Health Equity, Innovation and Precision Medicine Focus of Second Annual NHIT Collaborative Conference

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The NHIT Collaborative for the Underserved brought together diverse stakeholders to capitalize on President’s Precision Medicine Initiative to advance health equity and spur innovation

Dr. Eliseo J. Pérez-Stable

Inclusivity will be an important factor for the effectiveness of the Precision Medicine Initiative.

Leaders from across the federal government, academia and industry came together at the National Health IT Collaborative for the Underserved (NHIT Collaborative) Second Annual Conference on “Advancing Health Equity through Precision Medicine & Innovation.” The Oct. 6 event held at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill, featured interactive panel discussions on precision medicine, health IT innovation and research, emerging markets, and interagency initiatives.

“Each and every participant in our conference reinforced the importance of inclusion of people from underserved communities in the President’s Precision Medicine Initiative. As a bridge between policymakers and grassroots efforts in communities, NHIT Collaborative brought together the stakeholders that will take the concrete steps to make this happen,” said Luis Belen, CEO of NHIT Collaborative.

Since 2008, NHIT Collaborative has focused on the elimination of health disparities and attainment of optimal health for multicultural underserved communities. NHIT Collaborative works in partnership with organizations and individuals to assure that members of these communities benefit fully from health IT advances.

Panelists and attendees of the Second Annual NHIT Conference represented a broad cross-section of stakeholders that included leadership from key federal agencies, corporations, health providers, professional associations, entrepreneurs and multicultural communities. The conference was hosted in collaboration with the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS).

The President’s Precision Medicine Initiative, an emerging approach for disease treatment and prevention, differs from traditional “one size fits all” medical solutions that don’t factor in genetic or environmental considerations and often fall short of meeting the needs of underserved populations.

“The Precision Medicine Initiative holds great promise for improving the quality of health and health care for underserved communities. It’s imperative that we leverage the access health IT can provide to ensure those communities are included in research and ultimately the therapies that are developed,” said NHIT Collaborative CEO Luis Belen.

“Inclusivity will be an important factor for the effectiveness of the Precision Medicine Initiative. We must ensure inclusion of diverse populations along with standard measures for social determinants of health, the economic and social conditions that influence different health status,” said Dr. Eliseo J. Pérez-Stable, director of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities. Dr. Perez-Stable delivered the opening keynote at the conference.

“A promise of precision medicine is to examine the interplay between the biological and social determinants of health to predict, prevent and tailor treatment of chronic diseases and health disparity conditions,” said stated Dr. Gary H. Gibbons, M.D., Director of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) at the National Institutes of Health. “There is an exciting opportunity to integrate novel biomarker discovery with the advent of wearable sensor technologies, mobile health applications and electronic health record data to develop innovative approaches to reducing health disparities.”

“HIMSS appreciated the opportunity to partner with NHIT Collaborative for the Underserved on the important topic of ensuring precision medicine goals extend to all communities, “said Thomas M. Leary, MA, CAE, FHIMSS, vice president, government relations, HIMSS North America. “The tenth anniversary National Health IT Week affords us the opportunity to educate stakeholders on the benefits of leveraging health information technology to improve access to quality and timely care. We look forward to continuing our work with the Collaborative to make sure the right information gets to the right provider about the right patient at the right time all the time!”

NATIONAL HEALTH IT COLLABORATIVE FOR THE UNDERSERVED
1629 K Street, NW, Suite 300 | Washington, DC 20006
http://www.nhitunderserved.org

About NHIT Collaborative
Since 2008, NHIT Collaborative has focused on the elimination of health disparities and attainment of optimal health for multicultural underserved communities. NHIT Collaborative works in partnership with organizations and individuals to assure that members of these communities benefit fully from HIT advances. To learn more, visit the NHIT Collaborative at NHITUnderserved.org.

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Luis Belen
@NHITunderserved
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