September 21-23, 2021
Austin Convention Center | Austin, TX

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The Leaflet Article


The Symposium on the Road - Stop 2

Jenabeth Ferguson, Vice President, Symposium Director

In late April I continued on my road trips to see our board members in their offices.  This time I found myself in downtown Chicago as the guest of Lynn Murphy, Director, Planning and Project Management for Northwestern Memorial HealthCare. I was there for half a day only observing and yet I left exhausted!  When I made the arrangements Lynn told me she is usually in the office by 7:30 am but the first meeting that day is not until 8:30 am. I arrived a little after 8 am to find most everyone in her group already at their desks. 

The first meeting of the day is one that Lynn set up to help communications between two groups that typically don’t speak the same language – her project managers and IT.  This was a great lesson in the things you do not think about.  The group was talking about the 24th floor and then all of a sudden the PM says something about ordering the cable stations and no one wants that on their credit card and everyone laughs. I of course have no idea why that is so funny.  And then Lynn turns to me and says the 24th floor is the new home for the Fertility and Reproductive group.  Oh! Those type of channels.  Funny but also so important and something that has to be thought through.   I am happy to report that someone must have ordered the channels because just this week Northwestern Fertility and Reproductive Medicine moved into their new technologically-advanced and highly personalized clinical space.  You can see more here… 

From this meeting I follow one of the project managers to a building a few blocks away, where a local architecture firm is doing a presentation of their skills and services.  I knew Lunch n Learns happen in design firms but I did not know that healthcare providers have similar meetings with the design consultants.  I leave this meeting early because Lynn has indicated I might want to sit in on a meeting that she and another one of her PMs is having with the potential new contact with the construction firm.  To make matters more complicated the PM is about to go out on maternity leave so  she is figuring out if this new contact is someone she can work is the PM who will cover for her. 

At the Symposium we talk often about the team that sits around the table together, well I finally experienced one of those meetings when we went to a weekly project update. The contractor, interior designer, architect and folks from the facility within Northwestern, as well as the project manager, all sat around the table. In this case I saw a team that was working well together and everyone seemed on the same page.  After this meeting I am told that was not always the way but that is one of the reasons these meetings are so important.  Just like the PM and IT meeting that morning, the more often folks sit around the table and talk, the better they work together.

As this meeting concludes, Lynn is running late for a conference call that I am only able to sit in for about 15 minutes before I have to go to a lunch.  I’m not sure Lynn eats lunch. I know she wouldn’t get any work done if she didn’t bring her laptop with her everywhere and try to squeeze in whatever she can while running from meeting to meeting.  I was incredibly grateful for this opportunity because it gave me even more insight into the type of days so many of you experience, which fuels my desire to make sure the Symposium is serving you! 

You can see photos of my visit here.  

Jenabeth Ferguson
Vice President, Symposium Director
Healthcare Facilities Symposium & Expo

PS Have a thought about the Symposium? Please feel free to contact me at any time at

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