Two Promotions in One Week

September 22, 2021

Last week was amazing, two leaders I've had the privilege of working with were both promoted. They've have worked hard to attain their current level.

Michael Weahkee, serves as CEO of the Phoenix Indian Medical Center, the largest federally-operated facility in the Indian Health Service. He was just promoted to Rear Admiral and the promotion ceremony was an incredible, inspiring mix, honoring the traditions of the U.S. Public Health Service and his native Zuni tribe. RADM Ty Reidhead shared how RADM Weahkee exemplified the four values of the U.S.P.H.S.:

  • Leadership - He served above his rank for 18 of 19 years. Lesson - do what is needed, people notice and appreciate great work.
  • Service - He never says "no". Lesson -find a way to do what needs to be done.
  • Integrity - He is steady and consistent in doing what he promises by the deadline set. Lesson - if you are not a person of your word, people will not trust or want to follow you.
  • Excellence - He never settles for second best, even if that ruffles feathers. Lesson - set your sights high and work to remove any roadblocks to achieve your goals.

Others described his strong values, dedication and principles and used words like "compassionate, sensitive, cares deeply, empathetic, sense of humor" all of these speak to a high level of emotional intelligence that enabled RADM Weahkee to become one of only 42 RADMs in the U.S.P.H.S today.

Martha Zhan, CPA, CIA, MBA is the new CEO of Touchstone Health Services. Ms. Zhan joined Touchstone in July 2015. Her years of experience in for-profit manufacturing and servicing industries and non-profit healthcare organizations have been instrumental in shepherding Touchstone on its journey into integrated healthcare. Martha sees the big picture and leads her team to create the environment needed to provide for the behavioral and mental health needs of infants, children and teenagers. She too exemplifies the four values described above. Martha began life in a small, mountainous village in rural China. She came to the U.S. seeking a better life and has contributed greatly to making the lives of her employees, clients and their families better. Martha is known for her strong work ethic, desire to get the job done right and to hold herself and others to a high standard to achieve excellent outcomes.

They share some key leadership traits that are worth noting and emulating. Both Michael and Martha have built great teams. They are thoughtful leaders who foster trust, loyalty and dedication by being optimistic, setting challenging goals and shaping a vision for others to follow. I am so proud to play a small role in their success. Congratulations, Michael and Martha. You are the people that make America great.


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