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Health Informatics Information Technology (Archived- see Section Newsletters)
Section Newsletter
Winter 2008






Chair/Founder’s Message


APHA Annual Meeting Highlights






Get Well Wishes








Upcoming Events



Volume 3,

Issue 3                                                                             Winter 2007/ 2008

Chair/Founder’s Message

Let me take this opportunity to thank everyone who attended and participated in the 135th Annual Meeting and Exposition of the American Public Health Association (APHA).  I am pleased to say that the Health Informatics Information Technology Group (HIIT) was prominently represented among other SPIGs, Caucuses, Forums and Sections.  In fact, HIIT organized, moderated and/or presented nine different sessions, an impressive achievement for any new SPIG.  This stellar milestone could not have been reached without the dedicated work of HIIT’s Advisory Board, Officers, and membership.  As evidenced by the interest and membership sign-ups, HIIT was truly “A HIT” among conferees.   I’d like to commend those individuals who gave of their time and talents to make the 135th APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition a tremendous success!!!  As you can see 2007 was certainly a banner year for HIIT.  As we close out 2007, we reflect on the achievements of past years, while we continue to build on our designation as a Special Primary Interest Group (SPIG) of the American Public Health Association (APHA).  Our next goal is to be recognized as a Section of APHA.  Becoming a Section is definitely within our reach.  With our unified focus and direction, we can achieve the goal of becoming a Section and ascend to greater heights in 2008.     

APHA Annual Meeting Highlights

The 135th APHA Annual Meeting was convened in Washington, D.C. from November 3 -7, 2007.  The theme of the meeting, Politics, Policy & Public Health, seemed to resonate well in the numerous poster sessions, roundtable discussions, panel discussions, and plenary sessions. Keynote addresses by notable healthcare leaders such as: Dr. Julie Gerberding, Administrator of the Centers of Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), and Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN Chief Medical News Correspondent and Associate Professor of Neurosurgery at Emory University (speaking on behalf of the Lance Armstrong Foundation), were well-received.   Relative to HIIT, the business meetings, sessions, and Awards Celebration occurred at the Washington Grand Hyatt Hotel.  Each event or activity presented a unique perspective in the field of Health Informatics and the integral role it plays in every domain of public health practice, research, and policy.  Health Informatics Information Technology also hosted a booth, in a highly visible location in the exhibit hall, at the Annual meeting.  The booth served as an information access point for individuals interested in becoming HIIT members, as well as provided an opportunity to expose HIIT to experienced and lay audiences alike.  As evidenced by the sessions’ evaluation responses, the HIIT sessions were outstanding and met or exceeded expectations of attendees.  Speakers and presenters were commended on their subject matter expertise, knowledge of current and future trends, and professional stature in the field of Health Informatics.


HIIT’s Annual Program Highlights

Several HIIT Advisory Board Members, Leadership, and Committee Members greatly contributed to the overwhelming success HIIT’s Annual Program the APHA Annual Meeting.  Dr. Dave Potenziani, HIIT Advisory Board Member, moderated  the first session of the HIIT track on Day 1.  The session was entitled Building Core Competencies in Public Health: Pedagogical Strategies.  The session was well attended and provided a theoretical framework of Health Informatics for session attendees. 

The second session featured presentations from experts in Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Global Surveillance and Public Policy.  The session was organized in a round-table format and evoked intriguing perspectives from session attendees and presenters alike.

 The third session, Eliminating Health Disparities Using Informatics and Information Technology Applications, focused on one of the most pertinent and complex healthcare policy, quality and equity topics, the elimination of health disparities.  Session attendees were exposed to novel approaches of informatics in the identification, reduction and ultimate elimination of health disparities.  Dr. Lillian Tom-Orme, HIIT Advisory Board Member, moderated the aforementioned session.  

HIIT also organized a session entitled, The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Improve the Health and Wellness of Persons with Disabilities: A Role for Health Informatics.  HIIT Program Chair, Mildred Hunter, moderated the last session of Day 1.   The session was entitled, Improving Consumer Health with EHR/PHR Systems and Policies.  The session focused on an emerging application of health informatics, consumer health informatics.  Poster sessions were held during the evening of November 5th.  

Innovations in Health Informatics was the session topic for the HIIT track on morning of November 6th  (Day 2) .  Dr. Edward Mensah, HIIT Education & Research Chair, gave a  thought-provoking presentation entitled, On the Determinants of the Value of Enterprise-Wide Health Information Systems.  The session was well-attended and provided a broad overview of the application of enterprise-level systems for attendees. 

The topic of Advancing Health Care Through the Adoption of EHR/PHR was the topic of the afternoon session on Day 2.  Donald George, HIIT’s Marketing and Public Relations Chair, offered an enlightening presentation entitled, Building an Interoperable PH Framework Enabling Data Exchange.

 Day 2 concluded with a Roundtable Discussion on Improving Health Literacy Through Health Informatics and Health Information Technology.  Dr. Jiunn-Jye Sheu, HIIT Policy Chair, gave a presentation entitled Improving Health Literacy Through Digital Multimedia.  Attendees recognized the pros and cons of digital multimedia for health issues, and identified the steps to search digital multimedia resources for health.  November 7th (November 7th) concluded the HIIT Annual Program.  Dr. Jayfus T. Doswell, HIIT Vice-Chair, moderated the last session, entitled Advances in Telemedicine, Compliance Issues, and Overcoming Barriers in Public Health Informatics.  The roundtable session was highly interactive and encouraged spirited discussion among attendees.       


Dr. Edward Mensah, Program Director of the Graduate Public Health Informatics Program at the University of Illinois-Chicago, was appointed as a member to the Board of Advisors of the Health Information Exchange (HIE) Committee of the State of Illinois in December 2007.  In this role, Dr. Mensah will advise the Governor on the development and implementation of HIE in Illinois.  Congratulations to Dr. Mensah on this well-deserved honor.

Congratulations to Dr. Diane L. Adams and Brenda A. Leath for writing a chapter (#17) entitled, A Role for Health Informatics and Information Technology (HIIT): Shaping a Global Research Agenda to Eliminate Health Disparities in the 2008 Springer publication Toward Equity in Health: A New Global Approach to Health Disparities, edited by Dr. Barbara C. Wallace of Columbia University.  Congratulations to Dr. Adams and Ms. Leath for their stellar, noteworthy contributions.


Sandy Worrell (HIIT Chair-Elect) has been appointed by Governor M. Jodi Rell of Connecticut to serve on Connecticut’s Board of Examiners for Physical Therapists. As a public official, Sandy will serve in the determination of licensing and procedural matters until the Governor's term of office expires.  Congratulations on being selected to serve on this impressive board. 



HIIT Abstract Deadline Extension

The Health Informatics Information

Technology Group (HIIT) is accepting abstracts for the APHA 136th Annual Meeting Exposition in San Diego, CA, October 25-29, 2008.  Please note that the deadline for submission has been extended.  All abstracts must be submitted through the APHA on-line registration system by Thursday, February 14, 2008, by 11:59 PM (PST).  For more details, please review the following: 

       HIIT Call for Abstracts

        APHA Call for Abstracts


Position Announcement

Texas A&M University seeks applicants for the position of Director of the Office of Health Informatics (OHI).  For more information, please visit the OHI website at


Policy Formation

APHA members and staff work closely with Members of Congress, regulatory agencies and other public health organizations to ensure that public health is priority in the legislative and policy-making process.

The policy development process is designed to be open to full participation. Public policy statements adopted through this process provide a record of the Association's stance on a variety of public health issues and reflect the diverse interests of the APHA membership. HIIT is on the cutting edge of technology application for public health. HIIT members can contribute to the formation of policies in APHA. If you have new scientific resolutions for public health or APHA position statements that can be included in policy formation, please send them to the HIIT Policy Committee Chair, Dr. Jiunn-Jye Sheu at, by February 10th 2008. The Policy Committee will give careful consideration and make recommendation. For the existing policies, please visit:








Spotlight on

Christopher D. Williams

HIIT Student Liaison and HIIT/APHA Webmaster


Christopher Williams serves as the HIIT Student Liaison and HIIT/APHA has been employed with Louisiana Health Care Review, Inc. (LHCR), the Medicare Quality

Improvement Organization, since 2000 and is currently serving as the Team Leader for the DOQ-IT (Doctor’s Office Quality Information Technology) Project.  In his primary role, Chris colleagues, work with primary care physicians and providers to facilitate the adoption of Health Information Technology (HIT), specifically Electronic Health Records (EHRs), in their practices.  DOQ-IT is part of a national program supported by: the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the American Medical Association (AMA), the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), and NCQA/Bridges to Excellence. Chris and his team members have attained the nationally recognized designations of Certified Professionals in Electronic Health Records(CPEHR) and Certified Professionals in Health Information Technology (CPHIT).  Most recently, Chris and his team received CMS’s highest level evaluation score, “Excellent Pass”, for their tireless efforts and success in the DOQ-IT Project.

Chris received his Bachelor’s degree from Southern University A&M in Baton Rouge, LA in Biology and his Master’s degree in Public

Health from the Tulane University School of Public Health & Tropical Medicine.  He is currently in his fifth semester in the Public Health Informatics Graduate Certificate Program at the University of Illinois-Chicago School of Public Health.


Chris is the Membership Chair of the Louisiana Chapter of the Health Information Management Systems Society (LAHIMSS).  Additional HIMSS affiliations include the following: HIMSS Davies Public Health Award Committee member, and HIMSS Katrina-Phoenix Advisory Board Member for National HIMSS.  He also serves on the state of Louisiana’s Health Information Security and Privacy Collaboration (HISPC) committee, the Louisiana Health Care Quality Forum’s (LHCQF) HIT committee, and as President-Elect of the Louisiana Rural Health Association.  Chris is married with two children, ages 9 (daughter) and six (son).  He enjoys attending sporting events, traveling and spending time with his family.

Get Well Wishes

Get well wishes are extended to HIIT Founder/Chair, Dr. Diane L. Adams.  Dr. Adams was involved in a car accident, prior to the Christmas holiday.  She sends her heartfelt appreciation for your well-wishes, and kind expressions. Our best wishes are extended to Dr. Adams for a speedy recovery.  Best wishes are also extended to Dr. Laurie Fitts.  Get well wishes are also extended to mother of HIIT Secretary, Tracy Hilliard.



The leadership and membership of HIIT would like to express their most sincere sympathy to Dr. Edward Mensah, HIIT’s Education & Research Committee Chair, regarding the passing of his uncle.  Our thoughts are with Dr. Mensah and his family during this time of bereavement.  



Health Informatics Information Technology group  Leadership and Advisory Board would like to welcome the following Committee Chairs and Co-Chairs to the APHA/HIIT Special Primary Interest Group:


Ayana Buckner, MD, MPH (Chair of Membership)

Director- Hurricane Regional Recovery Center

Morehouse School of Medicine


Donald George (Chair of Marketing & Public Relations)


PRISM Communication Systems, Inc.


Anjelious P. Farmer, MBA (Chair of Finance)

Project Manager

IBM Software Services for Federal Practice


Gloria McNeil, BSN, RN (Nominating Chair)

Community Health Nurse Consultant


Su-I Hou, DrPH, RN, CHES (Chair of Strategic Planning)

Associate Professor

University of Georgia College of Public Health


Mildred Hunter, MSW, MPH (Program Chair)

Regional Minority Health Coordinator

DHHS-OMH,Office of Public Health & Science


Byron Sogie-Thomas (Program Co- Chair)

Director of Policy

National Medical Association


Jiunn-Jye Sheu, PhD, MSPH (Chair of Policy)

Assistant Professor

University of Florida


Thank you for giving of your time and vast expertise to the further growth and development of HIIT.  We commend you on the commitment to and stature in your respective fields, and look forward to benefiting from your experience in leadership roles as HIIT Committee Chairs and Co-Chairs.

Thank You

Diane L. Adams, M.D., MPH, CHS-III,

Founder/Chair of HIIT, wishes to acknowledge and express her appreciation for the contributions of HIIT Leadership, Advisory Board, Committee Members and various volunteers during the APHA 135th Annual Meeting and Exposition.  Whether you served as a session presenter, moderator, assisted with the exhibit booth, or participated in another capacity, your service is greatly appreciated.                                           



The Health Informatics Information Technology (HIIT) Awards Gala was held at the Grand Hyatt Washington on November 5, 2007.  Special honorees and award recipients were Dr. Georges Benjamin, APHA Executive Director, Ms. Gloria Rookard, RN, NP, CEO and President of  Universal Nursing Services; Mr. David Rookard, CFO of Universal Nursing Services;  Dr. Mihail Roco, Senior Advisor for Nanotechnology at the National Science Foundation (NSF); and Dr. Diane L. Adams.  Additionally, Dr. Roco presented an overview of the inaugural Mihail Roco Legacy Award for Emerging Technologies, which will be awarded at the 136th APHA Annual Meeting & Exposition in San Diego, CA.  The award will be given in the following categories: Innovator of the Year for Emerging and Converging Technologies and Young Innovator of the Year for Emerging and Converging Technologies.  Special thanks are extended to Mr. Alex Charleston, Awards Committee Chair, Sandy Worrell, Chair-Elect of HIIT and the Awards Committee for planning and organizing the event.

Upcoming Events

Health Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Annual Conference

February 24- 28, 2008

Orlando, FL






Joint Conference of

Association of State and Territorial Health Organizations (ASTHO)


National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO)

September 9 -12, 2008

Sacramento, CA


American Public Health Association



136th Annual Meeting

October 25-29, 2008


San Diego, CA

HIIT’S Leadership


Dr. Diane L. Adams – Founder/Chair

Ms. Sandra A. Worrell – Chair-Elect

Dr. Jayfus T. Doswell  – Vice-Chair

Ms. Tracy Hilliard – Secretary (PhD Candidate)

Anjelious P. Farmer – Treasurer/Finance Chair


Committee Chairs & Co-Chairs

Join One of Our Twelve Committees Today!

Mr. Alex Charleston - Awards Chair

Ms. Brenda Leath - Community Outreach Chair

Dr. Edward Mensah - Education & Research Chair

Ms. Anjelious P. Farmer, MBA – Finance Chair

Dr. Ayana Buckner - Membership Chair

Mr. Donald George – Marketing & Public Relations


Dr. Diane L. Adams – Newsletter Chair

Ms. Gloria McNeil, BSN, RN – Nominating Chair

Dr. Jiunn-Jye Sheu - Policy Chair

Dr. Ramesh Krishnamurthy - Policy Co-Chair

Ms. Mildred Hunter, MSW, MPH - Program Chair

Mr. Byron Sogie-Thomas - Program Co-Chair


Dr. Su-I Hou- Strategic Planning Chair

Mr. Chris Williams, MPH, CPEHR/CPHIT Student Representative


Advisory Board

Dr. Dave Potenziani

Dr. Lillian Tom-Orme

Dr. Mike Roco

Dr. Dave Ross

Dr. Jay Bernhardt

Dr. Edward Mensah

Mr. David Rookard

Ms. Brenda A. Leath

Dr. Polly S. Turner



Editorial Staff

Dr.  Diane L. Adams, Editor 
Dr. Dave Potenziani, Assoc. Editor

Dr.Lillian Tom-Orme, Assoc. Editor

Dr.  Laurie Fitts, Asst. Editor

Ms. Sandy Worrell, Asst. Editor

Christopher Williams, Asst. Editor


Happy New Year from HIIT!













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