HIMSS 7th Annual Advocacy Day the Most Successful Yet

HIMSS and a record shattering 35 other associations came together to sponsor the 7th Annual Health Information Technology Advocacy Day on June 10th and 11th in Washington, D.C.  More than 300 health information technology professionals and their allies from 46 states registered to attend advocacy training, a full morning program of policy discussions, and converged on Capitol Hill for over 300 visits with their members of Congress in the afternoon. The keynote speaker on June 10th was Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA) who discussed the value of Advocacy Days and on June 11th was Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-PA) who discussed the importance of passing legislation on e-prescribing.

“Having participated in every Advocacy Day since our first in 2002, I have seen first-hand how this event makes a difference on Capitol Hill, as well as how it energizes the success of the entire health IT coalition to work together on transforming healthcare for all,” said HIMSS Vice President of Government Relations Dave Roberts. “For the second consecutive year, the United States Senate passed a resolution (S. Res. 589) in honor of National Health IT Week. We sincerely appreciate the leadership of Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME) for introducing this resolution for us.  We are also pleased that the U.S. House introduced a resolution which garnered 69 co-sponsors in just one week thanks to the leadership of Reps. Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) and Tim Murphy (R-PA). ”

In collaboration with the Telehealth Leadership Conference, this year’s Advocacy Day began on the evening of June 10th with some newly created educational material including a skit titled “Anatomy of a Hill Visit” which was authored by Tom Keefe, senior director of State Government Relations.  This skit, complete with Professional Announcer Paul Westpheling, was created to showcase a live interpretation of a Capitol Hill visit with a congressional staffer (played by former Legislative Aide Andrea Tull) by HIMSS members (played by Tom Leary, Dan Blum, and Dr. Harry Greenspun).   The skit and pre-event training sessions are events that you won’t want to miss next year. 

This year’s policy panels – “Davies Award Winning Stories – We Did IT, So Can You!” and “Point/Counterpoint: Privacy and Security” -- were phenomenal too.  View the live webcasts and learn first-hand from HIMSS Nicholas E. Davies Award Winners how they implemented EHRs and EMRs and obtain greater knowledge of the pros and cons in the debate over privacy and security issues from Attorney Howard Burde of Blank Rome and Dr. Deborah Peel, founder of the Patient Privacy Rights Foundation.

All Advocacy Day presentations, including the Legislative Update and Follow the Money: How Federal Dollars Flow, are available online.  Mark your calendar now to attend HIMSS 8th Annual Advocacy Day event will be held during the 4th Annual National Health IT Week from September 21 - 25, 2009, in Washington, D.C.