Ed Bennett

Innovative Individuals - 2012

Ed has always looked toward and then beyond the horizon. He first joined the Internet in 1993 and clearly saw the impact it would have on our lives. He not only understood what was coming but could explain emerging technologies and the gadgets that made them work to the average, non-technical person.

Ed boldly quit his job repairing microfilm machines in 1994 and joined the first wave of “Web Consultants.” For the next five years, he developed Web strategies for local organizations in his hometown of Baltimore, not only building Web sites, but helping those businesses integrate the Web into every aspect of their businesses. He soon developed a special focus on marketing, communications and customer service.

One client was a local hospital, which led to his 17-year career at the University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS). Ed led the hospital industry with many Web “firsts,” but his most important and enduring contribution was clearly understanding what patients and caregivers want and need from a hospital Web site.

Ed’s contributions included:

  • Putting original content at the core of the hospital’s Web strategy
  • Leveraging the power of search via search engine optimization
  • Making UMMS the first hospital to use paid searches to get site visitors
  • Connecting medical staff and site visitors with an “Ask The Expert” tool
  • Building the first successful mobile app for a hospital 
  • Being an early champion of social media.

As an early advocate of social media, Ed is known for being a generous member of the healthcare community who offers counsel and support to social media newcomers and experts. He built the Hospital Social Network List, which helped many hospitals develop comprehensive social media strategies and integrate them into their communications.

After leaving UMMS in 2016, Ed started another industry resource, the MarTech.Health Vendor Directory, a free tool for healthcare marketing, communications and digital professionals. The Directory features profiles, reviews and other vendor selection resources. 

Ed Bennett