As I noted in my recent post on tips for business travelers, I’ve been on the road a lot lately. Some of that travel has been for what I call “give back time.” Over the years I’ve participated on various boards and committees, volunteering my time to advance our industry.
But it’s not all about giving – I get plenty from it as well.
I’m in my sixth year on the AAMI board. For this second three-year term, I’ve also been a member-at-large on the executive committee, which means an extra day of meetings twice a year and more materials to review beyond the core board work.
As part of the AAMI board, I have had the opportunity to get to know a diverse set of senior leaders in the medical technology industry. This includes the CEO of Steris, the Chief Quality Officer of BD, the Global Product Security and Services Officer for Royal Philips, and the Director for Health Technology Management for the VA – to name a few. There are several board members from provider organizations, including physician and health technology management (HTM) leaders. Along with Pam Arora, CIO at Children’s Health in Dallas, I offer perspective from the viewpoint of a health IT leader. Different than the contributions that other members make.
As a board, we learn from one another and help advance the mission of AAMI, which is to lead global collaboration in the development, management, and use of safe and effective health technology.
I’m in my second year as a member of the External Advisory Committee on Information Technology for a private university in the Midwest. My colleagues on this committee are retired university CIOs and entrepreneurs. Again, I can offer a health IT perspective relative to the work of the medical school, while learning about the broader challenges of a university IT environment.
Between this committee and the AAMI board, I am getting to know people that I would otherwise not have had a chance to meet.
Along with several healthcare CIOs and IT vendor representatives, I also serve on the CHIME Education Foundation board, which provides scholarships and tuition assistance to CHIME members and future healthcare leaders. I have served on the CHIME board and numerous committees in the past. Involvement in CHIME has been an important part of my work as a healthcare CIO over the years. As a lifetime member, I try to stay involved and help where I can.
One of the ways many CHIME members are giving back these days is through the Opioid Task Force. You can learn more about their important work here.
Making time for these meetings and doing all the prep work required is something that may seem difficult to juggle at times. But it is something I will continue to do.
Giving back is something I learned at a very young age from my mother. My earliest volunteer work was in the sixth grade when I organized a group of girlfriends to help a family that had a young child with a very serious physical disability. We went to his home a few times a week after school to do exercises with him. His mother got a much-needed break and we helped him develop his muscles. That was just the beginning of many different types of volunteer work I did all the way through high school. And a commitment to “give back” that I have carried into my professional career.
Have you found your niche and a way to give back? I guarantee you will receive as much as you give.