All the news and information you need to prepare for HIMSS13. Destination HIMSS13 is our e-newsletter series devoted to preparing you for the HIMSS Annual Conference and Exhibition, March 3-7 in New Orleans. On this page, you'll find previews of sessions and events, information about new products to be featured at the show, and helpful planning tips.

Specialty programs offer diverse opportunities for attendees

Aside from its core educational sessions, HIMSS13 offers a dozen specialty programs for attendee interests, ranging from executive-level issues and international health initiatives to technological innovations, financial frameworks, entrepreneurial pursuits and career-development pathways.

Here's a brief overview of four selected specialty programs, the Career Services Institute, the Health IT Venture and Angel Fairs, and the Health Transformation Project.

Career Services Institute

Aside from its core of topical educational sessions, HIMSS13 offers a dozen specialty programs for attendee interests ranging from executive-level issues and international health initiatives to technological innovations, financial frameworks, entrepreneurial pursuits and career-development pathways.

Here's a brief overview of four selected specialty programs, the Career Services Institute, the Health IT Venture and Angel Fairs, and the Health Transformation Project.

Career Services Institute

Newly added this year and open to all HIMSS13 attendees, the Career Services Institute (CSI) will support entry-, intermediate- and advanced-level professionals seeking career guidance and potential job opportunities.

The event -- titled "Is Your Personal Brand Connected…or Unplugged?" -- will be held March 5 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Marriott Convention Center in New Orleans. Keynote speaker Peggy Parks, an image and business etiquette consultant, will cover "The ABCs of Professional Image" with targeted segments on appearance, behavior and communication.

The program will explain "how you can best fit into the culture in which you're working," said Helen Figge, senior director of Career Services at HIMSS. "People are sometimes unsuccessful in getting a job -- although qualified for the job -- because they can't relate to the environment and work within it with the skills that they possess." Parks will advise attendees on "what you should look like, how you should behave, and how you should communicate in the work environment given today's landscape," noted Figge.

There is no additional fee to attend the CSI; however online registration is required. Go here to register.

Health IT Venture and Angel Fairs

Two events – one for established companies and the other for early-stage companies – will connect venture capitalists with entrepreneurs at HIMSS13.

The Health IT Venture Fair will feature presentations from more than 20 established healthcare IT companies. Industry experts will pre-qualify the participating firms based on their growth potential and other factors.

The Venture Fair will be held March 3 from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside, Versailles Room. Along with the company presentations, the agenda includes panel discussions on raising capital and strategic partnering. There is a separate fee of $305 for the event.

The Health IT Angel Fair, new to the HIMSS annual conference schedule this year, will take place March 4 from 9:45 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside. The program will be focused on connecting angel investors with "very early-stage startup companies," according to Deborah Caruso, HIMSS' senior manager of corporate relations.

"The two events are very similar," explained Caruso, but the companies presenting at the Angel Fair "may have just completed trials or may have just one customer at this stage in their development. Last year, early-stage companies had a chance to give 'elevator pitches' [as part of the Venture Fair]; this year we're doing a separate event."

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