Thanks for Having Me – New EMR and EHR Blogger, Jennifer Dennard

Editor’s Note: The following is an introduction to a new blogger in the EMR and EHR family, Jennifer Dennard. You’ll be able to read all of Jennifer Dennard’s posts here.

Little did I know 10 years ago as I sat through my graduation from journalism school at the University of Georgia that healthcare would be the industry in which I would find my writing niche. The minor in French hasn’t been put to good use, I’m afraid, and my corresponding aspiration to live abroad, writing for French Vogue, is still in the backseat of the Ford Escort I left in Athens, waiting to be fulfilled.

I’m sure I’m not the only college graduate who has left a few dreams behind. I was, however, one of the few in my class who put their degree to good use. The poor job market left many working in retail right out of school, but I somehow landed a job with Billian Publishing, working for Textile World Magazine. French Vogue it was not, but a greater professional stepping stone I could not have asked for.

Fast forward to 2011 and the publishing industry has changed dramatically, as has healthcare. Billian’s publications came and went, though Textile World and its sister publications are still kicking. Marriage and parenthood brought me closer to the world of healthcare and a role in social media marketing.

I like to joke that it was during my second maternity leave that I became addicted to Twitter. (I’ll blame it on my alter ego, @SmyrnaGirl.) A lot of time was spent in rocking chairs – much of which became devoted to playing around with the new social network. (I’m on Facebook, but not nearly as active.) Once back at work, I convinced the higher-ups (who, thankfully, have always been supportive of my new ideas) to allow me to use Twitter for marketing purposes, which, truth be told, only furthered my addiction.

The Dennard Family, Summer 2010

The @TextileWorldMag account was booming, but healthcare soon called my name from across the hall. Billian’s HealthDATA and Porter Research – also Billian Publishing companies – were in need of marketing assistance and I was ready for a new challenge. With the help of a few like-minded individuals, we worked to truly understand what healthcare was all about for our business and those of our customers – no small challenge as healthcare reform was ushered in – and to transition that knowledge into effective editorial marketing. (I like the term “branded” marketing, myself.)

To make a long story even longer, I am now Social Marketing Director at Billian’s HealthDATA and Porter Research, responsible for their overall social media strategies. This involves daily use of LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, not-so-daily use of Foursquare, developing educational webinars around our products and services, managing editorial partnerships with industry-related websites, and staying abreast of the latest marketing developments these platforms enable. And I do a bit of writing for their websites and e-newsletter, the Healthcare Intelligence Hub.

Perhaps the part of my job that I love the most is the fact that I get paid to stay educated about a subject I have a true interest in – one that affects everyone I know. And then on top of that, I get to write about it! Which is why it pleases me so much to join the EMRandEHR.com team, whose writers I’ve been following for awhile now.

Do I need another excuse to peruse my favorite industry news sites and blogs? Not really. Will I take advantage of the excuse to stay up a little later, scribbling my thoughts down on how my daughter’s pediatrician’s new EMR will affect our next office visit? You betcha.

This is one dream that won’t get left behind.