You Spoke, We Listened—2011 Health Meeting

By Joan C. Barrett, FSA, MAAA, 2011 Health Meeting Chairperson

JoanBarrett Have you ever wondered what happened to all those surveys you filled out at the Health Meeting last year? Well, the answer is simple. We read them and we used the information to make this year’s Health Meeting better meet your needs.

You told us that you wanted more mid-level sessions. So, this year, we have several “pairs” of sessions. Take complexity science, for example. Session 37PD is an introductory session, for those of us not too familiar with Complexity Science. Session 81PD, held later in the meeting, will cover the subject in more detail. Perfect for folks already familiar with the subject and those who attended the first session.

You told us you wanted to see more fresh faces among the speakers. This year we have more than 180 unique speakers. Lots of fresh faces, but many of your favorites will be back, too.

You also told us that you wanted even more networking opportunities. I still remember how intimidated I was the first time I walked into an SOA reception. There were so many people and I did not know any of them. At this meeting, you will be able to learn networking techniques at the last formal session on Monday afternoon (27IF), then move to the reception where you will be able to use those techniques right away. Also, you will have met some new colleagues at the session. This session is filling up fast, so if you haven’t registered yet, you might want to act quickly.

This year, we are still going to be asking for your feedback via surveys, but we are also asking for real-time feedback through Twitter. You can follow the meeting tweets at #SOAHealth11—and you can tweet your questions in advance of the meeting. Send in questions for specific sessions or questions you would like to ask our keynote speakers:

  • Rick Foster, FSA, MAAA, Chief Actuary, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. What types of questions do you want answered? Technical? Process? The long-term outlook?
  • Susan Dentzer, Editor-in-Chief, Health Affairs. What broader health issues do you want to know more about? Accountable care organizations? Comparative effectiveness research?
  • Shawn Achor, Founder, Good Think Inc. Shawn will discuss “Positive Leadership: Restoring a Culture of Confidence.” We have all been through hard times in our organization. What do you want to know about navigating through those hard times?

While you’re at the Health Meeting, why not take part in the seminar we’ve lined up right after the meeting at the same hotel in Boston—Medical School for Actuaries. Last time we offered a program on this subject, we packed the house. “Med School” will offer you insight into how you can better compete with other health care professionals when you enhance your health care expertise with clinical knowledge.

Finally, no mention of our Health Meeting would be complete without mentioning the new meeting app. The SOA is pleased to offer for the first time a meeting application to be used on your mobile device (e.g., Android, BlackBerry, iPhone and iPad). This "app" will provide you with access to important features of the event, including session information, speakers, presentations and more right from your mobile device.

I hope to see you in Boston. It should be a great time, thanks to the many SOA section volunteers who put the program together and our outstanding SOA staff.

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