The Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association Delivers a “Gritty” Annual Conference to 1,100 Attendees

Showcasing its mission to advance the influence and impact of women in healthcare, the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association’s (HBA) drew nearly 1,100 attendees to its recent annual conference in Philadelphia. Thought leaders representing pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device, hospital, payers, and service companies, came together to network, to learn from thought leaders, and to share best practices on how to foster and drive leadership opportunities for women in the industry.

Aligned with the GRIT (Gratitude, Resilience, Influence, and Tenacity) conference theme were more than three dozen conference offerings. Sessions ranged from a “Channeling Your Inner Grit” mainstage panel discussion with author, Fawn Germer, to concurrent workshops including “Achieving a Positive Bottom Line” to help drive one of the HBA’s underlying messages: “Gender parity is a business issue, not a women’s issue.”

HBA leveraged the conference platform to recognize stellar women’s leadership initiatives with its annual ACE award. This year, Bristol-Myers Squibb garnered honors for its 3,500-member B-Now program, and athenahealth earned recognition for their Women’s Leadership Forum, now 1,100 members strong and representing more than 20% of their workforce.

Two keynote speakers delivered powerful presentations well received by attendees. Angela Duckworth, PhD, author of GRIT and a University of Pennsylvania professor, shared her expertise on grit and how it serves as a significant predictor of success, both professionally and personally. Vernice “FlyGirl” Armour, America’s first African-American female combat pilot, closed the conference, bringing the crowd to their feet with her “zero to breakthrough” inspirational story.

Vernice “FlyGirl” Armour, America’s first African-American female combat pilot, closed the conference to thunderous applause.
General Session Panel (from left to right): Denice Torres, JD, 2015 HBA Woman of the Year; Nikki Johnson-Huston, Esq.; David Fajgenbaum, MD, MBA, MSc, Asst. Professor of Medicine and Associate Director, Orphan Disease Center, University of Pennsylvania; Fawn Germer, author, speaker.
Left to right: Rhonda Johnson, 2017 HBA Board Chair, EVP, Market Performance Group; Dr. Mary Christian, Head of the Strategic Collaborations Group, U.S. Oncology, Bristol-Myers Squibb; Laurie Cooke, PGDip, RPh, CAE, HBA Chief Executive Officer; Anna Maria Anthony, Chairwoman, Women’s Leadership Forum, athenahealth; Brandon H. Hull, Co-founder and Managing Partner, Cardinal Partners and Board of Directors, athenahealth; Shannon Resetich, 2017 HBA Board Chair-elect, Chief Commercial Officer, ActivCore.
Sponsors and attendees talk about health and new products at the Experience Hall.
Many industry giants sponsored the event.

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