The annual conference of the New England Society for Healthcare Communications (NESHCo) is the perfect event for connecting with peers, and it is taking place this week. I’ve been attending this conference for more than 10 years and I can still remember being a conference newcomer and not knowing anyone. It didn’t take long for me to start meeting people and making friends. When board members learned that I was interested in serving as a volunteer, they quickly enlisted me to serve on the membership committee. That volunteer position soon turned into a nomination to serve on the board of directors. Today, I am the vice president of the board and serve on the marketing committee. Some of my most profound professional relationships and friendships grew out of my role as a NESHCo member.
Without a doubt, my favorite part of attending the annual conference is the social element. I love reconnecting with colleagues and old friends. Of course, I also love meeting professionals who are attending the conference for the first time and introducing them to my peers. To that end, here’s a list of 10 people that I recommend seeking out while you attend this year’s NESHCo conference:
Jeff Steblea – @JeffSteblea – I think the world of Jeff – better known as Ingrid’s husband! Jeff is one of my close friends and works as a marketing, communications and strategy consultant with Eruptr. While we’re talking about Eruptr, I also strongly recommend meeting my friend, Joel Cessna – @JoelCessna – their VP of Sales. Joel and Jeff are two of the really good guys in this world and they just happen to work in digital healthcare marketing. They also both serve on the NESHCo board of directors.
Amy Jose – @amyjose21 – Rock star healthcare marketer who works at @SpectrumHCP in Maine. Amy was in the first cohort to go through NESHCo’s Emerging Leaders Program. Follow her on Twitter and you won’t miss a minute of the conference. She is a speed-Tweeter. And while I’m mentioning kick-butt marketers from Maine, I have to recommend Kelly David – @kldavid – Marketing and Public Relations Director, Spectrum Healthcare Partners. Kelly and Amy are part of the elite marketing team that was just recognized by #HITMC as the Marketing/PR/Communication Team of the Year! Kelly also serves on the NESHCo board of directors and runs half-marathons in her spare time. She is awe-inspiring.
Mike O’Farrell – @mofarrell – Not only is Mike a smart marketer and strategic thinker, but he is also one of the funniest people I know. Oh, and did I mention that he has great taste in craft beer? He’s that guy. Mike serves as Director of Communications at Lawrence + Memorial Hospital in New London, CT. Importantly, he also is president (my leader) of the NESHCo board of directors! If you get a chance, you should take some time to get to know this guy. I’m glad I did.
Jared Johnson – @JaredPiano – Rapper, podcast host, cactus-gifter, all around good guy. If you can’t tell, I really like Jared and consider him a friend. He will be delivering one of the keynote presentations at the conference and it will be memorable. Jared is a healthcare marketer who builds innovative brands through digital strategy and engaging content. Don’t miss this opportunity to meet Jared.
Dean Browell – @dbrowell – Dean and I are long-time friends who first met at a NESHCo conference. We’ve been friends ever since. Just a couple of weeks ago I got to spend a Saturday afternoon with Dean, Caroline (his wife), and Addy (his daughter). What a great family. I will warn you that Dean is on a Twitter diet so you won’t see a lot of Tweets from him these days. But, if you’re attending the NESHCo conference, you’ll get to see Dean presenting! Now here’s the crazy thing: Dean and I are presenting opposite one another. Yes, we are presenting on the same day, at the same time. How does that happen? I’m thinking of skipping my presentation to attend his. Dean is presenting with Alan Shoebridge, the Director of Marketing at Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System. Alan is another really smart healthcare marketer! Both Alan and Dean are SHSMD board members. @alanshoebridge
Stephanie Gonthier – @StephanieGonth3 – Stephanie is the Executive Vice President of Market Street Research for Market Street Research. Stephanie will be presenting at the conference together with Julie Sorensen (Cooley Dickinson Health Care) and Patrick Kane (Cape Cod Healthcare). Their topic is Harnessing patient experience to transform the delivery of healthcare. Julia Sorensen – @juliasorensen – Along with being the Chief Marketing and Communications Officer at Cooley Dickinson Health Care in Northampton, MA, Julia is also a long-time NESHCo board member. Check out their presentation and meet the entire group
Jill McDonald Halsey – @Jill_McDonald2 – Chief Marketing and Communication Officer, Lawrence General Hospital, Lawrence, MA. Jill was the driving force behind NESHCo’s new Emerging Leaders Program. The first cohort will be graduating at this week’s conference. Jill will be leading a panel discussion titled: Success, growth, and professional development in the communications profession. If you’ve got questions about participating in the Emerging Leaders Program, Jill is the perfect person to ask. She’s also just a good person to know and someone with a wealth of experience. She is a current NESHCo board member and a former president of the board.
Okay, that’s my list. Enjoy the conference. If you see me wandering the halls, please come up and say hello!