The chapter would like to congratulate John Gagnon on completing the CHFP certification process. John works for Lahey Hospital & Medical Center as Manager of the Radiology Informatics, (IT), team and their Image Management Center (formerly Film Library). John is also an online adjunct professor for local academia, teaching courses in undergraduate and graduate programs in Healthcare Management and Administration, Management, Leadership, and Project Management. We recently connected with John to hear more about his CHFP experience.
HFMA: Tell us a little bit about your background – did you come to health care finance from the health care side or the finance side? What has your career trajectory been?
John: I’ve been working in health care nearly twenty-two years, primarily in information technology. Over the last several years I decided it was time to advance, so I advanced to the PMO as a project manager then moved to the radiology department as an IT operations manager. Prior to my advancement, I decided to complete my undergrad and graduate education. I realized a lifetime of information technology knowledge was great, but I needed a strong understanding of business acumen in order to bring value to future management positions. After achieving my MBA, I continue to advance my knowledge though career certifications, the most recent being the CHFP.
HFMA: When did you join HFMA?
John: I’ve been a member of HFMA since 2017.
HFMA: Why did you decide to obtain CHFP certification?
John: To increase my value to my employers and demonstrate to myself that I understand the intricacies and dependencies of healthcare finance. Besides working for Lahey Hospital, my second, and part-time career, as an online adjunct for a couple of local colleges graduate and undergraduate programs in Healthcare Management and Project Management. I was asked previously to teach an online course in healthcare finance but I wanted to obtain the CHFP first to prove myself proficient in this area before teaching it. I now feel confident, and credentialed, in accepting such teaching offers.
HFMA: Tell us about your experience with the certification process.
John: After committing myself to obtaining CHFP, I reviewed all the information offered on HFMA’s website, then registered for Module 1:Business of Health Care. I found that course very informative and the exercises contained within the program allowed me to gauge my understanding of the topics being presented. Passing the test for this module felt great and cleared me to proceed to the next step. I also took advantage of online live webinars for CHFP preparation sponsored by regional chapters. Finally, toward the deadline of my Module II: Operational Excellence exam, I hesitantly sat for it. My first thought after reading a page of info on the first case was “What did I get myself into?” But soon I fell into my groove and calmed my nerves just as I’ve done for my other certification exams. Seeing that “Passed!” at the end was such a relief and a thrill at the same time!
HFMA: How do you see certification impacting you in the future?
John: It’s a worthwhile investment in time, effort, and money. I expect I will leverage this certification in teaching online healthcare finance courses, thus expanding my course offerings and value to local schools. I also expect it will bring value to my current employer and position as healthcare continues to challenge operational and capital budgets.
Congratulations, John, and thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. For those interested in learning more about the CHFP process, you can find more information here.