Digital Services: Health IT

Digital Services: Health IT

Digital Services Health IT
Digital Services Health IT
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IT modernization across government has led to widespread improvement in the delivery of services, including the development of digital services that have helped expand the availability and scope of care. Hear from federal executives on how their agencies are guiding digital transformation to address the healthcare needs of both individual patients and the American public at large.

September 16, 2021
11:00 am
Virtual event
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Digital Services Health IT

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Sophia Califano is an Infectious Diseases, Preventive Medicine and Primary care physician.

She joined the VA National Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention as the Deputy Chief Consultant for Preventive Medicine in 2019, arriving from the Durham (NC) VAMC, where she had been a primary care physician since 2015.

Sophia received her medical degree from the Brown University, MPH from UNC, completed Internal Medicine Residency and Chief Residency at University of Michigan, and an Infectious Diseases Fellowship and Preventive Medicine Residency at UNC.

Deputy Chief Consultant for Preventative Medicine, VA

Nelly Connolly, 30 years focused on digital transformation initiatives across Life Sciences, Real World Evidence, Payers, and Affordable Care Act ( Big data enthusiast and artificial intelligence speaker for Adverse Event Monitoring (FDA Sentinel and BEST) and mitigating risk for Fraud, Waste and Abuse (CMS Federal and State Programs). Drives transformation by building engagement layers across communities of service - citizens, commercial and Federal Healthcare networks. Active member in CDISC, PHUSE, OHDSI, Gates Foundation and Women in Technology PHARMA.  

Career Highlights:

IQVIA - Real World Evidence and Technology Director
MarkLogic - HHS and Life Sciences Global Director
Norkom Technologies - Artificial Intelligence Director

Global Account Manager, HHS Mission Accounts, ServiceNow

Mr. Michael Crawford is the Associate Dean for Strategy, Outreach, and Innovation (ADSOI) at the Howard University College of Medicine and Founding Executive Director of Howard University’s 1867 Health Innovations Project. Prior to Howard University, Mr. Crawford served as the Chief of Staff at Unity Health Care, Inc., one of the largest health center networks in the United States. Prior to Unity, Mr. Crawford held domestic and international leadership positions at Johnson & Johnson, GlaxoSmithKline, Gannett Company, nonprofits, and start-ups.

Mr. Crawford brings expertise at the intersection of operations, strategy, digital health, data, innovation, product development, and policy. Mr. Crawford’s work focuses on developing scalable digital health and data models to help enhance health access, outcomes, and affordability for medically underserved and vulnerable populations.

Mr. Crawford serves on numerous national and local committees, including a member of the Academy of Health and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Service Research Learning Community, member of Robert Wood Johnson National Commission to Transform Public Health Data Systems, member of HIMSS Global Health Equity Network, member of the District of Columbia Complete Count Committee, member of New York eHealth Innovation Advisory Group, member of American Essential Hospitals Education Committee, member of the Advisory Board of National Minority Quality Forum, and member of the Board of Directors of the Boys and Girls Clubs Greater Washington.

Mr. Crawford holds a Master of Healthcare Leadership (MHL) with a concentration in healthcare administration and management from Brown University, Master of Business Administration (MBA) from The George Washington University with a concentration in Strategic Management and Finance, and a Bachelor of Science from Rider University with a concentration in Marketing Strategy.

Associate Dean for Strategy, Outreach, and Innovation, College of Medicine, Howard University

For two decades, Ben Cushing has been a leader in emerging technology solutions across multiple industries and is committed to radical innovation in healthcare. Before joining Red Hat, he served as the Chief Technology Officer for MDLogix, a behavioral health IT firm supporting Johns Hopkins Medicine. There he architected and brought to market a behavioral health cloud platform for use with employer, healthcare, and education markets.

In addition to supporting analytics and operations at the National Institutes of Health for 6 years, Cushing had the opportunity to practice a scaled agile framework with Accenture where he led the technical architecture and design for the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) Electronic Health Management Platform, an industry leading Health Management and Care Coordination platform serving 9 million patients.

His tenure at Accenture began with the acquisition of Agilex, where he designed LSI solutions, developed systems to automate the Post-9/11 GI bill, and supported in-theater data collection and analytics tools. While at Agilex, Ben architected and led the development of a mobile Software Development Kit, still in use today by the VA to produce more than 60 applications.

Federal Healthcare Practice Lead, Red Hat

Tom Guido started with the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) in April 2019 and currently oversees the Digital Transformation Center (DTC). The DTC is designed to accelerate IT delivery through effective implementation of Software as a Service (SaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) technologies. With 25 years of technology experience, Tom is considered a leader in managing complex, enterprise IT programs and has a proven track record of automating and modernizing mission delivery. Prior to his position with the VA, Tom served as the Director of the Disaster Credit Management Systems Operations Center for the SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance.

Senior Director, SaaS and PaaS Solutions, VA

Dr. Kristen Honey is the Chief Data Scientist and a Senior Advisor. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020, Dr. Honey pivoted back to her data roots. She advised the White House National Security Council (NSC) and the HHS Chief Information Officer (CIO) on big-data sharing, governance, analysis, and predictive analytics with AI/ML (HHS Protect Vision with DataRobot). In collaboration with the CIO, Dr. Honey established the Office of the Chief Data Officer (OCDO) and co-founded the Data Governance Board to implement the OPEN Government Data Act (open data) elements of the Foundations for Evidence Based Policymaking Act. This work with OCDO is helping to unify 11 HHS Operating Divisions (e.g. CDC, NIH, CMS, and FDA) with 80,000+ government employees, geographically dispersed workforces, diverse missions and work cultures, and separate incompatible IT systems into a single, data-driven HHS. As the Chief Data Scientist and Senior Advisor to the Assistant Secretary for Health (ASH), Dr. Honey leads the $30M COVID-19 Diagnostics Data Platform project.

Dr. Honey earned her Ph.D. at Stanford University in the Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in the Environment and Resources, School of Earth Sciences, while simultaneously earning a Ph.D. minor in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Stanford University. She holds an M.A. in Environmental Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a B.A. in Human Biology with Honors from Stanford University. She previously worked in the Obama Administration from 2015 to 2017. Dr. Kristen Honey worked for the U.S. Chief Technology Officer (CTO) in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) as a Policy Advisor. She would then advise the Federal Chief Information Officer as a Senior Policy Analyst. In June 2018, Dr. Honey transitioned to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Immediate Office of the Secretary, to tackle complex challenges by harnessing the power of open science, open data, open source, citizen science, crowdsourcing, prizes, challenges, and innovative public-private partnerships for public health.

Chief Data Scientist and Senior Advisor, HHS
CTO, Center for Consumer Information & Insurance Oversight, CMS

Chris Lunt is the chief technology officer for the All of Us Research Program. Chris has more than 20 years of experience designing web services and other data platforms, and has spent the last 10 years working as a technology executive. He joins the NIH from GetInsured, where he served as the vice president of government solutions for the past 4 years. There he worked with the federal government, states, and the vendor community to improve health insurance shopping and enrollment systems. Previously, Chris worked as an HHS entrepreneur. He has also served as the vice president of engineering at Readyforce, the chief executive officer of Nombray, the founder and vice president of engineering at WisdomArk, and the senior director of engineering at Friendster.

CTO, All of Us Research Program, NIH

Frank J. Mrvan is the United States Representative for the First Congressional District of Indiana.

Congressman Mrvan understands the importance of good-paying jobs and a growing economy that works for everyone. In the U.S. House of Representatives, he will look for opportunities to be a servant leader and bring Northwest Indiana together to make investments and grow the regional economy.  

In the 117th Congress, he is a member of the House Committee on Education and Labor, including the Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions Subcommittee, and the Civil Rights and Human Services Subcommittee. He is also a member of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee, including the Subcommittee on Health, and he also serves as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Technology Modernization.  

Additionally, to represent the strong labor and steel and manufacturing industries of Northwest Indiana, Congressman Mrvan is honored to serve as the Co-Chairman of the Congressional Steel Caucus.

Previously, Frank was the North Township Trustee for 15 years, and through his time in the Trustee office he knows the value of being a trusted resource and how to help people when they hit a bump in the road. 

Frank J. Mrvan graduated from Morton High School before going on to earn a bachelor’s degree from Ball State University.  He is married to his high school sweetheart Jane and they have two daughters, Genevieve and Scarlett.

Chairman, Subcommittee on Technology Modernization, House Veterans Affairs Committee

Sumitra Muralidhar is the Program Director for VA’s Million Veteran Program (MVP) in the Office of Research and Development (ORD). She oversees the policy and infrastructure development for the collection and use of samples and genetic, clinical, lifestyle and military exposure data from one million Veterans. She served as ORD’s liaison to the White House Precision Medicine Initiative under President Obama, and continues to represent ORD/MVP in the federal interagency group on precision medicine. She also serves as the designated federal officer for VA’s Genomic Medicine Program Advisory Committee, which advises the VA Secretary on the development and implementation of research and clinical arms within the Veterans Health Administration. She previously served as Health and Science Advisor to the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee (SVAC), and Associate Professor at Georgetown University Medical Center. She received her Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the University of Maryland.

Program Director, Million Veteran Program, VA



Opening Remarks

  • Amy Kluber, Editorial Director, GovernmentCIO Media & Research

Fireside Chat: Leveraging the Future of Federal Health with Digital Tech

With federal health programs like Medicare and Medicaid, Veterans and Military Health, and more on the rise in services this year, keeping up with the technology and digital services will be the key to unlocking the health vision of the new administration. This keynote will highlight a top-level Congressional perspective on bridging mission goals of federal health with the technological needs that will make it happen.

  • Rep. Frank J. Mrvan, Chairman, Subcommittee on Technology Modernization, House Veterans Affairs Committee
  • Moderator: Megha Chokshi, Senior Vice President, GovernmentCIO

COVID-19 Screening and Pandemic Safety

Health-focused agencies have helped address the COVID-19 pandemic through developing screening tools and data sharing designed to help prevent viral spread. Hear from developers and agency leaders who have created digital tools for helping keep patients, federal employees and the general public safe.

  • Dr. Sophia Califano, Deputy Chief Consultant for Preventative Medicine, VHA
  • Ben Cushing, Federal Healthcare Practice Lead, Red Hat
  • Kristen Honey, Ph.D., Chief Data Scientist and Senior Advisor, HHS
  • Moderator: Adam Patterson, Staff Writer/Researcher, GovernmentCIO Media & Research

Digital Services and Health Care Enrollment

Medicare, Medicaid, and the healthcare marketplace have been in the spotlight this past year as individuals have sought coverage amid COVID-19 and as the Biden administration has looked to strengthen federal health programs. Amid this ramp up, how are federal agencies looking to create robust digital platforms, interoperability and resources to make these changes and incoming open enrollment successful? This panel will share what they’re doing to succeed.

  • Nelly Connolly, Global Account Manager, Federal Healthcare, ServiceNow
  • Tom Guido, Senior Director, SaaS and PaaS Solutions, VA
  • Michael Jimenez, CTO, Center for Consumer Information & Insurance Oversight, CMS
  • Moderator: Sarah Sybert, Staff Writer/Researcher, GovernmentCIO Media & Research

Wearables and Precision Medicine

Wearables and portable technology has enabled both patients and clinicians to track real-time health data to make data-driven, personalized decisions in medical and mental health care. This panel will discuss the future of precision and personalized medicine through patient data, digital health, and wearable technology.

  • Michael Crawford, Associate Dean for Strategy, Outreach, and Innovation, College of Medicine, Howard University
  • Chris Lunt, CTO, All of Us Research Program, NIH
  • Sumitra Muralidhar, Ph.D., Director, Million Veteran Program, VA
  • Moderator: Karen Triplett, Vice President, GovernmentCIO

Closing Remarks

  • Amy Kluber, Editorial Director, GovernmentCIO Media & Research


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