by Sean Ruck
, Contributing Editor | May 28, 2021
From the May 2021 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine
With the safety of attendees in mind, AAMI has announced that the 2021 AAMI Exchange will be held as a fully virtual event, from June 7-11.
The decision was made after consulting with sponsors, exhibitors, speakers, and attendees; and after reviewing data about the COVID pandemic nationally and in the host city of Charlotte, NC. While circumstances related to the pandemic are improving, significant health risks remain.
Recently, HealthCare Business News reached out to AAMI’s acting president and CEO, Steve Campbell, to talk more about the news and how AAMI is preparing for the event, and what attendees should expect. In addition, Campbell discussed the unique times and issues facing healthcare technology and the priorities of AAMI and the field.
HCB News: Tell us a bit about your background in healthcare and with AAMI?
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To be candid, I got into the field by accident. Although I earned my degree in business administration, I fell in love with journalism early in my career. Over time, I became a journalist in Washington, D.C. covering healthcare and other issues. Then, in 2000, I was ready for a change and landed a job at AAMI as editor of our journal, BI&T. Over the years, I worked my way up at AAMI to director to vice president, senior vice president, and then COO — a position I held over the last six years. In December, when Rob Jensen retired as AAMI’s president, the leaders of the AAMI board of directors asked me to serve as acting president and CEO.
HCB News: How did your previous career in journalism help prepare you for this?
On the surface, you might not think there is a lot in common between journalism and AAMI. But in looking back, my experience in journalism helped a great deal. As a journalist, you need to grasp issues quickly, understand all sides of an issue, adapt to all different types of people, respond to situations quickly, multitask, and know how to grab the attention of your audience. I use all of those traits at AAMI every day. Journalists, for the most part, are also practical, and that’s important at AAMI. Our members depend on us to develop practical, quality guidance so it’s been a good fit.
HCB News: You stepped into the role of acting president in December, how has that experience been so far?
The transition has been very smooth. Of course, we miss Rob Jensen. Thankfully, AAMI has a great staff leadership team and board of directors, and a strategic plan that is guiding our work.
Since I became acting president and CEO, I have been on a listening tour to evaluate everything we do and where we could improve. I have interviewed staff and leadership, other organizations, the FDA, and our corporate and hospital members. During these discussions, I always stress that I value candor. That’s really important to me. If someone has a concern about AAMI or an idea, they just need to be upfront and candid. Candor helps us solve problems and strengthens the organization and field.