Each year, during National Volunteer Week, I am both amazed and honored to reflect on the contributions of our HIMSS volunteers, who give their time and expertise, supporting our vision to improve health and healthcare with the best use of IT. From April 23-29 during National Volunteer Week, HIMSS volunteers – and volunteers across the country – receive special recognition for the work they do to improve lives and the world around us.
If you are wondering just how many HIMSS volunteers there are, and the impact they’ve had, consider these metrics that we gather each year in this joint effort to transform health and healthcare.
- 23,224+ volunteer members served on committees, communities, task forces, chapter leaders, special interest groups and roundtables.
- Our volunteers spent 1,672,128 hours educating 65,700 people at HIMSS events.
- Thanks to the efforts of our volunteer members and staff, HIMSS released 516 new resources to the field HIMSS serves.
I know first-hand the positive difference our volunteers make through my own interaction with our HIMSS North America (HNA) board members, chapters and so many others whose leadership guides us throughout the year. Each year I am reinvigorated by the passion, dedication, and insights our volunteers bring to our organization.
For example, I recently participated in a Congressional site visit at Sparrow Health in Lansing, Mich., with Rep Mike Bishop, where we focused on cybersecurity, interoperability and telehealth. Our HNA Board Chair Mike Zaroukian, MD, PhD, MACP, FHIMSS, led the Sparrow Health team with Samantha Burch, HNA senior director, congressional affairs, at the helm for the HIMSS team. Dr. Zaroukian is vice president and chief medical information officer for Sparrow Health
Congressman Bishop was particularly intrigued around the ramifications of cybersecurity, and lack of Medicare reimbursement for providers’ conducting virtual visits with patients. And, he had a chance to meet with an actual patient to understand the patient’s experience with health IT. This one example demonstrates how HIMSS volunteers and staff collaborate around education regarding the value of health IT.
Thank you once again for your volunteer leadership and your personal commitment to health IT and the work of HIMSS. Together, we continue our collaborative efforts to positively transform the health and healthcare through the best use of IT.