Chapter ‘imagined amazing’ and produced a podcast

October 29, 2021 7:30 pm
Oregon Chapter President Tammie Coon (top left) records a recent episode of the Chapter’s “Imagine Amazing” podcast with co-hosts Kelly Smith (center) and Jeff Johnson.

When HFMA’s Oregon Chapter experienced a large increase in Enterprise Solutions members a couple of years ago, Chapter leaders started looking for new ways to connect with and engage members. Their solution? A Chapter podcast.

Jeff Johnson, a past president and current board member of the Oregon Chapter, was passionate about the idea. He believed a podcast would provide members with another venue to hear from the Chapter president, provide information about upcoming events and improve knowledge and awareness of current healthcare industry issues. Plus, the timing seemed right as HFMA National had recently launched a new podcast. 

“It just made sense to follow suit with something customized for the Oregon Chapter,” said Johnson, chief client officer for Professional Credit. 

Johnson approached Kelly Smith, the Chapter’s incoming 2019-20 president, and asked her to make the Chapter podcast a priority.  She agreed, and Johnson ran with the idea. 

Because no one in the Chapter had previous podcast experience, Johnson connected with Erika Grotto, the producer and host of HFMA’s “Voices in Healthcare Finance” podcast. Grotto shared information and showed Johnson the platform she uses to produce the Association’s podcasts. He then did additional research into what would be needed to successfully record, edit and produce a podcast.  

The first edition of the Oregon Chapter’s “Imagine Amazing” podcast was published on July 4, 2019. Since then, they have produced 17 episodes, with five more in process. Episode scripts are driven by the Chapter president, with a special focus on Chapter needs and trending issues. Past topics have included pending legislation impacting healthcare, COVID-19, surprise billing, Medicare reimbursement and rural healthcare. The most downloaded episodes to date were “What is HFMA?” and “The Secrets of Healthcare Finance.” 

Benefits of producing a chapter podcast

In addition to helping Chapter members become more engaged and connected — particularly those who can’t always attend in-person events — the Oregon Chapter has used the podcast to invite special guests to engage with Chapter members.

“Not everyone has time to travel to a live event or prepare for a virtual presentation,” said Johnson. “But we found that many great healthcare leaders and influencers throughout the United States would give us time for a quick phone call.” 

Additionally, the Chapter’s current president, Tammie Coon, vice president of business development at Ensource, has leveraged the podcasts to give back to the Chapter’s sponsors. Under her guidance, sponsors have taken a more active part in the podcast, providing more well-rounded discussion and adding significant value to the Chapter’s sponsorship opportunities.

Potential challenges

Johnson said the biggest challenge the Chapter has faced — especially since the pandemic — is coordinating schedules. Another challenge has been helping other Chapter members learn how to produce the podcasts. Passing on that knowledge is important to ensure that the podcasts continue even as leaders change.

Advice for other chapters considering a podcast

Smith, who is vice president of enterprise revenue cycle at Oregon Health & Science University, said topic selection is key to a successful podcast.

“Find good, current topics that will resonate with the general public rather than selecting those that are only relevant to a specific subset,” she said. 

Coon noted that producing a podcast is a great way to invest in members by bringing them more education. She said, “It’s always fun to produce something you know will make your members happy. Do it!”

Johnson also urged other chapters to take the plunge and offered support. “Do not fear it,” he said. “The Oregon Chapter is here to help should you have any questions, as is our amazing Association. There are tons of resources happy to help.”  

6 resources to use to record, edit and produce podcasts

  • Apple MacBook Pro
  • Garage Band software
  • Blue Yeti microphone 
  • Podbean subscription (used to publish podcast on multiple venues)
  • Buffer Pro (social media management tool used to announce availability of new episode) 
  • Time

Listen to the Oregon Chapter podcast at https://oregonhfma.podbean.com/ , YouTube and all other popular podcast platforms.


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