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Second Place State Affiliate of the Year Award Winner

MGMA is proud to announce the State Affiliate of the Year Award Winners of 2022

Second place winner: Montana

Montana MGMA Strategic Plan 2021-2022:

MTMGMA was at a crossroads. The association was coming off three tumultuous years, between staff changes, declining membership, weary board members, financial hardships, not to mention a canceled conference due to the pandemic. We entered our annual strategic planning meeting for 2021, realizing that unless challenging decisions were made and relentless efforts were contributed by boards members, we would be unable to sustain the association. MTMGMA contracted with a company specializing in strategic planning, FutureSync International, to reignite and unify our boards’ focus.

After revisiting our mission and purpose statements, the board set four pillars that support our association: Advocacy, Relevant Education, Professional Networking, and Membership Growth. Each pillar included objectives, key milestones, and measurable success statements as indicated below:


Goal: To follow MTMGMA’s Mission objectives through education and networking, adding value to membership and making an impact through resources and tools.

  • Recruit an engaged legislative liaison co-chairo Form an advocacy committee
  • Frequently update our members on legislative issues
  • Include additional advocacy updates throughout the year (not only at our annual conference)
  • Build and expand advocacy partnerships with other associations
Success Measure: Improve ratings on members’ survey. Make Advocacy a top value for membership.
Relevant Education

Goal: To provide relevant educational opportunities -- both in time and strategic -- that meet the individual and collective needs of our members.

  • Craft an Education Needs Assessment
  • Incorporate Education into a value proposition and create talking points for marketing
  • Establish a 12-month educational map
  • Secure a grant through the Montana Healthcare Foundation (MTHF) to develop a COVID-19 recover/leadership educational plan that aligns with MTHF objectives
  • Update and Implement an Updated Mentorship Program
Success Measure: Webinar attendance, established education map, partnership with MTHF

Professional Networking

Goal: Provide exceptional and accessible professional networking opportunities encompassing the diversity of healthcare in Montana.

  • Each board member will invite and attend a zoom event with two new network partners
  • Redesign and/or implement key changes to our website, making it user-friendly and easier to connect
  • Identify key opportunities for improvement on our Listserv
Success Measure: Our membership will be more engaged by attending webinars, established virtual networking opportunities, and participating on our Listserv

Membership Growth

Goal: Manifesting a thriving community of highly engaged members who are committed to advancing healthcare in MT and advancing our profession.

  • Develop a marketing plan to recruit and retain members
  • Move forward with a partner affiliate agreement with MGMA and capitalize on dual membership opportunities
  • Develop a plan to retain and recruit affiliate business partners and reaffirm their value to our association and our appreciation for their support
Success Measure: By the end of 2021, we will increase membership to 100 members

Following our strategic planning meeting, the board was dedicated to implementing the strategic goals outlined in our plan. By utilizing the knowledge and drive of our board, we were able to execute the majority of our measurable goals in 2021.

MTMGMA knew we needed innovative initiates. Per our strategic plan, we began pursuing strategic partnerships with other organizations. We partnered with Big Sky Care Connect, a new Health Information Exchange for the state of Montana. Through this partnership, we were able to deliver our members HIE education while securing financial benefits for MTMGMA. We also partnered with the Montana Healthcare Foundation, familiarizing our members with their offerings, and securing them as our platinum conference sponsor. Currently, MTMGMA is actively pursuing a partnership with Montana Ambulatory Surgery Center Association (ASCA). We are exploring a joint conference venture or possibly welcoming ASCA members to MTMGMA as we combine forces and offer an ASCA education track.

In addition to strategic partnerships, MTMGMA created a new monthly virtual networking opportunity for our members to converge and discuss hot button issues, policies, commiserate about current challenges, and shared positive outcomes.

Were these goals achieved?
Yes, MTMGMA’s board was able to deliver results and fulfilled the commitment to our strategic plan.
Advocacy: We created an advocacy committee, which eagerly updated our members on the ever-changing policies and legislative changes that impacted practices across Montana. Mid-year, MTMGMA provided a legislative update via our webinar platform, welcoming all healthcare administrators across Montana. The webinar was timely, due to recently passed legislation in Montana that directly affected the healthcare community. It was greatly attended, appreciated, and received positive feedback.

Relevant Education: At the beginning of 2021, our education committee compiled an educational map, including bi-monthly webinars. We delivered timely educational webinars, some of which included, “What You Need to do to Prepare for CFPB Regulation F”, “Employee Engagement and Team Building”, and “Branding, Social Media, and Your Website”. We received positive feedback from our members relaying that our webinars were applicable, engaging, and relevant. Due to budget restraints, we were unable to revamp and reimplement our mentorship program in 2021. This strategic offering will remain on our longer-term agenda.

Professional Networking: In 2021, MTMGMA implemented a bi-monthly virtual networking hour called Mix and Mingle. This accomplished a strategic goal; however, attendance was low. This new benefit was not as popular as expected and will be re-evaluated moving into 2022.
In the past year, MTMGMA completely revamped our website, making it easier to navigate, removing unnecessary information and adding relevant material, fulfilling a strategic plan item.

Per our strategic plan, we concentrated on membership engagement, which significantly increased. Our board made an assertive effort to respond to Listserv postings, which resulted in a 52% increase in Listserv interactions in 2021. Our annual conference had a 9% attendee increase from our previous in person conference, despite climbing COVID numbers, hospital travel restrictions, and education budget cuts.

Membership Growth: Like many professional associations, MTMGMA had seen a steady membership decline over the past 5 years. We signed MGMA’s partner affiliate agreement, adding dual membership for 2021. This offering increased membership numbers.

The board set a lofty membership goal, to grow membership to 100 members by the end of 2021. We started the year at 78 members. We retained 90% of our membership and were able to grow membership to 103, a 32% increase. We successfully reached our goal!

Approaching 2021, MTMGMA was in a difficult position. Our reserves were steadily declining, the viability of an executive director was in question, and board leadership had disbandment discussions. The association had not been in the black since 2016. After many heart to heart conversations, MTMGMA’s board took risk, worked tirelessly, and continued moving forward. Step by step we implemented our strategic plan and celebrated small victories. We took a grassroots approach. Each board member called numerous potential members. We mailed postcards to over 300 medical practices across Montana, inviting their managers to join our association and offering them access to a free webinar. Our board gave their practice’s vendors brochures on affiliate membership and shared the value they would receiving by supporting our association. In a year that other state associations continued to see declining membership, struggled financially, and had decreased engagement, MTMGMA made a rebound. We grew membership by 32%, will finish 2021 well in the black for the first time since 2016, increased engagement by 52% on our Listserv, increased conference attendance by 9%, implemented networking opportunities, improved advocacy efforts, and strategically partnered with two other organizations.

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