Mural Gallery – 2019 MESC

The Interoperability Gallery: A Visual Journey Through a Decade of Learning

Making Thinking Visual!

Based on the Interoperability Mural Gallery’s initial showing at the CIE Summit, we curated a select group of murals for the annual Medicaid Enterprise Systems Conference (MESC). This important national event “brings together thought leaders from the public and private sectors to share ideas and information related to Medicaid systems and initiatives.” With the understanding that interoperability is an increasingly significant element of the Medicaid world, we chose murals that are both highly relevant to the MESC audience – and ones that demonstrate their value as a teaching-and-learning tool. They range from representations of how to create an organizational vision or strategic plan, to thought-provoking depictions of complex issues such as achieving racial equity in health care.

The Conference

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The Gallery

The National Interoperability Collaborative

The National Interoperability Collaborative A Unique ‘Community of Networks’ that:

  • Advances innovation, interoperability and systemic change
  • Convenes, connects, facilitates and activates stakeholders
  • Enables cross-sector sharing and communication across multiple domains and sectors
  • Aggregates publications, research and information in an open Resource Library
  • Provides technical assistance, training and consultation with NIC members
  • Offers webinars, education, trainings, national and regional symposia . . . . . . and much more !


Useful links: Mural | The National Interoperability Collaborative | Video

Social Determinants of Health

Topics: Interoperability Journey Vision, SDOH
Event: SOCI 10th Annual National Symposium: Harnessing the Power of Information Interoperability and Social Determinants to Advance Health and Wellness Integration (June 22-24, 2015)
Session: Applying Social Determinants to Improve Health and Well-Being
As millions of people gained access to health care coverage, the opportunity and need to learn about the role of the Social Determinants of Health and Well-Being became more pressing than ever. This session provided a foundational understanding of the social determinants, as well as the implications for redesigning systems that consider the impact on population health outcomes and on individuals in the context of their resources, living environments, families and communities. We also explored the progress and promising practices relating to the rebalancing of investments when social determinants are included, as well as the challenges of this more-integrated approach.

Useful links: Event | Video | Video | Mural

Topics: Interoperability Journey Vision, SDOH
Event: Community Information Exchange Summit, Driving Cross-Sector Collaboration and Data Sharing to Create Healthier Communities (April 24-26, 2019)
Session: Shifting the Health Care Paradox
Keynote speaker Lauren Taylor presented and explored key themes from two works she co-authored, “The American Health Care Paradox: Why Spending More is Getting Us Less;” and “Social Determinants as Public Goods: A New Approach To Financing Key Investments in Healthy Communities.” This mural captures her key points and illustrates the impact and importance of data-sharing and interoperability to implement integrated, whole-person care.

Useful links: Mural

Race Equity

Topics: Interoperability in Action, Diversity and Equity, Race Equity
Event: NIC New England Fall Symposium 2018: Moving Upstream to Improve Health and Well-Being (November 26-28, 2018)
Session: Can the Solution be Right if the Data is Biased?
Implicit bias and institutional discrimination are important factors that help to shape research, policy and practice. This session examined the role of these “invisible social determinants;” why they should become integral elements of reform efforts; and specific steps for making progress. The presenters also addressed this central question: How do data-integration platforms and strategies functionally do no harm? This question acknowledged that tools that create pathways to accelerate data-sharing and system interoperability inherently have the capacity to “profile poverty,” codify racism and engineer disadvantage.

Useful links: Event | Session presentation | Mural

Topics: Interoperability in Action, Diversity and Equity, Race Equity
Event: Community Information Exchange Summit, Driving Cross-Sector Collaboration and Data Sharing to Create Healthier Communities (April 24-26, 2019)
Session: Why Health Equity Matters
This interactive (and sometimes provocative) panel discussed how adopting a racial equity lens can inform local efforts to enhance care coordination across human services, social services, and health. This mural reflects their conversation, which highlighted the importance of addressing race and health equity as part of changing systems and moving toward more-effective, multi-generational, whole-person care.

Useful links: Mural

Privacy and Confidentiality

Topics: Interoperability in Action, Examples of Interoperability Implementations, Privacy and Confidentiality
Event: California HHS Interoperability Symposium (May 21-23, 2013)
Session: Getting to Yes!
Presentations and discussions focused on innovative practices and projects from California that were enabling information-sharing, while respecting confidentiality, privacy rights and security. The focus was “getting to yes,” rather than discussing barriers. Panelists shared recent efforts, successes and ongoing projects in the areas of health, public assistance, child welfare and courts. The panel presented promising approaches and technologies; table discussions then focused on the processes and impact of expanded data-sharing, including questions relating to initiatives such as Health Information Exchange, Electronic Health Records and changes to the Affordable Care Act.

Useful links: Mural

Action Plan

Topic: CT Strategic Action Plan
Event: Stewards-led development of strategic action plan for CT Department of Social Services (October 2017 – December 2018)
Stewards of Change designed, developed and helped the CT DSS implement a strategic action plan, as required to qualify for federal funding to build a new state Medicaid Management Information System. This mural is the culmination of that yearlong process; it has been used to help senior leadership refine their vision and mission, as well as to develop overarching annual agency goals.

Useful links: Mural

Vision Mapping

Topics: Interoperability Journey Vision, Montgomery County MD
Event: Stewards-led development of a “change vision” for Montgomery County (MD) Department of Health and Human Services (May 19, 2009)
Stewards of Change planned and facilitated a daylong session with Montgomery County officials to create a unified “change vision.” This mural shows significant elements of the process and the resulting vision, which has been used to further broad communication of the department’s integrated services strategy and to guide the development of enabling information technology.

Useful links: Mural

Topics: Interoperability Journey Vision, Administration for Children and Families
Event: Visioning Session at the Administration for Children and Families, US Department of HHS (March 15-16, 2010)
Session: Administration for Children and Families Visioning Session with Senior Leadership Team
ACF’s two-day Change Vision work with SOCI was designed to create a unified “change vision” and preliminary “roadmap” to facilitate broad-scale communication of the agency’s integrated services strategy, as well as to guide the planning, development and implementation of interoperability throughout ACF and across other federal agencies. One outcome was greater organizational alignment around a mutually agreed-upon future. This “To Be” state was used as the standard to evaluate business processes and determine appropriate new ones. It was also useful for planning organizational changes. It provided a shorthand language that enabled staff to literally “see” the vision, interact with it and discuss integrated services, new processes and organizational values.

Useful links: Mural


Human Centered Design & Personas


Stewards of Change believes there is considerable value for health and human services to embrace personas and use them as a way to communicate across an organization, so that everyone can understand the client’s complex needs and incorporate that knowledge into their particular viewpoint and discipline. Personas embody “human-centered design” principles when they are used to capture the complex and multifaceted needs, wants and interactions of customers. They have been used in industry, including the technology sector, to improve customer understanding, product performance, software design and user acceptance. Check out samples of our work: