There’s growing demand on the healthcare industry to close disparity gaps and ensure health equity. But hospitals and health systems can’t do it alone. Collaboration and partnerships are necessary. And that was the impetus behind the HFMA Maryland Chapter’s 2023 Inclusion and Equity in Healthcare Conference, which took place April 27 at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture in Baltimore.
Addressing pressing healthcare issues
About 70 attendees, representing a cross section of industry stakeholders, gathered for the day-long event. Content was delivered in a variety of formats. Topics included workforce diversity, using technology to address health equity, and elevating data capture and utilization for culturally competent care and optimal outcomes.
“Our goal was to equip healthcare finance leaders and other stakeholders with the information, relationships and strategies needed to achieve success on statewide population health priorities and generate organizational and systemic change on behalf of all Marylanders,” said Brian Sims, vice president of quality and equity for the Maryland Hospital Association and current HFMA Maryland Chapter president.
The event also featured a special moderator, who tied it all together.
“We enlisted the help of veteran journalist Jayne Miller to moderate,” said Sims. “This was an important component, as she helped weave a compelling story connecting the various topics and content into a cohesive narrative.”
Teaming up for success
The Chapter joined forces with the Baltimore chapter of the National Association of Health Services Executives (NAHSE) to plan the event. NAHSE is a nonprofit association working to promote the advancement and development of Black healthcare leaders and elevate the quality of healthcare services rendered to minority and underserved communities.
Additional partners included the conference sponsors: Maryland Hospital Association, CareFirst, Bank of America and the Durant Bailey Group. Sims said a key to the event’s success was developing an event-specific sponsorship packet with tier levels offering benefits aligned with the amount of support.
Speaker selection is crucial
In addition to the sponsorship package and robust promotional materials, Sims said speaker selection was critical to the event’s success.
“We intentionally sought a diverse slate of speakers and ensured they understood the audience in order to adequately connect with them,” said Sims. “Meeting attendees where they are and providing them with tangible knowledge and tools they can apply to their work will keep them coming back.”