U.S. state legislatures and governorships experienced major shifts this year. Twenty-two new governors and 322 new state legislators were elected. With new officials to engage, HIMSS chapter advocates, who represent state, provincial and local HIMSS chapters in the U.S. and Canada, are encouraged to take advocacy action to elevate health information and technology priorities, such as telehealth and interoperability. HIMSS led the Action Awareness Advocacy Challenge to encourage HIMSS chapter advocates to renew or initiate new relationships in order to advance grassroots advocacy priorities and ensure HIMSS chapters are a respected source of information on health IT policy.
HIMSS chapter advocates volunteer their time to ensure ongoing grassroots engagement with elected and appointed officials at the state executive, legislative and administrative levels. Austin, Texas, Maryland, and South Florida HIMSS chapters completed the Action Awareness Advocacy Challenge. All three held State Health IT Advocacy Days and engaged their state health IT coordinators. In addition, the Austin Chapter of HIMSS presented at the University of Austin Health Informatics and Health IT Career Accelerator Lunch; the Maryland Chapter of HIMSS collaborated with CHIME in creating leadership workshops; and the South Florida Chapter of HIMSS engaged with the states’ newly appointed secretary of health and proclaimed a resolution declaring April 21-27, 2019, as Health Information Technology Week.
HIMSS congratulates these chapters and encourages all chapters to continue prioritizing advocacy to make important policy changes at the state, local and provincial levels. Please reach out to your local chapter to get involved in advocacy.