Using HIT as a tool, SHIRE works to empower consumers and providers in communities of color, as well as to close health gaps and improve the quality of health care services. SHIRE works in this arena independently and in collaboration with the National Health IT Collaborative for the Underserved (NHIT).
Advocacy to Ensure HIT Adoption – Leaving No Community Behind
Initiating a Campaign and Building Momentum
In June 2006, SHIRE launched its campaign to address the health information technology (HIT) revolution and its impact on health disparities in communities of color. SHIRE’s first public statement on these issues occurred June 6 at a conference sponsored by the Health Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS). SHIRE’s executive director, Ruth Perot issued a press statement and participated on a panel on the topic: “Leave No Community Behind: Ensuring HIT Access in Underserved Communities.”
In late June, SHIRE raised the urgent need for community inclusion in national HIT planning the 1st Nationwide Health Information Network Forum on functional requirements. In July 2006, SHIRE convened a HIT Action Alert Roundtable, attended by HIT professionals, congressional staff, academics, health providers, vendors association representatives and community advocates to examine “Health Disparities in Communities of Color: The HIT Connection.” In July 2006, Dr. Russell Davis, SHIRE’s president, testified before the HHS Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for HIT. SHIRE’s team of experts drew upon these experiences and events in developing Model for Advancing HIT Adoption in Communities of Color that has been widely disseminated. Click here for a chart of SHIRE’s HIT Adoption model for communities of color.
SHIRE HIT Chart(573.1 KiB)
In March 2007, SHIRE held a highly successful Congressional briefing, which was co-sponsored by HIMSS and Blank Rome, in consultation with the offices of Congressman Edolphus Towns and Congresswoman Donna Christensen. Also in 2007, in partnership with HIMSS, SHIRE held a second Congressional briefing that focused on proposed policies, administrative initiatives and agency responses with respect to HIT’s impact on minority communities. In late October 2007, SHIRE organized and led a panel on HIT and health disparities at the annual conference of the International Society for Urban Health. SHIRE was also invited to testify before ONC advisory groups on several occasions.
Launching National Health IT Collaborative for the Underserved
As 2007 drew to a close, SHIRE joined forces with partners to plan for a sustained focus on the issue of HIT adoption in communities of color. These organizations were Apptis, the Association of Clinicians for the Underserved, HIMSS, Office of Minority Health, HHS and SHIRE. Together, these groups organized and convened a highly successful conference on June 12, 2008 which served as the incubator for the formation of the National Health IT Collaborative for the Underserved (NHIT). SHIRE currently serves as the Program Management Office for NHIT. NHIT’s leadership team, which has been joined by eHealth Initiative and the Institute for eHealth Policy, will soon to be expanded to include other entities. Over 100 organizational representatives and individuals have joined NHIT workgroups that focus on key issues and solutions impacting on disparities in HIT adoption.
Click here to read more about the National Health IT Collaborative for the Underserved. More information can also be found at their website. http://nhitunderserved.org To get involved, please contact Marcia at email@example.com.
SHIRE Health Information Technology (HIT) Resource Teach-In Kick-Off in Atlanta
On October 29, 2009, the Summit Health Institute for Research and Education (SHIRE) and the California Endowment sponsored the Health Information Technology Resource Teach-In: Building skills and providing tools to access available health information technology resources and opportunities targeted towards underserved and communities of color along with co-sponsors the National Health IT Collaborative for the Underserved, Out of Many One, the Morehouse School of Medicine, and the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies in Atlanta, GA. The Teach-In was an enormous success as over 135 participants attended from around the country to participate in workshops aimed at informing providers, consumers/consumer advocates/elected officials, and vendors of possibilities regarding health information technology (HIT).
The goal of the Teach-In was to inform participants on how to access HIT and other information technology resources through the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA). The implementation and use of Electronic Health Records (EHR) in physician offices and health care facilities was the focus of the conference. The ultimate goal of implementing HIT in our communities is to help eliminate health disparities, improve the quality of health care, encourage the adoption of personal wellness strategies and provide support for the development and advancement of the underserved.
Included among the list of speakers were SHIRE President Russell J. Davis, SHIRE Executive Director/CEO, Ruth Perot, David Hunt, Chief Medical Officer of the Office of National Coordinator, Department of Health and Human Services, Rhonda Medows, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Community Health and George Rust, Director of the National Center of Primary Care at Morehouse School of Medicine.
Click here for the resource book provided at the conference.
NHIT Resource Book(7.7 MiB)
//About the NHIT Collaborative
With regard to HIT, we must leave no community behind!
Vision, Purpose and Goals
The vision of the National Health IT Collaborative for the Underserved (NHIT) is to become the premiere, respected, innovative and established nexus of transdisciplinary partners that contributes to the elimination of health disparities and the attainment of optimal health through the effective use of health information technology (HIT)* for our population of focus. The population of focus is underserved populations with an emphasis on communities of color and those who care for them.
NHIT’s purpose is to support the full engagement of the populations of focus with respect to HIT planning, adoption and utilization; education and outreach; workforce development and training; policy development and implementation; finance and sustainability; and research and evaluation.
Goals to achieve this vision and purpose are:
1. Represent the needs of the populations of focus, utilizing HIT as a tool to assure that those populations are addressed and included through existing and proposed policies, programs and research efforts;
2. Establish strategic partnerships involving public, private and community stakeholders to maximize the NHIT’s impact and influence;
3. Engage consumers from populations of focus about the benefits of HIT* using culturally and linguistically appropriate strategies. Additionally, NHIT’s goal is to serve as a vehicle by which the underserved may participate on an interactive basis and have their voices heard;
4. Inform and increase the knowledge base of the general public about the benefits of HIT*; Additionally, NHIT’s goal is to develop strategic partnerships to increase the awareness and visibility of the needs of our populations of focus;
5. Leverage NHIT’s influence and serve as the widely recognized and highly respected HIT resource for our populations of focus.