By K. Richard Douglas
There is a lot to be gained for the HTM professional who attends state, regional or national conventions, conferences or symposiums. The opportunity for career growth, networking and continuing education credits are just a few benefits. The events are normally a chance to rub elbows with counterparts who you don’t see often, an occasion to collect new contacts and connections for career enhancement and a source for learning. The reasons for attending these affairs are numerous.
Some examples of events that can benefit HTM professionals are the AAMI Exchange, the MD Expo (either the spring or fall conference) and a local or state association meeting. Each one checks off most boxes for personal gain and enjoyment. They are often hosted in nice places, which is an added bonus, and often include some meals and interesting keynotes.
As an HTM professional, if you had only three HTM-focused events you could attend in 2020, what would they be? TechNation suggests the annual AAMI Exchange, MD Expo (or ICE for imaging professionals) and a state or regional HTM association’s conference.The options are plentiful and the potential benefits that can be derived from each event can further an attendee’s career and knowledge. There are also other annual events offered by organizations that are not necessarily HTM-focused, but still beneficial to biomeds and others.
The costs of the events vary and the accommodation, meal plans and course offerings vary. Organizers are always focused on making the event a fun and enjoyable experience and there are often arrangements with a local hotel or resort as part of the package. Keynote speakers are another value-added component and study courses or qualified credits that are applicable to certification is yet another benefit.
In addition to providing valuable networking opportunities to established HTM professionals, many of these conferences help introduce new biomeds and prospective biomeds to the larger HTM community.
2020 AAMI Exchange
The 2019 AAMI Exchange event took place in Cleveland, Ohio. In previous years, the well-attended event was known as the AAMI Annual Conference & Expo. AAMI says that the new name reflects their “commitment to connect the full gamut of AAMI stakeholders – biomedical and clinical engineers, technicians, cybersecurity and sterilization experts, and hospital administrators and managers and the industry’s leading service and solution providers.”
The 2020 AAMI Exchange event will take place in the Big Easy; New Orleans. The conference will run June 12-15. Registration and housing will open in December 2019. The theme of the 2020 event will be “Engaging Minds. Empowering Success.” It is expected to attract 3,000 attendees and 200 exhibitors.
Certification is on the agenda.
“We will offer the CBET Study Course and offer the exam to be completed after the course if a person would like to take it. We will have other new experiences to announce that will strengthen HTM core competencies and drive new leadership skills in the near future,” says Sherrie Schulte, CAE, vice president of education at AAMI.
“We will be in New Orleans at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. Our headquarter hotel is the Hilton New Orleans Riverside,” Schulte says.
The event will offer a wealth of courses and exciting cutting-edge technology experiences.
“The AAMI Exchange will have over 80 education sessions. We will also have the IoT Xperience and VR/AR Theater on the expo floor. The Exchange will kick off with the welcome reception, which will be on the expo floor. We will also have our annual awards celebration and appreciation reception at Barcadia in New Orleans,” Schulte says.
AAMI’s choice of the famous city is based on several criteria.
“New Orleans is a great location for many reasons. Besides its culture, food, fun, and entertainment, New Orleans is an untapped market. AAMI has not been here in quite a while and we like to visit all areas of the country in order to be able to offer top-notch education opportunities to the HTM field and an expo experience in the area. New Orleans and the nearby area have world-class medical schools and medical systems that will be able to participate in the conference. We also have strong industry partners that are in region,” Schulte says.
The Imaging Conference and Expo (ICE)
The 2020 Imaging Conference and Expo (ICE) will take place in beautiful Scottsdale, Arizona. The city, which lies outside of Phoenix, offers upscale shopping, eclectic restaurants, art galleries and a touristy area called Old Town Scottsdale. There is a lot for visitors to see and do.
The conference will take place at the Hilton Scottsdale Resort on February 9-11. The event invites imaging directors, radiology administrators and imaging engineers from hospital imaging departments, freestanding imaging centers and group practices to attend. The conference offers the opportunity to earn CE credits from the ASRT and ACI (pending approval).
The ICE event bills itself as the only conference to bring together imaging engineers with leaders in imaging management. The 2019 conference brought together nearly 500 attendees, including exhibitors.
Attendees will enjoy networking, a CRES prep course, an exhibit hall and a grand finale party. There will be as many as 30 education opportunities. Presenters at the event promise to provide actionable information that can benefit imaging professionals.
There is also a comprehensive exhibitor hall featuring nearly 100 vendors showcasing the latest in technology. The event also includes the ICE 18 Leadership Summit and Reverse Expo. ICE 18 includes more than 40 imaging directors from premier health care systems around the country.
The conference offers complimentary admission for all hospital employees, members of the military, students and imaging center personnel. The ICE event is surely the imaging conference to attend each year. For more information, visit AttendICE.com.
MD Expo strives to provide healthcare technology management professionals with a unique, intimate and rewarding conference second to none. For three eventful days, clinical engineers, biomedical technicians, directors and managers, procurement/asset managers and others responsible for medical technology will gather in a one-of-a-kind warm and welcoming environment to network with peers, learn the latest technologies and advances in HTM. Choosing which Expo to attend may come down to logistics or the more convenient time, but with two per year, there is some flexibility. MD Expo is free for hospital employees, members of the military and students.
The 2020 spring Expo will take place in Irvine, California from April 20-22. The Fall Expo will be in Tampa, Florida from November 8-10.
MD Expo has been an industry fixture for nearly 20 years. The fall 2019 event included more than 45 hours of education, a keynote presentation, a signature networking event, a block party and CBET review. It was held at the Hilton Baltimore Inner Harbor. For more information about MD Expo Baltimore, see Page 12.
The event’s keynote speaker was Anthony J. Montagnolo, chief operating officer and executive vice president at ECRI Institute. Montagnolo’s presentation was titled “Crossing the Health Technology Chasm; Building a Bridge to the Future.”
Attendance at an MD Expo, in the spring or fall, provides a great chance to rub elbows with other HTM professionals and earn valuable CE credits.
State Groups Get It Right
One of the central roles of statewide HTM associations and societies is to bring its biomed community, and vendors, together once a year for a special event. Call it a conference or symposium, these state events are usually the culmination of a lot of work by the leadership and select members of the state biomed group. It is often the one time that biomeds from all corners of a state are in one place at one time.
These annual get-togethers offer a variety of activities, educational opportunities and networking.
Some of the larger annual events are hosted by the California Medical Instrumentation Association (CMIA), Florida Biomedical Society (FBS), The Clinical Engineering Association of Illinois (CEAI), Indiana Biomedical Society, Biomedical Association of Wisconsin (BAW) and the North Carolina Biomedical Association (NCBA), to name just a few.
The Sunshine State will see it’s 2019 Florida Biomedical Society Symposium held at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort in Orlando. The three-day event includes a full roster of education courses, a Saturday-morning reception with scholarship presentations and a BMET of the Year presentation. A keynote presentation is also a feature of the Saturday session. The CBET exam can be taken on Sunday. A vendor exhibit hall and Epcot America Pavilion reception are also features of the annual conference.
The 2020 CMIA conference happens January 24-25 at the Crowne Plaza San Diego. The event will include a keynote presentation by The Joint Commission’s Acting Director, Department of Engineering, Herman McKenzie. The 2020 Educational Conference and Exhibitor Fair also includes 24 educational sessions with continuing education credits. It will also host outreach events designed to introduce junior high and high school students to the biomed field and 75 vendors. There is also a networking event and golf tournament.
With nine chapters and 502 members, CMIA is a large group to bring together. Visit their website at CMIA.org for more conference details.
The Indiana Biomedical Society will host its 29th annual conference from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. on January 25, 2020, at the Sheraton Indianapolis City Centre Hotel. The cost of the conference with full membership is $65.
For biomeds in the Aloha State, the second annual Hawai’i Healthcare Technology and Facilities Engineering Expo will be held on February 20, 2020. A golf tournament will follow the next day. The conference will be held at the Sheraton Waikiki and the tournament will be at the Ewa Beach Golf Club.
August saw the annual CEAI conference take place at the Drury Lane Theatre and Conference Center in Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois. The conference saw a who’s who of educational presenters and panel speakers. It also saw a large vendor presence and networking opportunities, including a poker event and a scholarship lunch.
The conference had a special focus on women in HTM with a special panel discussion on the topic
The 41st annual symposium of the North Carolina Biomedical Association (NCBA) took place in August of 2019. It was a three-day event at the Pinehurst Resort in Pinehurst, North Carolina. The symposium included the Mike McCoy Golf Tournament, a vendor exhibit hall with breakfast, poolside networking, three lunches and an annual business meeting with awards and scholarship presentations.
The 2019 NCBA symposium included six educational tracks; each comprised of five half-day sessions. The vendor hall featured approximately 90 display booths.
North Carolina’s neighbor to the south puts on an annual conference as well. The 2019 Healthcare Technology Management Association of South Carolina conference was held in Columbia, South Carolina on May 3. It included nine educational classes, a keynote luncheon and a breakfast.
The Colorado Association of Biomedical Equipment Technicians (CABMET) held its 17th symposium in August of 2019, which marked the group’s 45th year as an organization. The 2019 event included 23 classes geared toward BMETs, ISEs supervisors and managers. More than 35 vendors participated. The CABMET Symposium also included a poker tournament and golf tournament as well as a picnic.
The Georgia Biomedical Instrumentation Society holds an annual GBIS Tech Expo. The 2019 event was August 16-17 at the Central Georgia Technical College. For more information about the GBIS event, see Page 24.
The Gateway Biomedical Society 2019 symposium was held at the Marriot Saint Louis West hotel in St. Louis on October 29, 2019. The event offered lunch and educational classes with the opportunity to earn five CEU credits.
In November, the sixth annual 2019 Oregon Biomedical Association Expo and Vendor Fair was held in Portland. It offered educational sessions and opportunities to network with colleagues.
State and regional HTM associations have a lot to offer.
If you had to pick only three HTM conferences to attend in 2020, the end result would provide a laundry list of benefits including networking, continuing education, exhibit hall access to the latest products and solutions and more.
Now is a great time to plan for the upcoming year. Make attending a professional conference one of your goals and reap all the beneifits that come with it.
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