ASHRM Academy Enterprise Risk Management (ERM)

Professional and Personal Growth Opportunities Abound at ASHRM Academy

At the start of each new year, I map out what I am going to do for professional growth. Part of that plan, in the realm of risk management, includes plugging into ASHRM Academy.

ASHRM Academy 2018 was in New Orleans. For those of you who have never been to one, each year is set in a different location, which adds new travel experiences. When I arrived in the New Orleans French Quarter, I heard laughter, loud music, trumpets being played, as well as a few Mardi Gras beads being tossed around. Sailors in white uniforms crowded Bourbon Street. This ambiance set the welcoming tone for the next several days of committed work during the day and, at night, relaxation and enjoyment of the many things this iconic city has to offer.

Among the things I have discovered you can count on finding at an ASHRM Academy are many risk managers’ tools, new and traditional, to assist us in doing our jobs. Participation, engagement and learning are important elements of this professional forum.  Here are some of the history, aim, goals, modules and my takeaways from ASHRM Academy 2018.

History and Aim

ASHRM Academy began in 2011. The goal was to create a mini-conference to be held mid-year prior to ASHRM’s annual conference; something a little more personal.  Today, although well attended, ASHRM Academy continues to provide a more intimate setting for professional growth. This bodes well for members who prefer smaller groups with the opportunity for more individualized participation.  Every year, I find the chatter and excitement that is present during Academy helps attract members to get plugged into the best risk management resources.

Professional Growth

Risk managers are challenged to stay on top of healthcare developments, as well as management of complex issues. Networking and collaborating with colleagues is a necessity. Risk managers are also tasked with professional growth, which requires keeping up with the latest risk management tools to move an organization forward to the next level, as well as driving safer care.  Each year, ASHRM Academy offers four days of education during which there are several tracts to choose.  They cover professional development, networking opportunities, tabletop exercises and learning modules, along with opportunities for participation and information sharing.

Academy Modules

The Academy’s top-rated modules offered this year included the Patient Safety Certificate Program, HRM Certificate Modules, ERM Certificate Program, Risk Financing Boot Camp and CPHRM Prep Course.   These modules are based on best practices in the healthcare industry and are designed to equip members with robust knowledge that they can take back to their healthcare facilities. The instructors who teach at the Academy are well seasoned risk managers who have become experts in specific fields of risk management.


As extremely busy professionals, we risk managers know that every opportunity to network can be an important gift and step toward building a e diverse go-to group for when advice is needed. Staying up-to-speed on the latest risk issues is paramount to success our field. Risk managers can walk away from the Academy with new contacts, new friends, new resources and possibly more robust career goals.

 My ASHRM Academy Takeaways

  • Don’t re-create the wheel.
  • Get plugged into your local and national ASHRM chapters.
  • Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself or your organization.
  • Sharing information is key.
  • Know your organization’s mission and vision.
  • Set goals and structure.
  • Know what tools are in your toolbox.
  • Identify who your resources are.
  • Know your resource material.
  • Know best practice.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask!
  • Above all, have FUN.

Member Feedback

Throughout the conference, I made a point to network and mingle with members whom I had never met.  This is always one of my goals when I attend an ASHRM gathering. I am often amazed at the value of what I learn about other organizations when I network. I want to share what some of those I spoke with said  about their ASHRM Academy experience:

  • Great teachers.
  • Lots of good information.
  • Can’t wait to implement some of these tools.
  • Great opportunity for networking.
  • Wonderful venue.
  • Delicious food.
  • Thought provoking.
  • Many strong leaders with a lot of experience.
  • Many different tools for risk management.
  • Preparing for my CPHRM certification.
  • Lots of passion.
  • Leadership alignment.
  • Definitely coming back next year.
  • I’m not alone.

If you have not yet had a chance to attend one of the Academy conferences, I urge you to take advantage of what ASHRM has to offer. Networking and learning with thousands of members who face your same daily risk management challenges is a  growth opportunity not to be missed.


Leigh Ann Yates, MBA, CPHRM, AIC, FASHRM, is director of Risk Management and Insurance at The George Washington Medical Faculty Associates in Washington, D. C.  She is a member of the ASHRM Social Media and Forum Task Forces. Twitter: @queenofrisk


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