As 2023 has come to a close, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the past year. With the chaos of the “pandemic years” behind us, I feel like I can finally dive in and talk about the fantastic year we had at Azara, all of the cities and states our staff visited and the variety of achievements by our customers, team and company. However, I again want to acknowledge that COVID-19 and its aftermath have made a long-term impact on our world and that of our clients and their patients. In particular, we have witnessed a herculean effort by our provider clients to help make up for lost time and deferred care, including the thousands of annual checkups, immunizations and disease screenings that have been missed since 2020. These are fundamental things that keep individuals healthy; identifying and treating conditions and disease early and assuring patients are given every opportunity to adjust their course to minimize long-term, permanent damage and complications.
We also know that there are still many folks out there struggling with their mental health, having difficulty making ends meet and keeping their families healthy. We see what you, those on the front lines, face each day and applaud your hard work, selfless sacrifice, and the downright resilience you have shown to assure your patients, many of whom have no other options for healthcare, continued to be well cared for under these most difficult of circumstances.
2023 was not without its unique challenges and unexpected ups and downs here at Azara, but all in all a year we are pleased with. Q1 was highlighted by three major milestones; 1) Azara being honored as Best in KLAS Population Health Management Solution for 2023 2) the launch of Azara Cost & Utilization, our cost analysis tool for our provider and network clients operating in full risk value-based care contracts and 3) the wind down of the legacy SPH Ignite Product.
Spring was filled with excitement as our team planned and prepared to host 400+ clients and partners, in-person, for the 7th Annual Azara User Conference. What an event it was, our largest user conference ever, which included three days jam packed with presentations where many of our clients and partners highlighted how they are using Azara products, and the information they provide, to improve the health and lives of their patients on a daily basis. I think everyone walked away feeling energized and loaded up with great new ideas to put into practice.
Fall brought the clearest signal yet that the pandemic has ended, as the in-person events of conference season overtook the schedules of all of our client facing staff and a few of those brave enough to volunteer to jump into the fray to help out. It was refreshing as I traveled to San Diego for the NACHC Community Health Institute (CHI) and reconnected with so many clients, partners and friends. As we tied up the year, collectively, Azara staff attended 32 conferences in 30 states between September and November.
As our teams traversed the country, we consistently observed a set themes, concerns and initiatives across the varied clients, geographies, and domains that we touched: 1) An awareness and focus on health equity, 2) Movement toward more value-based care, 3) Staffing shortages and 4) Desire for more collaboration between Primary Care and Behavioral Health. I am happy to report Azara has products, services and innovation initiatives to help our clients in each of these areas and we will continue to listen to your needs, ideas and desires so that we can be there to assist you for many years to come.
Being a perpetual optimist, I can only reflect and hope that 2023’s positive progress will prepare us all for the great things that lie ahead for 2024 and the opportunities and challenges that await us.