 year term)
ACH Forum/ICCH chair/co-chair, scientific chair/co-chair
(2 points per conference)
ACH ENRICH and Winter Course chair/co-chair
(2 points per course)
ACH Forum/ICCH/ENRICH/Winter Course planning committee
(1 point per course/conference)
major ACH product development
(4 points)
minor ACH product development
(1 point)
new ACH course development
(2 points)
new diversity, equity & inclusion initiative (minor)
(1 point)
new diversity, equity & inclusion initiative (major)
(3 points)
new patient engagement initiative (minor)
(1 point)
new patient engagement initiative (major)
(3 point)
FIT Guide or Putnam Scholar mentoring
(2 points per person mentored/year)
ACH faculty member - ENRICH
(2 points per course)
ACH faculty member - External Education Course
(1 point per course)
ACH faculty member - Train-the-Trainer Course
(3 points per course)
communication in healthcare publications in peer-reviewed journals
(.5 points per paper)
books on communication in healthcare
(3 points per book)
chapters on communication in healthcare 
(.5 point per chapter)
communication in healthcare national/international presentations
(.5 point per presentation)
Significant and relevant teaching in one's home institution or community
designing new course or materials in the field of healthcare communication and relationships
(5 points)
5+ years of teaching/facilitation/direction
(3 points)
5+ years of healthcare communication related community engagement
(3 points)

ACH is open to learning of relevant activities or accomplishments that may not fit into the categories listed above.

Selection Process for Awarding the Honor of Academy Fellowship

Periodic announcements requesting nominations for Fellowship and detailing criteria for the nomination and selection process shall be disseminated through the various ACH communication vehicles.

While ACH members shall be invited to submit nominations, self-nomination is welcome.

Required Materials:

  • A letter of nomination or self-nomination;
  • The Fellowship candidate’s CV;
  • At least one letter of support from an ACH member in good standing;
  • A completed Fellowship Advancement Worksheet and supporting evidence; and
  • Signed statement attesting that any/all relevant professional licenses are in good standing, the candidate has been a member of ACH in good standing for a minimum of five (5) years and a list of at least three (3) ACH conferences/courses that the candidate has attended.

All materials shall be submitted to the Academy office and are accepted at any time.

Academy of Communication in Healthcare 
ATTN: Laura Singler
Email: [email protected]  

Nominating letters from an ACH member in good standing – along with the Fellowship candidate’s CV, at least one other letter of support from an ACH member in good standing, a completed Fellowship Advancement Worksheet and supporting evidence – can be submitted to the Academy office at any time.

The Leadership Development Committee will review all nominations and supporting documentation and will forward to the Executive Committee the names of all nominated individuals who qualify for Fellowship according to the criteria outlined above.  If there is a reason why a nominee cannot meet the criteria for Fellowship, the Leadership Development Committee may use its discretion regarding extenuating circumstances.  

The Executive Committee may approve qualifying candidates at its sole discretion.  If the Executive Committee needs additional guidance regarding approval for a nominee, the Board of Directors will be consulted.  Nominees will be notified of the decision after the corresponding Executive Committee or Board meeting, as applicable.

Maintenance of Fellowship
To continue to use the title of Fellow of the Academy of Communication in Healthcare (FACH), an individual must maintain membership in good standing in the Academy.

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