Meet the Changemakers: Mari Greenberger, MPPA

Mari Greenberger

HIMSS serves the global health information and technology communities with focused operations across North America, Europe, the United Kingdom, the Middle East and Asia Pacific. Our members include more than 80,000 individuals, 480 provider organizations, 470 non-profit partners and 650 health services organizations. The HIMSS staff is made up of changemakers who collaborate with members to reform the global health ecosystem through the power of information and technology.

Mari Greenberger, MPPA, is the Senior Director of Informatics.

What is your role?

I have the privilege to oversee a robust portfolio of work entirely anchored around the topic areas of interoperability and health information exchange and several complementary sub-topics, including blockchain, social determinants of health (SDOH) and immunization integration.

The HIMSS Interoperability Showcase highlights real-world, standards-based interoperability through dynamic connected demonstrations at our in-person events as well as other partnering associations (e.g. NACCHO, Public Health Informatics, AAMI). I serve as project lead for the Immunization Integration Program (IIP), a CDC-funded project that brings together clinicians, EHR developers, IISs, public health and other key stakeholders to improve immunization interoperability, information sharing and management and informs policy and overall content initiatives on related topic areas. I lead primary strategy and oversight for the creation and development of strategic goals, annual tactics and budgets.

How long have you been at HIMSS?

I started by career at HIMSS in 2006 as a Coordinator in the Arlington, VA, office working on the Congressional Affairs team. About one week after graduating undergrad from Kenyon College, I was thrust into one of HIMSS biggest Washington, D.C., events at the time, HIMSS Advocacy Day and our supplemental policy conference. My time in D.C. was extremely important to gaining a better understanding of the policy landscape and corresponding stakeholders involved within the health IT community. What informed much of my knowledge came from my involvement in our Public Policy Committee, Policy & Government Roundtables and supporting our outreach efforts to educate Congress.

In 2007, I moved back to my hometown of Chicago and transitioned to a position in Professional Development, planning the intense and rigorous content for our Global Conference. I honed much of my program management skills as I worked with a variety of HIMSS stakeholders to plan our many pre-conference symposia and workshops. I spent time away from HIMSS for about 4.5 years while I worked directly on planning, launching and implementing a health information exchange (HIE) entity in the Chicago area, as well as implementing large-scale government funded patient safety projects before I found my way back to HIMSS as a Director of Informatics in 2014. In 2017, I was nominated and received the honor of a being named one of Association Forum & USAE’s Forty Under 40®. In 2019, I was promoted to Senior Director of Informatics.

How do you support our mission statement?

Reforming the global health ecosystem through the power of information and technology permeates throughout everything I do, from every simple task, such as emailing about various project work, to the excitement of watching our participants from all over the world demonstrate their standards-based products within the HIMSS Interoperability Showcase. Interoperability is a key driver behind the value that HIMSS brings to the global health community. The Informatics team has been pushing for excellence and real-world impact since our inception 20 years ago (2000).

How do you know your work at HIMSS makes a difference?

The energy is palpable from smart, like-minded HIMSS staff and external members coming together around a topic to create guidance or recommendations to inform policy or drive action for the betterment of the healthcare community. It’s like being a kid on a sugar rush – it feels amazing, empowering and make you want more! I’m part of the ‘HIMSS village’ that is responding to ongoing public comment opportunities, and policies and final rules include our recommendations. Our Interoperability and HIE Community Roundtable series has incredible attendance numbers due to our cutting edge and timely speakers and topics that resonate with our members. The HIMSS Interoperability Showcase sells out of space because of the high demand and interest in participation.

What’s one thing you wish everyone knew about the work you do at HIMSS?

The topic area of SDOH and social care is finally gaining immense traction and focus within the United States – many issues and barriers stem for basic inability to connect across the healthcare ecosystem – a lack of interoperable standards-based data exchange. SDOH is defined by the World Health Organization as the conditions under which people are born, grow, live, work and age. Under my portfolio, we have begun to build out a robust SDOH Task Force, a group of internal staff and external members/thought leaders to explore and provide expert guidance around the most pressing barriers preventing this type of data from being present in today’s care. The HIMSS SDOH Task Force will focus specifically on opportunities involving the standardization and implementation of the data and, when appropriate, policy recommendations.

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