June 04-06 2014
  • SOC Institute Team

SOCI 9th Annual National Symposium

Advancing Health and Human Services Interoperability: From the ‘State of the Art’ to the ‘Art of the Possible’

The ninth annual Stewards of Change Institute (SOCI) National Symposium, in collaboration with the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, brought together 100 leaders from across the country representing governments at all levels, private industry, academia, foundations, nonprofit organizations and national associations. The common denominator among them: They are all committed to improving the health and well-being of children, families and communities – through interoperability – by optimizing connections, coordination, financing, delivery of human services and, ultimately, outcomes.

We are proud to report that participants left the invitation-only event saying that they had not only acquired important knowledge, but also were inspired to put that knowledge to use. Indeed, over 95 percent said in a survey (thanks everyone for filling it out) that the information they received at the symposium would help them initiate or expedite progress toward interoperability within their own organizations. The remainder did not express dissatisfaction, by the way, just said the question didn’t apply to their individual circumstances.

SOCI firmly believes the time to achieve the “Art of the Possible” is now, and we are dedicated to enabling governments and organizations to make it a reality. We are working toward that end around the country – most immediately at the Medicaid Enterprise Systems Conference (MESC), one of the premier meetings of public and private sector HHS thought leaders and technologists – and invite you to let us know if there’s anything we can do to assist you as well.

Meanwhile, a deep bow of gratitude to all the participants and sponsors who made SOCI’s ninth annual symposium so successful. We also look forward to seeing you at Johns Hopkins next year, when we have a very special program planned for the event’s 10th anniversary!

If you missed the symposium, want to share some of its content with colleagues, or simply want to view important parts again, please see the boxes below for links to presenter videos, slide decks and other materials. If you have any questions, please contact Michael Kerr at mkerr@stewardsofchange.com. And, again, thank you.


Session Description Resources
Day One - Welcome to the Symposium and Johns Hopkins University

Michael Klag, MD, MPH, Dean, JHU Bloomberg School of Public Health
PG Forest, Ph.D., Director, JHU Health and Social Policy Institute

Stewards of Change Institute will kick off its 9th Annual National Symposium, and third year at Johns Hopkins University, with a welcome from our hosts.

Day One - Questions of Consequence: The “State of the Art” and the “Art of the Possible”

Daniel Stein, President, Stewards of Change Institute

Using a peer-interview process, participants will discuss key considerations regarding the delivery of health and human services, with an eye toward what matters most now and in the future for accelerating interoperability and information-sharing initiatives across the HHS ecosystem.

Day One - Symposium Overview and Agenda

Bill Davenhall, Senior Health Advisor, Esri; Stewards of Change Institute Board Member
Vernon Brown, Chairman, Stewards of Change Institute Board of Directors
Daniel Stein, President, Stewards of Change Institute

We begin with the end in mind. As we work our way through the Symposium, we are working toward a compelling strategy for the next leg of our journey. Our tour guide will help us orient ourselves to the Symposium's sessions that have been carefully designed to develop deeper understanding of the work that has already been done, is on-going, and must yet still occur. Here we provide an overview of each session's key concepts, approaches, and tools that will be used throughout the Symposium to prepare for the final day where we roll up our sleeves and together design the strategy to take us beyond the discussion and into the implementation of the features of an information sharing environment that builds upon established principles.

Day One - Project Interoperability: An Approach for Improving Systems and Transforming Health and Human Services across Federal, State and Local Government and Private Sectors

Introduction: Paul Wormeli, IJIS Institute Executive Director Emeritus; Stewards of Change Institute Board Member
Kshemendra Paul, Program Manager, Information Sharing Environment

After 9/11, Congress called on President Obama to create the Information Sharing Environment (ISE) to improve the nation’s response to terrorism through better information sharing tools and capabilities. In this keynote, Mr. Paul will outline the purpose of the ISE which includes actively promoting interoperability across all branches of government and the use of standards to accelerate information sharing to improve government operations. Mr. Paul will also introduce the new “Project Interoperability” initiative and its applicability to health and human services. He will outline ways that Project Interoperability can support government and private industry – particularly within health and human services - to leverage the models, learning and approaches developed for ISE to accelerate change

Day One - Interactive Session – Team-Building Collaboration Exercise

Day One - The State of the Art of Interoperability within Health and Human Services

Shell Culp, Chief Deputy Director, Agency Information Officer, Office of Systems Integration, CHHSA (former)
Nick Macchione, Director, Health and Human Services Agency, San Diego County, California
Nirav R. Shah, MD, MPH, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Clinical Operations, Kaiser Permanente, Southern California; (Former) Commissioner of Health, State of New York

This panel of interoperability innovators will provide analysis gleaned from their experiences fostering innovation and integration in large, complex HHS organizations. The session will consider overall strategic approaches, key drivers of success and early results from important initiatives in their organizations. The discussion will also focus on the opportunities, challenges and development plans that are core to successful delivery of effective and efficient services to customers across states and localities.

Day Two - Data: It’s All about What We Do with It to Effect Policy and Practice Change

Moderator: PG Forest, Ph.D., Director, Johns Hopkins University Health and Social Policy Institute
Dwayne Spradlin, Executive Director, Health Data Consortium [Open Data/Big Data]
Emily Putman Hornstein, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, University of Southern California [Integrated Data Systems]
Gerard Farrell, MD, Director of the eHealth Research Unit, Faculty of Medicine, Memorial University of Newfoundland [Personally Identifiable Information]

In recent years, the pace of “liberating” health and human services data has dramatically increased. From government at all levels to academic and research institutions, and from businesses to non-profit organizations, the movement is growing and is getting more and more attention from the public. Serious consideration and discussion is warranted regarding the appropriate role and use of data in a context of conflicting responsibilities: openness and privacy, timeliness and quality, access and financial sustainability. This session will address the policy, strategic and financial roles of government, the private sector and citizens regarding Open Data, Big Data, Research Data and Personally Identifiable Data. Discussants also will focus on specific ways these various data types can inform one another and create new knowledge, generate practical solutions and change culture to improve public health and well-being.

Day Two - Interactive Session: Working with Personas to Focus on Clients and System Changes to Support Interoperability

Daniel Stein, President, Stewards of Change Institute
SOC Facilitation Team

Stewards of Change has introduced the use of Personas at symposia to focus attention on the needs of the people within the health and human services systems. The interactive exercise, based upon fictionalized personas of clients, can quickly create a shared view of the needs of the client and systemic response to those needs by participants in the exercise. Typically, we use this to capture both an “As Is” and “To Be” view of the client and the system of service. At this year’s Symposium we will use the Personas completed at last year’s Symposium to challenge the participants to focus on information sharing and removing the barriers that inhibit a more holistic view of the client. Specifically, participants will be asked to consider those actions that can be taken to create an interoperable information sharing environment as quickly as possible. The ideas and output from this session will feed into subsequent sessions over the rest of the Symposium.

SOCI2014 - Day Two - The Art of the Possible: 21st Century Systems of Care – Fact or Fiction?

Ronan Rooney, Director, Programs of Care, IBM

Vulnerable, high-cost, high-need population’s drive disproportionate spending across health and human services programs. Their costs are perhaps best captured in healthcare where it’s well established that 20% of individual clients drive more than 50% healthcare’s costs. The industry is beginning to define these vulnerable clients by their ‘social determinants’ of health, rather than solely on their medical conditions. A human centered approach to care is emerging which promises to lower costs and improve outcomes. It is based on a holistic understanding of the client, their social network, and their engagement with the ecosystem of care and is the foundation for a new family-centered service delivery strategy that promises lower costs and improved outcomes. The presentation will discuss IBM’s innovative approach to applying advanced technology to improve the lives of our most vulnerable citizens while lowering the growing and unsustainable cost of caring for them - thereby addressing two of the most intractable social and economic challenges that society faces today.

Day Two - Building Health and Social Services Solutions in the Age of Google

Mikey Dickerson, Site Reliability Engineer, Google
Umesh Vemuri, Head of Sales Engineering - Public Sector, Google

In this session, senior Google engineers will share their knowledge, experience and views about how accurate and timely information is key to achieving mission critical priorities for business and government. Mikey Dickerson will relate his experiences working on the urgent “fix” to the Federal Health Insurance Exchange. Umesh Vemuri will discuss how Google technologies are revolutionizing the way people work together, allowing government agencies to become more efficient and effective by accelerating collaboration and innovation. Over the last decade, Google has built infrastructure that serves 4 billion hours of video every month, supports 425 million Gmail users and stores and manages over 100 petabytes of web index. This session will cover how Google technologies have evolved into secure and necessary platforms for enterprise IT and how health and human service organizations can leverage them as they plan for and implement innovation strategies for the future.

Day Two - IGNITE Sessions: Advancing Interoperability Through Leading Edge Initiatives

Moderator: Rachel Pratt, Senior Consultant, Stewards of Change Consulting
Governance Models: Illinois Toolkit
Kathleen Monahan, Director, Illinois Framework
H.R. 948, The Standard DATA Act
Anne DeCesaro, Professional Staff, Committee on Ways and Means, US Congress Enhancing
New York City Homeless Prevention through Visualization and Geo-mapping
Sara Zuiderveen, Assistant Commissioner, Prevention Services, New York City Department of Homeless Services

Day Two - IGNITE Sessions, Continued

Moderator: Richard Gold, Esq., Senior Consultant, Stewards of Change Consulting
New York State Confidentiality Toolkit and Health Passport Richard Gold, Esq., Senior Consultant, Stewards of Change /li>
Using Predictive Analytics to better service Virginia’s At-Risk Youth
Mike Wirth, Special Advisor on eHHR Integration, Commonwealth of Virginia Project Interoperability and Applications to HHS
Steven Ambrosini, Executive Director, IJIS Institute

Day Three - The Art of the Possible: The Next Decade - Thinking Ahead Out Loud!

Moderator: Bill Davenhall, Senior Health Advisor, Esri; Stewards of Change Institute Board Member
Paul Wormeli; Paul Wormeli, IJIS Institute Executive Director Emeritus; Stewards of Change Institute Board Member
Sid Gardner; Center for Children and Family Futures, Stewards of Change Institute Board Member
Vernon Brown; Chairman, Stewards of Change Institute Board of Directors

As leaders within the health and human services field are we looking five to ten years into the future and asking: Are we planning for the “right” future? Stewards of Change Institute Board of Directors will take Symposium participants on a journey into the future by “thinking ahead, out-loud.” They will explore what the future landscape of the health and human service ecosystem might look like “down-the-road” and consider how we could all be better prepared to know and understand the implications of the changes we now see off in the distance and long before they are obvious to everyone. Recognizing that change is inevitable, what will accelerate our thinking? How will agencies and organizations connect to respond to these changes? How will the connections change--technically, economically, and politically? Presenters will invite the participants to “practice” thinking ahead and out loud with them in this interactive discussion.

Day Three - Defining The Art of the Possible: Charting Project Interoperability within HHS and Beyond

Moderator: Daniel Stein, President, Stewards of Change Institute
Kshemendra Paul, Program Manager, Information Sharing Environment
Jessica Kahn, Acting Director, Division of State Medicaid Systems, Department of Health and Human Services
Damon Davis, Director, Health Data Initiative, Department of Health and Human Services
Interactive Project Planning and Roadmap Activities: SOC Team and Graphic Illustrator

In this session, we will build our compelling strategy to implement interoperability in three acts. First, we elicit perspective from the Federal Partners in light of the Affordable Care Act, the Information Sharing Environment and Project Interoperability. Against a backdrop of the awareness and understanding of overall goals, opportunities, challenges and potential solutions for increasing information sharing, the Panelists -- all officials in the current administration with proven records of leading system change -- will present their perspectives on where we are now, where we need to go, and the path to get there. The panel will also focus on longer-term ways that federal legislation, new funding mechanisms and administrative flexibility have and will drive states to connect their human services and health programs to achieve interoperability among systems that serve the same customers in a more comprehensive manner. With perspective from the Federal Partners as a guide post, in our next act, we will collectively roll up our sleeves and design a strategy to implement the tenets of interoperability that will compel action on several fronts - implementation of standards, alignment with architectural goals, and the funding necessary to seed projects and create community tools that will anchor these efforts toward a strong foundation for sustainability.