Maryland Chapter of HIMSS - Advocacy

Health IT Day 2015 Group Photo

2015 Maryland HIMSS Advocacy Efforts in Maryland and on Capitol Hill

Health IT in Action! Enabling Maryland to Achieve the Triple Aim

By Kathryn A. Whitmore, Maryland HIMSS Board Member and Advocacy Committee Co-Chair

On February 19th over one hundred members of the Maryland Chapter of HIMSS spent the day in Annapolis visiting Senators and Delegates to discuss how Health IT in use today aids in improving population health, enhancing patient quality and experience, and reducing the overall cost of care.  Delegate Susan Krebs, Maryland House of Delegates, provided opening remarks for the 8th Annual Health IT Day. During Delegate Krebs’ remarks she presented a proclamation undersigned by Governor Larry Hogan declaring February 19, 2015 Maryland Chapter of HIMSS Health IT Day. 

The Health IT Day program began with a welcome from Ravi Singh (left of Delegate Krebs), President of the Maryland Chapter of HIMSS.  The day was moderated by Kathryn Whitmore (far right) and Chris Panagiotopoulos (far left), Advocacy Committee Co-Chairs for the Maryland Chapter.


The keynote address delivered by David Horrocks, President, CRISP, focused on Maryland's population health roadmap to the triple aim.  Then a panel took the stage to explore Maryland's triple aim goals and accomplishments. The following experts explored varying perspectives on how Health IT is helping Maryland achieve the triple aim balance of enhanced patient experience and a healthier population while improving cost:

  • David Horrocks, President, CRISP
  • Colin Ward, Vice President, Population Health and Clinical Integration, University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health
  • Dr. Jonathan Ringo, Chief Medical Information Officer, LifeBridge Health
  • Pam Hinshaw, MSN, RN, CCM, Clinical Director of Care Management, Anne Arundel Medical System

Thank you to MoreDirect, Inc. for supplying the 50 inch TV door prize which went to Michelle Williamson, RN of the CDC.

We thank you for your continued interest in Health IT advocacy in Maryland.  If you would like to volunteer your time to help our advocacy efforts, please contact us:

Kathryn Whitmore ( at 443-742-4643 or

Chris Panagiotopoulos ( at 410-601-9429.


Chapter Advocate of the Year

During the 11th Annual Public Policy Breakfast at HIMSS13, HIMSS awarded Kathryn Whitmore, Advocacy Co-Chair of the HIMSS Maryland Chapter, as the 2012 Chapter Advocate of the Year. In New Orleans, Kathryn was recognized for demonstrating exceptional leadership in advocating for health IT within her state. Kathryn has led the charge in planning and executing three State HIT Advocacy Days in Maryland. She has brought advocacy to the forefront of her Chapter’s priorities and continues to lead the way in building relationships with her state legislature for the advancement of health IT.

HIT Advocacy Day 2014 in Annapolis



Annapolis, MD (February 6, 2014) – Dr. Dan Morhaim, Maryland House of Delegates, provided opening remarks for the 7th Annual Health Information Technology (HIT) Day of the Maryland Chapter of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS). Maryland’s position on the importance of HIT in enabling consumer engagement in healthcare reform presents an unmatched opportunity for both elected officials and HIMSS members.

Over one hundred members of the Maryland Chapter of HIMSS spent the day in Annapolis visiting Senators and Delegates to discuss the importance of supporting the transformation of healthcare through the use of consumer engaging HIT. During the morning legislative session, Senator Catherine Pugh (D-40) and Delegate Susan Lee (D-16) recognized HIMSS members on the floors of their respective chambers. The HIT Day program began with a welcome from Ravi Singh, President of the Maryland Chapter of HIMSS. The day was moderated by Kathryn Whitmore and Steve Fox, Advocacy Committee Co-Chairs for the Maryland Chapter of HIMSS.

The keynote address was delivered by Richard Bendis, President & CEO, BioHealth Innovation, Inc. He focused on the innovative technology landscape in Maryland and the rapidly growing HIT market segment that is now enabling consumers to become more engaged in their healthcare. The venture capital market and commercialization models which jump start innovative HIT were profiled and participants learned about consumer engaging HIT companies emerging in Maryland. Participants discussed the use of HIT in Maryland through the eyes of the consumer during a panel discussion. The following consumers and HIT experts highlighted their perspectives on using HIT today to access their health records and interact with caregivers, including exploring future hopes, concerns, and the value to be derived from accessing one's health information:

  • Steven R. Daviss, MD DFAPA, Clinical Assistant Professor, University of Maryland and CMIO, M3 Information LLC
  • Shannah Koss, MPP, Cofounder Connected Health Resources and President Koss on Care LLC
  • Mary J. Kraaij, RN, MSN, Consumer and Retired Clinical Nurse Manager Greater Baltimore Medical Center
  • Kait B. Roe, Consumer and VP/Senior Partner at FUSE Health Strategies, LLC

To conclude the day, participants conducted individual meetings with legislators and aides discussing key HIT priorities in Maryland. Click here to see more information on the issues and bills of interest.

Coordination with legislative offices was provided by the law offices of Alexander & Cleaver under the leadership of Tyler Bennett, Government Relations Consultant. He also presented a proclamation undersigned by Governor Martin O’Malley declaring February 6, 2014 Maryland Chapter of HIMSS HIT Day. Thanks also to MoreDirect, Inc. for supplying the flat panel TV door prize.

For additional information, please contact Kathryn Whitmore ( at 443-742-4643 or Steve Fox ( at 202-661-6940.

MD HIMSS Advocacy: Telemedicine Reimbursement Becomes a Reality in Maryland!

By Kathryn A. Whitmore, Maryland HIMSS Board Member and Advocacy Committee Co-Chair

In our last newsletter we enlightened you on the growing ‘buzz’ as a result of Maryland entering the national spotlight on health care innovation. Well, the ‘buzz’ surrounding Maryland HIMSS advocacy continues to build … even more now! Maryland has taken a national leadership position in HIT-enabled health care reform as telemedicine reimbursement becomes a reality … and Maryland HIMSS has taken an advocacy leadership role in Annapolis helping forge that national leadership position. Maryland HIMSS members have enjoyed a variety of telemedicine advocacy activities during the past two years such as HIT Days, bill reviews, testimony to Legislators, and ultimately watching the bill become law. Making Maryland just the 13th state in the nation to pass similar legislation, Governor Martin O’Malley signed the telemedicine bills (HB1149 and SB781) into law on May 22, 2012 after unanimous approval by the Legislature mandating that health insurers pay for telemedicine services beginning in October 2012. 

Stated Delegate Susan C. Lee, District 16, one of the bill sponsors and a participant in Maryland HIMSS HIT Day 2012, “Now physicians can be reimbursed for vital health care services delivered through telemedicine, thereby allowing lifesaving services to be provided to patients in rural, remote, or underserved communities or in critical care or emergency situations such as trauma, cardiac arrest or stroke- when minutes matter." Sponsor and Senator Catherine E. Pugh, District 40 Baltimore City, noted “I am grateful to be a part of such life changing legislation.”

Coordinated by Jennifer Witten, Government Relations Director MD-DC, American Heart and Stroke Association (AHA), many advocates and experts came together again in Annapolis working with legislators to turn our vision into a reality. "I commend the distinguished experts who worked with me and Senator Pugh in passing this important legislation,” applauded Delegate Lee. 

“On behalf of the American Heart and Stroke Association Mid Atlantic Affiliate, we want to take this opportunity to offer our appreciation and gratitude to HIMSS. HIMSS was a vital partner in the successful passage of SB781 and HB1149 allowing physicians to reimburse for telemedicine services. Telemedicine provides a method to deliver much needed care in underserved areas both in rural and urban settings. The lack of reimbursement for providers was a major barrier in advancing this technology throughout the state. We are fortunate to have such commitment from organizations like HIMSS whose dedicated members and advocacy leadership helped turn our HIT vision into a reality”, says Jennifer Witten Government Relations Director for AHA. 

However, there is still more work to be done to operationalize this law between now and October when providers are allowed to begin billing for these services. “Effective use of telemedicine will increase access to health care, reduce health disparities, and create efficiencies in care delivery,” noted Jim Harris, Maryland HIMSS Board Member and National HIMSS Public Policy Committee Vice-Chair, during testimony. Toward that goal, collaboration has begun among AHA, ATA, HIMSS, and other advocacy organizations to prepare informational materials and educate providers and consumers across Maryland. If you are interested in contributing to operationalizing telemedicine reimbursement to increase access to health care in Maryland, please contact Kathryn Whitmore to volunteer your time.

We thank you for your interest and continued participation in HIT advocacy in Maryland … and for contributing to the growth of the ‘buzz!’ If you are interested in contributing to Maryland HIMSS advocacy initiatives, please contact one of the Maryland HIMSS Advocacy Committee Co-Chairs:
Kathryn Whitmore at 443.742.4643 or KathrynWhitmore@STSConsultingGroup.comor
Steve Fox at 202.661.6940 or