42,000 steps later and HIMSS19 is behind me. Heard insightful and moving speakers at the CHIME CIO Forum. Co-presented with Pam Arora on the relationship between IT and HTM. Sponsored the networking breakfast at the career fair. Facilitated a roundtable at the mentor meetup. Interviewed by Bill Russell for his This Week in Health IT podcast HIMSS series. Walked the exhibit hall. Had many great conversations with new and old colleagues. And promoted our new StarBridge Advisors service, C-change, receiving lot of positive feedback and enthusiasm.
Did I meet my HIMSS19 goals? Yes. Now it’s time for all the follow-up.
In the first two days, I was reminded numerous times why I work in healthcare. The CIO Forum planning committee made some bold speaker decisions this year and I applaud them for it. The day included some very personal and touching stories. Dr. Vivek Murthy, former Surgeon General, discussed the prevalence of loneliness in our society and its devastating impacts on health. Dr. Claire Pomeroy, President and CEO Lasker Foundation, discussed the need for an increased focus on the social determinants of health, which is finally getting on IT’s radar.
Kristina and Kate Sheridan, a mother and daughter duo, described their family journey with Kate’s debilitating chronic disease that physicians couldn’t figure out until the family brought them their own data analysis. As IT leaders, we were reminded why our work matters and how much more work we need to do.
The HIMSS opening session and keynote panel on Tuesday had a similar impact on me. A colleague who is dealing with his own cancer, Cris Ross, CIO at Mayo Health and current Chair of HIMSS North America, shared his current personal journey as a patient.
The panel of current and former government leaders in health care reinforced the importance of bi-partisan efforts over the years – Aneesh Chopra, former US Chief Technology Officer; Dr. Karen DeSalvo, former National Coordinator for Health IT; Governor Michael Leavitt, former HHS Secretary; and Seema Verma, current Administrator, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid. As my good friend and colleague Bill Russell posted on social media afterwards, “Three administrations, two political parties, decades in the making this panel stands firmly behind person centric interoperability designed to empower the consumer. A call to action to the private sector to go beyond the common clinical data set.”
When at HIMSS, whether you focus on education, meeting with and evaluating vendors, networking with colleagues, or discussing potential business deals, we share a passion for transforming healthcare.
As I talked to leaders like Dr. Manish Kohli, current Chair, Global Board of Directors at HIMSS, who is passionate about public health, improving access to care, and healthcare in developing countries, I am optimistic about our future.
Last year, I also left HIMSS18 with hope and optimism after hearing the final keynote from Keller Rinaudo, co-founder and CEO of Zipline, who described the first autonomous logistics system delivering blood and medical supplies to people in Rwanda and Tanzania. Truly technology making a difference at scale.
What we do matters.