A Message from HIMSS NorCal President - FY21

It is with great honor and purpose that I begin my role as President of the HIMSS Northern California Chapter for the next year. We are facing unprecedented challenges and a level of uncertainty that, while daunting, remind us why we were drawn to healthcare in the first place. I’ve had the privilege of serving on the NorCal Board of Directors for the last six years which has allowed me to interact with some of the industry’s greatest thought leaders, learn about the challenges and successes of our members first-hand, help shape our membership offering, organize events, foster relationships with other chapters and professional organizations, and come up with new ways to create value for our chapter members.

While healthcare is changing rapidly, so are the ways we engage with one another. Last year we set out to find new ways to deliver top-tier educational events and networking opportunities at an affordable price. I am pleased to say we certainly accomplished this goal with many firsts. We produced a documentary series where healthcare IT leaders shared insights on the challenges and opportunities in healthcare today, we partnered with the HIMSS SoCal Chapter to host networking event at the infamous JP Morgan Global Healthcare Conference, and offered a startup pitch contest as part of our Innovation Conference Showcase. In addition to these firsts, we began offering more meetup events to give our members more opportunities to network with other locals.

When the pandemic hit in March, we were disappointed to miss out on an opportunity to experience the HIMSS Global Conference but quickly began making backup plans for our spring events. In a matter of weeks, we were able to convert our annual ePatient Summit to a series of virtual webinars, giving attendees free access to the same panel of presenters they would have seen in person. We also partnered with the SoCal chapter to transition our annual advocacy event, State HIT Day, to a series virtual webinars featuring nationally-recognized speakers and spearheaded a virtual advocacy march to promote the expansion of telemedicine.

I am incredibly proud of how quickly our board of directors, volunteers, members, speakers, and sponsors were able to adapt to a new way of operating and still deliver high-quality events. In just a few short months, we’ve learned important lessons that will influence our plans for the new year. 

We have three primary objectives for FY21:

  • Engage: engage with our members, sponsors, and professional partners to understand their needs and how we may be able to help.  
  • Innovate: offer innovative new ways to network, learn, advocate, and collaborate with one another in both traditional and virtual ways.
  • Transform: transform how our board operates to be more agile and better positioned to deliver value back to our community.  

I am thrilled to be joined by a combination of seasoned board members and ambitious new faces who will help us accomplish these objectives. Please welcome our HIMSS NorCal FY21 Board of Directors:

Executive Committee

  • Bridget Burke, President-Elect
  • Jason Johnson, FHIMSS, Past-President
  • Jeff Hawley, FHIMSS, Treasurer
  • Lauren Mock, Secretary

Committee Chairs

  • Nancy Hall, Advocacy Chair
  • Sofia Chancey, Education Chair
  • Lori Schulman, Marketing Chair
  • Charmydevine Beane, MHA, CPHIMS, Membership Chair
  • Liz Kearney, MS, LCGC, MBA, Programs Chair
  • Michelle Heimann, MA, Sponsorship Chair

Board Advisors

  • Nik Tehrani, PhD, FHIMSS, Education Committee
  • Larry Ozeran, MD, Advocacy Committee
  • David Akinsanya, MBA, Programs Committee

Our focus on healthcare and innovation has never been more important than now and as a member of HIMSS, you are the most important part. Our community is what makes the HIMSS NorCal Chapter one of the most dynamic, innovative, and strongest chapters in the country. While next year may not look like years past, we are committed to creating a sense of belonging to something great to each and every one of you.

I’d like to personally ask each of you to let us know how the chapter can support you in the upcoming year by taking a few minutes to complete this survey. The more we understand your needs and interests, the more we can help to satisfy those needs.

Becoming involved with the HIMSS NorCal board has been one of the most enlightening and rewarding decisions I have ever made. If you are looking for ways to give back to the healthcare community, grow professionally by expanding your skill sets, network with industry professionals, or simply be a part of something transformational, I encourage you to become a volunteer for our chapter. You can start exploring numerous opportunities by filling out our volunteer questionnaire.

Finally, on behalf of the FY21 Board of Directors, I’d like to thank you for being a part of our local HIMSS chapter and supporting our mission to reform the health ecosystem through the power of information and technology. Now is the time for us to come together and shape the future of healthcare for the benefit of us all.

Warmest Regards,

Jenni Bendfeldt, MHA, FHIMSS
​​​​​​President HIMSS Northern California