From the chair

Kuchka-Craig Column

Debora Kuchka-Craig, FHFMA

I never knew what I would find when reaching into Royal's school backpack each week…dirty tissues, a brown paper bag that smelled of lunch, or a spelling test.

One day it was a crumpled paper called "My Mom." It began, "My mom works for HFMA." No surprise that Royal was confused. He frequently saw me in HFMA apparel, attended HFMA events with us, and knew we had many dear friends because of HFMA. My son knew then what I know now-HFMA is a very important part of my life.

My year as Chair has been unforgettable and more rewarding than I ever imagined. And my list of "because of HFMAs…" has gotten much longer.

Because of HFMA, I traveled to new places and met hundreds of dedicated members. I'm more optimistic about our future after witnessing your commitment to our industry. My call to "Step Up" continues to be answered through your work at the chapter level, and through your leadership in the field. Thank you for welcoming me with open arms, and for inspiring me in ways you may not even realize.

Because of HFMA, I've had the privilege to work with Dick Clarke and the HFMA E-Team ("Fab Five" in my book!). This incredible group of leaders defines a highly performing Team (and yes, that's Team with a capital "T"!). I cherish the lessons you have taught me during my six years on the board.

Because of HFMA, I have a new appreciation for my employer, MedStar Health. I could not have asked for more supportive leaders than our CEO, Ken Samet, and my boss, Eric Wagner. I also have a renewed appreciation for the expertise and talent of my team. Barbara, Carol, Chuck, Cindy, Denise, Lesley, Matt, Michelle, and Terry-you are the reason I could say yes to this once-in-a lifetime opportunity, and the reason I have a job to come back to! Thank you for supporting me throughout the journey.

Because of HFMA, I had the opportunity to work with some of the brightest, most talented people I have ever met. Thank you to my board colleagues for your dedication to HFMA and our profession. I look forward to your continued work under the leadership of Greg Adams. Greg will be an excellent Chair, and I know you will all continue to Step Up to make our Association even better.

Because of HFMA, I have a new appreciation for people who travel routinely in their work! I've worked on my patience and control issues this year. Passengers cannot control things like mechanical problems with airplanes!

Because of HFMA, I know how important a loving and supportive family is behind the scenes. Never a guilt trip, and always cheering me on. I cannot thank you enough, Roy, Sarah, and Royal, for your unselfish sacrifices and support.

If you're actively involved, you have your own "because of HFMA…" list. You already know that the more you give, the more you receive back. My wish is that your personal list will continue to grow. Royal knew then what I know now. Thanks to all of you, HFMA has been, is, and always will be, a very important part of my life.

Publication Date: Monday, May 02, 2011

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