Here’s what I know from having participated in the Health and Human Services Open DataFest II in California earlier this month: A large and growing number of professionals in HHS (and related fields) believe that more information and greater interoperability are vital components to improving the health and well-being of our country’s children, adults and communities. At least equally important, more and more of them are now actively engaged in making those objectives a broader, more concrete reality.
That’s certainly true of the two organizations that co-sponsored ODF II with the Stewards of Change Institute, the California Health and Human Services Agency and the California HealthCare Foundation, and it’s true of our many talented presenters and our nearly 200 enthusiastic attendees from across the nation. On behalf of all of us at SOCI, I extend my sincere gratitude to them all – especially to Michael Wilkening of CHHSA and Andy Krackov of CHCF – for their inspiring dedication and support, for sharing their knowledge, and for helping to make this annual event so successful.
The evidence that Open Data use is taking hold and accelerating goes far beyond ODF II, of course; indeed, local, state and national initiatives in this ream are mounting across the U.S. A great example is the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s release today of a highly significant report titled “Data for Health, Learning What Works,” which is based on a “listening tour” of cities around the country (in which I had the privilege to participate) sponsored by the foundation last year.
I’ll have more to say very soon about the RWJ report, as well as about SOCI’s next major undertaking, our 10th annual symposium this coming June 22-24 in Baltimore, again held in partnership with the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. The theme for this special event, marking a decade of work and leadership by SOCI, will be “Harnessing the Power of Information, Interoperability and Social Determinants to Enhance Health and Wellness Integration.”
Please keep an eye on our website for updates about the symposium and about the HHS DataFests – the first one last year, the one that just concluded, and the third one we’re already planning for 2016. You can also read media coverage of our most-recent DataFest by clicking here. And you can see presenter videos – including new ones in the coming few weeks – on our YouTube Channel. Once you take a look, I think you’ll agree that they not only provide a good recap of the events at which they were made; they also offer a glimpse, and even a vision, into the future.