Summer 2018 Newsletter - HIMSS State HIT Day 2018

By Shanti Wilson, HIMSS Vice Chair, Western Region Advocacy, HIMSS NorCal Advocacy Chair

The HIMSS Advocacy team representing Northern and Southern California had a great State HIT day on May 16, 2018. The day was filled with education, advocacy, and meaningful conversations. Shanti Wilson, HIMSS Vice Chair, Western Region Advocacy and HIMSS NorCal Advocacy Chair, kicked off the day with a discussion about advocacy and what it means to HIMSS. In short, advocacy is being passionate about a cause and wanting to make a difference. HIMSS focuses its passion on improving health through IT.

Jeff Coughlin, HIMSS Senior Director of Federal & State Affairs, provided insight on what is happening in Washington D.C. and at the federal level with regard to HIT. He discussed interoperability, information blocking, the work to reduce opioid dependence, telehealth, and precision medicine. If you are interested in joining a new venture to support precision medicine research, you can sign up here:

Valerie Rogers, HIMSS State Affairs Director, discussed how California is a leader in EHR and HIE adoption, the importance of advocacy, and the grants available to manage the opioid crisis. Look here for more information:

Dr. Larry Ozeran, President of Clinical Informatics, and Shanti Wilson provided tips on talking to legislators, advocacy 101 guidance, and walked through our specific legislative asks, highlighted further below.

We were honored to have Senator Ed Hernandez, OD, Chair of the Legislative Health Committee and current Lieutenant Governor candidate, speak to us about his journey into politics, his optometry practice and how he has seen HIT change throughout the years. He discussed the future of balancing human and IT interventions in the future with technology such as artificial intelligence and gave us great tips on talking to legislators. In short, he said they are all human; do not be intimidated, and they do not know everything so they want to hear from you.

We wrapped our morning session with Dr. Steven Lane, HITAC Committee Member and

Clinical Informatics Director, Sutter Health, and a panel featuring Lisa Catanzaro, Health Strategist and Public Health Professional, University of San Francisco, Dr. Larry Ozeran, and Valerie Rogers on population health and data integration.

Dr. Steven Lane provided information on ONC priorities, including patient access, the 21st century CURES Act, the federal Health IT Advisory Committee (HITAC) priorities, including access, exchange, use and privacy of health information, and the Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement (TEFCA). Lisa Catanzaro and her panel discussed how they teach population health to our next generation and how data can be used to support the whole person, including their socioeconomic environment.

Our afternoon was filled with over 20 legislative visits at the State Capitol. We met with legislators, their staffers, and their political consultants to ask for their support for three specific bills:

  • Support Protection of Consumer Privacy (AB 2935)
  • Support Student Access to Behavioral and Mental Health Services (AB 2315)
  • Support the Creation of a Mental Health Facility Bed Availability Database (AB 1136)

If you are interested in advocacy, joining HIMSS, or want more information on supporting the bills above, please contact Shanti Wilson,

A big thank you to our sponsor for the day: