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For the first time in the history of the Human Services Information Technology Advisory Group (HSITAG), the group convened in Sacramento to hear from State of California leadership earlier this month. While venturing this far west was quite the journey for our traditionally east coast membership contingent, over 50 people were in the room to hear from an extended half day of guests.
The day kicked off with an all-star panel of the California State CIO Amy Tong with her chief deputy and second in command Chris Cruz. Also in the first panel were Peter Kelly, Chief Deputy Director of the state Office of Systems Integration and Melody Hayes, Deputy Director at the CA Department of Healthcare Services and MMIS lead for the state. While some of these individuals have moved into enterprise-wide leadership, all grew their skills and served at the California Health and Human Services Agency throughout their careers so their HHS knowledge was deep and insightful.
Scott Christman, who is the HHS Agency CIO and has oversight of all of the Agency’s IT projects, gave us some thoughtful information on how California’s HHS agency has really broken the siloes to set up an enterprise open data portal up for the state. California’s progress in accomplishing this initiative took a lot of legal discussions and political swaying but has ultimately payed off in making California’s HHS data open and available across the enterprise. The group was impressed and felt as though this model should not only be expanded to other parts of government but additionally, could serve as a model for other states.
HSITAG also hosted the Department of Child Support Services Director Alisha Griffin, who outlined the transformative work that her department has undergone in their systems and highlighted where she is planning next investments. Covered California’s CIO Karen Ruiz also outlined the herculean efforts undergone to set up California’s health benefit exchange and how they plan to address coming uncertainties with the changing federal landscape.
The day was packed full of California leadership and HHS IT insights that HSITAG was grateful to receive. Members liked the format and extended session so much that we are looking now at doing this annually, in a remote location, so send Jennifer Saha (firstname.lastname@example.org) your ideas for our 2018 HSITAG forum!