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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

California State HIT Day

Got here without a problem (getting up at 5 was the problem). 82 miles, took only about 80 minutes, right up the 680 to the 80 to the 5 to L Street, NPR all the way on the radio. 15th floor of the Hyatt, overlooking the state Capitol.

Beautiful day. Packed agenda, much to see, hear, learn, and document.

THOMAS S. KEEFE, MA, Keynote Speaker

Senior Director, State Government Affairs.
"HIMSS State Health IT Days are some of the most important HIMSS events each year. Supported by HIMSS Chapters and HIMSS State Government Affairs, State Health IT Days aim to connect subject matter experts in health IT with their state elected officials to foster relationship building and education. Typically conducted when a state legislature is in session, a State Health IT Day may include meetings with legislators, site visits to healthcare facilities and presentations from policy experts. Alternatively, a chapter may use virtual technologies to plan a State Health IT Day or one focused on visiting state legislators within their home districts to ensure mass participation across their state..."


I got drafted into photographer duty. My first "official act" as a HIMSS NoCal member.

Above, Salim Kizaraly of Stella Technology.
Nancy Hall, HIMSS NoCal Board Member and CIO panel moderator
Dave Minch, President & COO Health Share Bay Area
Above: CALHIPSO's Speranza Avram reported on the status of the ONC's REC program, from which I recently retired. She nailed it pretty well.
Above: Pamela Lane, MS, RHIA, CPHIMS, Deputy Secretary for Health Information Exchange Director for the Office of Health Information Integrity California Health & Human Services


I'd not really understood this, but a couple of afternoon hours were slated for going across the street to the state Capitol to buttonhole legislators or their staffs to "advocate" (not "lobby") for Health IT support.

Interestingly, there was a loud concomitant health care reform rally ensuing on the Capitol grounds.

Nice. I first made my way to the adjacent park's statue of Friar Farzad, Patron Saint of Interoperability on my way to "my representatives'" offices.

Just kidding, obviously.

On to tout "the Ask."

Notwithstanding that I am still a legal resident of Nevada, I've been paying California state income tax for nearly 5 years as a result of my wife's work in Walnut Creek (Cheryl has had to become a California legal resident), so these legislators are in my view my reps as well in a very real, quantifiable sense.

I candidly made that clear while talking with their staffs, and they were fine with that. Nice people, all of them. They were graciously generous with their time, in part no doubt because I'm now "Health IT Press," and nothing gets pols' attention like the words "constituent" and "press" in the same sentence.

All in all, a fun day. Met a lot of fine people. Learned some stuff. Can't ask for more than that.

More to come...

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