On April 30th and May 1st, the three HIMSS Chapters of Pennsylvania (Western Pennsylvania, Central Pennsylvania, and Delaware Valley) convened at their annual State Health IT Awards Ceremony and Advocacy Day in Harrisburg, the state capital. This year, the chapters’ advocacy asks focused on telehealth, the opioid crisis, veteran suicide, and workforce development. Additionally, during the Awards Ceremony on April 30, five state awardees were recognized:
- Executive Award – Dr. Rachel Levine – Acting Secretary and Physician General (Opioid Crisis).
- Legislative Award – Senator Elder Vogel, Sponsor of PA Senate Bill 780, the Telemedicine Act
- Leadership Award – Robert Torres, Acting Secretary of State.
- Lifetime Achievement Award – Martin Ciccocioppo, Director, Office of eHealth Partnership.
- Staffer of the Year Award – Ms. Cheryl Schriner – Chief of Staff, Senator Elder Vogel.
Dr. Thompson Boyd, a member of the Delaware Valley HIMSS Chapter and an active chapter advocate who helped organize the activities, made the following remarks about this important annual event: “It was of primary importance to recognize Senate Bill 780, the Telemedicine Act (Session 2017-2018) which we understand is headed for a vote on the Senate Floor in the next few weeks. Passage of Senate Bill 780 will open up healthcare to many in rural and in underserved areas of the Commonwealth. We applaud Senate Elder A. Vogel, Jr. and Chief of Staff, Cheryl L. Schriner for their hard work, communicating and answering to the constituent community regarding this important Bill.”
Having a dedicated team of Advocacy Professionals from the three Pennsylvania HIMSS Chapters, has made this a successful event, each year. In addition, Staffers and Members serving on various Healthcare and Technology Committees serving in the Pennsylvania Legislature, look forward to the annual visits which has resulted in the approval of a Resolution designating May 1, 2018, as ""Health Care Information Technology Awareness Day"" in Pennsylvania.
HIMSS supports advocacy for evidence-based health information and technology policies at the state and local levels. In this vein, HIMSS provides ongoing technical assistance and support for U.S. Chapter Advocates with the goal of advancing health information and technology policies that transform health.