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Latino Daily News

Friday January 21, 2011

New Hispanic Health IT Initiative Announced

With the Hispanic population as the nation’s largest minority, HIMSS announces the establishment of a new HIMSS Latino Initiative to focus on health IT needs for the rapidly growing Hispanic/Latino market. 

HIMSS is a cause-based, not-for-profit organization exclusively focused on providing global leadership for the optimal use of IT and management systems for the betterment of healthcare and has been in existence for the last 50 years.  HIMSS represents more than 30,000 individual members, of which two thirds work in healthcare provider, governmental and not-for-profit organizations. HIMSS also includes over 470 corporate member.

During HIMSS11, the HIMSS Latino Initiative will host a program featuring a keynote speech by former U.S. Surgeon General Antonia Novello, MD. Other presentations include a panel with industry leaders including David R. Hunt, MD, FACS, Chief Medical Officer in the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and a networking reception. Panel discussions will include the State of Latino Health/Health Disparities, and Health IT Adoption in the Hispanic Community and Overcoming Barriers. The event will be held on Sunday, Feb. 20.

HIMSS’ new Latino Initiative will be led by a workgroup that is open to all HIMSS members and will meet monthly via teleconference. Luis Belen, President and CEO of VWCGlobal and Founder, President and CEO at Medic Success; and Danny Vargas, President of VARCom Solutions, have been named as co-chairs of this workgroup by HIMSS Board Chair C. Martin Harris, MD, MBA.

“I am excited to work with HIMSS leadership on this ground-breaking initiative, which will enable us to address the needs of Latino healthcare professionals and businesses,” said Belen.

“Having interacted with Hispanic communities throughout the country,” said Vargas, “I have seen first-hand the need to improve the delivery of health-related services to the Hispanic population. Health IT will play a vital role in bridging the gap in health disparities.”

Expanding HIMSS’ outreach into diverse communities is part of the Society’s strategic plan. Estimated at 16 percent today, by the year 2050, 30 percent of the U.S. population is projected to be Hispanic/Latino.