Meet Michael O’Brien

Michael O’Brien
Executive coach, speaker, author
HBA chapter: New York
Current role with the HBA: HBA New York president


I volunteer for the united force for change because we need broad-spectrum diversity and belonging to create a healthier tomorrow. I applied for role of HBA New York president because I want to help make the HBA as diverse as those we serve in healthcare. 

Volunteering has impacted my career by shifting my openness to different points of view and building a network of compassionate, intelligent leaders. 

My favorite HBA event I ever attended was the 2006 Annual Conference because my nerves led to empathy and forever changed me as a leader. I was in the minority and as a white guy that is very rare. I felt like I stuck out like a sore thumb and wondered why I signed up to go. As a result, my negative self-narrative held me back from fully participating in the meeting. But on the flight home a reflected on my behavior and wonder what was it like for others in the minority back at the office.  

The most valuable lesson I learned from a fellow volunteer is that everything is figure-out-able. 

My favorite part of volunteering for the HBA is feeling that I’m part of a movement that will provide the gift of health to so many in need. 

I first got involved with the HBA in 2003 after attending my first Woman of the Year event. I was moved by the event and wanted to do more to create a better work environment for my daughters one day and spark more belonging at work. 

What advice do you have for men who are intimidated by joining a women’s organization? I would start with speaking with other male members (you can call me) and they’ll tell you that it’s not just for women. The HBA provides tremendous opportunities to network, develop, and expand your equality awareness. Being part of the HBA helps you have a different conversation and contribute to your success.  

Follow me as I takeover the HBA social media accounts on 9 April.