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Leen Kawas Provides Healthcare Industry Professionals With Valuable Networking Guidance

Leen Kawas Provides Healthcare Industry Professionals With Valuable Networking Guidance
Photo Courtesy: Dr. Leen Kawas

By Dr. Leen Kawas

Dr. Leen Kawas, a biotechnology industry veteran with decades of experience navigating the healthcare realm, highlights ways in which networking can help professionals across the entire industry.

Thriving in any competitive industry begins with an appropriate skill set and a commitment to excellence. In the healthcare industry, dedicated professionals of all stripes consistently work to improve the patient care experience. Physicians, nurses, and other direct care team members are at the forefront of this initiative. Less-visible administrative personnel also play key roles in this integrated service approach.

Forward-thinking healthcare professionals regularly network with other industry colleagues. These contacts may be located in the same building or in other companies across the United States. Regardless of the logistics, both parties benefit from these professional exchanges.

Leen Kawas, Ph. D., is Propel Bio Partners’ Managing General Partner. This Los Angeles-based biotechnology venture capital firm supports start-up and early-stage biotech entrepreneurs. Many of these businesses are involved in the healthcare industry. Dr. Kawas emphasizes the value of healthcare industry networking. She also offers multiple tips for effective interactions.

Four Healthcare Industry Networking Benefits

Networking with healthcare industry colleagues can bring four concrete benefits. Over time, these enhancements can help elevate the entire industry’s profile.

Improved Healthcare Operational Knowledge

Healthcare professionals may work in the patient care, administrative, or support sectors. Professionals in every arena can broaden their knowledge through networking opportunities. Meeting with colleagues and attending industry conferences can help increase healthcare professionals’ operational knowledge. This enables higher-level job performance.

Distinction from Similar Professionals

In the rapidly expanding healthcare industry, standing out from similarly skilled professionals can be a challenge. A professional who develops a peer network and who relies on this group for advice and perhaps mentorship may have an advantage over those who rely solely on their own resources.

More Effective Healthcare Team Performance

Dr. Leen Kawas emphasizes that healthcare teams can also benefit from team members’ enhanced knowledge. When each team member brings higher-level skills to the table, the entire team is capable of an elevated performance.

Exposure to Learning and Career Opportunities

Healthcare industry networking can provide exposure to additional learning opportunities. Professional contacts may extend invitations to informational workshops and/or webinars. At industry conferences, healthcare professionals may gain exposure to other organizations’ career offerings.

Leen Kawas’ Advice for Making Quality Connections

In every networking venue, healthcare professionals focus on forging strategic connections. Finding individuals in specific areas of interest and learning about educational and career opportunities are two primary goals. Dr. Leen Kawas offers key tips for making quality connections.

Two Impactful Connection Tips

Dr. Leen Kawas says networking opportunities don’t just occur at networking events. Every professional contact can potentially play a role in a healthcare professional’s career journey. In addition, Dr. Kawas says building quality professional relationships takes time. Staying connected and adding value to the other person’s professional journey is key.

To illustrate, healthcare professionals should consider sending relevant articles and adding thoughtful comments on timely online discussions. Over time, the healthcare professional will ideally establish themselves in a positive light. This can open the door to more targeted discussions.

Making Virtual Connections

Virtual connections (especially video calls) are increasingly becoming the norm in professional circles. During these engagements, Dr. Leen Kawas recommends that healthcare professionals dress and act similarly to in-person meetings. Keeping the meeting concise and on target and following up afterward are good tactics.

Leen Kawas’ Networking Event Recommendations

Preparation for an important business event sets the stage for a successful outcome. This approach certainly extends to networking events.

Networking Event Preparation

To begin, Dr. Leen Kawas recommends that attendees determine their goals for the networking event. Next, they should include the exact steps needed to achieve that objective. Brushing up on current industry trends and researching likely event attendees are also good tactics.

Finally, Dr. Kawas suggests that attendees carefully consider their clothing ensemble for the event. Adding a distinctive item, such as an antique brooch or colorful scarf or tie, will help an individual stand out.

Networking Event Execution

Surprisingly, self-promotion plays a relatively small role in successful networking events. Instead, Dr. Leen Kawas recommends that both parties first find common ground. Sharing their thoughts on an industry trend could be a good icebreaker.

As the conversation proceeds, each attendee should ideally show genuine curiosity about the other professional’s experiences. Asking open-ended questions, and really listening to the responses, helps forge real connections. This often leads to further engagement. During this follow-up chat, it’s fine to ask for introductions or other assistance.

When speaking about their own accomplishments, each professional should share credible information while not over-selling themselves. This can turn the conversation into a sales pitch, and that won’t achieve the desired goal.

Post-Event Follow-Up

After every networking event, attendees should follow up with other professionals who would ideally become key connections. A cordial note or email, including a reference to the interaction, will help get the ball rolling. A favorable response can open the door for continued interactions. A lukewarm response (or none at all) may indicate that this contact should be kept on the back burner.

3 Networking Tips With Staying Power

Along with in-person and virtual networking events, Dr. Leen Kawas discusses three tried-and-true networking tactics. Today, technological advances often enable healthcare professionals to participate remotely in certain activities.

Professional Organization Memberships

Industries maintain a dedicated professional organization open to workers within that industry. Besides offering tools and educational resources, these entities frequently offer networking opportunities.

The healthcare industry contains multiple subsectors, some with their own professional organizations. Workers can ideally experience career growth through networking and other targeted resources.

Healthcare Industry Conferences

Healthcare industry conferences offer opportunities to meet similar professionals from across the United States. Conferences typically feature respected industry speakers along with breakout rooms and vendor halls. Multiple networking opportunities should be available throughout each several-day conference.

Dr. Leen Kawas emphasizes that advanced preparation can help healthcare professionals get maximum benefit from their conference attendance. By researching the event’s focus and choosing organizations and/or individuals with whom to connect, each professional is well-positioned for positive results.

Strategic Social Media Activities

Major social media platforms, especially LinkedIn and X, are appropriate venues for healthcare industry professionals to connect and engage in industry discussions.

To illustrate, an interest-piquing LinkedIn post often results in diverse comments that offer new perspectives and opportunities for beneficial connections. LinkedIn members can also join targeted healthcare industry groups that foster discussion of relevant issues.

Leen Kawas Reiterates Networking’s Value

As the United States healthcare industry continues to evolve, healthcare professionals may find that networking helps them stay abreast of relevant industry developments. Dr. Leen Kawas recommends that professionals embrace networking strategies that help them learn and grow in their careers.


Published by: Khy Talara


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