October: Meet Our Members

Meet  Colleen Jones

Read the Q&A blog with Colleen to learn more about her work, background and involvement with MASHSMD. 

Where do you work? What are your responsibilities for your job?
Martin Communications, Inc., an agency just outside Harrisburg, PA. My job as Media Director is leading our clients’ paid media strategies (primarily, sometimes including earned media when a client is unable handle that on their own team). While my role started as heavily traditional, it’s really shifted to require digital expertise – everything from web banners and video to TikTok campaigns! We’re an independent, boutique agency so the media department handles strategy and planning to implementation and campaign analytics. Understanding every step of the process gives this holistic view, which leads to better outcomes for our clients’ projects.

Where did you go to school? When did you graduate?
I graduated from Susquehanna University – a small liberal arts college in Selinsgrove, PA, in 2005 with a unique degree: B.A. in Music and Business. I had started as a vocal major, but my real talent was always business and communications, so I found a way (and some supportive professors as mentors) that allowed me to combine all of these passions into one degree.

Why did you decide to work in healthcare?
Healthcare has always been a part of my life – my mom is a CRNA. During college helped connect me to her practice’s business manager and I began working in their billing department during my school breaks. I’m not one for the “biology” side of medicine, my sister is the eye doctor, but working in the medical billing department, I was able to put my business interests into use and see what it takes to run a successful regional medical practice. I eventually used the practice as a case study for a college project.

When/How did you first hear about MASHSMD?
I became aware of MASHSMD through Martin Communication. Our client is Mary Washington Healthcare, and their team members have been very involved with MASHSMD’s predecessor organization, as well as with SHSMD and making MASHSMD what it is today.

Why did you decide to join the organization?
As a player in the field of healthcare marketing, it is important to make connections with others and to learn from one another to improve the industry as a whole, as well as outcomes for our communities and individual organizations.

How long have you been involved with MASHSMD? How long were you a member before you joined the Board?
I was involved with MASHSMD in 2019 as a speaker at the annual conference. I joined the Board in 2021 because I recognized the Board’s need and knew that my detail-oriented skills could be an asset. Since then, I’ve found additional ways to contribute, including my (past life) event planning and sponsorship sales skills I haven’t used in a few years.

How have you benefited from being a member of MASHSMD?
I’ve grown my circle of contacts from whom I can continuously learn. I especially enjoy the monthly “lunch & learn” virtual gatherings for this!

One thing that this pandemic has taught you?
To appreciate every small interaction with every person. I’m outgoing so I knew I missed people when we went into lockdown. I didn’t realize how much intention it was going to take to stay connected to teammates and build connections to others without the benefit of “passing” conversations in a hallway or kitchen or wherever. So now, I focus on trying to arrive early to meetings just to make sure there’s a little time for personal connection while waiting for everyone to get on the call.

What are you looking forward to in our post-pandemic world? Are you worried about anything in our post-pandemic world?
Personally, I’m looking forward to travelling again. Professionally, we will probably return to a hybrid schedule, but it will be nice to be able to interact in-person more frequently than we are now.

Did you pick up any new hobbies during quarantine?
Being at home with my dog (and husband), I’ve had more reminders to take a quick 5-minute break to go outside and get some vitamin D and a stretch, which I was quite bad at doing in the office. I’ve also made a conscious effort to keep moving while being very sedentary on sometimes back-to-back(-to-back) Zoom meetings. On a recent virtual conference, I was introduced to this YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/c/TwoMinuteMoves/) who has some quick break videos and even things you can do while on a video call! Otherwise, I’ve focused on finding ways to keep my hobbies (tap and hip-hop dancing) going despite the setbacks of being at home instead of in a dance studio. But my dog has certainly liked all the extra time and attention she gets having her two “parents” home all the time!

One fun fact that you would like people to know about/or just one interesting fact that no one would ever guess.
I love searching for four-leaf clovers. It’s not that I’m searching for good luck; and though I’m Irish, the four-leaf clover has nothing to do with that heritage (that’s three-leaved shamrocks). I enjoy that the hunt is kind of like a puzzle or “Where’s Waldo.” You’ll often find me staring at the ground on a walk or even in my own backyard while looking for that one that’s just a little “different.” I save and press them in books. I have I found at the Acropolis in Athens, Greece. I think the most I’ve ever found was a seven-leaf clover, but I have several six-and five-leaved clovers as well.

Do you have a motto in life or a phrase you always say to motivate/encourage you? (If not, it’s okay)
This was a quote I heard from a cancer survivor, who was quoting what her doctor told her. She said it at an even probably well over a decade ago, but it’s always stayed in my head. “If Plan A doesn’t work, there’s a reason we have 25 other letters in the alphabet!”
I use this approach in my personal and professional lives – because it can’t hurt to try something new. The worst outcome is that you can learn from it.

Anything else you would like to add?
Not that I can think of – I’m pretty much an open book!

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