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Thank You to Our Attendees for a Successful 2018 Annual Meeting!

The Sequoia Project’s Annual Member Meeting featured discussions of ONC’s Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement, health IT disaster response planning, innovations in patient identity management, clinical content quality and accuracy, and more. The meeting provided an opportunity to connect with senior leadership, members, and government officials while addressing key health information sharing issues.

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2018 Agenda and Presentations

Convening a Nation

The Sequoia Project's role as a convener of industry and government to solve the nation's pressing interoperability challenges is more important than ever. Engagement will be critical to success.

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Dr. Don Rucker, National Coordinator for Health IT (Invited)

State of the Union

Perspectives on the public policy impacting interoperability, including the 21st Century Cures Act, TEFCA, information blocking rulings, and more, to be presented by The Sequoia Project, a Health System, and a Physician.
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Interoperability Matters

Announcing a new public-private cooperative to engage experts from across the healthcare and healthcare IT communities to identify, prioritize, and collaborate on the most pressing discrete challenges to nationwide health information sharing.

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When Disaster Strikes

PULSE Advisory Council members will report on experiences of implementing the PULSE platform in the field, and reveal plans for expansion.

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Session Recordings

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Interoperability Matters

Announcing a new public-private cooperative to engage experts from across the healthcare and healthcare IT communities to identify, prioritize, and collaborate on the most pressing discrete challenges to nationwide health information sharing.

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When Disaster Strikes

PULSE Advisory Council members will report on experiences of implementing the PULSE platform in the field, and reveal plans for expansion.

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Dr. Don Rucker

Dr. Don Rucker is the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, where he leads is the formulation of the federal health IT strategy and coordinates federal health IT policies, standards, programs, and investments. 

Dr. Rucker has three decades of clinical and informatics experience.  He started his informatics career at Datamedic Corporation, where he co-developed the world’s first Microsoft Windows-based electronic medical record. He then spent over a decade serving as Chief Medical Officer at Siemens Healthcare USA.

Dr. Rucker has also practiced emergency medicine for a variety of organizations including at Kaiser in California; at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center; at the University of Pennsylvania’s Penn Presbyterian and Pennsylvania Hospitals; and, most recently, at Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center.

Dr. Rucker is a graduate of Harvard College and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, with board certifications in Emergency Medicine, Internal Medicine and Clinical Informatics. He holds an MS in Medical Computer Science and an MBA, both from Stanford.

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Mark J. Segal, PhD, FHIMSS

Mark Segal is Principal, Digital Health Policy Solutions, LLC, a digital health policy consultancy. He provides strategic counsel on interoperability policy, value-based payment, and health IT regulation and patient safety. Until December 2017, he was Vice President, Government and Industry Affairs for GE Healthcare Digital. Mark has provided advice to ONC and CMS and been leader and expert participant in health IT organizations and policy initiatives, addressing patient safety and usability, standards and interoperability, certification, value-based payment, opioids and health IT, delivery system reform, the 21st Century Cures law, and payment incentives.

Mark chaired the Electronic Health Record Association. He served on Carequality’s Steering Committee and Advisory Council. He also chairs HL7’s Policy Advisory Committee and serves on its Advisory Council and Leadership Development and Nomination Committee. He was a member of the CARIN Alliance Board and is a member of its Policy Workgroup. Mark was appointed to the NQF HIT Patient Safety Expert Panel and the Health IT Standards Committee S&I Framework Task Force. He has held leadership and policy roles for HIMSS, AMIA, and eHI.

Mark has a BA in political science from the University of Rochester and a PhD in political science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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Lindsay Austin

Lindsay Austin is a Principal in the Washington, D.C. office of Troutman Sanders Strategies. She joined the firm in 2011. Lindsay brings to the firm nearly 15 years of congressional and legislative experience coupled with her work as a Washington government relations representative to corporations, industry associations, non-profits, and universities. Lindsay works with clients across numerous sectors, with an emphasis on healthcare, health information technology, public health, food safety, agriculture, education, and a variety of other policy areas. Combining her political and policy know-how with her Washington and Georgia network, Lindsay excels at developing and executing strategy for clients at the federal level.

Prior to joining the firm, Lindsay was the Director of Health Affairs at American Defense International, where she managed a large client portfolio and advised on federal healthcare program opportunities and legislative issues impacting clients. Lindsay also worked on Capitol Hill for six years for U.S. Representative Lynn Westmoreland (GA-03). As a congressional staffer, she maintained a diverse portfolio of policy issues, including healthcare, agriculture, energy, education, environment, natural resources, and small business.

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Jitin Asnaani

Jitin is the Executive Director of CommonWell Health Alliance, which is dedicated to the vision that health data should always follow the patient, regardless of where care occurs. Previously, Jitin led interoperability R&D at athenahealth, where he helped launch CommonWell as well as the Argonaut Project. Prior to that, Jitin worked for the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC), where he led the S&I Framework and The Direct Project. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science & Engineering from MIT and a Masters in Business Administration from Harvard Business School.

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Samantha Burch, Senior Director, Congressional Affairs, HIMSS

Samantha Burch is Senior Director, Congressional Affairs, for HIMSS: a global, cause-based, not-for-profit organization focused on better health through information and technology.

As Senior Director of Congressional Affairs, Sam leads HIMSS’ efforts to identify, establish, and strengthen partnerships with key Congressional Offices and Committees to advance health IT policy.

Prior to joining HIMSS in 2015, Sam served as Vice President, Legislation and Health IT at the Federation of American Hospitals and as a healthcare aide and press secretary for Rep. Al Green (D-TX). She also worked with the American Cancer Society, AcademyHealth, and as a policy fellow with the Ohio Department of Health.

Sam received a Master of Arts degree in government from the Johns Hopkins University in Washington, DC and a Bachelor of Arts degree in international relations from The Ohio State University.

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Jamie Ferguson, Vice President,
Health Information Technology Strategy and Policy Fellow, Institute for Health Policy

Jamie Ferguson is vice president of health information technology strategy and policy for Kaiser Permanente and is a fellow at the Institute for Health Policy. He is responsible for health IT informatics standards, priorities, and policies, and government and industry relations for IT. Previously, Jamie was responsible for information strategy and managed the data systems for Kaiser Permanente’s clinical and administrative operations. Jamie supports and serves on committees of health IT organizations including the Sequoia Project, Health Level Seven International (HL7), the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), and the World Economic Forum. He is the immediate past chairman of the board of SNOMED International and has served on multiple advisory committees, task forces, and other efforts of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services from 2005 to the present.

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Leslie Witten-Rood

Leslie Witten-Rood, MA, currently serves as a Senior Manager for the California Emergency Medical Services Authority (EMSA) and is the subject matter expert on Health Information Exchange (HIE) in Emergency Medical Services (EMS). Leslie is responsible for the successful delivery of the Patient Unified Lookup System for Emergencies (PULSE) and +EMS projects which are complex, innovative statewide health information exchange projects that integrate EMS as a critical component of the health care system. Most recently, Leslie worked on the State’s Advance Planning Document for California’s Health Information Technology (HIT) for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) project, which the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) awarded $40 Million to EMSA to implement. The HITEMS project will facilitate emergency care and disaster response by developing bidirectional connections between health information organizations, local EMS agencies and providers, local hospitals, and medical professionals. This project will advance care coordination by allowing Medicaid providers to meet meaningful use requirements through improved health information exchange and promoting interoperability tools and services for EMS, community paramedics, End-of-Life decisions and disaster medical responses. Leslie serves as a Board Member on the California Interoperability Committee that governs the California Trusted Exchange Network (CTEN). Before joining EMSA in 2016, Leslie served as the Assistant Director for the California Office of Traffic Safety for 12 years administering over $100 million annually for traffic safety grant projects that reduced traffic deaths, injuries, and economic losses in the state of California. Early in her career, she worked as an appointee to Governor Pete Wilson for six years. Leslie has an extensive background in grant administration, project management, legislation, and health informatics.

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Nora Belcher

Nora Belcher is the Executive Director of the Texas e-Health Alliance, a non-profit advocacy group that she started in 2009 to give health information technology stakeholders a voice in public policy. The Texas e-Health Alliance serves as the state’s leading advocate, from local communities to the national level, for the use of information technology to improve the health care system for patients. Prior to starting the Alliance, Ms. Belcher worked in the private sector as a consultant advising health information technology companies on how to do business with government. She also served in Governor Perry’s office for five years as deputy director in the Governor’s Office of Budget, Planning and Policy, where she was responsible for managing the policy and budget issues for the Texas health and human services system. Ms. Belcher holds a bachelor’s degree in government from the University of Texas at Austin and owns a hardcover first edition of Game of Thrones.

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Kristen Finne

Kristen Finne, is a Senior Program Analyst in the Office of Emergency Management and Medical Operations in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) and has 20 years of expertise in public health and health care policy, programs, service delivery, research and emergency management. Ms. Finne, in her current role, assesses disaster-induced stress on the health care system and develops interventions to minimize adverse health outcomes for at-risk populations with access and functional needs. She serves as the Program Manager and spearheaded the development of the HHS emPOWER Program, an ASPR and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid joint collaboration, that provides Medicare data, maps, and tools to support federal-to-community emergency preparedness, response, and recovery activities for beneficiaries that live independently and rely upon electricity-dependent medical equipment and healthcare services. Ms. Finne was also appointed and represents HHS’ ASPR on the PULSE Advisory Council.