Grachek to become president/CEO of ACHCA

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Marianna Grachek has agreed to become the new president and CEO of the American College of Health Care Administrators. She will replace Susan Allen Burton, who submitted her resignation this week after less than 11 months at the post.

Grachek has had a 13-year career with the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, the last nine as the head of its long-term care program. Before that, she was an administrator and DON at several nursing facilities in northern Ohio. She will officially start as ACHCA's top executive July 17.

"It's a good personal and professional fit," Grachek told McKnight's this morning. "The mission of who I am, whether it's been at the bedside or in administration or at the Joint Commission, has been long-term care."

She declined to call the job switch a move "up" the ladder, but rather a new position with a new perspective: "In my role at the Joint Commission, I was already in a national position to have a seat at the table in terms of long-term care. That was helping organizations, while now the focus will be on the individuals who run the organizations. The sign of a true professional is bringing along the next generation."

Burton is stepping down to pursue other interests, said ACHCA Board Chair Larry Slatky. He praised her for helping "steady the ship" after the previous ACHCA president Mary Tellis-Nayak, resigned in April 2005 on the eve of the group's annual meeting. Burton had been a surprising appointment, not having worked for ACHCA since being its director of membership, marketing and education for seven years in the 1980s.

"(Burton) took over a very difficult situation and maintained the college on course, creating many programs that needed to be in place for the college to survive," Slatky said.

"Everybody's thrilled to have Marianna," he added. "She's a professional in her own right. She's extremely intelligent and understands all of healthcare. She can speak on any level of many topics, from reimbursement to care to regulatory agencies. She brings so much to the table."