The NHIT Collaborative Represents Underserved Communities During National Health IT Week

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The National Health IT Collaborative for the Underserved (NHIT Collaborative) celebrates National Health IT Week with meeting with new National Coordinator and webinar to advance health equity

Dr. Vindell Washington, the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), and Luis Belen, President & CEO of the NHIT Collaborative

Achieving health equity for underserved communities is a battle fought every day by committed stakeholders. By working together, we can amplify our efforts and ensure that all individuals can reach their health potential.

The NHIT Collaborative is the nation’s premier organization for advancing health equity through the effective use of health information technology (HIT) for underserved communities and communities of color. National Health IT Week is a very important time as it helps to amplify those conversations. This week, President Barack Obama stated, in part: “During National Health IT Week, we recommit ourselves to improving the health of our citizenry using the breakthrough technologies of our time and reaching for the next frontier of innovation.”

As part of this mission, on Monday, September 26, 2016, the NHIT Collaborative met with Dr. Vindell Washington, the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) regarding engaging underserved communities in Health IT and the President’s Precision Medicine Initiative. “The messenger is important in engaging and gaining the participation of underserved communities and communities of color in Precision Medicine and digital health. NHIT looks forward to continued collaboration with Dr. Washington, ONC and other agencies in working to make PMI a success,” said Luis Belen, President & CEO of the NHIT Collaborative.

Also as a key part of National Health IT Week, the NHIT Collaborative, in collaboration with The Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health Resource Center (OMHRC) and Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, hosted a webinar on strategies for engaging underserved communities in discussions around hepatitis: “Hepatitis in Communities of Color: Strategies and Best Practices to Engage Consumers in Underserved Communities” on September 29, 2016.

The webinar served to bring together leaders in federal, private, and communities to discuss best practices in engaging and educating African-American, African, Hispanic/Latino, Asian, Pacific Islander and American Indian/Alaska Native communities about hepatitis. It is the second in a series of events focused on this issue, which disproportionately affects and is often untreated and undetected within underserved communities.

“Achieving health equity for underserved communities is a battle fought every day by committed stakeholders. By working together, we can amplify our efforts and ensure that all individuals can reach their health potential. NHIT Collaborative is uniquely positioned to convene and lead collaboration efforts across stakeholder groups, to help make the promise of health equity a reality through the innovations of health IT," said CEO of Alliance of Chicago Community Health Services and NHIT Adviser Dr. Fred Rachman.

About NHIT Collaborative
National Health IT Collaborative for the Underserved has been bringing together stakeholders in the public, private and community sectors around the topic of investment in health IT solutions for underserved communities since 2008. The NHIT Collaborative works towards elimination of health disparities and attainment of optimal health for underserved communities through HIT advances. The NHIT Collaborative supports engagement in HIT planning, adoption and use; consumer/provider outreach/education; workforce development; policy analysis/assessment; and research and evaluation. For more information, please visit nhitunderserved.org.

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Luis Belen
@NHITunderserved
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