Focused on better health and greater value through information technology, the HIMSS Foundation and the National eHealth Collaborative announce a merger. Both organizations embrace a similar mission to engage with all stakeholders to drive positive change in healthcare with IT and provide a single, mission-driven voice and focus; NeHC will fold into the HIMSS Foundation.
NeHC’s Board of Directors approved the merger in late November, and NeHC members approved the merger in mid-December. The HIMSS Foundation Board of Directors also approved the merger in mid-December. The merger is effective on December 23, 2013. NeHC’s CEO, Kate Berry, will play a leadership role to assist in ensuring a smooth transition of NeHC into HIMSS over the next few months.
NeHC was created five years ago by Mike Leavitt when he was Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. Operating as an independent, non-profit organization, NeHC has worked closely with the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) as well as other public and private organizations to encourage effective use of health IT. The original five-year cooperative agreement funding from ONC ended in 2013.
With the merger completed, by early spring new or expanded initiatives operating within the HIMSS Foundation include:
- The creation of the HIMSS Center for Patient- and Family-Centered Care, aligning with HIMSS’s Connected Patient Committee and Community.
- NeHC’s education programs will be integrated with a NeHC University and Resource Library on HIMSS’s website.
- NeHC’s health information exchange programs will become part of the HIMSS HIE portfolio.
As part of the merger, NeHC members will become HIMSS members. The NeHC Board of Directors will appoint a volunteer advisory committee to help shape the agenda of the new HIMSS Center for Patient- and Family-Centered Care, reinforcing the importance of and commitment to this transformation set of programs.
“NeHC leadership is excited to come together with the HIMSS Foundation and to be part of the recognized leader in the health IT field,” said Kate Berry, NeHC CEO. “This is a wonderful opportunity to leverage and build on the capabilities and strengths of the two organizations and our many members to drive progress that will ultimately benefit patients.”
“The merger of the HIMSS Foundation and NeHC offers an opportunity to use the strengths of the two organizations to create a more patient- and family-centered healthcare system with better outcomes and greater value; to improve the quality, safety, cost-effectiveness, and access to care; and, to ensure the right information is available to the right person at the right time,” says Carla Smith, MA, CNM, FHIMSS, HIMSS Executive Vice President. “As part of the HIMSS Foundation, we can intensify our efforts with the new HIMSS Center for Patient- and Family-Centered Care and our health information exchange programs.”