There are a lot of challenges facing healthcare administrators today, including those who are tasked with raising funds for hospitals and patient care. Michelle Boggs, president of the Nicklaus Children’s Hospital Foundation, has found that having a resource like ACHE of South Florida has provided her with the tools she needs to keep up-to-date on the latest industry news.
“I’ve taken advantage of the educational resources that ACHE of South Florida provides, which has helped me stay active and informed in this industry,” explained Boggs, who joined the American College of Healthcare Executives at the end of 2019. “If I have questions, or want to understand how things are evolving, I can tap into the resources that membership provides.”
Boggs joined Nicklaus Children’s Hospital Foundation in September of 2018 after serving in a number of development roles at the American Heart Association for almost 13 years.
“I was ready for a change, and was looking for a place where I could create my own vision,” she said.
Nicklaus Children’s Hospital Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the nonprofit hospital, where Boggs’ primary focus is raising funds to support world-class pediatric healthcare for patients in South Florida and beyond.
“I’m charged with bringing in revenue to offset how expensive it is to run a children’s hospital, where approximately 71 percent of our patients are covered by Medicaid,” she explained. “My job is to encourage greater philanthropic support that allows us to continue to sustain and grow our care for children in South Florida for generations to come.”
Boggs says that typically, the majority of private funding to the hospital comes from individuals of high net worth, along with support from corporations and community partnerships.
“We’re also the Children’s Miracle Network partner hospital in South Florida,” she said, adding that the foundation receives support every year from point-of-sale donations in Walmart, Costco, Publix and other stores.
The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has created challenges for raising funds due to the postponement of key events. Each year, Nicklaus Children’s Hospital Foundation hosts several very successful signature fundraisers, including the Diamond Ball gala, which raised a record $2 million last year.
“Although children are not as severely impacted by the virus, there is a misconception that children’s hospitals are not affected,” said Boggs. “But on average, children’s hospitals across the country are losing $1 million a day due to lost revenue, lower patient volumes and higher supply costs, so we still need philanthropic support.
“Corporations are scaling back on budgets, and when and how much they can give,” she added. “Some of our annual donors have lost jobs and are struggling to meet their families’ needs, so like many other philanthropic institutions in our community and across the nation, we may see a marked decrease in fundraising revenue this year.”
With the pandemic likely not going away anytime soon, Boggs, along with her board of directors and executive team, has been exploring alternative approaches to fundraising that support the hospital’s greatest needs, such as the Nicklaus Children’s COVID-19 Relief Fund. Boggs is also making connections wherever possible—including through her ACHE membership.
“I joined because I wanted to be among like-minded hospital administrators and professionals and to build strategic relationships both inside and outside the hospital setting,” she said. “While I haven’t been able to network in person because of COVID-19, I’m looking forward to my first virtual event this week.”
Boggs adds that membership in this type of organization can only help healthcare professionals in the long run.
“If you’re an avid learner like me, it provides a lot of resources that you can use,” she said. “It allows you to take charge of your career and the impact you want to make in healthcare.
“With the uncertainty that COVID-19 brings to all of our lives, it’s good to have this professional resource,” she added. “Knowing how things are changing in the market lets you better position and advocate for yourself. The more connections you have, and the more relationships you’ve established, the more it sets you apart from the competition.”