• HFMA’s Maine Chapter Hosts Women’s Leadership Forum

    By Christina J. Maguire

    It was a bright, sunny day as I left Bar Harbor to travel to Hallowell, Maine, for the Women’s Leadership Forum that our Maine HFMA Chapter was sponsoring. I was a bit hesitant about what this day would portend because the concept of "leadership" has differing levels of interpretation. It turned out that HFMA Chapter President Natasha Erb was very thoughtful in the planning of this event, and it was a day of learning and celebrating success in all aspect of our lives.

    As we arrived, we were prepared for a great day of speakers, networking, and a few activities. I scanned the room looking for familiar faces and was impressed by the diversity within the group of attendees; there appeared to be multidisciplinary and multi-generational leaders in the room, as well as a few familiar faces, but many new faces to get to know.

    At the end of the day, that's what resonated with me the most: How we as women and as leaders are important mentors for our young women, and as we help navigate and make new paths, we are setting examples and removing stereotypes that unfortunately do still exist.  

    The theme of the day was empowerment, not overpowering, and being true to who we are as leaders while recognizing that every day we have something to share and learn; we should never stop reaching for more knowledge or sharing our experiences. What we have to share is important, and there's something to learn from every experience—even the bad ones.

    The speakers for the day brought up an array of topics that added more tools to my skill set: the power of negotiating, whether small or large issues, the power of the pause, and, most importantly, establishing priorities for ourselves, both personally and professionally. 

    It was a day well spent, when we often feel guilty and theorize why we should “not” spend time at a conference on building Women’s Leadership Skills, because we have so much to do and this appears to be a selfish priority, but it should be our top priority. I challenge all of us to tip that theory on its head and strive to be the best at whatever you want to achieve, and never feel the pressure of guilt for wanting to be the best version of you.

    As I drove home, I thought about how I will mentor, coach, learn, and lead, not only for myself but for my daughter, my peers, and others. It was a day of shared wisdom, which is better than chocolate and wine—well, almost.

    Christina J. Maguire is vice president of finance and CFO for Mount Desert Island Hospital and Birch Bay Village Retirement Community in Bar Harbor, Maine.

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