'Giving Big' during Natl' Medical Group Practice Week

'Giving Big' during Natl' Medical Group Practice Week
By Devon Broderick

I don't know what cockles are, but if your heart has any, this little story will warm them.
 
In November 2008, the MGMA staff's Philanthropic Committee launched a fundraising campaign called "The Big Give," to end during National Medical Group Practice Week. Modeled loosely after Oprah's own project, the directive was simple: think BIG. And that's precisely what happened. Each department brainstormed ways to raise money for our beneficiary organization. Actually, it's really not adequate to call it "brainstorming." Let's call it "brain-hurricaning," because, honestly, Lucy Ricardo didn't come up with this many money-making schemes in all her years with Ricky. From a chili cookoff (see the picture) to holiday gift-wrapping to giant foundation donations, no single idea failed in its intent to pull in cash for Camp Wapiyapi

Since this week's theme is "Caring for Community," we couldn't have picked a better recipient. Developed by University of Colorado medical students, Camp Wapiyapi provides children with cancer a weeklong summer camp experience, replete with boating, arts, crafts, nature and companionship. MGMA chose Camp Wapiyapi as its beneficiary because of the profound service they do for the community: they shine a ray of light into the lives of kids who are having a really tough time and they do it each year at no cost to the participants. This is a remarkable, indispensable kindness. We wanted to return the favor, and MGMA employees were more than happy to oblige.

We started small with this campaign. The folks at Camp Wapiyapi handed us a wish list, and the initial push centered on trying to get them what they need. Very soon, however, people went crazy with ideas of how best to "extort" their coworkers' money for this purpose. As one of the campaign planners, I sat back in amazement as the building bustled with an almost frightening amount of energy for this project. Did I say "bustled?" It's apt to say that MGMA was positively frothy from Wapiyapi-induced hyperthermia. Each day, new ideas sprouted. Each week, there were many fun and/or tasty goings-on to prompt the forking over of cash. All told, we proudly raised more than $7,000 in cash and goods for Camp Wapiyapi (see the picture)!
 
When I thought about our blog, "MGMA In Practice," it evoked images of rallying for change at the governmental level, working hard to fulfill your needs to succeed, and matching speed with the ever-evolving state of affairs in medical practice management. It would be easy just to leave it at that and say MGMA has done enough, but we recognize that the health care industry is rooted in community. So, our Philanthropic Committee focuses its every effort on living up to its own name – reaching out and giving back, just like you do in your profession every day.  

Enjoying your week? Tell us how you gave back in the comments!  

Devon Broderick is MGMA's membership retention coordinator and an organizer for the MGMA staff Philanthropic Committee.

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