Amy Turnquist, EVP, digital solutions, eHealthcare Solutions
HBA chapter: Philadelphia
Current role with the HBA: HBA Philadelphia president
I volunteer for the United Force for Change because I believe that women are called to support other women and that when we come together to create opportunity for each other, we all achieve more. More professional success, more personal satisfaction and joy.
Volunteering has impacted my career by giving me a platform to expand my network and make lasting connections with inspiring and successful women (and men!) who are vested in helping me succeed. My role with the HBA has also given me access to thought leaders and insights that I wouldn’t have had without my volunteer experience. It’s also had a very tangible influence on my career path: I met my current CEO when I invited him to speak at an event that I was hosting at Johnson & Johnson in 2017.
My favorite HBA event I ever attended was last year’s Woman of the Year. After having been involved with HBA for many years, this was the first time that I had the honor to see personal mentors and friends being recognized on stage. Only a few years ago, I hadn’t yet met Taren Grom (our 2019 STAR) or Sharon Callahan (our 2019 Woman of the Year). But last year I had the honor of joining the “Friends of Taren” table and celebrating with Sharon as she received this well-deserved recognition. It was such an honor – and a truly special moment of celebration.
The most valuable lesson I learned from a fellow volunteer is from Jackie Franke, our regional chair for the HBA Mid-Atlantic region, and long-time HBA colleague. She’s taught me that it’s important to make the time to help other women, but it’s just as important to know when to ask for help and to recognize that we can’t do it all alone. Building teams – and empowering them to step up and carry the load when needed – is critical to successful leadership.
My employer encourages me to volunteer for HBA because at EHS, one of our core values is what we call “CAN-I”, which stands for Continuous and Never-Ending Improvement. My work with HBA has directly supported my professional growth and the value that I bring to work by giving me access to other leaders in my industry who serve as my own personal board of directors outside of the office. Those relationships make me better. In a real sense, my network makes me smarter. When facing a unique challenge at work, I may not have my own prior experience with solving that specific problem, but there’s always someone in my network that has experience that I can learn from and leverage.
I first got involved with the HBA when I attended an executive women’s breakfast at Shire many years ago. I’d been attending events for a few years and passively watching from the sidelines – but hadn’t really gotten “involved”. At this event, I sat at a table next to Charlotte Sibley, our 2008 Woman of the Year, as well as Betty Michelson, our incoming president in Philadelphia and Bonnie Wingate, our director at large for corporate relations. Liz Coyle, our vice president at the time (and current EVP, Value Offerings at HBA), hosted the event. I was inspired and a little star struck, to be honest, to be in the same room with these impressive leaders. While talking to Bonnie, she suggested that I join her team, which I immediately did. Within a year, I had made life-long connections and was planning to succeed Bonnie in a leadership role for corporate relations. I owe Bonnie a debt of gratitude for believing in me from the beginning – and Liz for continuing to push me along my HBA journey.
I applied for my current role with the HBA because…honestly? Someone suggested that they thought I should consider the role. It hadn’t been on my roadmap up until that point, but the more I thought about the opportunity the more excited I became. We had established a strong presence in Greater Philadelphia for many years, but the opportunity to create a new membership community in and around the city was energizing. The “Business of Healthcare” in Philly is wide ranging and diverse, reflecting the full spectrum of care including providers, payers, clinical research, pharma, med device, technology and academia. It has been such a joy to introduce our mission to new groups of people who didn’t know of the HBA just a few years ago.
What would be your advice to someone thinking about joining or getting more involved with the HBA? Jump in! But don’t do it alone. Email me – or your local chapter leadership – to let them know that you’d like to get involved. (If you don’t know who to contact – reach out to me and I’ll connect you.) Before you attend your first event, make sure someone knows that you’ll be there. Having someone who will take the initiative to find you and introduce you to others in their network is invaluable. And then, “find your fit”. If you are interested in learning more about the role between fitness and leadership, our Fit to Lead affinity group may be for you. If you are a young professional, your may find your fit within our Tomorrow’s Executives affinity group. We also have groups for Women of Color, Women in Transition, Women in Science (and more!)
Follow me as I take over the HBA social media accounts on 23 April.
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