A Day in the Life of…..Tom Petersen, Executive Director, ACHD

PetersenHow long have you been an employee of ACHD/ALPHA Fund?
I joined the ALPHA Fund in 2006, as the Director of Business Development. In 2009, my responsibility was increased to include Government Relations and in 2011, the ACHD Board of Directors appointed me to the position of Executive Director of ACHD.

What is your role at ACHD/ALPHA Fund?
As the Executive Director, I work closely with Dave McGhee, ACHD/ALPHA Fund’s Chief Executive Officer and Amber Wiley, ACHD’s Senior Legislative Advocate, to respond to the needs of our Members through education and legislative advocacy. I am particularly proud of our successes in protecting the well-deserved autonomy of Healthcare Districts and enhancing the educational services provided to our Members.

How did you first get involved in your career?
I started in healthcare in 1971, as a Respiratory Therapist at Valley Children’s Hospital in Fresno. I completed my Master’s Degree in 1980, and went to work as an Administrative Resident at Mercy San Juan Hospital in Carmichael. From there, I progressed to Hospital President at Mercy Folsom and subsequently, Mercy General Hospital.

What is the best part of your job? What is the most challenging aspect of your job?
The best part of my job is the people I work and interact with; our team is comprised of multi-talented individuals with complementary work styles that make for a rare work experience. As far as challenges go, I would say leading the list is reinforcing the message about the critical role that Healthcare Districts play in the communities they serve. Our work with the public relations firm Edelman has been very productive in this area as well as the yearly Healthcare District educational tours for legislative staff.

What is your favorite hobby outside of work?
I do enjoy the game of golf, but have long realized that for me, golf is primarily a social experience; it is a day meant to be enjoyed with friends. If I happen to have a few good shots, then the day is just that much better.

Have a question for Tom?  Send him an email.