Column | Healthcare Business Trends

Pursuing Your Passion: Advice for Healthcare Finance Leaders

Column | Healthcare Business Trends

Pursuing Your Passion: Advice for Healthcare Finance Leaders

Carol Friesen, FHFMA, MPH, reminisces about her experiences as 2017-18 Chair of HFMA and shares ideas and insights gleaned from her “HFMA leadership journey.”

As I reflect on my HFMA leadership journey, the tune that keeps playing in my mind is, “I’ve Had the Time of My Life.”

It is with a humble and grateful heart that I say, I cannot imagine my career or the person I’ve become without my HFMA family, the vast opportunities to serve, and the life-changing experience. It has been the sweetest of journeys.

Like most things in life, following your passion is not a straight line, but rather a path with twists and turns. It’s a journey that involves discovering your passion and committing to it, sustaining it, and enjoying the journey. Over this year, I have shared my brother’s story and how I came to discover my purpose and, ultimately, my passion. That’s my story. Everyone has a story of their own.

Discovering our passion is the first step, but we can’t stop there. The next phase is sustaining it. Something that’s often easier said than done. The journey is long. We’re only human. How do we sustain our passion—on the great days, the not-so-great days, and every day in between?

We must embrace curiosity, seize opportunities, lead courageously, and stay connected.

As my year as HFMA’s National Chair comes to a close, I encourage you to view life with underlying curiosity and embrace it. It’s a true saying: “If we are not growing, we are dying.” Feed your mind—keep reading, exploring, and asking why. Have you ever sat with a good book and the day disappears? That is the gentle reminder of what it feels like to be fully present.

Seize opportunities. Be open and flexible to lead the way on paths less traveled with a promise of progress. Try something new. Make something up. Turn problems into opportunities. Lead from where you are. Leave a legacy.

Lead courageously by taking initiative and ownership. Set the example, and in the words attributed to Mahatma Ghandi, “Be the change you desire to see in the world.” Go first, and create a path for others to follow.

Stay connected to the “why.” Never forget why you do what you do.

My last and most important reminder, enjoy the journey. Allow yourself to stand in the sun. Be grateful and take time to reflect and enjoy the little things—the smile of child, a promise of sunrise, or the tune of a favorite song. The power of a grateful heart and a positive attitude refuels our passion.

HFMA gave me an opportunity to blend my passion for making a difference in lives of our patients and families with the purpose to serve through healthcare finance. It was the “power of one” organization that has changed my life forever.

Now back to that tune that keeps playing in my mind. You know how the chorus ends: “And I owe it all to you!” Thank you, HFMA family.

About the Author

Carol A. Friesen, FHFMA, MPH,

is HFMA's 2017-18 National Chair. 

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