HFMA’s first Black chair tells finance leaders to focus on diversity, inclusion and health equity

Lavern Vogel

Healthcare Financial Management Association’s new chair, Tammie L. Jackson

Healthcare Financial Management Association Chair Tammie L. Jackson called on healthcare finance leaders to focus on reducing healthcare disparities and promoting health equity, during HFMA’s Annual Conference held this week in Minneapolis and online.

While health disparities have been documented for decades, the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccination efforts brought the issue to the forefront for providers, payers and employers.

An August Business Group on Health survey showed that health equity and COVID-19’s long-term impact were among the top five major areas of concern for large U.S. employers.
 
“Health disparities have long been part of our ‘before’ narrative, well researched and documented for decades,” Jackson told finance professionals in a statement released by the HFMA. “No matter your role in this industry, there is much we can each do to make bold decisions and promote health equity. If we are well informed, well educated and well intentioned, our future looks brighter. As an industry, we can be better than we were before.”

She emphasized the need to raise awareness of any micro-aggressions and implicit biases manifested in the workplace. 

“We have to widen the lens to make room for people who may not fit in, who may not look like us, or who may have a different skill set or background,” she said. “I am talking about many kinds of diversity, not just racial diversity.”

WHY THIS MATTERS

Jackson, who is HFMA’s first Black board chair, is serving a 2021/ 2022 term that began June 1.

As the chief elected officer of HFMA, Jackson is responsible for providing overall direction to the association such as by establishing policies, appointing key leaders, planning educational programs and representing the association of 75,000 members at various events. 

THE LARGER TREND

Jackson is vice president of TransUnion Healthcare, leading the company’s go-to-market strategy and client-facing functions across the provider, payer and life-sciences domains. In a previous position as associate vice president at Conifer Health Solutions, Jackson focused on implementing value-based care strategies.

A member of HFMA since 2002, Jackson has served on the Association’s National Advisory Council and the National Board of Directors. She has also held leadership roles, including president of HFMA’s South Texas Chapter, and has served as chair and member of various committees for HFMA’s Gulf Coast, First Illinois and South Texas chapters.

ON THE RECORD

“Over the past six years, Tammie has brought invaluable insights and perspectives to her role as a voluntary director on the Association Board,” said HFMA President and CEO Joseph J. Fifer. “It’s serendipitous that her term as chair coincides with a time when issues of diversity, equity and inclusion are being elevated both within HFMA and throughout the healthcare industry.”

Twitter: @SusanJMorse
Email the writer: [email protected]

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