Thanks to medical device companies, pharmaceuticals and a burgeoning healthcare technology scene, the life sciences and healthcare are alive and well in Indiana.  More broadly, STEM is always top of mind for the health of the state’s economy as well.  Keeping the highly educated healthcare and life sciences professionals in state after college is critical to remaining competitive both now and in the future.

At the beginning of every year, it is great as well to think about what organizations we should become more involved in for industry success, as well as personal career development.  Furthermore, and in particular for women, there are not enough of us in STEM, let alone at the helm of life science and healthcare companies.  To move more women up the corporate ladders and into corporate boardrooms, career development through non-profit organizations and associations is one way to gain leadership experience for all of us—men and women included.

There are equally many different and exciting groups to engage within the life sciences, healthcare, healthcare IT, and even more broadly in STEM in Indiana.  Below are eight great organizations to consider for the new year, if you’re shopping for career development in health and STEM:

Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association, Indiana Chapter – – With a mission to achieve gender parity in healthcare leadership, the HBA is a growing national and international organization with thousands of members, founded in 1977.  The Indiana Chapter has women from pharmaceuticals, device companies, healthcare services and HIT.  They host several live events throughout the year, and offer members a mentoring program.

Women & Hi Tech – – The women of Women & Hi Tech reach all corners of STEM, including healthcare.  Their mission is to: attract, develop, retain, support and promote women in any field which technology has an impact.  They have several executive women’s luncheons with guest speakers throughout the year, and every other year honor women in Indiana STEM who have achieved greatness and also provide scholarships to women in STEM through the Leading Light Awards. 

Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Indiana Chapter – – One of over 50 chapters, HIMSS Indiana Chapter brings together health IT, informatics, telecommunications, healthcare practitioners, and all parties in healthcare to learn, network and grow professionally.  The national HIMSS conference in March is featuring investors from the Shark Tank, which leads me to the next group…

National Association of Women Business Owners, Indiana Chapter – – While NAWBO serves women of all professional sectors, if a woman in particular wanted support while she’s starting a business in healthcare or STEM, this would be a fantastic organization to start.  Women of NAWBO Indiana also run a seminar on political issues and talking to legislators, which is also critical to healthcare.

Indiana Healthcare Executives Network (part of ACHE) – – As the official state chapter of the American College of Healthcare Executives, IHEN has events for their members and nonmembers, and discounts for students who want to learn more about healthcare administration leadership.  ACHE nationally also offers a Fellow program (FACHE).

Indiana Health Industry Forum – – IHIF has benefits to members of networking, advocacy, events, discounts, company promotion, an annual magazine, services for entrepreneurs, and future vision in a state wide strategic plan for the health science sector.

Executive Women in Healthcare (EWHC) – – Their mission is to: “Create an integrative force among women leaders in health care, which inspires exchange of knowledge, new relationships, personal and professional growth, and community involvement.”  They offer live events, scholarships, and newsletters.

BioCrossroads – – Last but certainly not least, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the sponsor of this newsletter itself, BioCrossroads.  Not only do they serve as a catalyst for industry and academic and fund start-ups, but they have a market intelligence arm that offers amazing reports and snapshots on the status of life sciences (among other sectors) in the state, and offer live educational events.

If career development is in your plan for 2017 and you work in healthcare or life sciences, check out these organizations to connect, educate and create an even stronger network of Indiana healthcare, life sciences, HIT and STEM!

Erin Albert, MBA, PharmD, JD is a health outcomes pharmacist for Myers and Stauffer, entrepreneur, writer, member of Women & Hi Tech, and the 2017 president of Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association – Indiana Chapter. More on her at her website,, or at twitter: @ErinLAlbert.

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