Women Rising: How Aspiring Female Leaders Can Make The Most Of HIMSS

Sue Schade, Principal, StarBridge Advisors (Former CIO, University of Michigan HS)

HIMSS is just around the corner, and whether you are a first timer or an old timer, planning your schedule can be overwhelming. So many education sessions to consider, vendors to explore, and colleagues to meet up with, all amidst over 40,000 people and a facility that is guaranteed to get your daily step count to new highs!

For women attending HIMSS, there are several sessions and events you’ll want to consider adding to your schedule. Under the leadership of Carla Smith, Executive VP of HIMSS, there has been an increased focus by HIMSS on developing women in HIT.

Here are a few to bookmark.

The Women in Health IT Networking Reception has become an annual gathering where you can meet and socialize with women from across the industry. Remember, it’s all about networking! This year it’s being held Monday, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Blue Martini Lounge at Pointe Orlando. This is a ticket only event and space is limited so register soon.

#HealthITChicks meetup – Another annual event is the #HealthITChicks meetup, which will be at HIMSS Spot in Lobby C on Tuesday from 11 to 11:45 a.m. This was a fun session to be a panelist at last year — a lot of great questions from the moderator and audience. This year’s panel will focus on the role women play in the evolving world of mental health technology. The panel will be moderated by #HealthITChicks founder, Jennifer Dennard, with speakers Zereana Jess-Huff, Christine Moberg, Geeta Nayyar, MD, and Cindy Throop.

Disruptive Women Luncheon – A global panel of experts will share tips on navigating through uncertainty. Panelists include Nicole Gardner, Halle Tecco, Ceci Connolly, Sarah Kerruish, Peggy Williams, and Robin Strongin. This luncheon will be on Tuesday from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. in Room 414C.

Shattering the Glass Ceiling: Lessons Learned for Aspiring Female Executives – This has become a popular annual panel moderated by Carla Smith. I was honored to be part of this panel in 2016 with Deanna Wise, EVP and CIO at Dignity Health. You never know what issues might be discussed from year to year and there is plenty of opportunity for Q&A from the audience. This year’s panelists are Dr. Denise Hines, who heads eHealth Services Group and serves as the Executive Director of the Georgia Health Information Network (GaHIN), and Dr. Ruben Amarasingham, President and CEO of PCCI. The session is on Monday in W320, Chapin Theater, from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.

And last but not least, this is the inaugural year of the Most Influential Women in Health IT Awards. The seven women receiving this award were named in December. They will be honored at a ticket-only event on Monday night from 7:30-9:30PM. They will also be recognized at the Tuesday night HIMSS Awards Gala. Congratulations to these very deserving women.

I strongly encourage you to keep these events in mind as you plan your HIMSS17 schedule. And I hope to see you there!

A nationally recognized health IT leader with more than 30 years experience, Sue Schade is Principal at StarBridge Advisors, a firm that provides consulting, coaching, and interim management. Previously, she held CIO roles at University of Michigan Hospitals and Health Centers and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, most recently serving as interim CIO at University Hospitals in Cleveland. To follow her on Twitter, click here.


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