When we attend Association meetings (the new terminology for what was formerly “National”), they often speak to what they call “the secret sauce” of HFMA. I’m not an expert on it, but to me, that is the connections we form, largely at the local level. I would refer to this as “community.” A community is defined as a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common.” It can also refer to “a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.” I think that is the “secret sauce” of HFMA and I believe the Montana Chapter has it nailed!
Montana HFMA – A valuable resource for the connection and development of Montana health care finance professionals.
As I prepare to end my President Year on May 31 I find myself reflecting on the above chapter mission statement which our board updated last summer, as well as what we have accomplished as a chapter in the last few years. Looking at our mission, the two key words are “connection” and “development,” referring of course to the networking that is so important to our members and the education and career resources that we provide, both at the local and at the greater association level.
With respect to the “connection” piece, I think we made great strides this year in adding an innovative and unique networking event to each of our statewide conferences. Our Pub Crawl in Billings was a great success, with downtown Billings being a particularly great location for that type of outing. In Great Falls our Social Networking Committee put together a wonderful event at the CM Russell Museum. We also expanded our holiday “Food Bank Challenge” this year and hope to continue to grow it as we go forward. Finally, we made networking an important piece of each one of our education programs, including the summer Road Show and the Women at the Heart of Healthcare Conference, which was held just last week.
Another notable aspect of networking is the partnerships we forge between Montana HFMA and other stakeholders in the healthcare finance arena in Montana. We have collaborated with MHIMA on our Spring conference since 2010 and look forward to celebrating 10 years at our 2020 conference. In 2018 we began a partnership with Monida Healthcare Network in presenting our Women’s Conference. Last summer we began a new collaboration with MGMA on the Road Show, one we hope to continue. When discussing partnerships, I don’t want to overlook our Business Partners, whose support is absolutely essential to our pursuit of the Montana HFMA mission.
The “development” piece of our mission is really the heart of HFMA. Over the last several years we have expanded our local educational opportunities by adding the summer Road Show, last year expanding it to two locations in the state. The goal of the Road Show is to bring education geared to patient financial service staff out to the field and reach those individuals who don’t typically have the opportunity to attend the statewide conferences. We also added the Women’s Conference, Women at the Heart of Healthcare, which was initially planned to be a onetime event, but was so well received we decided to make it an annual effort. We have collaborated with our colleagues in Region 10 of HFMA on monthly webinars that are free to our members and offer education on relevant and current topics of interest. And last but not least, the new “All-Inclusive” HFMA membership removes the cost from a wealth of resources at the national level, including HFMA Certification.
As I end my leadership year, I want to thank our remarkable Montana HFMA board. With this energetic and creative group of volunteers, anything is possible! It has been my honor to work with them, laugh with them and have fun with them.
Clark Fork Valley Hospital, Plains, MT