by John R. Fischer
, Staff Reporter | May 07, 2019
From the May 2019 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine
A year ago, the idea of an association for HTM professionals in the New York City area was only that — an idea.
Fast forward to today, and the New York Metropolitan Clinical Engineering Society is preparing to launch a membership drive in which it will visit with HTM leaders at various hospitals throughout New York State, encouraging them to become members and help strengthen the voice of HTM professionals throughout their communities.
“We hope to reach a sizeable level in the next 12 months,” Sudhakar Nagavalli, vice president of the group, and president and principal of the consulting firm, SunagMed, told HCB News. “The maximum would be about 2,500 to 3000 members in the metropolitan area. For the state, the potential could be 5,000 to 6000. That’s our goal, eventually.”
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The association is recruiting individual and corporate members throughout not only New York State but also parts of Connecticut, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, who can offer it greater support for various tasks, including raising funds for speakers who can address critical areas of interest like cybersecurity and regulatory compliance, resources for setting up a continuing formal education program, access to new and evolving technologies, affiliations with specific universities for degree opportunities, and different levels of device training.
The group is not only interested in bringing in members with a strict HTM background, they are also seeking professionals with a more broad facility background, and are particularly interested in attracting members with IT backgrounds.
“The whole issue of clinical or biomedical engineering tied to IT-type technologies has become an increasing area within traditional hospital services,” Paul Frisch, acting president of the society, and chief of biomedical engineering at Memorial Sloan Kettering, told HCB News. “This brings along with it a whole bunch of different skill sets. We’re now looking for people with IT knowledge, coupled with biomedical engineering, together.”
The brain child of Nagavalli and Frisch, the New York Metropolitan Clinical Engineering Society is in some ways an extension of the NY City Metropolitan Director’s Group, an informal assembly of clinical engineering directors, supervisors, managers and other senior leaders who met occasionally to address topics and concerns within the HTM community.