Column | Staff Development

Arizona Chapter’s virtual Grateful Hour brings a welcome relief from the pandemic

Column | Staff Development

Arizona Chapter’s virtual Grateful Hour brings a welcome relief from the pandemic

During a virtual happy hour in April, Arizona Chapter members shared they were grateful for good health, supportive family, friends and professional networks such as HFMA, and technology platforms, such as Zoom. 

Arizona Chapter members engage during one of the chapter’s Grateful Hour virtual chats.

In April 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown was emerging, the HFMA Arizona Chapter created a Grateful Hour to connect with members virtually, lift spirits and share experiences. The first virtual get-together had more than 40 participants logged in from all parts of not only the state, but also the country. 

“It was a welcome relief to see so many smiling faces as we braced for an unknown moratorium on in-person events,” said Samantha Brodt, senior account manager at GE Healthcare Financial Services in Phoenix and Arizona Chapter president for 2020-21.

More gatherings

According to Brodt, the success of the first event spawned other Grateful Hour gatherings.

The guided meditation in June was led by Carrie Kroop, director of recruiting and human capital management at Centauri Health Solutions in Scottsdale, Arizona. The session included introductions and about 30 minutes of mindfulness meditation. The intention was to focus on breathing, being aware of your body and just letting go.

In July, the Chapter surveyed the community on remote work experiences. Members shared what was or was not going well, how productivity was impacted and their overall go-forward strategies for remote working, said Brodt.

“Collectively we learned that remote working is here to stay, and it will have a profound impact on the physical footprint that organizations hold, as well as new employee satisfaction standards for flexible work environments,” she said.

Other Chapter gatherings include:

  • A fall conference in September
  • A coffee chat with an HFMA leader to discuss future events and gatherings in October
  • A Women Lead HERe Conference scheduled for Nov. 13

The Arizona Chapter plans to take a break from virtual get-togethers in December but will resume them in January in lieu of in-person gatherings, said Brodt. The Chapter plans to continue using virtual platforms to foster participation in networking and educational events.

“Finding the silver lining through the pandemic, the Arizona Chapter has learned that you can’t put a stop to the great connections that HFMA fosters, and in some ways a virtual get-together allows for a broader audience to participate,” said Brodt. 

View all of the Arizona Chapter’s videos on their YouTube page.

About the Author

Jennifer Novoseletsky

is social media manager, HFMA, Westchester, Ill.

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