It’s been an exciting year to come on board and oversee all of the moving parts and changes we are making to the AAMI Annual Conference & Expo. For starters, we’ve revamped the schedule, expanded the Expo Hall, enhanced the awards ceremony, and bolstered networking opportunities. There are more fun surprises in store, and I am absolutely committed to ensuring this event continues to offer fresh experiences and opportunities for professional growth for the healthcare technology management community.
One of my favorite experiences from AAMI 2014 in Philadelphia was when I facilitated the attendee orientation. To kick off the session, I provided the attendees a note card and asked everyone to write down what influenced their decision to attend or what they were hoping to get out of the conference. Learning the answer to this question is one of the most important ways I can help attendees navigate their way. Whether that is pointing them in the direction of an education session, introducing them to a member or subject matter expert, or simply listening and learning how I can help better serve the needs of the HTM community, I’m ready to hear the answer!
There were a range of responses—from wanting to hear The Joint Commission’s George Mills speak, to a desire to learn more about wireless technology, sterile processing, and human factors. Those were easy requests, and I could confidently assure folks that those objectives would be met while attending the conference. There was, however, one response that stands out in my mind to this very day, and it was from one attendee who very honestly stated, “I have no clue what I’m doing and I’m hoping you can point me in the right direction!” While the comment brought a quick wave of laughter, it was clear many in the room could relate, and this individual was embraced with a spirit of camaraderie and support. After all, we’ve all been there, and this is one of the most valuable benefits of attending any conference—the opportunity to meet face to face with peers, enjoying their support and sharing ideas.
That comment sums up perfectly what I believe the annual conference is all about—it’s not only AAMI’s flagship educational event, but at the very core it is meant to be an environment that fosters learning and professional development, provides opportunities for meaningful conversations, and allows you to feel connected to a supportive community. Helping each other navigate our way is what the conference is all about.
How can I make the experience I’ve described just that for you at AAMI 2015 in Denver? I welcome your suggestions and invite you to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are interested in speaking at the conference, the Call for Session Proposals is open until Dec. 5, 2014. We’d love to hear your ideas and consider your topic or case study for presentation at a session.
Tirza Lofgreen is director of education at AAMI and is passionate about creating memorable conferences and educational experiences.