The preeminent professional society for leaders dedicated to improving health.
ACHE of South Florida (ACHE-SFL) is the local official chapter of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) and provides members with educational programs, networking and volunteer opportunities, career and advancement resources and the ability to connect with healthcare executives.Learn More
As a member, you'll join more than 48,000 healthcare leaders from across the country and around the world who are dedicated to improving health. If you want to connect with local healthcare professionals, join ACHE and select ACHE of South Florida as your home chapter.Learn More
We invite you to attend the many events we host throughout the year, including educational programs, networking events, webinars, seminars and much more.
As the incoming president of ACHE of South Florida, Jenna Merlucci, FACHE, director of business development and operations for the Cardiac and Vascular Institute at Memorial Healthcare System (MHS), is looking forward to connecting members with the organization, no matter where they may be in their careers.
“Our membership base is made up of 1000-plus people, and my goal is to ensure that they get the most out of ACHE, understanding that what is ‘the most’ for me may be different for somebody else,” she said. “My hope is to continue giving all of our members what they deserve, which is a community for them to connect with.”
During her tenure, Merlucci hopes to get more students involved, as well as encourage members down the fellowship path. She also plans to continue providing members with the high-level education and networking opportunities that make ACHE such an important resource for healthcare professionals at every stage of their careers.
For the past nine years, Merlucci has been in charge of business development, physician relations, finance and budgeting and overseeing the Echo, Cardiac Rehab and Data Registry departments at the MHS Cardiac and Vascular Institute, where she appreciates the opportunity to take care of patients and their families at some of the most difficult times in their lives.
She earned her undergraduate degree and her master’s degree in Healthcare Administration at the University of Central Florida, where an internship at Arnold Palmer Children’s Hospital piqued her interest in the field. Merlucci also interned at Memorial Healthcare System and was later hired, and it was here that she was introduced to ACHE of South Florida, which she joined in 2013.
“I immediately got involved in the organization, and I’m so glad that I did,” she said. “I am excited to be part of an organization that aligns leadership and healthcare and to be with like-minded people in the community.”
Merlucci joined the board as the treasurer-elect, and has served as treasurer, member-at-large and president elect. She is proud to now be president of ACHE of South Florida, and credits those who volunteer their time for making it such a worthwhile organization.
“We have a very robust chapter in South Florida, and none of that would happen without our board and volunteers,” she said. “The really nice thing about ACHE of South Florida is that while so many of us are involved in different organizations and may even be competitors, when the ACHE hat goes on, it all comes down to the greater good of the community.”
Merlucci is counting on this teamwork as her presidency kicks off in January, when she is due to have her second baby. “I’m looking for a very collaborative year,” she said of her management style. “I like to let people do what they think is best and work together to reach a common goal.”
She is encouraging members to participate at all levels, whether that means coming to an event, joining a committee or volunteering their time. “I want people to get whatever they want out of it,” she said. “Whether that means going to one more event than they attended the prior year, or serving on a panel, or getting actively involved, I am happy with however they choose to participate.”
JENNA MERLUCCI, FACHE
2023 Chapter President
ACHE of South Florida
Monica Puga began her career more than 21 years ago as an RN at Memorial Healthcare System, but since that time has moved into the role of senior vice president & chief nurse executive. As she pointed out, “There are significant alignments between nursing and other healthcare disciplines; we are all a family of caregivers.”
Puga said that when she stepped into this position in October, she brought with her other areas of healthcare that already reported to her, namely population health and value-based care. She also mentioned a new service line called the care coordination center. She likened it to an air traffic control center for a healthcare system, saying that “it manages patient flow and patient throughput, so we are delivering the right care in the right setting at the right time, safely and efficiently.”Continue Reading