We Are HIMSS Member Spotlight: Polly Israni

Polly Israni

At HIMSS, our members are the heart of our organization, made up of more than 100,000 individuals, 480 provider organizations, 470 non-profit partners and 650 health services organizations. Because their contributions are essential to our success, we seek to recognize their many accomplishments across title, worksite, region and career stage. Today and every day, we celebrate the essential endeavors of these health information and technology changemakers. #wearehimss

"I have had many encouraging teachers, mentors, and supporters along the way who have helped me push through my barriers. Looking forward many years later, I see an opportunity to help lift the voices of others who are underrepresented." -Polly Israni


Polly Israni is an ambassador on the Global Health Equity Network Advisory Task Force.

Polly Israni, MBA  
Global Marketing Lead, Healthcare and Life Sciences
Google Cloud 

Why are you passionate about championing health equity?

As a woman of color, engineer, tech employee and someone who grew up in a suburb of Virginia where there were very few immigrant families, I'm no stranger to being a minority in the room. Luckily, I have had many encouraging teachers, mentors and supporters along the way who have helped me push through my barriers. Looking forward many years later, I see an opportunity to help lift the voices of others who are underrepresented.

What do you do to support health equity?

As a healthcare marketer, I feel a sense of responsibility to ensure my marketing represents diverse voices because it is a platform to elevate voices that are often unheard. Through my efforts last year, 92 percent of all the events I hosted in 2021 had speakers who would fall within the category of diversity and inclusion.

We encourage embracing and announcing achievements with confidence. Please share an accomplishment that you find to be significant.

There are several career achievements I am proud of, but I'll share a more personal one from a young age. When I was seven years old, my mom found a piano teacher for me, and at age 13, I eventually started teaching others. I began to host recitals in the living room for my seven students, which was officially my first job. My dedication to music — and piano in particular — gave me the sense that anything was possible if you put your mind to it. Unlike the rigidity of academics, my goals in piano were fluid. I was the only one who could define what qualified as "good," which shaped my achiever mindset at a young age. I was very competitive with myself and in the sphere of music. I started to compete and was the first student under my piano teacher to earn a high school diploma in music. I have tried to approach my career in the same way, by setting my own bar.

Beyond the achievement side of things, music was also a mechanism for connecting with others, including my teacher and extended family members who visited from outside of the United States. It was hugely rewarding and something I recently reconnected with during the COVID-19 pandemic.

What’s your favorite book, movie and quote?

  • Favorite books: "Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain" by Oliver Sacks and "Tao Te Ching" by Laozi
  • Favorite movie: "The Sound of Music"
  • Favorite quote: "What you seek is seeking you." - Rumi

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