Time has flown by so quickly – I can’t believe it is time to write my last Presidents Message. Normally at this time we are celebrating the success of our educational year and highlighting what went on at the Annual Institute.
Not this year.
As I sat down to write this message I tried to think of some good way to describe my experience as the Metro NY Chapter president. I came up with this – “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”.
Let’s start with the best of times. As is always the case with our chapter, the committees worked hard to bring you the level of education and networking opportunities you have come to expect. In response to feedback from our members, the education committee, under the leadership of Sean Smith and Andrew Weingartner, put together a series of after hour and half day programs so that those who have difficulty getting out of the office could enjoy an event. For the first time, we collaborated with the Hudson Valley chapter to present the Medicare Fundamentals seminars with a choice of date and location so our members with choosing the option that was best for them. In addition, we collaborated with other organizations for the “Digital Disruption” event that drew over 200 attendees. Our golf outing, led by Kiran Batheja, was a great success with great weather and a great time was had by all. In addition, as a new approach to Community Outreach, we formed the “HFMA Dare You to Climb” team to take part in the New York City MS Climb to the Top and surpassed all expectation with over 30 members signing up and $7,500 raised for Multiple Sclerosis.
These successes were the result of the hard work of many volunteers and I appreciate them all.
I also want to thank the Annual Institute Committee. Under the leadership of Shivam Sohan and Tracey Roland we were on track to have another amazing event. Unfortunately due to the Covid-19 crisis we had to postpone and you were not able to benefit from their hard work. That does not take away from appreciating their efforts. I also want to thank all of those who reached out to me in support of the decision to postpone. It was an extremely difficult yet correct decision.
“It was the worst of times”
I remember being so disappointed that we had to postpone the Annual Institute, and thinking that I will be remembered as the first president in 61 years who did not make it happen. How naïve of me. But at the time I don’t think any of us really comprehended what was in store for us.
My sincere condolences to those of you who have lost a loved one to this virus. And my deepest gratitude to those that are out there on the front lines caring for those that are affected.
I do want to point out that in the midst of this nightmare we have seen our members, and members of the communities we serve, come out fighting. Whether it is on the front line taking care of patients, or supporting those who are doing so, or ordering take-out from our favorite restaurants to help keep them open, or, like my mom, making and donating masks – we are all coming out together and saying – “hey we are in this together and we’ve got this”. In our Spring issue of Newscast, you will see pictures of examples of that. A shout out and thank you to Alicia Weissmeier and Jessica Daly for coming up with this idea and to those who responded to their request and shared their pictures to be included in this issue. This is a historic time and I am thrilled with the idea of using these pictures to document the goodness and resilience in all of us. Please be sure to check it out.
The times ahead…
I think we all know that our world as we know it will never be the same. I fully expect that the world of telecommuting and telemedicine are expanding and will be more a part of the normal way of doing business than they were before. What follows is that the expectations and needs of our members will be changing drastically, which means we will have to adapt and change how we offer education – and value – to our members.
The Chapter will be in excellent hands going forward, and will be led by incoming President, Donna Skura, Sean Smith as President Elect, Catherine Ekbom as VP of Education, Tracey Roland as Treasurer, and Andrew Weingartner as Secretary. They are a dedicated group of leaders who will be supported by an equally dedicated Board of Directors, Chairs and Co-Chairs, committee members, and countless other volunteers. I encourage you, our members, to become more involved and consider joining a committee. I promise it will be a gratifying experience – now more than ever.
I would like to thank everyone, including the Executive Board, the Board, our dedicated past Presidents, our Regional Executive, the Committee Chairs, and all of its volunteer members for all that you have done this Chapter year!
Last – but certainly far from least, I also want to thank all of our corporate sponsors for your generous and continued support. It is because of the dedication and efforts of all of you that we are a chapter to be proud of. I also encourage all of you to remember or corporate sponsors for your business needs.
Be safe, be well….prayers to you all. Thank you for an amazing year.
Diane McCarthy, CPA/ FHFMA
President, HFMA Metropolitan NY Chapter 2019/2020