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  • Writer's pictureAlan Shoebridge

Insights and inspirations from SHSMD Connections 2022

Many of us said it repeatedly during the four days of SHSMD Connections 2022, but it was wonderful to see everyone in person at this year’s conference. After two years of disrupted live events, the agenda in Washington D.C. was packed with amazing speakers and inspiring content.

All the sessions I attended lived up to my expectations, but a special mention needs to be made to recognize the keynote speakers who inspired the audience and encouraged us to help drive change in healthcare and in our ways of working. Here are five quotes that stood out to me from each of the keynote presentations.

Get the PDF version of "5 inspirations from SHSMD Connections" 2022 here:

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The overall message from those sessions was clear: We need to help lead and drive change as our organizations respond to serious challenges. As strategists, we have to approach opportunities with tenacity. We can’t pass the buck or wait for other people to speak up. As Alan Nevel said, “Change requires all of us.”

Top takeaways from each day

Note: All the summaries below were posted throughout the conference on LinkedIn. You can find more content from me and other conference attendees by searching for “#SHSMD22” on LinkedIn or Twitter.

🎙️🎧 Listen to a podcast from Chris Boyer capturing conversations recorded from each day during the conference.


⭐💡🎤 Overwhelmed: How to work, love and play when no one has time. – Brigid Schulte

"Focus on the WHAT not the WHERE when assessing work performance.”

"We have made being busy a cultural value."

"It's not weakness to need time off. Work and productivity are better with time off.”

"Work-life balance starts with picturing what you want to achieve. Start at the end."

“Leaders need to model behavior to drive positive change.”


⭐💡🎤 Backable: The future of healthcare in post-COVID era – Suneel Gupta

“The future belongs to you.”

“What does the future look like? That belongs to you and your ideas.”

“Long-term success comes from short-term embarrassment. If you can learn from it.”

“You need to be able to come up with great ideas AND be able to sell them to decision-makers.”

“Make outsiders into insiders.”

“The pain we get from a bad decision is twice as powerful we get from making a good decision.”

“There are three words that hold us back: ‘I’m not ready.’”

“Courage doesn’t necessarily lead to action. Action always leads to courage.”

“Sometimes the biggest opportunity you can give someone is to take a chance on them.”


⭐💡🎤 The courage to go together. Change how you live, work and lead. – Shola Richards

“Is it kind? Is it true? Is it necessary? 3 questions leaders need to ask.”

“Being nice and being kind are not the same thing. Nice is surface level. Kind is much deeper.”

“Having a tough conversation can be kind.”

“Always choose your values over your emotions.”

“Be a leader that people would follow if they didn’t have to.”

“Be a kindness enthusiast.”


Concurrent session:

⭐💡🎤 How hospitals maintain and grow market share as procedures migrate

“Ambulatory Surgery Center (ASC) activity continues to grow with billions of dollars shifting in recent years.”

“Hospitals need to look proactively at older ASC partnerships to see if they should be restructured.”

“Insurers are trying to actively drive consumers/patients to ASCs.”

“Hospitals having good ASC partnerships are a strong recruiting tool for physicians.”

“Don’t build an ASC without understanding how the insurers will reimburse you.”

“ASCs offer a way for hospitals to expand operations outside their primary markets.”

Concurrent session:

⭐💡🎤 MarComm budget benchmarking

“Organizations need to know where they stand relative to like organizations.”

“This knowledge helps to justify investments during good times and manage expectations during bad times.”

“Contribute your data and understand your position BEFORE you need to defend your spending.”


⭐💡🎤 Making equity a central organizing principle – Alan Nevel

“None of us are individually responsible for the systemic diversity and racial inequities in our healthcare systems, but we can and should say 'time out' and start to change it."

“To address inequity we need to create a MOVEMENT, not a moment.”

4 Keys to the ability to transform:

1. Create directional commitment

2. Demonstrate visible progress

3. Stimulate emotion connection

4. Drive organizational alignment

“Most organizations have some level of diversity and inclusion, but don’t have equity.”

“If you don’t feel the values of your organization in your heart. You’re probably not at the right place.”

“Change requires all of us.”

Concurrent session:

⭐💡🎤 Our role in addressing the staffing crisis – Burl Stamp

“The pandemic didn’t create the staffing crisis, but it exacerbated it.”

“Resolving the staffing crisis is going to take a multi-year fix.”

“Strategists – communicators, marketers and planners – can be the conscience of the organization.”

“Get rid of the sales pitch when communicating with employees.”

“We’re not in the ‘message delivery’ business, we’re in the COMMUNICATION business.”

“You need to understand what’s happening with frontline workers to create effective communication.”

“Effective communication can help with retention, reducing burnout and more.”

“Leaders don’t need to have all the answers. Your staff has excellent ideas to solve problems.”


I look forward to seeing everyone next year at next year’s Connections conference in Chicago!

And finally, don't forget to do these four things:

✅ Participate in the conversation and read the recaps.

✅ Select and save your favorite content.

✅ Schedule any follow-up meetings ASAP.

✅ Share what you learned with others.



A personal highlight for me - getting my pair of pink socks! Thank you Colin!

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