Ed Bennett

Innovative Individuals - 2012

Ed Bennett is the Director, Web and Communications Technology for the University of Maryland Medical System. 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 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 current career at the University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS). During his 12 years at UMMS, Ed has led the hospital industry with many Web “firsts,” but his most important and enduring contribution is clearly understanding what patients and caregivers want from a hospital Web site.

This has meant:

  • putting original content at the core of his Web strategy
  • leveraging the power of search via search engine optimization
  • making UMMS the first hospital to use paid search 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 and
  • 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, offering counsel and support to social media newcomers and experts alike. He built the Hospital Social Network List, now an industry reference. Ed is a frequently sought conference speaker and serves as an adviser to the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media, where he’s currently focusing on employee access issues.

And for a little fun, check out this “Ode to Ed” from his good friend, Lee Aase, the Director of the Center for Social Media at the Mayo Clinic and the Chancellor of the Social Media University, Global.

Ed Bennett