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Q&A with CEAI President Suraj Soudagar

by Robert Garment, Executive Editor | June 10, 2014
Suraj Soudagar,
CEAI President
Suraj S. Soudagar, MS, LEED AP, is the current President of the Clinical Engineering Association of Illinois (CEAI). He has been a clinical engineer for more than 12 years. He started out at NY Presbyterian Hospital in New York City, and then in 2007 he joined KJWW Engineering Consultants in Naperville, IL, where he now is Project Executive for their Medical Equipment Planning Division.

HCBN: Suraj, please tell us what your goals/objectives are during your tenure as CEAI president.
SS: My goals are to make sure that the CEAI organization and Conference continue to be successful - equally for the vendors and the members. In particular, I want to make sure the educational sessions relevant and stay on the cutting edge in terms of technology.

HCBN: The CEAI 5th Annual Conference & Exhibition is upcoming on August 20 & 21, 2014, a little outside of Chicago at the Oak Brook Marriott -- what is the theme/focus of this year's event?
SS: The overall theme is "Current Trends in Healthcare," and that means we're helping our members gear-up to continue to implement the requirements of the Affordable Care Act. The other focus is to educate them on what to expect from the ACA down the road.

HCBN: What special educational offerings are on tap?
SS: This year we're introducing two certificate courses. One is being present by Microscopy USA LLC, and features hands-on training on microscope repairs, so that becomes something that the biomed can do in-house and save their organization some money. And we're working another course with CareFusion, which is under development right now. We also have two featured speakers - one is George Mills for JACHO, who will provide an update about Joint Commission Standards; the other is by Binseng Wang from Aramark, who will speak about best practices in management.

HCBN: How many exhibitors do you have - and is there still room for more?
SS: We have about 30 signed up already, including Dunlee, Tenacor, Trace Services, BC Group and Baxter, to name a few, and we have a few more slots to fill, but they are going fast. Each exhibitor gets and 8'x8' booth at the show, and a corporate membership for a year (a $300 savings) which comes with many CEAI privileges - and they get all this for just $999.

HCBN: How many attendees do you expect, and is there an entry fee?
SS: We easily had over 200 attendees in each of our prior years, and this year we expect upwards of 250 and maybe as many as 300 attendees. If you're a CEAI member, the show is free. If you're not a member, it $25 at the door, or $15 if you're a student. One reason are numbers are strong is because we attract biomeds from all over the Midwest Region - people from at least 10 different states at represented.

HCBN: Are there any other highlights people should know about?
SS: Yes, we have our continuing scholarship program for students pursuing a career in biomedical engineering. Each scholarship is for $1000 and three deserving students will get them, and we will be awarding those prizes at the Conference. There's also a pre-conference networking event on Wednesday August 20th the evening that everyone should put on their to-do list.

For more information on attending or exhibiting at the CEAI Conference, please go to

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