For Stewards of Change, 2015 Won’t Be Just Another Year

           My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon?”
                                                                                                                    — Dr. Seuss
Here’s what I meant to do on January 1: Wake up late, spend some time with my family, read a couple of chapters of a good book, and then write a blog wishing everyone a happy 2015 and offering a preview of the exciting activities that Stewards of Change has on tap for this, our 10thAnniversary year.

I’m happy to report that I achieved my first three goals but, instead of writing about the Stewards’ plans, I got caught up (with my team of talented colleagues, of course) in actually working on them. So here’s a glimpse at a few things on our calendar that we’ve been focusing on for the last couple of weeks:
·         Health and Human Services Open DataFest II. This will be the second year that Stewards of Change Institute (our “think-and-do” tank) will join the California HealthCare Foundation in hosting a unique, exhilarating event that brings together some of the state’s best ideas, tools and innovators. Stay tuned for more details on this year’s conference, which will take place in Sacramento on March 16-17. Meanwhile, to get a sense of it, here’s a look at last year’s event.
 ·         Our 10th Anniversary Symposium. All of us at Stewards of Change Institute (SOCI) are really psyched about this one; we not only intend to make it our best event ever, but also want to simultaneously use it to celebrate our achievements to date and to launch SOCI into a new, even-more-productive phase of its history. We’re especially looking forward to partnering again with the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University, where the invitation-only event – titled Advancing Social Determinants of Health and Wellness through Responsible Information Sharing” – will be held on June 22-24. Lots of information, videos and graphics about last year’s symposium are on our website.
 ·         RWJ Report on Data for Health. I was honored last year to serve on the national Advisory Committee of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s initiative to assess how data can be used to improve Americans’ health. Now I’m looking forward (big time) to the foundation’s upcoming report on what we learned during our “listening tour” across the U.S. This is obviously a subject that all of us at SOCI are passionate about, so getting more – shall I say it? – data about data will inform our work even further and, hopefully, will permit us to do it even more effectively.   
 
Those are just some highlights, of course; we’ve got more events and much more work planned from coast to coast as we strive to fulfill our nonprofit Institute’s mission: to improve the lives of tens of millions of children and adults across the U.S. by initiating, inspiring and instilling transformational change in Health and Human Services systems at all levels of government, industry and nonprofits.
 
For readers of this blog who don’t know SOCI, we accomplish our mission by bringing together progressive ideas, cutting-edge tools and leading innovators from the public and private sectors; by conducting, synthesizing and advancing research; by offering education, support, training and other consulting to facilitate implementation; and by providing advocacy not only to advance our programs and projects but, most vitally, to instigate broad individual, cultural and political change that nurtures attitudes and environments that are increasingly receptive to interoperability.
 
It’s a big dream and an ambitious agenda, but SOCI is making progress every day. And we intend to keep doing so – and to accelerate our pace – in 2015. Speaking of which, I’m two weeks late saying this, but on behalf of all of us at the Stewards of Change, Happy New Year!
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