Dr. Halee Fischer-Wright
President and CEO
Medical Group Management Association (MGMA)
Location: Englewood, Colorado
When COVID-19 hit the United States in spring 2020, it presented an immense challenge for the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA), but, as President and CEO Halee Fischer-Wright describes it, the pandemic also presented “the biggest opportunity of our 97-year history.”
MGMA is a healthcare business association for professionals who lead medical practices. The association chose to be the go-to source for medical practices across the country to navigate the pandemic. The association prioritized sharing daily information on the pandemic, conducted new research and surveys and harnessed the power of its member communities by hosting more than 2,000 forums on COVID-19-related topics. MGMA also launched educational webinars and podcasts, created an online conference focused on medical practice sustainability in difficult times and pursued government advocacy efforts on a number of topics that touched the membership.
“As someone who prides herself on being a lifelong learner, COVID provided me both a leadership education as well as personal ‘ahas’ that have changed my approach as both a person and CEO,” Fischer-Wright said. “From a CEO perspective, the most important lesson was how to be influential in a capacity greater than my organizational title. Being a CEO means you think about your own organization; being a titan means you think larger, certainly on an industry level, maybe even globally.”
The focus for MGMA over the next five years is building the foundation for the future, which includes tripling both revenue and audience. The organization is undergoing a transformation to build product development teams and implement artificial intelligence technology and content development into its existing teams. “Over the next three years, we will develop into a product-focused organization, and this is the foundation that builds our future for the next five to 10 years,” Fischer-Wright said.
Those longer-term goals are aimed at ensuring the health and relevance of the association. On a personal note, Fischer-Wright wants her legacy at the organization to be growth, renewal and the ability to thrive in a challenging healthcare environment, she said. “My biggest wish is that my individual legacy lives on through the people that work at MGMA through their ongoing leadership development, encouraging creativity and curiosity with the goal that the experience of being part of MGMA will serve as the positive standard against which they measure all future career opportunities,” she said.
Fischer-Wright is one of 12 to be named a titan hall of famer.
“My advice for the next generation of titans is to be grateful,” she said. “Gratitude is far more significant than we give it credit within organizations — leaders who are genuinely grateful are the true custodians of organizational culture. Waxing somewhat poetically, those leaders wield gratitude like a shield protecting their workplaces against the culture killers of disrespect, complacency and lack of trust. Gratitude makes successful titans aware at all times that their successes are not theirs alone.”
"Being a CEO means you think about your own organization; being a titan means you think larger, certainly on an industry level, maybe even globally."