It’s National Volunteer Week, from April 21-27, an annual celebration of people who dedicate themselves to taking action and solving problems in their communities, professions, and in causes that matter most.
For the past 11 years, I have had the blessing of working with HIMSS volunteers on a daily basis; I know how much these committed individuals care about the future of health and healthcare. They believe in harnessing the promise of IT to positively transform health and healthcare.
So many of us have personal stories to tell about how the presence of IT made it possible for our family members to receive better care. And, many of us also have stories about how the lack of IT contributed to sub-optimal care. Because of these experiences, HIMSS volunteers believe passionately in the appropriate and secure use of IT to transform the safety, quality, cost-effectives, and access to care.
In the past year, more than more than 3,500 individuals donated more 11,000+ hours of service. Thanks to this extraordinary effort, HIMSS has been able to educate more than 50,000 people, and we’ve released 390+ new products and resources.
Together with HIMSS staff, these health IT leaders develop tool kits, white papers, programming and more, as evidenced by the Resource Library on the HIMSS website. Each year, the Annual Conference Education Committee helps develop the program for our North American conference. Volunteers are now fulfilling the call for proposals and reviewers for HIMSS14. Our volunteers also bring their time and talent to HIMSS as a member of a professional community, as well as joining one of our 54 HIMSS chapters.
In my own experience in working with and being a volunteer, I know passion drives action. People spend time volunteering for causes they care about and organizations where they feel their contributions make a difference.
Our volunteers have done just that by bringing their time and talents to HIMSS. These more than 3,500 HIMSS members rely on the best use of IT and management systems to enable our four pillars of:
- Improved Quality;
- Improved Safety;
- Increased Cost-Effectiveness; and
- Increased Access to Care.
I thank all of our HIMSS volunteers for their ongoing passion and dedication. You are the foundation of our organization…leading by your own example throughout the year and motivating others to help realize our cause.