To mark the 20th year of the HIMSS Chapter Advocacy Task Force, HIMSS has introduced the HIMSS Chapter Advocacy Founders Award, which honors chapter advocacy pioneer Dan Blum.
Through his work in advancing public policy through advocacy, Blum has made exceptional contributions to the HIMSS mission and vision.
Colonel Blum retired from the United States Army after serving 30 years in the Medical Services Corps. Upon his retirement from active duty, he began his advocacy work by serving as the lead consultant to the President's Commission to Improve Cooperation Between VA and DOD, which afforded Blum the opportunity to work with legislators and government leaders, focusing on policy and strategy to improve healthcare coordination and delivery.
After that 18-month assignment, which included identifying a framework for improved health IT support and the need for standards to enable collaboration, Blum became an independent consultant in the areas of federal healthcare and research.
As a HIMSS volunteer, Blum has been active at the local HIMSS Chapter level and nationally as the first chair for the HIMSS Chapter Advocacy Roundtable in 2004. As the pioneer leader, Blum set the course for Chapter Advocacy efforts to engage at the state, local and federal levels.
Several of his advocacy achievements include bringing more than 30 National Capital Area Chapter members to support Advocacy Day as it transitioned to National Health IT Week and serving as a H.I.T. Player in HIMSS advocacy skits to help members prepare for their visits to Capitol Hill.
Even after he left his leadership role, Blum was instrumental in convincing HIMSS chapters to send a representative to Washington, DC, to make sure all states had a voice in HIMSS advocacy initiatives.
At the chapter level, Blum has served as the National Capital Area Chapter’s Advocacy Chair since 2003. His notorious “Blum Report” is a can’t-miss monthly report that Blum writes and presents to the membership, highlighting key news in health information and technology. At a government engagement level, Blum has embraced his role as HIMSS Ambassador to Washington, DC, and ensures the district’s leadership benefits from a strong relationship with HIMSS and local experts.
In his spare time, Blum continues to engage in the mentor-protégée program to impart graduate students with guidance on ways to expand their professional network and employment prospects, which he helps establish and guide over the years. He is also active in his community as a supporter of “Laps for Lexi,” a charity that supports child and adolescent cancer research at the National Children’s Medical Center in Washington, DC.
Blum has been an incredible changemaker for the healthcare ecosystem. He has brought passion and purpose to HIMSS advocacy and paved the path forward for others, making him a true role model and deserving recipient of the HIMSS Chapter Advocacy Founders Award.
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