Exciting Times Ahead: a Major Grant and our 10th Anniversary Symposium

It’s a bit hard to believe a year has passed since the last Stewards of Change Institute (SOCI) national symposium, a memorable event at which about 100 invited thought leaders from across the nation explored “The Art of the Possible” at the intersection of interoperability and health and human services. It’s even harder – but wonderful and, frankly, inspiring – to recall  the good work we’ve been able to accomplish between the time of that symposium and the 10thAnniversary edition that will take place next month.

The 2015 theme is “Harnessing the Power of Information Interoperability and Social Determinants to Advance Health and Wellness Integration.” The event will be held in Baltimore on June 22-24, once again in partnership with our colleagues at Johns Hopkins University and its Bloomberg School of Public Health, School of Medicine and the Health and Social Policy Institute. Our sponsors include the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, IBM, Deloitte, Google, and CGI.

Just a few examples of our recent activities leading up to the Symposium include: hosting the 2nd Annual California HHS Open DataFest, in partnership with the California Health and Human Services Agency and with the support of the California HealthCare Foundation; publishing a toolkit titled “Sharing Data for Better Results: A Guide to Building Integrated Data Systems Compatible with Federal Privacy Laws,” in conjunction with the National League of Cities; and participating in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s national “listening tour” as part of the foundation’s ambitious new “Data for Health” initiative.

Today, I’m delighted to announce an exciting addition to that list – a generous grant from RWJF that will enable us to further SOCI’s mission of improving Americans’ lives through transformational, systemic change in health and human services. We’ll provide more details about this grant soon; for now, here’s the headline: It will be used to create a first-of-its-kind curriculum for raising awareness, educating and implementing projects that advance interoperability and information-sharing across a variety of disciplines related to HHS, criminal justice and the social determinants of health and wellness.

The agenda for our special 10th Anniversary Symposium will include sessions in which the invited attendees will brainstorm with us about this curriculum, and will help us to shape it so that the final product – which we plan to unveil later this year – will be as useful as possible to professionals in the field and as effective as possible for the children, families and communities it ultimately is intended to benefit.

On behalf of all of us at SOCI, I’d like to end this blog by expressing our heart-felt gratitude to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for its generosity and, most of all for the extensive work it does (and enables) across our country every day to improve the health and well-being of its residents. Our deep thanks, too, to the other supporters who have allowed SOCI to participate in this vital, collaborative, national effort over the last 10 years. It has indeed been a very productive time, and we look forward to contributing even more over the next decade and beyond.


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