by Justin Mooneyhan, TN HIMSS Ambassador Committee Chair/Amsurg Sr. Director-IT Project Management

Monday, April 29th, 2019, marked the commencement of the 9th HIT Workforce Accelerator Certificate Program, a partnership certificate program between the TN HIMSS Chapter and Belmont University’s Executive Education program. Upon completion of this 9th Cohort, the HIT Workforce Accelerator has graduated nearly 200 healthcare and technology professionals, employed across the state of Tennessee. This program is an important, educational collaboration for this community and State, as there continues to be serious gaps in healthcare technology talent. For more context, check out this recently published Jobs Report.

The HIT Accelerator curriculum is taught over the course of 14 weeks, by healthcare professionals and executives from some of the biggest healthcare organizations in the country (HCA Healthcare, Vanderbilt, Ardent, AMSURG, etc.). Students enrolled in this program gain a more profound understanding of our complex U.S. healthcare system, with the aim of invoking inspiration to be a change agent in making our industry better. Click here for more details on the curriculum and overall program. Being a graduate of this program myself, I can certainly attest that it inspired and motivated me more “to be the change I wish to see…” in improving healthcare.

As part of the commencement ceremony, a number of TN HIMSS Board of Director members, as well as TN HIMSS Ambassadors Team members were in attendance to hear from Nick Coussoule, CIO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of TN, as well as hear the lessons learned and skills gained by the students in the Cohort. The presentations from the Cohort students were excellent and really shined a light on all that is good with this unique healthcare IT educational offering.

Nick Coussoule of BCBS-TN gave a list of key takeaways to the Cohort that he has learned along his highly successful career. See below for Nick’s top 12!

  1. Humility is essential to lead effectively. (You’re not as smart as you think you are).
  2. You can never have enough information. (Deal with it).
  3. To advance in your career, you have to take some risks. (Welcome to the real world).
  4. Listening is an underutilized and underappreciated skill. (You can’t learn anything when you’re talking).
  5. Being right is not enough. (You must be able to see things through other’s eyes, explain and convince).
  6. A good boss is exceedingly important, as well as having good mentors. (Trust is key).
  7. Understand and act upon the difference between the ‘important’ versus the ‘urgent’.
  8. You need to be confident but not arrogant. (Do your ‘homework’ but be open and listen).
  9. If you are a boss, should you be totally selfish (only care about yourself) or totally altruistic (only care about your team)? Frankly, you should act the same way in either case so focus on your team’s success.
  10. Luck is overrated and usually not what it seems. (“Lucky” people always seem to work harder).
  11. Storytelling is an important skill set to hone in your career. (You MUST know your audience).
  12. Be a lifelong learner.

As Nick wrapped up, he left several more closing remarks for the Cohort graduates.

  1. Be curious.
  2. Take care of your staff and/or team.
  3. Focus on doing what you like, what you are good at, or what you think you can be good at.
  4. You can’t control your luck, but you can always control your effort and preparation.

Thanks to ALL of the sponsors that make this educational opportunity possible! This Chapter could not do it without you! (HCA Healthcare, Blue Cross Blue Shield of TN, AMSURG, Ardent Health, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Perception Health, HCTec, Relatient, and Appriss)

If you are interested in joining TN HIMSS and becoming a part of this thriving community of healthcare, technology, and innovation thought leadership, this is the community to join. Become a member TODAY!