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Q & A with Robert Jensen, president and CEO of AAMI

May 14, 2019
Robert Jensen
From the May 2019 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine
AAMI Exchange (formerly AAMI Annual Conference & Expo) takes place this year from June 7-10 in Cleveland, Ohio. HealthCare Business News caught up with Association president Robert Jensen in advance of the big event for our annual update.

HCB News: In last year’s interview, you talked about how you wanted to bring in new people as more senior members retire from committees and working groups. How do you feel that’s going? Do you have a baseline for measuring that success?
Robert Jensen: I wish we could say we discovered an easy solution, but that’s not the case. Succession planning remains an ongoing challenge, one that many organizations are grappling with. We’re working to bring younger members into the association by making student membership free. We’ve also ramped up our efforts to reach out to younger professionals by growing our social media platforms in recognition that how people communicate, connect, and exchange information is changing. That’s also why we’re doing more podcasts. We have to keep up with the times and reach out to professionals in ways that they are going to value and respond to. In addition, we’ve greatly improved our technology so that more people can successfully engage with committees remotely. I’m optimistic that’s going to appeal to professionals who want to get involved, as well as to companies that would like to build their succession plans, but are facing time and cost restrictions. We are beginning to draw younger professionals into committees, but are continuing to push for more.

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HCB News: The ACA continues to be a point of debate and discussion. Does AAMI have an official position on the ACA or the efforts to repeal and replace?
RJ: AAMI does not take positions on specific pieces of legislation.

HCB News: Last year, you talked about AAMI’s three-year strategy approved in November 2017, and well underway by the time of our interview. You outlined community, infrastructure and knowledge. Can you provide an update on those goals?
RJ: I’m happy to say we’re advancing on all fronts. In terms of community, our membership continues to grow. We’re doing more direct outreach to our members, collaborating with new stakeholders, and expanding our global footprint. We’re seeing more engagement across the board. With infrastructure, our biggest news is that we have moved into a new headquarters. We’re still in the same general area in Arlington, Virginia, but our new facility is much more high-tech, offering both staff and visitors a better experience. I’m especially proud of our AAMI Center for Excellence, which now hosts the many industry events and education programs we offer. In March, we held a very successful Sterilization Standards Week, drawing a record crowd, with hundreds of in-person and virtual attendees. We believe other organizations will want to use this space as well. When it comes to our knowledge goal, we’re taking multiple steps to better-serve our members and other stakeholders. We’re close to unveiling a new website; one with a fresh, clean look and streamlined navigation. We are determined to make it as easy as possible for visitors to find the information they need. We’re updating our education programs to make sure our training is in line with the latest FDA thinking and global regulations. We’re taking steps so that our standards program is more nimble, able to keep up with the fast-moving changes in healthcare technology. And we’re taking a fresh look at our publications and other communication channels to make sure we are delivering the content our members want and in the formats they find most beneficial. I could not be prouder of the teams working on these goals.

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