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Keynote Speaker for Arizona Alliance for Community Health Centers – Donna M. Hughes

The Arizona Alliance for Community Health Centers (the Alliance) is the Primary Care Association (PCA) for Arizona. The organization exists to support and grow the healthcare safety net that includes health centers, look-alikes, and Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), as well as organizations interested in becoming health centers. They also drive health center growth by assessing unmet healthcare needs at both local and statewide levels and identifying opportunities for community health centers to be a part of the solution.

Donna M. Hughes, the founder of Hughes Solutions, an executive coaching and consulting firm, delivered the keynote speech for the Arizona Alliance for Community Health Centers 2023 annual conference. Aligned with the conference’s theme, Donna spoke about leadership competencies needed to attract, retain and inspire employees amid massive change. Here are some quotes from her speech:

“We tell ourselves stories. Every day. But whether that story is limiting, or rich with possibilities, is up to us. Embracing change is about seeing opportunity in adversity.”

“Once we embrace change as leaders, we are better equipped to lead others through change. And by embrace, I don’t necessarily mean we are all of a sudden comfortable. We’re humans. Some journeys to full acceptance may take longer than others, but embracing change means being open to the possibilities.”

Donna inspired the audience as she drew the connection between a leader’s personal “why” and their ability to forge ahead during change. She expressed, “…sometimes your WHY may be all you have to hold on to. Sometimes it will help you shift your relationship with change and instead of being challenged by the white waters, you put your vest on and jump in first, and set that example for your entire team.”

Jessica Yanow, the current CEO of the Alliance described Donna’s keynote as “…timely and well-received as our health centers continue to adapt … to changes in the healthcare delivery environment, including the workforce. Her focus on grounding ourselves in our unique ‘why’ for doing this work resonated with many of our mission-driven attendees.”

Attendee, Morrisa Rice, Ph.D., Health Center Engagement Deputy Director for the Health Resources and Services Administration, had this to say about Donna’s keynote speech: “Donna Hughes was such an inspiring speaker who encouraged us as leaders to think outside of the box. One thing that stuck with me was the word “transparency”. She encouraged us to be empathetic and nurture our teams because they will [continue to] show up despite the change if we are honest and transparent.”

Donna M. Hughes delivering the keynote speech

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