HFMA is pleased to bring you a new, recurring feature on the blog, the Board and Committee Member Spotlight. Below is an interview with one of our newest board members, Radha Radhakrishna, discussing her history and future with HFMA. Keep an eye out for more interviews coming regularly.
What was your first job and how did you end up with it?
- [rlr] My first job when I moved to America from India was as an Administrative Assistant for a Senior Nursing Executive at Boston Medical Center. It was my first real office job. My supervisor was a great mentor who used humor to teach me the nuances of American culture. Through a variety of special projects, I honed my soft skills and spreadsheet skills (believe it or not, we used Lotus 1-2-3 at the time!). Within 18 months, I was promoted to be a Budget Analyst in BMC’s finance office. To this day, I am grateful for my mentor’s generosity and skill at grooming new staff. Her support helped me launch my career and since then I’ve been eager to pay it forward to young professionals.
How has your time as an HFMA member benefitted you?
- [rlr] For over a decade, I have been attending HFMA seminars and educational trainings to advance my career development. After joining Mass General Brigham (formerly Partners HealthCare), HFMA’s certification seminars helped me take my finance skills to the next level and apply them to physician sector financial reporting.
What led you to become an HFMA Board Member?
- [rlr] Five years ago, I served as a member of HFMA’s Managed Healthcare Committee, which enabled me to become a Fellow of HFMA. During Committee meetings, I enjoyed hearing from various healthcare industry experts who brought a variety of perspectives. When my fellow board members nominated me to join HMFA’s board, I was thrilled for the opportunity.
What are you most looking forward to in your new role as Board Member?
- [rlr] As a new Board Member, I am most looking forward to expanding my network across Massachusetts and Rhode Island. I also am excited to mentor new members by helping them figure out how to further their careers. In my role on the Membership Committee, I will be focused on attracting new members and retaining our existing 1,110+ members. I look forward to those outreach conversations, where I will have the opportunity to get feedback on what healthcare professionals are looking for and share tips on maximizing the membership.
What is your favorite HFMA event to be involved with?
- [rlr] Every year I look forward to attending HFMA’s accounting seminars. They have helped me gain a deeper understanding of various regulatory and tax changes so I can better navigate them in my role at Mass General Brigham. In 2017, for example, I attended a seminar focused on navigating healthcare transformation. It was valuable to hear updates on Massachusetts’ regulatory environment during a time when the future of the Affordable Care Act was uncertain. I was able to hear directly from practitioners representing leading healthcare organizations in the Commonwealth such as the Massachusetts Hospital Association, Boston Children’s Hospital, and the BMC HealthNet Plan.
What was the most important take away/ most impressionable memory you have of your early days in HFMA?
- [rlr] My favorite memories from my early days include the excellent insights of speakers and panelists who brought extensive experience from the healthcare industry. For example, back in 2018, I attended a seminar called “Evolving Strategy in a Dynamic Healthcare Environment.” One of the cybersecurity panelists spoke about the multitude of improvements needed to digitize patient records and safeguard sensitive patient information. These have become critical areas in today’s environment of widespread telehealth usage, and I credit HFMA for preparing me for the moment. I have also enjoyed the informal networking where I could catch up with old friends and make new acquaintances. You never know who you’ll run into!
What do you like to do when you are not working?
- [rlr] I like watching movies and taking Zumba classes (of course pre-Covid!). Nowadays, yoga and walking are my favorite (socially distanced) activities.
Who do you admire the most?
- [rlr] When I was a wide-eyed, curious teenager back home in Bangalore, India, my high school principal arranged a presentation by the math genius and “mental calculator” Shakuntala Devi. My classmates and I were enamored by Shakuntala Devi’s wizardry with mathematics. She was able to instantly multiply, divide, and calculate square roots with numbers over 200 digits long. Very inspired, I told myself that I would like to be like her when I grew up. I went on to earn a graduate degree in Mathematics, becoming the first woman in my community to achieve this designation.