The Year That Was 2017

Blog post by Colin Hung.

Wow. I can’t believe it’s the end of 2017. Was it just me or did this year fly by as fast as an #hcldr tweetchat? I swear I was just toasting the arrival of the year just yesterday.

Given that this week’s chat will be the last one for 2017…and because it falls so close on the heels of December 25th, I thought it would be fun to discuss how the year has gone for each of us. Think of it as the Twitter equivalent of sitting around a cozy fireplace sipping hot chocolate (with or without alcohol) reflecting on the year with your friends.

HCLDR 2017 Highlights

For me, the most memorable HCLDR moment in 2017 was getting the chance to meet my friend Joe Babaian for the first time in-person. After years of speaking on the phone, trading texts, exchanging emails and real-time DMs, we finally managed to get together while I was in Austin TX for the annual Forum for Healthcare Strategists (#HMPS17). Joe drove 3 hours from Houston so we could have lunch and be there for the #hcldr and #pinksocks meetup later in the evening. It was hands-down my HCLDR highlight of 2017.

2017 was also the year when we finally took HCLDR “on the road” and held our first meetups outside of our home cities of Toronto and Houston. Our first meetup was at HIMSS17 in Orlando where we teamed up with #HITsm for an in-person mini-unconference.

We followed that up with meetups at #HMPS17 #PX2017 #SHSMD17 #MGMA17 #MedMo17.

And who can forget all the amazing guests we had on #hcldr this year? The always-fantastic Lygeia Ricciardi kicked things off by hosting our January 26th chat and we ended the guest line up on December 5th with our friends from KLAS Research – Mitchell Josephson and Jared Jeffery. In between, we had so many incredible guest hosts:

  1. Digital Health, Reform and the Underserved, Where will 2017 lead? – Lygeia Ricciardi @Lygeia
  2. Addiction and Healthcare – Dr. Liam Farrell @drlfarrell
  3. A Call to Action: Digital Health, Reform & The Underserved – Lygeia Ricciardi @Lygeia
  4. Rare Disease Research – Moving from Study Participant to Research Partner – Isabel Jordan @seastarbatita
  5. Mentorship in Healthcare – Canadian College of Healthcare Leaders @CCHL_CCLS @AlexHarrisRN @nadiaNB_
  6. The Intersection of Tech & Medical Education – Andrew Richards @andrewintech
  7. What’s the Fix for Healthcare? – Burt Rosen @burtrosen
  8. Competitive Advantages of Digital Healthcare – Megan Janas @TextraHealth
  9. The Successful Combination of Patient Outcomes & Engagement – Mary Ray @marycray
  10. The Secret to Becoming an Emotionally Intelligent Leader – AAPL @PhysiciansLead
  11. Re-Imaging the Healthcare Model in the Age of Amazon – Pam Ressler @pamressler and Pippa Shulman @drpippa
  12. Social Media and The Regulators – Pat Rich @pat_health and Trish Paton @trishpaton
  13. Healthcare Leadership – Justin Smith MD @TheDocSmitty
  14. Transparency in Healthcare – Cait DesRoches @cmd418 and Liz Salmi @TheLizArmy
  15. Connecting for Health: Using Mobile Health to Track Health and Well-Being – Poonam Khanna @PoonamKhanna
  16. Let’s Talk About AI – Rasu Shrestha @RasuShresta and the Center for Connected Medicine @ConnectedMed
  17. EMR Usability and the Productivity Paradox of Healthcare – Mitchell Josephson @mitchellized and Jared Jeffery @Jk_Jeffery

I can’t wait for 2018 – Our 6th year of moderating this incredible HCLDR community!

Healthcare 2017 Highlight

I feel very fortunate that my family and I had no major health issues in 2017…so I don’t have a personal healthcare moment that stands out from the past year. HOWEVER, there was a healthcare highlight that I will not soon forget – Hurricane Harvey. When Harvey struck Texas, I watched in horrified fascination as the flood waters rose in Houston. For days I was glued to my TV listening to the latest news.

By the 2nd day Harvey transformed from being a weather-related story to healthcare one for me and there where three main reasons why:

  1. Joe Babaian, Bonnie Sheeren, Elizabeth Kelly and other members of the HCLDR community were in the affected area (or had family who were)
  2. Zac Jiwan, Rob Blount and others in the local area made the trek to Houston to help people stranded by the flood waters. I remember constantly clicking the “Refresh” button on Facebook to see if Zac had uploaded any new videos or messages about his harrowing and heroic journey into Houston
  3. The response to our plea for donations to Harvey relief funds.

Personal 2017 Highlights

This year was a roller coaster for me. I’ve had some amazing highs and some pretty upsetting lows. In the spring my cousin suffered a massive stroke. Her recovery has been very slow and we are unsure whether she will fully recover. She is currently at a local rehab facility with a friendly and caring staff.

Also in the spring, I transitioned out of the corporate world where I had spent the previous couple of years and became an independent consultant. It was a nerve-racking transition, but one that was long overdue. Over the summer I reached out to dozens of friends to ask for advice and guidance. Through the power of social media (and good old fashion networking), I now find myself with more work than I know what to do with. I am truly enjoying my work – something that I didn’t realize I had been missing.

I have to say a big “Thank You” to my friend John Lynn @techguy for giving me the chance to explore the media side of HealthIT and for the opportunity to become more deeply involved in the Healthcare Marketing & PR Community (HITMC). I’m really excited about working together with John in 2018 to not only grow HITMC but his company as well.

Other peaks on the 2017 roller-coaster include: laughing so hard at a Marketing Team dinner that my stomach actually hurt the next morning, getting the chance to work with the great folks at Beryl Institute, helping a friend re-brand his startup company, enjoying dinner with friends in Pittsburgh, being selected as a HIMSS18 Social Media Ambassador and of course meeting so many amazing people at the various conferences I attended.

Please join me on Tuesday December 26th at 8:30pm ET (for your local time click here) for the final #hcldr tweetchat of 2017 where we will be recapping the year together:

  • T1 What was your HCLDR highlight / most memorable moment from 2017?
  • T2 What was your healthcare highlight from 2017 (good or bad)?
  • T3 What was your personal highlight from 2017?
  • T4 What message would you like to share with the #hcldr community heading into 2018?

Media Credit

Picture of Joe Babaian and I in Austin Texas, 2017.


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