Showtime for NIC: Opportunities to Link, Learn and Lead

For nine months, the building of the National Interoperability Collaborative has mainly taken place behind the scenes, with the kinds of activities any new enterprise has to conduct to move forward – things like creating a charter and organizational materials, planning strategy and shaping relationships, and of course, starting to do the work that NIC was created to do.

To accomplish our mission of improving information-sharing, interoperability, and the use of technology across the “domains” or “sectors” that impact health and well-being, NIC brings people and organizations together and provides opportunities to share knowledge – ergo the “Link” and “Learn” in the headline above. The “Lead,” of course, is what NIC hopes and plans to do, always in collaboration with fellow true-believers in the goals we promote to improve people’s lives.

We’re pleased to report that NIC’s leadership team, Stewards of Change Institute (SOCI) and AcademyHealth, have made strong progress on all fronts since this ambitious “Community of Networks” initiative was launched last June at SOCI’s National Symposium at Johns Hopkins University. And we’re even more delighted to say that it’s almost showtime!

Next week we’ll be launching our new website,, where we invite all interested parties to come to link, learn and lead. It’s where we’ll post educational materials, and many other resources; it’s also where you and/or your organization can become a NIC member, gain access to our Resource Center, and engage with like-minded professionals through the site’s Communication and Collaboration Portal. Stay tuned for the website launch announcement by following @NICnetworks on Twitter.

Next week we’re also hosting “A Symposium in the NIC of Time: Advancing Information-Sharing in California and Beyond,” along with two of NIC’s partners, the California Health and Human Services Agency (CHHSA) and the Silicon Valley Regional Data Trust (SVRDT). We’ve got a full house, highly accomplished presenters, and an agenda designed to reflect and further NIC’s unique mission. This invitation-only event is now at capacity, but the agenda, videos and other summary information will be posted afterward on the NIC site.

Here’s a glimpse of some of the other activities we’ve been undertaking:

On-the-ground projects. NIC is working on individual interoperability-related initiatives – including research-based papers and case studies – with each of our founding partners: the Health and Human Services agencies of California, Connecticut and Virginia, SVRDT (see their new blog post here) and the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS). The new NIC website will contain additional information about each project.

Research and Publications. AcademyHealth is conducting an environmental scan of existing guidance about interoperability, including a literature review and expert interviews. This will serve as the foundation for future recommendations and provide context for accumulated learnings from partners to date.

Members. Examples of NIC’s membership include the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO), BrightHive, the Benefits Data Trust, Lutheran Services in America, Michigan Health Information Network (MiHIN) Shared Services, the Medicaid Information Technology Architecture Technical Architecture Committee (MITA TAC), the National Association of State and City Health Officials (NACCHO), the National Fusion Center Association (NFCA), NESCSO Public Health Solutions, the National Council on Crime and Delinquency (NCCD), 2-1-1 San Diego, the New England States Consortium Systems Organization (NESCSO), and the Center for Population Health Sciences at Stanford University – and the list is growing every day. When we say we’re committed to furthering collaborations and information-sharing across domains, we mean it!

Sponsors. NIC’s Underwriter is the Kresge Foundation, which provided the seed funding to begin the initiative. IBM, Microsoft and the Annie E. Casey Foundation are also now sponsors, and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative is underwriting next week’s symposium. We extend our sincere thanks to all these important organizations for their commitment and support.

Outreach and Education. NIC, in partnership with IBM, held its first webinar on March 5, titled “Insights from the Front Lines: What’s Working (and Not Working) in the Battle against Opioids.” Click here to download the recorded presentations and audio. More webinars, symposia and other activities are being planned, so please stay tuned and keep an eye on our website.

InterOptimability Training Curriculum and Certification (ITCC) program. We have begun development of the first modules for this unique program, which is designed help train 21st Century workforces. The initial module starts by explaining the tongue-twisting name in its title (Interoperability + Optimization = InterOptimability). Click here to learn more about ITCC.

To learn how to become an organizational or individual Member, Partner or Sponsor of NIC – or if you have questions or comments – please send an email to

We very much look forward to hearing from you and, hopefully, collaborating with you.


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