Evolving Leaders Program

The New England Society for Healthcare Communications is proud to offer a comprehensive program for our next generation of leaders.

In this six-session program (four in-person, two online), healthcare communications professionals with aspirations for leadership roles and in leadership roles will learn critical skills and insights from current leaders, gain insights into their individual strengths and traits and how they fit into the constellations of skills needed of leaders today.

NESHCo’s mission is to be the resource for success, growth, and professional development in the communications profession. The course is meant to inspire self-discovery and collegial relationships among class members and faculty.



  • Your individual leadership strengths 
  • How your strengths match up with identified must-have talents of today’s communications leaders
  • How your career path compares to those of well-established leaders in our profession
  • Critical skills for organizing, building, and leading a team while maintaining a positive culture
  • How to rely on your own strengths and values
  • What your own experience and the experience of others can teach you about your leadership vision
  • Insights from a professional career coach about your own career arc



Ideal candidates will have at least five years of experience in the health care communications professions. They will be new in a leadership role, or contemplating a move into leadership, and looking for insights for their transition. The best candidates will be willing to share experiences while keeping an open mind as we explore leadership as a career path.

Online applications will be accepted between Monday, February 10, 2020 and Friday, March 20, 2020 and will require of a letter detailing his or her current position, intentions and reasons for contemplating a transition to leadership, and what the candidate hopes to gain from the class. Participants must commit to attending the six sessions, four in person, and two web-based, and completing the work as assigned between sessions. The application must include a letter of recommendation from a health care leader, sharing insights as to the leadership potential and fitness of the candidate for the program. 

You will be notified by April 25, 2020 if you have been selected. 

A link with payment instructions will follow.




Friday, May 29, 2020, 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Westin Harborview Hotel, Portland, ME

Choosing the Leadership Path  

Participants will engage in a discussion of their own characteristics of leadership, as assessed through the Clifton Strengths Assessment Tool (to be completed prior to the meeting). Participants will gain an understanding of their personal signature strengths and how the complementary strengths of others blend to form functional teams.

We will hold panel discussion with leaders from different health care organizations, talking about their career paths, their choices with regard to leadership opportunities, and their tips for success and successful transition. 

Based upon the Clifton strengths, participants will develop a plan for next steps, with regard to their strengths assessment and career path development.

 In addition, during the Annual Conference we’ll hold a social hour to introduce graduates of the first cohort to new program participants.



July 2020 - 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Building Your Dream Team


Our chosen speakers will present strategies for building a functioning communication team. The session is a practical discussion of the components of constructing a communication team and advocating for that team within an organization.

Participants will then learn about the search process. How to get the information you need from the resume and the interview, and the do’s and don’ts of the selection process. 



October 2020 - 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

In-person, Location TBA

Bridging Strengths to Today’s Must-have Healthcare Leadership Skill Sets 

In this session, evolving leaders will learn the industry-specific leadership skills that our nation’s healthcare organizations need in order to succeed in the fast-changing landscape. Speakers will share insights from the Society’s Bridging Worlds 2.0. Driven by extensive, multi-year research, the Society’s Bridging Worlds 2.0 reveals clusters of strategic and communication skills that are prized by health care organizations as we move forward as an industry. 

We will then delve deeply into individual skill-sets (assessed individually prior to the meeting) looking for synergies and opportunities for growth. Participants will have the substantial resources of the Society’s library of resources and presentation materials to help them bridge gaps in their own skills. The group session will provide time for networking among peers, to identify complementary partnerships that can aid in skill development into the future.

  Additionally, we will introduce the concept of career coaching and its value at any point during the arc of a career. How to assess readiness for change, how to prepare for it and pursue it, putting your best self forward for consideration. 

In the final portion of the day we will engage in hands-on leadership training through an interactive activity.



January 2021 - 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

The Career Coaching Experience, 

Benefits and Learnings

While many professionals may never engage with a career coach, those who do realize the benefit of a subjective, expert opinion on readiness, strengths, presentation, and preparation for career advancement.  During this webinar our participants will hear from our career coaching company. They will take their coaching experience a step further with exercises designed to help them define their professional values, personal brand, and career path in the context of their learnings from their coaching process. Group discussion will inform and enhance the process for the group and the individuals.  



March 2021 - 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Foxboro, MA

Leading Teams Through Positive Culture        

Teams with a positive culture and a sense of purpose and belonging are more productive, more creative, and more committed to both the team and their organization. In addition to the monetary benefits of a good job, members of a positive team gain intrinsic personal and professional reinforcement and satisfaction. 

Our evolving leaders will learn the component parts to building a positive team culture and have the opportunity to ask their own questions and learn from the insights. 



May 2021 - 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Pre-conference workshop at the 2021 NESHCo Spring Conference

The Resilient Leader, Leading Through Challenge and Disaster

Failure is inevitable. How do the best leaders make it through the tough times, when a team member is poisoning the well, or when the bottom falls out of a job completely. In this session, evolving leaders will learn some strategies for addressing a poison apple on a team and for recovering and moving forward after losing a leadership position. 

In this final session, our expert facilitator will delve deeply into the concept of resiliency and its importance for leaders and help our evolving leaders to understand what strengths in their individual tool box they can rely upon and leverage in times of trouble. 


The class members will graduate and be recognized at the Annual Spring Conference Welcome Reception.


Program Facilitator

Linda Meccouri, PHD

Linda is a masterful Appreciative Inquiry facilitator, using this powerful model to enable individuals and organizations to understand and unleash their strengths, co-create visionary change, and build resiliency through self-awareness and reliance on their positive core. With more than 30 years of teaching experience at the community college, undergraduate, and graduate level, Dr. Meccouri is the recipient of two Endowed Chairs for Teaching Excellence and is highly respected for her creative approaches to leadership and positive change.

What she does best is cultivate the strengths of individuals and organizations, walking the visionary path with practical feet. Linda has a reputation for getting things done while maintaining integrity and promoting human dignity, and facilitates learning using a strengths-based, appreciative inquiry approach.


Career Coaching

Amy Jaffe, MA

Amy is the current President of the Maine Career Development Association and holds a Masters Degree in Career Development. Her approach to career counseling combines empathy and sensitivity with practical, actionable counsel. Amy incorporates interests, skills, and personality assessments into her work with clients and works with mid career professionals interested in their next career step.  www.heartatworkassociates.com     


NESHCo Member

12 Month Evolving Leaders Program - TBD per person (*TBD for SHSMD non-members.) Tuition is payable over four quarters.

Membership in SHSMD is encouraged, as an element of the course is included with SHSMD membership, and will cost an additional $100 for non-members of SHSMD. (join SHSMD)

Tuition includes meals for in-person meetings, but overnight accommodations are extra for those who need them.


12 Month Evolving Leaders Program - TBDper person (*$TBD for SHSMD non-members.) Tuition is payable over four quarters.

**Tuition includes a one-year NESHCo Membership. (join NESHCo)

Membership in SHSMD is encouraged, as an element of the course is included with SHSMD membership, and will cost an additional $100 for non-members of SHSMD. (join SHSMD)

Tuition includes meals for in-person meetings, but overnight accommodations are extra for those who need them.


Our program sponsors are an exclusive group of committed healthcare leaders who are dedicated to our mission. NESHCo recognizes and acknowledges their generous contributions, helping to underwrite and make this program possible.