Did you ever wonder it means when the Chapter announces “we’ve won this award”? As an HFMA member, I never really knew, and now that I am an Officer of the organization, I want everyone to understand what these awards are all about, and how much work and effort is involved in achieving these awards.
One of the most important awards that our Chapter can earn is the Yerger Award. From the HFMA website:
“The Helen M. Yerger Award recognizes outstanding chapter performance in the categories of Collaboration, Education, Improvement, Innovation, Member Communications, Member Service, and Membership Recruitment and Retention.”
In plain English, the Yerger Award is given when the Chapter is doing a really good job of bringing exceptional educational and social experiences to its members, which is reflected in the fact that the organization both retains and grows its membership. Chapters need to fill out an application for each project or activity that they want to submit for award determination. The application breaks down the submission into four main categories, which allow the Award judges to determine whether the work done by the Chapter was at a performance level where an award is merited.
The first category is Needs Identification, meaning that the application outlined evidence of a well-thought-out-needs identification process to impact a project or process in a noteworthy and significant way. The second category of Goals and Objectives allows the Chapter to outline how Objectives are clearly tied to impacting the identified need(s), shows that a target audience is identified, and measurable performance levels targeted are identified for each objective, and that the Goals are significant and challenging. The third category of Methodology is where the Chapter describes the “how” of the work, identifying the methods used to address the stated objectives and needs, the resources expended for the anticipated impact, and any suggestions that would guide other Chapters in implementing a similar project. Finally, the last category of Evaluation and Results describes how the performance levels stated in the Goals and Objectives were measured, how the data was collected and analyzed, and how the results show strong impact on the Chapter and its Members.
But how does the Chapter get to the point of applying for an Award for work done? Each year the Officers, Board members, and Committee chairs and members develop a strategic plan that outlines how the organization will achieve its goals in four basic pillars:
- Education: provide compelling, innovative and useful educational programs
- Social: Offer enjoyable networking and social opportunities and improve HFMA relevance to the MA-RI healthcare marketplace
- Membership: Grow our membership, including target markets, through effective outreach, and energize our committees with a sense of common purpose
- Financial Stewardship: Manage our budget and resources effectively and provide demonstrated value to our sponsors
Based on this plan and its goals, the Chapter plans its work for the year, and implements on that plan all during the year. For our fiscal year that ends this May, the Chapter applied for three Yerger Awards that reflected the work done to achieve the strategic plan and its goals. Stay tuned for our next blog post to hear about the details of those Yerger Award applications!