FY19 Professional Development Committee Chair Year-End Recap

It has been my distinct pleasure to have been able to serve as the Chair of the HIMSS Professional Development Committee (PDC) over the past 2018-2019 year. As I reflect back on my two years tenure on the committee, and specifically, the last year, the PDC committee has been able to accomplish all of its assigned goals and objectives. The committee was a larger than normal committee this past year due to the addition of several members who previously served on the TIGER committee and task forces as well as the creation of a Students and Early Careerists Task Force which reported up to the PDC. The committee welcomed these members and assimilated them into the group. In total, 19 committee members were on the committee representing the full geography of the country, as well as one international member, with representatives from the full diversity of our field.

One of the duties of the PDC committee is to review and recommend students for the various HIMSS scholarships, as well as serve as judges on an Awards Selection Committee for various HIMSS awards. This year, the committee participated in judging 122 submitted scholarship applications so that HIMSS could award seven scholarships to deserving students! This was an activity that I, along with several other committee members, participated in for the past 2 years, which I found to be very rewarding. Seeing the talented students who are trying to advance their IT professional careers, and knowing that we can have an impact on that is very professionally rewarding. Prior to and during the HIMSS Global conference, PDC committee members played a pivotal role in helping to develop and support the HIMSS19 Career Fair. Student and Early Careerists posters were evaluated and selected for presentation as part of the career fair. In addition, members of the PDC helped to identify topics and speakers, and some even served as presenters themselves, for the various presentations which were presented as a part of the day. Numerous employers participated in the career fair, and for me, the highlight of the day was again giving back by meeting with, and reviewing student and early careerist resume in our annual resume review and feedback process. Interested individuals were able to sign up and get a one-on-one meeting with an IT leader who could offer advice on how to make their resume better. Again, this giving back feature, was the highlight of my HIMSS experience and one in which I really looked forward to participating. Lastly, PDC members volunteered to produce a Career Development Seminar which was held as a preconference event during the HIMSS Global Conference; several PDC members also served as speakers for this event.

Another major initiative of the PDC was the continuation of the Job Descriptions project which was initiated with previous PDC committees. This year, the committee reviewed and updated the 22 existing job descriptions posted on the HIMSS website and then has been working to update or create an additional 27 job descriptions. By the time the committee has completed their work for this current committee year, there will be almost 50 job description templates posted on the HIMSS website for interested IT leaders, students and early careerists, and current IT professionals to use for development and management-related purposes. This once again shows HIMSS and the PDC at its finest in providing a valuable resource for its members and the profession at large.

Lastly, the TIGER task force (Technology Informatics Guiding Education Reform) was incorporated in the HIMSS standing committee this year. Toria Shaw, senior manager, HIMSS, along with her task force and workgroup chairs assisted in incorporating the outstanding tasks of the committee and task force into the PDC committee, throughout the year. A sampling of the activities of this sub-group within the PDC committee included, submitting and facilitating two TIGER volunteer-led sessions at the HIMSS Global conferences.  Additional presentations were also presented at the 17th World Congress of Medical and Health Informatics (MEDINFO) 2019 which was held in Lyon, France. The TIGER virtual learning environment (VLE) was also re-launched this past year. The TIGER VLE is an interactive, online learning platform for academic professionals, students, adult learners, and clinical educators. This personalized learning experience, containing courses and webinars, expands knowledge and skillset in a self-paced format for interested learners, and is another great example of the quality education that is provided by the HIMSS organization and its members. Lastly the TIGER Scholars workgroup was launched as an internship opportunity directed at masters and doctoral level students, with the goal of mentoring and helping advance future healthcare leaders.

I hope that one can see that the HIMSS PDC and its members have been very busy this past year.  I have been thrilled to have been a part of the success of this committee, first as a member, and then this past year, as the Chair. I would like to thank all of the committee members for their hard work. In addition, not much of these successes could have been achieved without the support and direction of the HIMSS staff, specifically Mara Daiker, DonVielle Young, and Stefan Werdegar, so a special thank you goes out these three hardworking HIMSS staff members!

Scott E Aikey, MLS(ASCP)CMDLMCM, is Sr. Director, Core Clinical Applications, Information Services, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Scott is the past Chair of the HIMSS Professional Development Committee.