From the Editor
Robert Fromberg, Editor-in-Chief
The value of HFMA goes beyond the great education and influential thought leadership, as important as they are.
For members who get involved as volunteers, HFMA creates personal connections that can be a defining part of people's lives.
One such volunteer is Robert Miller, FHFMA, CEO of Coshocton County Memorial Hospital in Ohio, the winner of this year's Frederick C. Morgan Individual Achievement Award-HFMA's highest individual honor.
The award is presented each year at the Chair's banquet on the last night of ANI, HFMA's annual conference. In his introduction of Bob, HFMA Chair Greg Adams included a long list of what Bob had done for HFMA as a volunteer, mentor, and leader. But in his acceptance remarks, Bob focused on what HFMA had done for him. He shared a number of memories with the audience, and I'd like to share just two of them here. The first shows how a simple act of friendship led to a lifelong connection:
The memories I need to share start back with my first HFMA meeting back in the 1980s, known as the regional Tri-State meeting. West Virginia member Joe Barnes recognized that I was new, and that I was attending my first meeting. So he offered to let me spend time with him and his family at the networking dinner. From that experience, my life changed. He introduced me to key leaders in our chapter and region, and the next thing I knew I was on committees and attending every chapter meeting.
That was the start of my HFMA career.
And the second shows how a simple act of kindness demonstrates the heart of an organization:
The next memory took place back in 2006 while participating in the US/UK Exchange. The Exchange took place three weeks after my wife passed away from an extended illness, and at the formal group dinner, I was having a rough time and was not enjoying the festivities.
That evening I found out what true HFMA friendship means. During the dinner, there was a presentation from each country's Chair... and now it was time for that presentation. But our Chair put the event on hold for a few minutes to comfort me during my time of loss.
Mary Beth Briscoe was the Chair, and I am proud and thankful to call her my friend. That is what HFMA friendship means to me.
Bob closed by suggesting that everyone keep track of the memories and friendships "that HFMA grants us by just participating as a member."
Backstage, while Bob was waiting to make his entrance, the event's production manager, Keith Fort, recognized Bob from another meeting years ago and somehow remembered Bob's fondness for the song "Soul Man." (In fact, Bob calls Jake Blues his alter ego.) So Keith got on his headset and connected with the band leader, and when Bob departed the stage, he was accompanied by "Soul Man," and even made a few brief Jake Blues-style moves.
It was the least HFMA could do for someone who has done so much for HFMA.
Publication Date: Monday, August 01, 2011