Why you should attend HealthAchieve

This year’s HealthAcheive starts on Monday and if you’re still not sure about attending, I would recommend attending if you can. Not sure if I can make it this year, but I’m hoping that I can.


Based on my attendance at past events, here are five reasons why you should attend:

#1. Listen to Great Speakers

While the opening keynote address gets most of the attention, you can listen to great speakers, thought leaders, and other exceptional people. These speakers offer insight into leadership, innovation, and their unique perspectives on health care.

In the past, I’ve heard Malcolm Gladwell, Michael Moore, Rudy Giuliani, Colin Powell, Wynton Marsalis, and Richard Florida. This year, Clayton Christensen is the keynote speaker. Christensen is from Harvard Business School and is credited with research into “disruptive innovations” and has recently written “The Innovator’s Prescription”. If you’re not familiar with his work, I’d highly recommend learning about it as I suspect “disruptive innovation” will be the next big thing in health care (at least in Ontario).

In addition to Christensen, this year’s track seems to have quite a few Canadian Olympians. I’m certain that they will be entertaining,

#2. Connect with Colleagues

Given how HealthAchieve is one of the largest health care trade shows in Canada (if not North America), you have a great opportunity to connect with colleagues and meet new ones. Basically, with so many people in attendance from all over the province and country, this is a great way to network and catch-up with lost acquaintances. In my experience, I’ve also noticed that many senior leaders are in attendance presenting or just soaking up the environment. The hallways are always full of energy and the cocktail events are fun.

#3. Hear the Government Agenda

Traditionally, the opening session ends with an address by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. This speech is one of the most highly anticipated and attended events as you can get a glimpse into the Government agenda for the upcoming year(s). For those in the industry, hearing the Minister’s message and also getting a sense of the reaction from the crowd is invaluable.

#4. Learn About Current Hot Topics

You can learn about the hot and emerging topics in health care based on the various different tracks. Each track will have different issues, but just perusing the program and reading the descriptions of the sessions will give you a great idea as to what’s hot in health care.

This year, ehealth takes another big step with the ehealthachieve track which will focus specifically on the growing importance of ehealth issues in health care.

I’ve also found that attending the vendor exhibit is another way to get an idea as to some of the “hot” topics (albeit from a vendor perspective). Listening to the exhibitors provides a different perspective on the challenges and potential solutions facing health care.

#5. Get Inspired

Finally, I personally think HealthAchieve is an opportunity to get inspired. The reality is that working in health care can be demanding, stressful, and challenging. Often we forget the impact that we can have. I’ve been inspired by some of the achievements of others, stimulated by the speakers, and energized by seeing colleagues. Besides, attending the conference is an opportunity take a short break from the realities of your “day job” and just indulge in a great experience.

One more…Students Attend for Free

A few years back when I was with the OHA, I suggested that students should get in free. I’m glad to see that this has been an on-going tradition for a few years and that attendance is increasing. For students, here are some reasons why you should attend:

  • Free admission to an important health care conference
  • Learn about the industry
  • Learn about potential employers
  • Learn about issues and topics
  • Become familiar with people in the industry

For those who are interested, here’s the official press release for the event.

Health-care leaders and thought-provoking speakers to gather at HealthAchieve 2010
With more than 50 educational sessions, 300 exhibitors and 9000 delegates, North America’s largest health care show promises to inspire ideas and innovation

HealthAchieve, North America’s largest and most-respected health-care conference and exhibition, sheds light on our health care successes, and where we can improve. Taking place from November 8th to10th at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, the show will feature:

·     Renowned Harvard professor, Dr. Clayton Christensen, who will apply his “disruptive innovation” theory to health care reform. (Monday November 8th)

·     Lieutenant-General The Honourable Roméo Dallaire (Ret.) presenting on The New Leadership – a Humanistic approach. (Wednesday November 10th)

·     Outstanding Canadian athletes Clara Hughes, Jennifer Heil, Alexandre Bilodeau and Lauren Woolstencroft, who will share the stage with award-winning sportscaster and broadcaster Brian Williams, to talk about going for the gold. (Tuesday November 9th)

·     Nick Vujicic will share his story about how being born without arms or legs has allowed him to live a ‘ridiculously good life’. (Tuesday, November 9th)

·     The 17th Surgeon General of the United States, Dr. Richard Carmona will look at the future of health care (Monday November 8th)

·     Elyse Allan, President and CEO of GE Canada, will share her learnings from the launch of GE’s Ecomagination initiative, which is committed to solving some of the world’s toughest challenges. (Monday November 8th)

·     Many more speakers covering a range of topics from nurse and physician leadership to green health care and eHealth will be attending HealthAchieve. The 2010 line up will explore new ideas and challenge the status quo as a means to enable continuous improvement in health care delivery.

“In our 86th year, HealthAchieve has grown to become an influential force in Canadian health care,” says Tom Closson, President and CEO of the Ontario Hospital Association, the organization that hosts HealthAchieve.  â€œIt’s where big ideas are generated and it offers an opportunity to take a step back from our daily work, and ask ourselves what we can learn from these new ideas and then act in a way that will lead to better patient care and efficiency.”

New this year, COACH: Canada’s Health Informatics Association, is partnering with the show to deliver eHealthAchieve, a unique track featuring presentations, education sessions and keynote speeches from prominent thought leaders such as Dr. Edward M. Brown, CEO, Ontario Telemedicine Network; and Greg Reed, CEO, eHealth Ontario.

HealthAchieve’s exhibit floor provides access to cutting-edge innovations from exhibitors around the world showcasing new technologies, and products and services that are driving the health care industry forward. And, for the second year running, the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, in partnership HealthAchieve, will highlight the remarkable innovations developed by Ontario’s health care providers, during the Celebrating Innovations in Health Care Expo, taking place on Wednesday, November 10.   

For more information and a full schedule of sessions, visit www.healthachieve.com.





2 responses to “Why you should attend HealthAchieve”

  1. Michael Martineau Avatar

    Hans, I concur with your recommendation. I also suggest that people check out the new eHealthAchieve track. A couple of very interesting panels have been assembled plus a presentation by Greg Reed, new CEO at eHealth Ontario

    Michael Martineau

  2. Hans Avatar

    Thanks Michael. I think I’m going to attend the eHealthAchieve track tomorrow. Hopefully there will be a lively crowd there.