Webinar - Data Analytics Strategies During Public Health Emergencies

July 16, 12:00pm, EDT - 1:00pm, EDT


HIMSS NCA is awaiting approval from CMS and VA to be able to share resources discussed at the webinar. Please stay tuned!




Frequently, public health agencies face challenges like, opioid abuse, suicide prevention (Veterans), or our present crisis, covid-19. As we have seen with covid-19, one of our biggest challenges as a society is having accurate data analytics that Federal  leaders, and society at large, can trust and drive the necessary actions to avoid a major disaster. One of the major challenges that Chief Data Officers face is that during these public health emergencies, their well thought out  agencies' enterprise data management approach  to their data and information assets is simply not agile and consumable enough and they are forced to do the best with the data they have readily available.

During this webinar, our panelists from CMS and VA will discuss the data-driven approaches their organizations have taken in public health crisis situations such as covid-19. We’ll discuss how data was used strategically and how the information and insights gleaned from the data was made available within the agencies and distributed to the public. 

Our Panelists will answer questions such as:

·       What specific problem(s) their agency was trying to solve with data analytics

·       How they prioritized data needs, and who was involved in this process 

·       How the data prepared, managed, and ultimately, distributed

·       How the insights gleaned through the data was made available to the necessary stakeholders for decision making

·       What lessons were learned in the process

·       What approach to data analytics would they use in the future during a crisis situation

·       How industry can support agencies to better prepare for and respond to the next big public health crisis


Dr. Tamara (Tami) Box, PhD
Director, Clinical Systems Development & Evaluation
Veterans Health Administration (VHA) (Confirmed)

Tamara (Tami) L. Box, PhD is the Director of the Department of Veterans Affairs national program office for Clinical Systems Development and Evaluation (CSDE). 
Dr. Box is highly experienced in data science, program development and implementation.  Her work with CSDE has focused on creating integrated workflow solutions for clinical care. Dr. Box has been instrumental with the development and implementation of the VA Clinical Assessment, Reporting, and Tracking (CART) Program which monitors the quality and safety of all VA cardiac catheterization labs where invasive procedures are performed.  Dr. Box  also directs the development and implementation of the Patient Care Assessment System, a clinical application used by VA primary care teams to identify, manage, and coordinate care, with special emphasis on high risk patient cohorts.  She is also responsible for the Care Assessment Needs (CAN) score and other prediction tools, used broadly across the VA for predicting and assessing care for high risk primary care patients.  Dr. Box manages applied biostatistics and advanced analytics efforts to support VA biosurveillance capabilities, anti-microbial stewardship, and infection control through the CSDE BASIC Program. Dr. Box has been the program manager and subject matter expert for the advanced analytics platform intra-agency development agreement with the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratories and has worked extensively with other data science efforts, including artificial intelligence, registries and population health-based metrics.  

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Box helped establish and co-leads the VA National Surveillance effort, a broad collaboration led by BASIC, the Office of Reporting, Analytics, Performance Integration, and Deployment (RAPID), the Office of Information and Technology’s Business Intelligence Service Line (OIT-BISL), NIDS, and other VHA Office of Quality, Safety and Value programs, such as Health Systems Innovation, Planning and Coordination.  The VA National Surveillance capabilities combine artificial intelligence and clinical intelligence to track disease status of all Veterans and anyone treated within VA in near real time, and harmonizes this critical patient information with inventory, staff, and capacity information in a common data mart to serve VA leadership, patient care, operations, research, and also provide authoritative data to federal partners such as the White House, Centers for Disease Control, and the Department of Health and Human Services.   
Dr. Box began her VA career over 20 years ago with both the National Center for Health Promotion and Health Services Research and Development in Durham, North Carolina. After moving to Denver in 2001, she became the Associate IT Director for the National Cardiovascular Care Improvement Program and the Continuous Improvement in Cardiac Surgery Program. In 2005, she joined the VA Clinical Assessment, Reporting, and Tracking Program as Health IT Lead.  

Dr. Box earned her bachelor’s degree in Cellular and Molecular Biology from Duke University and her PhD in Clinical Sciences, Health Information Technology from the University of Colorado Health Sciences. She is a Fellow of the American Medical Informatics Association and is a past Board Chair of the Rocky Mountain American Diabetes Association. 

Jack Bate
Director, Business Intelligence Service Line (BISL)
Office of Information Technology (OIT) (Confirmed) -
Biography coming soon!

Shari M. Ling, MD
Deputy Chief Medical Officer
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (Confirmed)

Dr. Shari M. Ling currently serves as the Deputy Chief Medical Officer for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), She assists the CMS Chief Medical Officer in the Agency’s pursuit of CMS mission of Putting Patients First.

This mission is achieved through the following goals:
•    Empower patients and doctors to make decisions about their health care
•    Usher in a new era of state flexibility and local leadership
•    Support innovative approaches to improve quality, accessibility, and affordability
•    Improve the CMS customer experience

Dr. Ling’s committed focus is on the achievement of meaningful health outcomes for beneficiaries and families through the delivery of high quality, person-centered care, across all care settings. Her leadership as the Acting Director for the Office of Clinician Engagement from December 2016 to March, 2018 and continued support of the CMS Patients over Paperwork is part of this. Dr. Ling contributes her clinical expertise as a Geriatrician and Rheumatologist, and her program expertise as the DCMO, to the de- velopment and the implementation of the CMS Roadmap to address the opioid crisis.

Dr. Ling represents CMS on several Health and Human Services (HHS) efforts. She leads the Clinical Services federal workgroup for the National Alzheimer’s Project Plan, and represents CMS on the workgroups to eliminate and prevent Healthcare Associat- ed Infections (HAIs), the National Strategy to Combat Antimicrobial Resistant Bacteria (PACCARB), and also contributed to he Cancer Moonshot Initiative under the previous administration.

Dr. Ling earned a Master’s in Gerontology in Direct Service at the Leonard Davis School of Gerontology, an MD degree at Georgetown University School of Medicine, completed a rheumatology fellowship at Georgetown University Hospital followed by a Geriatric Medicine fellowship at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She continues her clinical work through the VA Loch Raven outpatient clinic as a volunteer dementia care provider, and has retained her appointment as part-time faculty in the Division of Geriatrics and Gerontology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Her clinical focus and scientific interest is in the care of persons with dementia, multiple chronic conditions, and functional limitations.



Allison Oelschlaeger
Chief Data Officer & Director of the Office of Enterprise Data & Analytics (OEDA)
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)

Allison Oelschlaeger is the Chief Data Officer and Director of the Office of Enterprise Data & Analytics (OEDA) at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). In this role, Allison focuses on transforming the American healthcare system through connecting people to data and analytics.

Allison oversees the systems and policies for sharing CMS data with health system stakeholders such as beneficiaries, researchers, and providers. She coordinates and directs the public release of CMS data and information products. Allison also manages the development of advanced analytics using CMS data that help inform policy decisions and evaluate programs. Before joining CMS, Allison worked at the Lewin Group where she specialized in program evaluation and data analysis. She is a graduate of Georgetown University.


Sanjay Sarma
Managing Partner

Sanjay Sarma has advised more than 20 leading commercial and federal healthcare organizations on the strategic use of data and IT to achieve the goals of clinical care, research and healthcare operations. He is an active contributor to HIMSS, has taught a course at Harvard Medical School, and been a guest speaker at conferences at MIT. His perspectives on the future of Healthcare were published in 2017 in the book The World Health Strategy. He is the co-founder of Prosperata, a team of healthcare and data analytics experts that draws a direct line between the investment in data analytics and the achievement of healthcare's Quadruple Aim.