There is a saying- it’s not what you know but who you know.
In my social circle I get to hear about a lot of new companies that are doing interesting things in healthcare IT and innovation. I get to meet lots of wonderful people from investors to innovators and I’m always looking to pair people together with what they are looking for. Just as there are social factors that impact access to healthcare, there are also social factors that impact access and opportunity within our industry. This can be applied at a very high level and also needs to involve localized and smaller opportunities for connection. In June I get to go visit some of the most supportive people I know in Maine for one of the most valuable meetups of the year for me.
We wanted a group that wasn’t just a standard conference with the regular sponsor tie-ins and exhausting schedule. We needed a dinner party. Max Stroud put together Doyenne connections and they had their first weekend. A small group of connected women has been forming out of women involved in HealthIT at every level of leadership & innovation. They went to dinner. They share their successes. Doyenne Connections was born out of an altruistic desire to connect and knowledge that social circles will disrupt the healthcare landscape.
Who shows up for you in your life?
I work really independently so now I have a peer group to reach out to and ask about their expertise in analytics. The last year and a half have been a difficult personal landscape for me personally. My children’s father died by suicide and I changed careers and felt the tide of grief swallowing me. This group was there kicking ass at life. They showed up for me and continued the conversation of how we could improve healthIT and advance women who wouldn’t have access to education or connection they need to progress. We have discussed how to process the loss through making a positive difference for other loss survivors. They know my story and they share my story.
I wanted to know more about block chain and had a call from a physician innovation leader who happened to be in the group. This executive personally brought my resume to companies to recommend me for work. As I’ve transitioned back to contract work from taking time off these are the women who helped me find my place. There is a combination of connection and knowledge as we walk each other through life that breaks through barriers. One woman founded social determinants of health consulting group and this group embodies creating a group of allies dedicated to promoting each other. It is not always the medical intervention that improves health but rather who you know- who patients know and how we can facilitate that conversation. Within a few weeks my group of women from Doyenne had helped me reshape my personal goals and connected me with groups that need the skills I have.
There have been many groups for men to meet together and network at men’s clubs. This is a small women’s group based on helping each other and working together to make healthcare better and rise up together. We know that systems are an integral part of the success of an individual within a community. Online access to expertise has changed the landscape of our ability to integrate with social circles and survive in a competitive healthcare IT marketplace.
In June I will meet with my friends. More than business associates Doyenne has found a way to create advocates for equality and education. My personal return has been immeasurable as I’ve shared with these friends and discussed career and personal strategy. Every woman should find another person to mentor and to bring to the table.
Janae Sharp is a member of the Doyenne Connections Founders Club and covers healthcare intelligence and analysis for program design for payors, HIEs and ACO entitites. She also won "Best Shoes" at the HISTalkapalooza 2017