Who says you can’t go back? Been all around the world and as a matter of fact, there’s only one place left I want to go. Who says you can’t go home? –Bon Jovi
What better way to begin my initial column than with a reference to the pride of New Jersey, Jon Bon Jovi? (Apologies to Frank Sinatra, Jack Nicholson, and Bruce Springsteen, of course.)
As healthsystemCIO.com readers might know from last week’s announcement (as well as Anthony’s blog), I recently joined the staff as managing editor. I had been doing some work for the site, but it wasn’t my full-time job. Healthcare IT, however, was never far from my mind, and I’m thrilled to be back.
In many ways, I really do feel as if I’ve come home. I imagine it’s how Bon Jovi feels when he returns to the Meadowlands after a world tour. One thing you’ll learn about me is that I love to include as many references about sports—and my beloved home state of New Jersey—as possible in my columns. Sports analogies are usually my go-to move, but in this case, it didn’t seem to fit.
I tried to think of an example of an athlete who returned to his or her team after playing somewhere else, but that doesn’t work because often when an athlete comes back to a team, it’s at the end of his or her career. This certainly isn’t the end for me. And it isn’t one of those Brett Favre situations where a player retires, then changes his mind when he realizes he isn’t ready for retirement.
For me, I never felt like the door was closed. When I left a position with Healthcare Informatics two years ago, I strongly believed that I’d be able to return to this incredible industry if the right opportunity presented itself. That opportunity came when Anthony Guerra first asked me to do freelance work for the site. When a staff position was made available, I was absolutely thrilled to be working with someone with whom I truly had a great relationship. When I first started at Healthcare Informatics, Anthony took the time to mentor me, giving me pointers when I needed them, introducing me to key people at my first HIMSS meeting, and readying me for the position of associate managing editor that I ultimately attained. Taking this job was a no-brainer.
And then there’s the other part: returning to healthcare IT. During my time away, I realized how much I missed being part of an exciting, fast-paced industry that was enormous and small at the same time; enormous because it’s constantly making headlines on the national level, and small because everyone seems to know each other. Somehow, healthcare IT manages to strike that difficult balance. And despite the fact that it’s changing all the time, there’s a familiarity about healthcare IT that never goes away.
I was definitely ready to come back. And although it occurred to me that my expectations might be too high—that I was looking at my healthcare IT past with rose-colored glasses, I didn’t take that fear too seriously. Sure enough, it hasn’t been the case. After the announcement that I had joined the staff hit the news wires, I received several e-mails from people I had worked with or interviewed in the past congratulating me on my new position and welcoming me back. And when I registered for HIMSS, I felt a wave of excitement that I’d be going to one of the biggest events in the industry, reconnecting with old friends and making new connections.
It was like I’d come home.