Fall 2016 Newsletter ♦ Calling All Innovators

By Jim Bloedau, President Elect and Stevie Bahu, President

The annual HIMSS Leadership Exchange was held in Chicago recently. This meeting is open to all 55 chapters of HIMSS to learn and share best practices for moving to the next level of serving the membership. Stevie Bahu, our Chapter President, and I attended this highly respected event.  

What was a bit surprising was that after all in attendance introduced themselves and their chapter responsibilities, Carla Smith, MA, CNM, FHIMSS, EVP HIMSS North America called attention to the Northern California Chapter after hearing that we had something she had never heard of in HIMSS – an Innovation Committee. “Having a committee like that is truly innovation,” she exulted.  

The resultant effect of Carla’s admiration was a steady stream of attendees wanting to learn from us what we were doing, but more so, “What’s your take on the meaning of innovation?”

The NorCal HIMSS Chapter Innovation Committee’s working premise is that there are very few innovations that we could create that could be called “breakthrough” or “an unmet need.”  What we have focused on is addressing the “poorly met needs” of the Chapter membership, particularly around education and professional growth, the two pillars of our mission.  

This mindset guided us to successfully pilot and empower a number of programs to serve the membership better and include:

  • Webinars: Initiated last year by Dr. Robert Wilkov and now directed by Ms. Naoko Okumoto, in collaboration with HFMA, six webinars have been held over the last year with six more scheduled for 2016-17.
  • Regional Meetups: With the pilot managed by Jason Johnson and Mariana Hu, now the Program Director, we have held educational Meetups from the South Bay to Sacramento to better serve those members who cannot travel to our main conferences due to distance or traffic.   
  • Vendor Sponsored Scholarships: Nick Steinbach, Chair of Sponsorship, has revamped our vendor program to include greater support with vendor sponsored scholarships for CPHIMS courses and exams. 
  • CPHIMS Courses and Exams:  With Cathy Coleman, RN, the Program Director, we already have one class in the queue for 2016 with several others in development. We expect to exceed the HIMSS national records set with just our pilot.

Perhaps the most important “innovation” is the welcoming of many new members, volunteers and board members who are bringing fresh thought and energy into improving member experience, professional growth opportunities and vendor collaboration. 

If you have even the slightest twinge of “innovator arousal” and want to join a great group of people, contact either Stevie.Bahu@gmail.com or JimBloedau@gmail.com with your questions and we’ll help you get on board!  Why not do it now?!

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