Fall 2019 Newsletter - Message from the President

Mentoring Matters

In June of 2019 while I was at one of our HIMSS Southern California events, I was speaking with an executive and he asked, “How did you get here?” (in reference to starting my presidency in July).  While I am not sure if he would have asked other incoming presidents the same question, I simply stated that I just showed up and smiled. But the truth of the matter is I got ‘here’ not only by showing up but volunteering and doing all I could to help various committee chairs and board members. No task was too big or too small. The most important aspect, however, was having individuals that mentored and believed in me even when I didn’t believe in myself.

As a registered nurse it has always been an important aspect of my role to precept and mentor novice and experienced nurses at the bedside. When I moved into additional careers in healthcare, I never forgot my roots of mentoring others and helping others believe in themselves. Mentoring continues to be near and dear to my heart. I enjoy being part of someone’s professional journey and helping others talk through the highs and lows of achieving their professional goals.

So how did I really get ‘here’? By having strong mentors as well as asking for help and advice. The mentors I have had include and continue to be folks at all levels on the career ladder. So, for those of you that think about volunteering with the HIMSS Southern California Chapter I urge you to think about volunteering your time through mentoring. I guarantee you that you will feel rewarded when you help your protégés grow.

In 1990, Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop published an essay in which she coined the phrase “Windows, Mirrors and Sliding Glass Doors”. Dr. Bishop was referring to young readers and the importance of diversity in books. Through books we can see reflections of ourselves, as in a mirror; books can be a window, enabling us to look through and see other worlds. Books can also be a sliding glass door and allow the reader to enter those other worlds. This same theory translates well to mentoring, enabling both the mentor and the protégé to experience these insights as they each learn and grow.

Being a mentor doesn’t mean you are everything to the person you are mentoring. You can share your expertise and maybe even share and connect them to others in the field. As you begin to develop the relationship with your learner, develop a communication plan: ways you would like to connect (video chat/in-person), how often (1x/week, 1/month), who will initiate the contact, goals and length of time for the meeting as well as the mentorship relationship. Also, get to know each other on a personal level; favorite movie, any pets, children, grandchildren, etc., will all factor into how someone views the workforce. Remember, you are never too young or old to have a mentor, to help others become a better version of themselves.

Our fall newsletter includes articles regarding digital practice transformation, interoperability and Regina Atim, the chair of Academic Alliance will share her story regarding mentorship. Also, check out our pictures to see what we have been up to since our last newsletter and we will share information on upcoming events so that you can plan accordingly and maybe we will see your picture in our next newsletter!

On behalf of our entire HIMSS Southern California team, we thank you for taking time to be part of our Chapter. We look forward to seeing you at our upcoming events!


Karen P. Kennedy, MBA RN
HIMSS Southern California President, 2019 - 2020