HIMSS NCA President's Corner

President's Address

As the new president of HIMSS NCA, the only federally focused HIMSS chapter, I am excited for the opportunity to serve the local health community through organizational excellence. Thank you for giving the members of the Board the opportunity to serve you during the 2017 to 2018 season. We look forward to presenting dynamic and exciting programs on federal health as well as high quality networking to help you make meaningful connections with other professionals. 

During the past year, our chapter maintained its financial position and stability while providing strong quality healthcare IT focused events and the ability to give back to the community through scholarships and charity. Most notably we finished with a surplus of funds and plan on maintaining this position of financial strength. Our annual goals are focused around membership growth, member satisfaction, advocacy, HIE, quality educational programs, consistent member communications across a variety of technology platforms, and a vibrant student engagement program, which includes mentorship, coaching, and scholarship awards. In addition, each year, we sponsor Veterans to attend the annual HIMSS Conference and give money to local charities that use the funds for HIT.

Membership - Our chapter is continually focused on our membership engagement, especially with membership growth and satisfaction. We will increase our membership while assuring that our constituents are assigned to the right chapter.

Advocacy, Charity, and HIE - Advocacy, Charity and HIE are all important initiatives that move our educational programs forward as well as increase community engagement. A long-term staple of our Chapter Meetings is our Advocacy Report to our chapter membership at each educational session. We will continue our report so that our members can remain informed and engaged on topics of important legislation and be apprised of opportunities to get involved. Last year, during National Health Information Technology Week through the State and Local advocacy, our chapter received proclamations from the governors of Virginia and Maryland, and the Mayor of the District of Columbia, recognizing the HIMSS NCA chapter for its contribution to health IT. The NCA chapter recognizes the importance of HIE thus we’ve recruited a new HIE thought leader who is building a network of HIE leaders local to this area for regular interactions. If you are interested, please reach out to me for more information.

Partnerships and Collaborations - Each year the chapter collaborates with partner organizations for cross event promotion and to increase awareness of the NCA chapter. Our current goal this year is to collaborate with multiple trade associations in the DC, VA and Maryland area and increase our partnership efforts with the MD and VA HIMSS chapters.  We are also increasing our collaborative efforts with Defense Health Agency, Veterans Affairs and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which is already evidenced by new Board Members from DHA and VA.

Educational Programs - Our educational programs are of great importance to the Chapter. We have maintained, for over 10 years, 7 educational programs each season that bring meaning and value to our constituents each year again and again. This season we will continue with our 7 programs while piloting new event formats and locations. Already for our September program on ‘Healthcare Analytics at Scale’, we are partnering with the Big Data Healthcare Meetup group and will hold our event in a collaboration space known as weWorks. This will drive a diverse audience and potentially bring in new members while maintaining member interest and satisfaction.

Communications – In 2016 we put a greater emphasis on Communications and worked with a committee of volunteers to consolidate and integrate our social media platforms. This season, we are focusing on the unity and integrity of our messaging and branding. We take pride in communicating clearly and frequently about our educational events, Board leadership, President’s messaging as well as important new surround the HIT legislation and the HIMSS Annual Conference.

Student Programs - Our chapter has a very robust mentor and student scholarship program that we are very proud of. Earlier this year we started to recruit the right number and mix of students to ensure a strong start for this season. As a Chapter, we provide approximately 3 scholarships per year. Our goal is to maintain the same level for this season and sponsor Veterans to the 2018 HIMSS Conference.

All this hard work, was only possible, due to the dedication and commitment of all the Board Members and volunteers supporting our chapter; but also the feedback we received from our members throughout the year.  Our membership survey is still open and we very much want your feedback. Here is the link.

Also we reached a new milestone this year, we have two new Board members who helped to diversify our leadership and are from the government. To learn more about our 2017-2018 elected HIMSS NCA Board of Directors, please click here.

We are excited about the future of our chapter and I will leave you with an open invitation and call to action to join us this year in continuing the success of the HIMSS National Capital Area Chapter.

Thank you,

Laura Bennett

HIMSS NCA President