SHSMD Launches New Skill-Building Platform for Healthcare Strategists

SHSMD ADVANCE™: The Learning Edge for Healthcare Strategists

Chicago (November 1, 2016) — The Society for Healthcare Strategy & Market Development (SHSMD), a professional membership group of the American Hospital Association, has released SHSMD ADVANCE™. This new comprehensive evaluation and learning platform is designed to help healthcare strategists and other professionals build critical skills necessary for success in the rapidly evolving healthcare environment. The skills outlined in the society’s innovative report, Bridging Worlds: The Future Role of the Healthcare Strategist, set the foundation of SHSMD ADVANCE™.

“While Bridging Worlds serves as a professional development roadmap for our field’s ongoing transformation, SHSMD ADVANCE™ serves as an educational framework for individual practitioners seeking to accelerate their personal development of strategic skills,” said Ruth Portacci, SHSMD’s president elect and chair of the SHSMD Bridging Worlds Committee.

SHSMD ADVANCE™ helps professionals build the skills identified in Bridging Worlds. “As an example, Bridging Worlds identifies five key implications including the need to ‘be nimble to exceed the rate of change.’ Some key skills and attributes for this implication include entrepreneurship, integrative thinking, and shepherding, among others. Key behavioral attributes include continuous learning, courage, moxie, and persistence.  “Our goal is to help strategists identify their skill gaps and then strengthen them,” said Portacci, also principal of Healthcare Strategy Partners, Inc., a Nashville, Tennessee-based consulting firm.

Becoming familiar with Bridging Worlds is the first recommended step of SHSMD ADVANCE™. After reviewing the skills and attributes outlined in Bridging Worlds, healthcare strategists and other professionals can begin to assess and build their skillsets using SHSMD ADVANCE™, which includes three components:

  • SHSMD ADVANCE™| Assess, an online self-assessment of the 64 skills and attributes identified in Bridging Worlds, helping users to review their greatest strengths and identify their skill gaps
  • SHSMD ADVANCE™| Skill Builder, a customized skill-building plan offering a set of learning resources tailored to one’s skills rating including nearly 500 articles, online courses, and books
  • SHSMD ADVANCE™| Credentials, intensive work courses developed by SHSMD offering learning certificates upon successful course completion

The society’s members can access SHSMD ADVANCE™| Assess and SHSMD ADVANCE™| Skill Builder for free. There is a modest fee for non-members.

“While SHSMD ADVANCE™ is designed for healthcare strategists, the comprehensive set of resources also applies to other disciplines inside and outside of the healthcare field,” said Donna Teach, SHSMD board member and chief marketing and communication officer for Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. “For instance, many professionals must master the skill of persuasion to effectively sell ideas or request funding for important projects. SHSMD ADVANCE™ offers an avenue to help them build that skill, as well as others that apply across a variety of industries. All in all, this new platform will help position individuals and teams for success so they can continue to bring value to the organizations they serve.”

For more information about SHSMD ADVANCE™, visit

About the Society for Healthcare Strategy and Market Development (SHSMD)
SHSMD, a professional membership group of the American Hospital Association, is the largest and most prominent voice for healthcare professionals in strategic planning, marketing, public relations, and communications. SHSMD is committed to helping its members prepare for the future with greater knowledge and opportunity as their organizations strive to improve the health and quality of life of their communities. The society serves more than 4,000 members by providing a broad and constantly updated array of resources, services, experiences and connections. For more information, visit