The Countdown Begins: Our 2nd Annual HHS Open DataFest is Coming Up!

Partnerships and collaborations (can someone please explain the difference to me?) are among the most-effective tools all of us have for doing the best work possible in many if not most circumstances. And, to my way of thinking, they also demonstrate that we mean what we say about making interoperability and information-sharing a part of everyday business life.

So I’m delighted to report that, for the second year in a row, Stewards of Change Institute (SOCI) is teaming up with the California Health and Human Services Agency – with the support of the California Healthcare Foundation – to sponsor HHS Open DataFest II. The invitation-only event will be held at the Sacramento Grand Ballroom on March 16-17, which means that it’s just over a month away.

We’re making great progress on planning, including spectacular speakers and an agenda that will include an array of thought-provoking topics, interactive sessions and calls to action designed to achieve the concrete, achievable goals, including:

* Highlighting local California Open Data initiatives, encouraging more local efforts, and examining opportunities for collaboration within the state;

* Sharing progress on HHS and other California agencies’ portal projects, reviewing objectives and strategy, and exploring expansion into other areas of state government;

* Focusing on developing and improving uses of the available data, tools and resources to provide state agencies with the ability to better-utilize data in decision-making, problem-solving and program implementation; and

* Fostering an ongoing, sustainable climate of innovation in state agencies.

In the big picture, that means SOCI and CHHSA – again, with a bow of thanks to the California Healthcare Foundation – have our eyes on the prize: We want to increase access to open data derived from public health, health care and human services to increase knowledge, improve decision-making and spur innovation among HHS programs across the state. In addition, other non-HHS agencies and programs are participating in the planning and implementation of the event.

California Health and Human Services Open DataFest II will include about 175 participants from federal, state, county governments, associations, nonprofits, courts and a limited number of industry partners. We expect a broad spectrum of representatives from health, human services, public health, education, criminal justice, research, academia, industry, entrepreneurs, associations and a variety of other relevant organizations.

Together, collaboratively, in partnership (you get the idea), we will make this an event to remember. And, most importantly, we will both propagate knowledge and serve as agents for necessary change. Stay tuned for additional blogs in the coming weeks with more details and more ideas to keep you in the loop and maybe even to challenge you. Please, share your own information/thoughts as well so that, interoperably, we can do the best work possible.   


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