Like so many things this year, HFMA’s 2021 Leadership Training Conference (LTC) was a little different.
Approximately 350 leaders from HFMA’s 63 chapters gathered July 25-27 in Orlando, Florida, for the 2021 LTC. Chapter officers attend the annual event to learn more about their volunteer roles and plan for the coming year. The LTC also provides an opportunity to interact with other leaders from across the country, exchange ideas and share best practices. This year’s event was also a reunion of sorts, as it had been more than two years since the last in-person LTC.
“The HFMA chapter volunteer leadership community really is an extended family,” said Brianna Engeseth, a programs administrator who works with HFMA’s chapters at the national level. “So it was like a big family get-together.”
What was different
The 2021 LTC was unlike previous years in that it was a hybrid event, offering content both in person and virtually. This approach provided another way for more leaders to participate, including those who couldn’t be there in person whether due to health and safety concerns, travel restrictions or other reasons. According to Engeseth, 115 attendees chose the virtual option.
“Those who attended virtually were grateful for the option,” she said. “It enabled volunteer leaders who typically don’t get to attend the LTC to participate.”
Another difference this year due to planning the LTC during the height of the pandemic was the lack of a conference-wide networking activity. Past such events, which included chapter team competitions often tied to a charity, have been a highlight of the LTC. Engeseth said many regions and chapters took advantage of the free time to go out and network with their local peers.
What was the same
As in previous years, LTC attendees participated in office-specific training sessions as well as programs on more general leadership-related topics such as accountability, communication and member engagement. General session speakers included Joseph J. Fifer, HFMA's President and CEO, and Tammie L. Jackson, HFMA’s 2021-22 National Chair. Anton Gunn, a former state legislator and senior adviser to President Barack Obama, was the 2021 LTC keynote speaker.
What to expect
Engeseth said local chapter members can look forward to a great year as a result of what their leaders learned at the 2021 LTC.
“Members can take heart in knowing that their local volunteer leaders are highly engaged and ready to provide excellent education and networking opportunities — whether virtually or in person,” she said.