Thursday, May 23 | Care Coordination, EHR Solutions and Operations, Human Services, Interoperability, Legislative/Policy, Post-Acute Care, Value-based Care

CONNECTIONS2019: A Mission Made Possible

By Netsmart

Last week, Netsmart welcomed more than 1,800 healthcare professions at CONNECTIONS2019 in Washington, D.C. The record-setting attendance was comprised of Netsmart clients, partner organizations, industry leaders and experts across the behavioral health, home health, hospice, senior living and social services communities. Through interactive learning and collaboration, this year’s theme of Making Your Mission Possible truly came to life.

The four-and-a-half-day event kicked off on Sunday morning, May 12 with pre-conference trainings. The Nursing Council gathered clinicians from across the country for a chance to discuss items such as prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMP), user experience and ways technology impacts daily workflows and care coordination. The training received great engagement from attendees, as conversations organically addressed how providers can impact the future of healthcare.

Our second-annual Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training was another one of the pre-conference offerings. Two Netsmart associates who are MHFA-certified instructors, Tricia Zerger and Julie Hiett, led the training. Throughout the day, attendees increased their understanding of how to offer support to individuals who may be experiencing a mental health or substance use crisis. From reducing stigma to reframing fear that keeps us from helping someone in need, attendees parted with greater awareness and assurance that they can make a difference.

Following Sunday’s trainings, the spring-in-bloom themed welcome reception served as the official kickoff to CONN19. Attendees gathered in a large ballroom with waterfront views for an evening of mingling alongside fellow attendees. With networking identified as the number one reason for attending CONN19, the welcome reception succeeded in making that mission possible right off the bat.

Cherry blossom trees lined the room, playing off not only the event’s theme, but its setting in D.C. Each spring, more than 3,700 of the iconic trees surround the Tidal Basin connecting national landmarks.

The opening keynote on Monday morning was led by Netsmart CEO, Mike Valentine. To recognize the hard-work achieved by each organization throughout the past year, he was quick to get attendees on their feet for celebratory high-fives. As the group reconvened, Valentine went on to present an overview of our history, vision and strategy.

In addition to hearing from Valentine, a handful of Netsmart leaders presented on innovations and the one-of-a-kind experience that awaited attendees at CONN19. Between the Solutionarium, interactive sessions, the Executive Symposium and everything in between, our user conference is carefully planned and executed with our clients’ experience in mind. 

Following the keynote, a group of very tall, iconic presidents led the way to the opening of the CONN19 Solutionarium. As its doors opened for the first time, attendees were able to explore the latest Netsmart innovation addressed in the keynote. Live demos initiated interactive discussions with solution experts about the latest updates and capabilities of Netsmart solutions and services.

Matthew Arnheiter, SVP of Innovations, had a Virtual Care CONNdo (pun intended) setup which showcased the future state for an individual in a Smart Home. It was equipped with consumer devices that track and monitor residents' health data in a more wholistic environment. Next door in the Virtual Care space, attendees could visualize a future state of healthcare where data translates into action to treat and support the individuals in the community, as well as new models of care. Netsmart vendor-partners lined the Solutionarium and chatted with attendees about a range of products and solutions that would enhance their organization’s services and care.

We rolled out something new on day two of CONN19 with the first community-specific keynotes! This new structure enabled each community to dive deeper into the trends, opportunities and road ahead while hearing from Netsmart leaders, experts and trailblazing clients. SVP Dawn Iddings led the Post-Acute session while SVP Scott Green led the Human Services session.

Following the keynotes on both days, attendees broke out into educational sessions specific to their solutions. With more than 150 educational sessions, client-led presentations and 18 pre- and post-conference training sessions, CONN19 was a record-breaking year. We brought attendees more roundtables, deep dives and other opportunities to collaborate than ever before!

On Tuesday evening we let our hair down to celebrate partnership at the CONN19 block party! Attendees gathered along Fleet street to mix and mingle while enjoying one another’s company. From yard games, to live music, a silent disco and mechanical bull rides, the evening was filled with good vibes.   

All around, CONN19 was a great success. We couldn’t be more pleased with attendees’ willingness to get into the weeds on how we can collectively shape a brighter future for healthcare. All breaks and downtime were maximized by attendees to network and be a part of the action.

There’s truly no greater teacher than our clients. CONN19 was an opportunity to not only collaborate with our clients on the insights and innovation needed to transform their workflows and care delivery, but a chance for us to understand their unique view of healthcare. In turn, their real-world clinical experiences and outlooks influence how we design and look to the future. Through the collaboration, our collective mission was made possible.

We’d like to extend a sincere thank you to all attendees. We appreciate your continued support and trust. For those unable to attend, we missed you and hope to see you at CONN20 in Denver! To see highlights from the sessions and keynotes, be sure to check out our CONN19 presence on Twitter. Looking forward to CONNECTing again soon.



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