Since 2006, the Clinical Engineering Association of Illinois (CEAI) has been on a mission to promote corporation education, and encourage the exchanges of ideas and technical information related to clinical engineering. After having to postpone the 2020 meeting due to the pandemic, the association is looking forward to bringing together the HTM community for its annual meeting next month.
HealthCare Business News checked in with Greg Czajka, the association's vice president, to find out what attendees can expect at this year's meeting.
HCB News: The CEAI annual conference is taking place August 11th and 12th at Drury Lane in Oak Brook, Illinois. What is the theme of this year's meeting and who should attend?
The theme is Refueling the HTM Pipeline. It is geared towards anyone in the HTM field - biomedical and imaging techs, leaders, vendors, industry experts, and students looking to go into this career.
HCB News: Who will the keynote speakers be?
The keynote speakers will be Michelle Coussens on Wednesday. She will be speaking about leadership development. Thursday's keynote is Danielle McGeary, the vice president of HTM with AAMI.
HCB News: Will there be other special educational or networking opportunities at the event?
Much of the conference is about networking with our peers! Our breakout sessions include technical education for biomeds and imaging engineers, higher level topics such as cybersecurity and regulatory for leaders in attendance, and other topics which appeal to a broader range of people. There will also be a post-conference social event at Pinstripes Thursday evening, which people should RSVP for in advance
HCB News: How has the pandemic affected CEAI and your leadership initiatives?
The pandemic forced us to postpone the 2020 conference and impacted the planning of this year's conference due to the unknown circumstances of when restrictions would be lifted. In the meantime, the leadership team initiated a redesign of our website and logo
- we wanted to refresh our image for our members and it's looking great!
HCB News: Are there any special precautions being taken to keep attendees safe?
The conference will be following the current state recommended guidelines for masking and social distancing.
HCB News: What are some of the hot topics you expect attendees at this year's meeting to be talking about?
We think that our theme will definitely be on everyone's minds - the lack of new talent entering the field coupled with the aging and retiring population is leaving us all with a shortage of workers. One of the goals of our organization is to get people talking about this and do our part to bring in new blood through high school and college outreach and spreading the word of the existence of this field.
HCB News: Is there anything else that HTM stakeholders should know about CEAI and the upcoming meeting?
If you are a vendor - please look into purchasing a booth for the Thursday vendor expo. This is a great way to gain visibility for your company and it also is what financially drives this conference every year. The CEAI leadership team is fully voluntary, so all proceeds from membership, sponsorships, and booth sales go toward the next conference and upkeep of our expenses such as the website and tax filing fees.