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July 11, 2024: Rebecca Woods, CEO & Founder of Bluebird Leaders, dives into the inspiring journey and mission behind Bluebird Leaders. Rebecca shares the origins of Bluebird, stemming from her experiences as a young CIO and the need to create a supportive community for women in healthcare IT. How can healthcare leaders better support women in IT and healthcare? What impact does mentorship and networking have on career growth? The discussion delves into the SOAR conference, focusing on "Healthy You, Healthy Leader," and integrating personal well-being with professional development. This episode explores the broader implications of mentorship, collaboration, and holistic health in shaping future leaders.

Key Points:

  • 00:00 Introduction and Overview
  • 00:58 The Genesis of Bluebird Leaders
  • 02:08 SOAR Conference and Future Plans

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Introduction and Overview

Today on Keynote

Not everybody wants to be a CIO and so that's not what Bluebird Leaders is for either. It's really helping these younger women. Find the right seat in the bus and helping them fly there

β€Š πŸ“ πŸ“

My name is Bill Russell. I'm a former CIO for a 16 hospital system and creator of This Week Health, where we are dedicated to transforming healthcare one connection at a time. Our keynote show is designed to share conference level value with you every week.

Today's episode is sponsored by Airwaves, Artisight, CDW, Doctor First, Gordian, Gozio Health, Nuance, Optimum, Quantum Health, and Zscaler

Now, let's jump right into the episode.

β€Š (Main) πŸ“ good morning, Rebecca. I am so happy to have you join me for a conversation about Bluebird leaders this morning.

So happy to be here. Thank you, Sarah, for having me.

Absolutely. And I don't know if everyone knows all about the amazing things that you create and your day job, and I call it your second day job with Bluebird.

The Genesis of Bluebird Leaders

tell the, those listening in a little bit about you and your background and really the genesis of what Bluebird is all about?

Yeah, sure. So I created Bluebird Leaders. It was two years ago this June, and my daughters helped me launch the website. We all clicked it together. But where it stems from is actually a conference that I went to over, a long time ago now, over 10 years ago, but I was very new CIO at the age of 30 and went to this conference and went down to the first mixer and all the guys turned around at the bar and asked me what I did for the conference.

They just assumed I worked for that conference and I looked around the room and realized they were very little women. And so at that time, I was like, I got to do something about this and put it in the back of my head because I was, young and drinking that. Fire hose of a newly appointed CIO and fast forward lots of years and I've helped lots of companies grow and rise and figured it was my time to give back.

Launched Bluebird Leaders, which is a community for women and it, and healthcare it, and just really growing through the mentorship and network and collaboration of all the women today.

It's making such an impact. So by the way, happy anniversary for Bluebird Leaders for only two years.

SOAR Conference and Future Plans

In two years, you've covered tremendous ground and you have an acronym and a conference called SOAR.

Tell us about that.

Yeah, so we have a conference every year now, it's called SOAR. And our first one was in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Last year was in Scottsdale, Arizona. And this year is actually in one of my favorite cities in Atlanta. I always say I would move back there, but they don't have an ocean.

I go and visit frequently. And we're super excited to have over 250 people and our partnership with This Week Health It's helping to bring in some of those people and just grow the community.

It's really a special place when you think about the mentoring and then the tech services. And then what I love specifically about this year's conference is you're focusing on a healthy you and a healthy life.

And collectively, it's work and personal coming together. We don't talk about it being balanced, we talk about it being integration now. And the conference itself has a couple of tracks. Can you share a bit about what those tracks look like and how they're complementary to one another?

Yeah, our conference this year, I think it just stems from where I'm going as an individual being, moving more towards well care instead of sick care.

And I really think that's where we should go in healthcare and we're impassioned about. So I chose Healthy You, Healthy Leader this year and we really need to focus on taking time for ourselves to be healthy, which then will roll into us being a healthy leader and more positive and having a clearer mindset.

Moving into some of those really big decisions that we have. And so we have two tracks this year. It's Healthcare, an IT track, so for that sort of the healthy leader. The Healthy You track has conversations around breathwork. around, yoga. We have a fitness person coming in. We also have a talk around journaling, a panel around journaling.

And then we also have an artist, which is actually my mom's best friend. And she's going to be out so that you can do a little bit of artwork during the two days with her. And then she's also going to be on stage on the second night for the cocktail hour and appetizers that we're going to have and she's going to do the 250 people a paint and sip.

So most people are familiar with the paint and sip. This is a really big paint and sip. She'll be on stage and teach us all how to paint something while we're collaborating together.

So full disclosure, every time I do Paint and Sip, and I love it when it is big groups, I still look like I'm five years old.

My outcome never gets any better. So I'll be like, and here's the kindergarten submission from Sarah Richardson. Nice job on your painting. Hilarious. Yeah.

Yeah. But it's about us connecting, right? And bonding and being at the table with new people and breaking bread and making those new phone a friends that we all need to have.

It is. And I think about the collaboration specifically with This Week Health. So you and I had like literally conference hallway conversations for maybe a year and then I joined This Week Health and you'd been having conversations with Bill and we're like, okay, we're going to make this happen. So tell us why it was important to collaborate now with This Week Health.

needed somebody, right? I've been doing the last two years for the most part on my own with little bit of help and some volunteers. And to help. Bluebird leaders scale and get bigger and reach out to a larger community. It was really important for me to pick the right partner. And after talking with you and Bill multiple times, it seemed, like the perfect fit and it all came together and I couldn't be happier and happier to work with all of you at This Week Health.

I'm just so jazzed about it.

β€Š πŸ“ πŸ“ πŸ“ πŸ“ πŸ“ Hi everyone, I'm Sarah Richardson, president of the 229 Executive Development Community at This Week Health. I'm thrilled to share some exciting news with you. I'm launching a new show on our conference channel called Flourish. In Flourish, we dive into captivating career origin stories, offering insights and inspiration to help you thrive in your own career journey.

Whether you're a health system employee in IT or a partner looking to understand the healthcare landscape better, Flourish has something valuable for you. It's all about gaining perspectives and finding motivation to flourish in your career. .

You can tune in on ThisWeekHealth. com or wherever you listen to podcasts. Stay curious, stay inspired, and keep flourishing. I can't wait for you to join us on this journey. β€Š

It's one of those moments where you're like, yes, we can do these things together. And I continue to share with people I feel like my universe just gets bigger and bigger. Bigger as it gets smaller, but the energy, the concentration of that supernova effect.

Is well in play, especially as we go into already planning out most of next year for all of our events. All of us were like doing calendar review for 25 and creating a demand because what you're filling is a gap and Bluebird is doing it incredibly well. And it's not just for women, but you talk a lot about the focus on women's ability to be wives, moms spouses, et cetera.

And yet. We've got all these amazing men in the mix as well. So this is a tidbit from you about, Hey, guys are welcome to come to Bluebird too, and you've got some luminaries that are already a part of SOAR.

Yeah, it's really, of course I focus on women, but it's about that diversity and we have to have.

diversity to have the best team or organization possible. Everybody brings such different ideas. And so having our male allies is super important to me and to Bluebird leaders. I also want to point out that, I get this question a lot about Is Bluebird Leaders just about the hospital organizations and the providers?

And I quickly set everybody with a big no. I'm passionate about having Bluebird Leaders also include the vendors and us collaborating and at one location. And everybody is there is in healthcare it, whether you're a vendor, a provider, a clinician it, you're all involved. Even like my mom comes to the events, she's involved in healthcare it, right?

Like it's a huge patient engagement push. And she relates to some of the conversation and slowly figuring out what I actually do for work. We're still working on that, the work in progress, but one thing with Bluebird leaders and the SOAR event is. Our sponsors and our partners, we don't put them in another room and wait for people to come and collaborate with them.

I just feel like that's just Even as an extrovert, it's still an awkward moment. And so we encourage them to bring one of their, pull ups so everybody sees their logo. But sit with us at the table, network, grow amongst all of the people. And again, really bring that information about your company, but also learn what everybody else is doing.

Yes, through the years of the experiences that you have had bringing together that true inclusive experience on so many fronts is part of the magic of Bluebird. And I feel like over the years, we will continue to talk about the magic of Bluebird. I want to memorialize to a degree the moment where we say, Hey, remember that first interview?

Remember that first conversation we had? All of a sudden, the demand management for what Bluebird is bringing to the table. Become something that has such a force behind it that you can't imagine that even young girls considering STEM, you talk about building the website with your daughters all the way through, how do you transition into that, post career, which is still a real thing for the people that we know and that we serve.

And so it's a lifelong journey that honestly should begin with Bluebird.

Yeah, I agree. And even if they're post career, right, Bluebird Leaders has a free mentor mentee program that we put two cohorts together each year. And so even if you want to have, your toe in the sand and you're retired and want to help and give back, we encourage, to have those mentors because it's the mentees that really need help, right?

So they don't step in the same mud that we did, Sarah, coming up as CIOs. And I also want to add, not everybody wants to be a CIO and so that's not what Bluebird Leaders is for either. It's really helping these younger women. Find the right seat in the bus and helping them fly there

I love that because you're right. I look back now I'll be 50. And I think about if someone had just told me these four or five things when I was in my 20s, I don't know if I would have listened, I'll be honest. And yet, I have a lot of mentees who are in their twenties and here's what I love.

They are listening and they are then sharing with me their perspective. So I can, bring those perspectives back to them. And so the reciprocity in the generational learnings is being brought together more than ever from the intentionality by which Bluebird exists. So if you could share a little bit about when a conference is and how people register, then we'll be able to make sure we continue to fill those seats and sell the tickets.

Yeah, so it's in Midtown in Atlanta, Georgia, September 18th through 20th. A little bit more. The 18th is a cocktail hour. It's at a little cantina that one of our board members picked out. So super excited about tacos and margaritas like that. Who doesn't want a margarita? The second day is a all day.

event on the 19th and same with the 20th, goes to about three o'clock. It's in Atlanta at a great hotel and you can register on bluebirdleaders. org. There's a link there that says SOAR and you can find all the information there. And if you're a partner that's listening you think you want to sponsor and come join in on the fun, there's a link there for you as well.

And we even have a link for students, so our Student tickets are deeply discounted because we want to encourage them to come and start building their network as well.

I love it. We'll be there with This Week Health. So again, if you're curious about registering and becoming a part of the larger universe, it's been created by Bluebird Leaders and This Week Health.

Reaching out either through This Week Health website or the Bluebird Leaders website. We are here to serve and we can't wait to see you in Atlanta. Rebecca, thank you for taking care of us today and beginning of so many amazing things to come.

Absolutely. Can't

wait. See you in Atlanta, Sarah. See you in Atlanta.β€Š πŸ“

Thanks for listening to this week's keynote. If you found value, share it with a peer. It's a great chance to discuss and in some cases start a mentoring relationship. One way you can support the show is to subscribe and leave us a rating. it if you could do that.

Big thanks to our Keynote Partners Airwaves, Artisight, CDW, Doctor First, Gordian, Gozio Health, Nuance, Optimum, Quantum Health, and Zscaler

you can learn more about them by visiting thisweekhealth. com slash partners. Thanks for listening. That's all for now..


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