Global Health Equity

Healthcare Communities Celebrate Global Health Equity Week

A group of medical professionals sit at a table listening to a female medical professional give a presentation.

Experts, innovators and educators highlighted the role of digital health in eliminating health disparities during Global Health Equity Week from Oct. 24-28, 2022, hosted by HIMSS. 

This initiative celebrates the power of information and technology and their role in transforming health. 

“This has been a great show of solidarity by HIMSS and our partners for Global Health Equity Week,” said HIMSS President and CEO Hal Wolf. “HIMSS has been focused on health equity and inclusivity from day one. I hope people will take the week’s experience and return to their work reenergized for the cause through health information and technology.” 

For the past three years, Global Health Equity Week (GHEW) has acknowledged the vital role information and technology play in enabling health equity across the healthcare ecosystem. 

Public Policy

Nearly 100 letters were sent to United States senators urging them to extend key telehealth flexibilities that have helped millions of people access care and eased the shortage of providers and specialists in rural and underserved areas. The campaign so far has issued more than 750 letters to Congress. 

A campaign at the state level generated 70 letters to governors and state Medicaid directors across the U.S. urging them to leverage information and technology to reduce maternal mortality. The United States continues to have the highest maternal mortality rate when compared with other wealthy countries. 

The HIMSS Health Equity Policy Task Force hosted a webinar featuring a wide range of speakers — patients, patient advocates, a leader from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and representatives from large and small health systems — taking a deep dive into health inequity and the challenges of navigating the health system. View the webinar recording: Supporting Healthy Communities: Global Perspectives on Equity and Digital Health.  

Health equity thought leaders were featured in HIMSSTV interviews for Global Health Equity Week. They discussed global health literacy, historically black colleges and universities, broadband access and more. 

The National Conference of State Legislatures shared a “memorial resolution” with its members applauding HIMSS for elevating the value of health IT in addressing social determinants of health at the annual GHEW events. 

Open Dialogues

The GHEW events included several advocacy community sessions to discuss big questions about health access and professional development in healthcare IT fields.  

These communities acknowledged one another’s experiences for deeper connections and mutual support. Health inequities underscore how disregarded communities often face the brunt of discrimination, but such supportive spaces for dialogue provided an outlet for those who felt unseen and unheard. Asking big questions and sharing experiences brought people closer to eliminating health disparities. 

The HIMSS Latinx Community hosted an engaging discussion in Spanish about chronic disease management and its impact. 

A Women in HIT Virtual Meetup was designed to engage, empower and foster collaboration among women in health. The #WomeninHIT community was hosted by Joy Rios, co-founder and CEO, HITLikeaGirl Pod. 

The LGBTQIA+ Connection provided a safe space to talk, support peers and connect virtually to generate more visibility.  People in the LGBTQIA+ community are present across the entire health ecosystem, but data from the Human Right Campaign shows that 46% of LGBTQ workers are closeted at work while 50% of non-LGBTQ workers don’t think there are any LGBTQ people at their workplace. Realizing the full health potential of every human, everywhere, requires a greater awareness of this community throughout the industry and the creation of inclusive spaces and practices to improve health and wellness for future generations. 

Webinars and On Demand

Global Health Equity Week participants attended Workforce Skills and Career Growth Open House, a live webinar that shares skills and career growth resources are available on demand. The webinar covers ways to leverage the variety of HIMSS resources that directly enhance professional skills, provide a competitive advantage and advice for career development 

View more on-demand and upcoming webinars:  

HIMSS Chapters

HIMSS Arizona Chapter

Overcoming Health Equity Challenges through Healthcare IT 

Technology holds the promise of helping patients navigate their healthcare journeys, elevating the experience of care and enabling access to care for all. Professionals in health IT are in a unique role to reduce the chasm between people with access to technology and those without.  

In this exclusive HIMSS Arizona Chapter webinar panel, the audience is joined by leading healthcare experts who influence their organizations and the industry with game-changing approaches for inclusion. It was an insightful discussion on their vision, strategies and approaches to tackling this challenge.  

HIMSS New England Chapter 

The HIMSS New England Chapter hosted an advocacy panel with Health Information Exchange leaders on health equity as part of its HIE Conference and in conjunction with Global Health Equity Week. The goal was to educate members and share how health equity is being achieved at the local level in communities. Three HIE leaders represented Connecticut, Rhode Island and Vermont, and as a result, the chapter added two new members to the Chapter Advocacy Committee. 

HIMSS Alabama Chapter 

The HIMSS Alabama Chapter celebrated a proclamation signed by Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey recognizing Oct. 24-28, 2022, as Global Health Equity Week. The proclamation honors the commitment and service of professionals providing technology and information to reform health and support the elimination of health disparities. 

HIMSS South Florida Chapter  

Along with Global Health Equity week, the HIMSS South Florida Chapter hosted a Health Innovation Award Finalists Presentation webinar. 

The webinar covered innovative projects implemented at three local South Florida Chapter HIMSS Territory healthcare provider organizations. The projects spotlit examples of using new digital technologies for patient care, enhance operational effectiveness, and reduce medication errors. A team of lead judges submitted their ratings, and the selected innovative project will be announced at an upcoming event.  

HIMSS Chapters in Texas 

HIMSS chapters in Dallas-Fort Worth, Austin, Houston and West Texas hosted several activities to celebrate fellowship with chapter members, to educate the community on rural health and public health, and to provide insight into the upcoming Texas HIMSS Advocacy Days in Austin in January 2023.   

DFW HIMSS Chapter - Coffee Corner with Juniper, Matt Roberts, speaker. Roberts discussed the changing role of connectivity in delivering first class healthcare experiences, and it was followed by an update on rural health and advocacy efforts by John Henderson, president and CEO of Texas Organization of Rural & Community.  

Austin HIMSS Chapter - Health Equity/Medication Safety Webinar featuring speaker David Franklin.  

Houston HIMSS Chapter - How IT Can (Help) Fix American Healthcare by Bruce Eckert, KPMG director, deal advisory and strategy. 

West Texas HIMSS Chapter - Health Equity Week: Rural Informatics: Looking to the Future in Healthcare. Speaker Stephanie H. Hoelscher, DNP, RN-BC, CHISP, CPHIMS, FHIMSS, covered healthcare technology gaps in rural Texas, benefits of using health technologies such as telehealth/telemedicine in rural communities, and current efforts to improve healthcare for those in rural regions. 

HIMSS Colorado Chapter 

The HIMSS Colorado Chapter hosted an in-person event, How Digital Literacy & Digital Equity Support Health Equity, on the potential of health information and technology to reform health and minimize disparities.  

HIMSS National Capital Area Chapter 

The HIMSS NCA Chapter worked with D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, who on Oct. 12, issued the proclamation declaring Global Health Equity Week in D.C.    

The HIMSS NCA Chapter also hosted HIMSS government relations representatives to discuss and inform membership on the how Health Information Exchange is supporting D.C.'s focus on health equity. 

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