Talent development in the healthcare industry is wrought with challenges. Specialized skills, compliance regulations, evolving technology, and rising expectations of patients and families are just a few of the demands placed on healthcare workers and the professionals charged with keeping their skills up to date. What’s more, all of this is occurs amid the backdrop of a fast-paced, budget-constrained, stressful environment that literally deals with life and death situations, making it a high priority for leaders to cultivate a positive and engaging culture that nurtures employee growth.

Sounds like a nearly impossible situation, right?

The good news is that talent development professionals working in healthcare are not alone. There is a whole community of executives, providers, managers, and trainers ready to help you at the ATD 2017 Conference & Expo, happening May 21-24 in Atlanta. In fact, the Healthcare Track at ATD 2017 highlights trends and hot topics that are having a major influence on the many healthcare professionals working to create a next-generation care environment through learning, talent development, and cultural change.

For starters, Tuesday’s keynote with Dr. Kelly McGonigal, health psychologist and lecturer at Stanford University, is speaking on a topic that’s top of mind for most healthcare execs: how to manage stress. She offers a surprising view of stress—one that reveals its upside, and how to capitalize on its benefits. Attend the keynote to learn how to foster a mindset that helps you thrive under stress, and simple strategies for transforming the biology of your stress response to improve health and well-being. The new science of stress resilience will give you a renewed sense of optimism about your own ability to handle whatever challenges the workplace brings.

In addition, nine educational sessions explore several best practices making an impact on critical talent development issues in healthcare. For example, if you’re looking for advice on leadership development, check out Sunday’s session, Developing Multiple Levels of Leaders in Any Organization. Presenter Dick Daniels and Rebecca Rudick will discuss Lee Health’s three-step approach: 1) identifying leadership mobility, 2) assessing leadership competence, and 3) developing leadership competence.

For those seeking innovative training techniques, Monday has two key offerings. LaVay Lauter, director of talent development for R.W. Baird, shares how organizations can use just-in-time, budget-friendly, plug-and-play development experiences in a healthcare environment in the session: Leadership Power Tools - Adapting Training to the Realities of Today's Workplace. (Check out a preview blog here.) And Masoud Rabie, a former federal communications officer for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, reveals during the session, Transforming Culture, Collaboration, and Employee Engagement, how an internal digital workforce hub unlocked the power of 300,000 employees at Veterans Health Administration. (Check out a preview blog here.)

Or maybe you need insight on effective communication. Dawn Mahoney’s session on Tuesday, Team Care for Healthcare, explores why an intentional team development strategy is important for achieving open and honest dialogue in healthcare. (Check out a preview blog here.) That same day, Kaiser Permanente’s Lee Massuro and Su Niedringhaus, co-founder of JSL Creative Learning, explain how the demonstration of empathy when communicating can actually ease many of the struggles healthcare professionals encounter at work in their session: The Practice of Empathy: Flip the Energy When Things Get Hot! (Check out a preview blog here.)

If that’s not enough, join us for the Community Theater session on Wednesday morning. Jacque Burandt, executive director of the Center for Learning Excellence at ATD BEST Award winner University Health System, details how developing talent in the current volatile healthcare environment requires creating and maintaining a delicate balance between art (compassion) and science (compliance). Meanwhile, Jim Bywater, executive vice president and managing director of consulting solutions for Cohen Brown Management Group, delves into how to apply the strategies and tactics of targeted observational coaching (think: sports coaching) to the world of business and health.

Finally, there is the Healthcare Lunch and Learn (time and location to be announced). During this special event, you will have the opportunity to share experiences, ask questions, and network with healthcare colleagues and top healthcare executives representing successful organizations. Limited seating is available; first come, first served. Stay tuned for more details in the coming weeks. And for even more opportunities to connect with peers, join us for Networking Night on Tuesday at the Georgia Aquarium. Take in one of the many galleries, dine on cuisine from Wolfgang Puck, or just chat with colleagues about what you’ve learned that day.

Visit the Healthcare Track webpage to see the other sessions focused on trends shaping this important industry. And be sure to watch the Healthcare Community Blog, as more presenters will be posting articles in the weeks leading up to the event.

See you in Atlanta!