November 2018

The Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina provided the perfect backdrop for showcasing the commitment and camaraderie of healthcare IT leaders at the 2018 Fall CIO Forum.


One such example of a long-standing healthcare IT leader is Bill Spooner, a man with over 40 years of healthcare expertise and a CHIME member since 1996. I was so pleased to see my friend Bill take home a Legacy Award at this year’s Fall CIO Forum.


The welcome reception aboard the USS Midway delivered the perfect ambiance for reconnecting with old friends and colleagues – the healthcare community is nothing short of “Top Guns,” and I am proud to be a part of it.

Inspiration Continued

The inspiration from the evening’s festivities continued the next morning, when Daniel Pink presented the opening keynote on discipline and how one’s level of focus shifts throughout the day. Pink’s talk resonated throughout the day, when we had a few laughs in the elevator about troughs and peaks (it was after lunch, so clearly we were in the “trough” mindset!).

Pink’s talk endured beyond the normal inspirational talk shelf life, but if I had to choose an absolute favorite, it was Sanjay Gupta’s closing keynote. The dichotomy of being both a journalist and physician was fascinating, and hearing him relay the story of saving a Marine’s life during Operation Iraqi Freedom using a Black and Decker drill solidified my original impression of him – he’s more than just a charming personality on screen, he’s sincere and authentic.

HealthNET’s CIO Focus Group

Mary Ann Keane, Margaret Campbell and I were excited to facilitate a focus group on Health System Mergers & Acquisitions, where approximately 15 CIOs shared their personal experiences and insights.

Some key takeaways I had based on this lively discussion were that:

  • Being on the project/consulting side, it was great to get affirmation and expanded in-house views on my “six things IT should know” for health system M&As.
  • A good number of people have done portions of M&A work, but only some have covered all dimensions of mergers, acquisitions, and affiliations on a large scale.
  • While everyone would like a “playbook,” the deals are unique so that IT organizations will need to be nimble and creative. 

CLIF’s Trinket Awards (drumroll)

Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t recap my informal Trinket Table Awards ceremony. Not familiar with the trinket table? It’s a glorious display table filled with branded company swag that you can take home to eager children who could use a stress ball in the shape of a heart, or a mini first aid kit that you’ll forget you have in your desk the next time you are fumbling for a Band-Aid.

CHIME’s trinket table is reminiscent of kids going through a line of penny candy in jars and “voting” for their favorites based on what they put in their bag. I present to you the awards for the various tchotchkes:

Most Relevant Award

Pens – hey, those are always good!

Least Relevant Award

Camera blockers for your computers. Guilty as charged. (Sorry, we thought you’d like them).

The “What Is It?” Award

It’s a kickstand for your cellphone. HealthNET gladly accepts this award on behalf of the perplexed faces of our CHIME friends and colleagues.

The Pay it Forward Award

Backpack. I gave mine to a fellow attendee who said she puts toiletries in them and gives to a shelter for battered women.

Did we miss you at this year’s CHIME Fall CIO Forum? Feel free to reach out to us at, or subscribe to our blog stay up to date on the latest events and learn from our experts.


About the Author: Clifton Jay founded HealthNET in 1990 and it is his vision that has created the long-term partnerships HealthNET has with many of its clients. With over 30 years of experience in healthcare IT and operations management, Clif helps clients with strategies, tactics and optimizing their use of information technology. Prior to founding HealthNET, Clif held practice director and vice president positions for national healthcare consulting firms and was a vice president for a hospital association consulting subsidiary. In addition to his leadership responsibilities, Clif pursues his other interests as a musician, tennis player, angler, and car enthusiast.