June 13-14 2016
  • Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
  • SOC Institute Team

SOCI 11th Annual National Symposium

Interoperability in Action: What’s Working Now – and How We Can Shape the Future

Our 11th National Symposium, Interoperability in Action: What’s Working Now – and How We Can Shape the Future, was held in collaboration with Johns Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health and the School of Medicine in Baltimore on June 13-14, 2016.

A steadily increasing number of organizations have been embracing information-sharing, interoperability, and the social determinants of health and wellness across the health and human services ecosystem. While there has been progress, however, it has not been quick enough or broad enough to address the needs of the millions of people who remain underserved or are still being left behind. Indeed, sizable obstacles remain in the path toward health equity. At the 2016 annual symposium, we focused on the root causes, actionable solutions, and visionary leadership to accelerate change into the next decade.

Thank you again to our hosts, sponsors, speakers, and participants!



Session Description Resources
SOCI2016 - Day One - Welcome, Vision, Purpose and Program Overview

Michael J. Klag MD, Dean, JHU Bloomberg School of Public Health
Daniel Stein, President, Stewards of Change Institute

This session will introduce the symposium’s purpose and provide an overview of the program. We will share plans and prepare recommendations for the next Administration about how to improve information-sharing and interoperability in health and humans services. We will extend this learning to focus on ways to prepare for crises, like the opioid/heroin epidemic. We will also explain our vision for building a Network of Networks Community of Practice to facilitate collaboration and information-sharing about innovative programs that incorporate the Social Determinants of Health and Wellness.

SOCI2016 - Day One - Information-Sharing and the Social Determinants, Today and Into the Future

Moderator: Paul Wormeli, Executive Director Emeritus, IJIS Institute
Jessica Kahn, MPH, Director, Data and Systems Group, Centers for Medicaid and CHIP Services, CMS, HHS
Kshemendra Paul, Program Manager, Information Sharing Environment
Melinda J. Baldwin, PhD, LCSW, Senior Policy Advisor – Health and Well-Being, Office of the Commissioner, ACYF, ACF/HHS
Christopher Traver, Senior Advisor for Information Sharing, ACF/HHS

This panel will introduce key initiatives focused on advancing the Social Determinants of Health and Wellness through responsible information-sharing, enhanced system interoperability, and broader collaborations at the national level. The goal of this discussion is to establish a foundational understanding of these initiatives in order to identify ways of accelerating momentum during the remainder of the current Administration and beyond.

SOCI2016 - Day One - Learning from Network Domains, Moving toward Health Equity

William A. Hazel, Jr., MD, Secretary of Health and Human Resources, Commonwealth of Virginia
Margo Edmunds, PhD, Vice President, Evidence Generation and Translation, AcademyHealth
Paula Soper, MS, MPH, PMP, Senior Director, Public Health Informatics, Association of State and Territorial Health Officials
Emily Kulick, Privacy Fellow, U.S. Department of Education
Rafael Diaz, Chief Information Officer, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

This session will showcase some of the initiatives being undertaken by various domains such as health care, public health, education and housing, with a particular focus on their successes and challenges. The intent is to gain insights into how to achieve effective information-sharing and system linkages needed to implement the Social Determinants and move toward greater health equity.

SOCI2016 - Day One - Innovation Spotlight: Employing Cognitive Computing to Advance Program Effectiveness

Martin Duggan, Director, Social Programs, IBM Watson Health
Vernon Brown, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Stewards of Change Institute; CEO, Aspiranet

This presentation will explain how cognitive computing is helping to turn information into actionable knowledge, and will explore the future of this promising technology. Examples of current usage will be drawn from the realms of healthcare and human services across the nation and the world. The speakers will also discuss the potential impact of cognitive computing to revolutionize our thinking and our approach to knowledge management, decision-making and harvesting vast amounts of information from across networks.

SOCI2016 - Day One - Research Presentation: How New Technology Could Improve Child Welfare Outcomes

Daniel Stein, President, Stewards of Change Institute
Adam Pertman, Senior Consultant, Stewards of Change Institute
Richard Gold, Senior Consultant, Stewards of Change Institute Alan Day, Senior Consultant, Stewards of Change Institute

The Stewards of Change Institute recently conducted a research project assessing the core challenges facing child welfare leaders across the country, and how new and emerging technologies – particularly cognitive computing – could be used to address those challenges. This presentation will share insights, findings, recommendations and potential applications from the report, which could improve policy and practice within child welfare.

SOCI2016 - Day One - Case Study: Battling the Opioid/Heroin Epidemic with Better Information-Sharing and Interoperability

Christopher Jones, Director, Division of Science Policy, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
Richard Gold, Senior Consultant, Stewards of Change Institute

This session will use a case study methodology to engage participants in discussions that address a national epidemic that is affecting virtually every community in the nation, i.e., the opioid addiction and heroin crisis. Participants will explore the impact of the crisis in general, and also focus on the immediate and long-term effects on health and human services programs. In particular, panelists will explore the ways in which better information- sharing and technology could improve upstream prevention efforts and early Intervention strategies.

SOCI2016 - Day One - Interoperability in Action: Advancing Cross-System Information-Sharing at Scale

Wade Horn, Director, Deloitte
Nick Lyon, Director, Michigan Department of Human Services
Sean Pearson, Deputy Cabinet Secretary at New Mexico Human Services Department

This panel will examine a key finding of the recent National Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities: that a lack of information-sharing among systems undermines our nation’s ability to protect children who are maltreated. Using that illustration to demonstrate the importance (and stakes) of interoperability, panelists will then discuss examples from jurisdictions and organizations across the U.S. that are successfully advancing cross-sector information-sharing and interoperation. Presentations will focus on the business imperative for sharing data across the HHS enterprise; the ways interoperability enables more client-centric services; and the factors that facilitate progress in this realm, as well as the hurdles that have been surmounted or remain to be overcome.

SOCI2016 - Day Two - Welcome, Reflections and Introduction to ITCC

Daniel Stein, President, Stewards of Change Institute
Harold Lehman, MD, Director Research and Training, Division of Health Sciences Informatics, Professor of Health Sciences Informatics, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

The opening session will review key learning and overnight reflections from the first day of the symposium, including their implications for better interoperation among programs and sectors, as well as for building a Network of Networks Community of Practice. As the basis for afternoon discussions, SOCI will introduce its new InterOptimability Training Curriculum and Certification program. Built on 10 years of experience and input from over 1,500 participants, ITCC will offer conceptual models, tools and competencies to train and certify leaders and workers; facilitate communication; implement the Social Determinants; and enhance information-sharing across networks.

SOCI2016 - Day Two - The Shape of Things to Come (and How We Can Shape Them!)

Shell Culp, Chief Innovation Officer, Stewards of Change Institute
Joshua C. Rubin, JD, MBA, MPP, MPH, Program Officer, Learning Health System Initiatives, University of Michigan Medical School
Michael Wilkening, Undersecretary, California Health and Human Services Agency
Michelle Garber, Vice President of Lifeline, Universal Service Administrative Company – Lifeline Communications
Steve Ambrosini, Executive Director, IJIS Institute, SCC oversight Coordinator

This session presents some innovative programs that are having structural impact on health and human service systems and the lives they affect. The power of technological innovation, ubiquitous communications, new operational models and interlinked networks will have profound implications for how we design, operate and manage services, benefits and resources.

SOCI2016 - Day Two - Networks in Action: Scaling Initiatives across Jurisdiction

Adam Pertman, Senior Consultant, Stewards of Change Institute
Alison Rein, Senior Director, Evidence Generation and Translation, AcademyHealth – Community Health Peer Learning Program
Clare Tanner, PhD, Program Director, Center for Data Management and Translational Research Michigan, Public Health Institute
Katherine Klosek, Senior Implementation Advisor – The Center for Government Excellence
Valerie N. Rogers, MPH, Director, State Government Affairs, HIMSS NA
Steven Posnack, MPH, Director, Office of Standards & Technology, ONC, HHS

These ignite sessions will highlight innovative programs and projects that are building competency, spreading knowledge and scaling successful practices broadly across multiple jurisdictions. Speakers will share lessons learned from their efforts to build capacity and enhance their organizations’ ability to share information, collaborate and build productive networks.

SOCI2016 - Day Two - Innovation Showcase: Surmounting Challenges in Health and Human Service

Gerry Pape, Senior Consultant, Stewards of Change
Herb Quinde, Director, Public Sector, Microsoft
Maureen Ellenberger, Director, Veterans Relationship Management at US Department of Veteran Affair (retired)
Mike Wirth, Chief Architect, State Health and Human Service Systems
James Payne, Judge (retired); Subject Matter Expert, Public Consulting Group

This session will highlight several innovative solutions that are being implemented in various jurisdictions that address two of today’s most-pressing challenges: how to create a single case record that accurately reflects all of a client’s involvement in health and human services programs; and how industry can adapt to the demands of an agile approach when implementing large-scale technological and business solutions through the lens of former state leaders who address concerns of the development process.

SOCI2016 - Day Two - Interoperability into the Future: Recommendations for the Next Administration

SOC Institute Consultants & Affiliates Faculty from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Medicine, Federal, State, Local Governments National Associations, Philanthropy, Industry Partners Academia, Nonprofits

The goal of this interactive session is to develop transition recommendations for the next Administration that will advance the incorporation of the Social Determinants of Health and Wellness into HHS policy and practice through better information-sharing and interoperability. Participants will be introduced to and use “system-thinking” models to simulate the impact of a particular scenario on the health and human services sector. The intent is to extend the learning from the opioid/heroin crisis case study in order to identify and develop actionable recommendations that can be generalized to the larger HHS community. This session will also focus on the symposium’s larger question: How We Can Shape the Future. The objective is to catalyze action during the remainder of 2016 and into the future by strengthening connections among participants to support interoperability efforts. Using the experience, knowledge and diversity of the symposium participants, initial steps will be taken to establish a Network of Networks Community of Practice. Individual participants will identify specific ways that they and their organizations can support and participate in this initiative.