Spring 2015 Newsletter

President's Message

Dear Maryland Chapter of HIMSS Members, Colleagues and Friends,

Another great year full of excellent education, advocacy, golf and social events by MDHIMSS comes to an end. We have continued to grow as a chapter and have added more chapter activities in this past fiscal year.

We started the year with our annual networking event, which was followed by three full day education sessions, a full day of advocacy in Annapolis, three evening socials, and finished the year with another fun filled golf event.

With this also comes the end of my two year tenure as the President of MDHIMSS. As I move into the Past President role, it is with great pleasure that I introduce to you Bob Hooper as the new President.  Bill Byers will be moving into the Vice President role while Brian Zernhelt takes over as the Secretary role. Please make sure to check out our website in July for the new board and committee leadership assignments.

The national HIMSS conference in Chicago this past April was the biggest ever. With over 44,000 attendees and over 1200 vendor exhibits, you needed roller skates to cover the conference center. If you haven’t heard, from here on the national HIMSS conference will go between Las Vegas and Orlando only due to the size of the conference.   2016 annual HIMSS conference will take place in Las Vegas Feb. 29 – Mar. 4, 2016.

MDHIMSS continues to look for volunteers for various committees from provider/healthcare organizations. If you are interested, please send us your information at md.info@himsschapter.org .

We welcome your suggestions or comments so don’t hesitate to contact me at md.president@himsschapter.org or any of our board members. Check us out at our new website http://md.himsschapter.org, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn for the upcoming events.

My sincere thanks to the entire MDHIMSS board, committee chairs, committee members, and all the volunteers who helped me during my tenure as the President and took the chapter to new heights. Last but not the least, a big Thank You to all of you, the membership and our sponsors for your continued support in making us successful and without which we will not be where we are today.

Have a great summer and I hope to see you at one of our upcoming events.

Ravi Singh

President, Maryland Chapter of HIMSS

Advocacy Committee


 This year the Advocacy team added a new event to our calendar in addition to our Annual Health Information Technology (HIT) Day.  At the start of the Maryland general assembly, the board held a networking event with members of the Health and Government Operations (HGO) committee which is the major committee responsible for health related legislation.  This was very successful and will be continued in the coming year.  We also decided this year to bring some of the legislative and administrative work of the committee in house, providing a considerable savings for our chapter.   A lot of the success over the past year and the past several years is due to the hard work of chairman Kathryn Whitmore who is now moving on to chair the Program Planning Committee, and co-chair Steve Fox, who is moving to an advisory role to the Board.

 Moving forward, based on member feedback,  we are reassessing the formula of our Annual HIT Day.  Specifically we are considering whether to drop the face-to-face meeting with our representatives in their offices and instead have an educational session where HIMSS members, our legislative  representatives and their staffs are seated at  tables according to district to allow for a more informal environment where we can network and through presentations send a more consistent message to the representatives of what HIMSS is and how we can assist them in their deliberations on Health IT matters.  We are also reaching out to our legislators to determine when during the 90 day session, what day of the week, what time of day and what venue would be optimal for such a meeting. 

 Additionally we are in discussion with National HIMSS to obtain better guidelines on what constitutes "advocacy" and when it crosses the line and becomes "lobbying."  

 This year the committee is chiared by Chris Panagiotopoulos (CPanagio@lifebridgehealth.org) and co-chaired by Paul Shapin (paul.g.shapin@medstar.net)   Please reach out to Chris or Paul with any thoughts you may have on these issues. And if you would like to learn more about how legislative actions impact our work and participate in influencing this legislation, please reach out to Chris or Paul to join the committee.

Communications Committee

 The Communications Committee enjoyed a very busy and rewarding year.  Following the lead of National HIMSS the Maryland Chapter transitioned to a new web site hosting vendor and platform.  The new platform continues to evolve and we look forward to providing additional functionality and content in the coming year.  Subsequent to the web site transition the Committee undertook a trial of Constant Contact as a replacement email distribution and event registration system.  The Constant Contact system also provided a survey tool which was a bonus.  The trial was successful and we feel that having an integrated platform is providing improved communications and engagement with the Chapter membership.  Coincident with the move the new event registration system we were also able to move to a more cost efficient payment processing vendor.   In addition to these major initiatives the Committee also worked to maintain a presence on the Social Media front.  The Committee is looking forward to another year of supporting Chapter programs and engaging its members.  We are always interested in feedback from the membership – please drop us line at md.info@himsschapter.org with your ideas or if you are interesting in volunteering your time and talents in the areas of web site authoring, graphic design, Constant Contact, photography, videography, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or YouTube.  Have a great summer!


 Community Outreach Committee

Corporate Sponsorship Programs:

This year was as another great year because of the support of our Corporate Sponsors.   We were able to host three outstanding educational sessions, an Advocacy Day with our legislators in Annapolis and our evening networking event.  In addition, for the first time, we offered a new sponsorship, Wednesday Hump Night Happy Hours!  These events were targeted to future members and members who cannot attend the education sessions.   This informal environment promoted networking as well as the opportunity to educate future members of HiMSS.   We hosted three events.  Two were at Union Jacks in Columbia, and one was held at the Columbia Ale House.  Because of the enthusiastic response to these events, we will increase the numbers of events for 2016.  I would like to personally thank all of our sponsors!


 If you are interested in being a corporate sponsor or Happy Hours Sponsor check our website for details. 

Brian Zernhelt

Community Outreach Chair, Maryland Chapter of HIMSS

 Fifth Annual Golf Tournament

Walter Bergman - Golf Tournament Director

Over 100 participants enjoyed a day of golf and networking at our fifth annual golf tournament on May 19th at Hayfields Country Club. 

Storm clouds briefly threatened play and Thor’s hammer could be heard in the distance but the rain passed around and we continued without interruption.

Players were treated to brunch before heading out to the links.  After completing 18 holes all enjoyed a cocktail hour, buffet dinner and a raffle which included a wide array of golf equipment.

Winners at this years event were....

First Place – Net Score 50

  • Richard Kier
  • Mark Peck
  • Scott Cersoli
  • Clayton Millis


Second Place – Net Score 52

  • Stephen Schittone
  • Min O
  • Abdul Faieq


Third Place - Net Score 53

  • Sam David
  • John Ellis
  • Steve Meier
  • Mike Carpenter


Straight Drive Mens  - Steve Meier  4”

Straight Drive Ladies – Binny Potter 9’ 4”

CTP Mens – Doug Brooks 9’ 9”

CTP Ladies – Binny Potter 35’ 4”

Longest Drive Mens – Sam Seashole

Longest Drive Ladies – Becky Latrobe

 CXO Outreach Committee

In this past fiscal year, the previous CIO/IT Executive committee was renamed and the scope was expanded to include various constituents from the C-Suite at our healthcare membership facilities.

 At our CXO roundtable in November 2015 in conjunction with our annual networking event, we had several C-suite attendees join us including CIO, CMIO, CNO, CMO, other IT and non-IT executives. We had a great dialogue between all these constituents as they discussed various healthcare IT related topics, challenges and opportunities.

 At two of our education sessions, we conducted CXO panel discussions to bring CXO level perspective for our audience. The first panel was focused on the IT vision and what the organizations were planning in the current and for the future environment.  The second panel was focused on Security. At each of these panels, the panelist shared what their organizations were planning and actions being taken. These panels were well liked by the attendees and request was made that we continue them in the future as well.

 We hope that the CXO’s in our region will continue to actively participate in the MDHIMSS activities and sessions, both for peer networking and information sharing as well sharing the insight with our membership at large.

 Thank you to all the CXO attendees and their continuing support of MDHISS.

 Ravi Singh                                                                            Ray Adkins

Vice-Chair                                                                             Chair

Program Planning Committee


Professional Development Committee

Maryland HIMSS 2015 Scholarships:

The Maryland Chapter of HIMSS will award two $2500 scholarships that can be used to support undergraduate and graduate study in Healthcare Information Technology or Informatics.  The scholarship checks will be awarded during the Networking event in the fall.