Meet the COACH President: In Conversation with Leon Salvail

Q. What has been the most significant or surprising thing you have learned in your first few months as President?
A. “I have been surprised by how much the small, but extremely talented and dedicated staff secretariat does, augmented by the critical member volunteers … talk about leverage!”

Q. The President’s role is a major commitment. Why have you been interested in taking this on?
A. “Given my personal life experiences and company experience, I am driven to improve the overall HI industry. I want to build on the work done during the two years I served as a Board Director and the Vice-President and move forward the renewal and continued development of COACH. I am motivated by a desire to give back to the industry and shape the go-forward for current and emerging professionals.”

Q. How is your industry experience with Gevity Consulting Inc., etc. assisting you in leading COACH?
A. “Working with a broad set of professionals across many disciplines and clinical practices has allowed me to learn from varied points of view and experiences and aggregate those views into a cohesive strategy. My years of leading diverse groups and focusing on both leveraging the best out of each staff member, as well as adopting change, is also an asset. My focus on successful growth through many industry cycles allows me to help COACH meet the need for change, while still continuing to grow membership and service offerings.”

“The continued rapid pace of change in the digital health world is forcing HI professionals to engage in rapid change management. Aging professionals present a continued and growing challenge of turnover and loss of industry memory and know-how. There is a need to change without reinventing the wheel as new emerging professionals come up in the industry.”

Q. Based on your experience, what do you see as the biggest issues/challenges for HI professionals during your term over the next two years?
A. “The continued rapid pace of change in the digital health world is forcing HI professionals to engage in rapid change management. Aging professionals present a continued and growing challenge of turnover and loss of industry memory and know-how. There is a need to change without reinventing the wheel as new emerging professionals come up in the industry.”

Q. What is your vision for COACH, in terms of supporting HI professionals in meeting these challenges?
A. “COACH needs to be a clearing house of industry information. We need continued engagement between HI leaders and emerging professionals to ensure learnings are passed on. Ramping up service offerings in HI core competencies, as well as emerging themes, is essential to allow for HI professionals to continue to embrace base learnings and the cutting edge of change in a timely manner.”

Q. What do you see as COACH’s greatest strengths, as an association, at this time?
A. “COACH’s greatest strengths are its:
• committed volunteer base;
• strong staff secretariat with the core skills to embrace change;
• expanding membership committed to improving the profession; and
• expanding information and training offerings.”

Q. What about improvements? What COACH areas/activities would you like to see improved or expanded?
“COACH needs to embrace digital delivery of content, conferences and training, provide greater structured learning offerings across the broad spectrum of HI professionals and build stronger regional presence and collaboration.”

Q. How will the new Strategic Plan, being developed for 2017 – 2020, address both the opportunities and risks?
“The strategic planning process is under way and focused on re-imaging COACH within the expanding digital health world. As the plan is finalized, it will focus on both leveraging existing COACH assets as well as embracing the need for change along with the industry. It is expected to support a continued focus on digital and regional delivery. The new Strategic Plan will be explored more thoroughly in future issues of the HIM&CC Journal.”

Q. What role can members play in helping COACH reach its full potential going forward?
“Volunteer! To members, I say, ‘The key is to bring your expertise to the organization and share your passions with the broad membership. There are many opportunities to get involved in conferences, training, webinars and other COACH activities.’”

Q. What is the most satisfying aspect of being the COACH President?
“It is a pleasure to be part of a team with dedicated staff and volunteers who are both experts and keen to learn and expand. It is also gratifying to know that the work now under way will help shape the industry for years to come.”

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