News | May 14, 2007

HIMSS Announces 2007 Advocacy Award Winners

May 15, 2007 – The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) announced the recipients of the 2007 Advocacy Awards to Michael O. Leavitt, secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS); U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Olympia Snowe (D-WA); Commonwealth of Virginia Secretary of Technology Aneesh Chopra; and Colorado State Senator Bob Hagedorn (D), and for the first time a statewide award to the state of Michigan.

“We are honored to bestow the 2007 Advocacy Award to this stellar group of leaders in healthcare information technology,” said HIMSS President and CEO H. Stephen Lieber, CAE. “This year HIMSS Board of Directors approved the recognition of a state level award and we are delighted to honor the state of Michigan. Its bipartisan leadership and vision for an improved healthcare system through health information technology is a model for the nation.”

Secretary Leavitt will receive HIMSS 2007 Federal Leadership Advocacy Award. As Secretary, he leads the nation’s efforts to protect the health of all Americans and provides essential human services to those in need. Secretary Leavitt also manages one of the largest civilian departments in the federal government, with more than 67,000 employees and a budget that accounts for almost one out of every four federal dollars.

Senator Stabenow, recipient of the 2007 Federal Leadership Advocacy Award, currently holds the third highest-ranking position among Senate Democrats and sits on the powerful Budget Committee; the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee; and the Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee. In 2000, Senator Stabenow became the first woman ever elected to the United States Senate from Michigan. Her reputation for getting the job done has made her a respected leader in Congress, setting the tone for debates on our nation's budget and manufacturing issues. She is the Senate's "go to" person when it comes to health care and prescription drugs, continuing her career-long fight to make sure that everyone has affordable and accessible health care.

Senator Snowe, recipient of the 2007 Federal Leadership Advocacy Award, became only the second woman Senator in history to represent Maine, following the late Sen. Margaret Chase Smith, who served from 1949 - 1973. In November 2006, she was re-elected to a third six-year term in the United States Senate with 74 percent of the vote.

Before her election to the Senate, she represented Maine’s Second Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives for sixteen years. She is only the fourth woman in history to be elected to both houses of Congress and the first woman in American history to serve in both houses of a state legislature and both houses of Congress. First elected to Congress in 1978, at the age of 31, she was the youngest Republican woman, and the first Greek-American woman, ever elected to Congress. She has won more federal elections in her state than any other person since World War II.

The State of Michigan will receive the 2007 Statewide Leadership Advocacy Award. More than nine regionally-based health information exchanges (HIE) have started up across the state and are preparing to compete for 2007 grants and to move forward toward formal organizations and/ or implementation of HIE technology and functionality. Several state leaders including Michigan CIO Teri Takai, Director of Community Health Janet Olszewski and former State Representative Gary Newell have been instrumental in streamlining the state’s government through IT, developing a state-level RHIO, and establishing a Resource Center for regional HIE efforts. Ms. Takai will accept the award.

Appointed by Governor Tim Kaine, Secretary Chopra, recipient of the 2007 State Leadership Advocacy Award leads the Commonwealth's strategy to effectively leverage technology in government reform, promotes Virginia's innovation agenda, and fosters technology related economic development with special emphasis on entrepreneurship. He also serves as Chair of the Information Technology Investment Board’s Commonwealth IT Solutions Committee.

State Senator Hagedorn, also a recipient of the 2007 State Leadership Advocacy Award, currently serves on the Health, Environment, Welfare and Institutions Committee, the Finance Committee and the Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee. He has also served on interim committees that examined the need for accessible and affordable healthcare throughout the state, re-wrote the school finance act, and evaluated workers' compensation laws.

HIMSS 2007 Advocacy Awards will be presented on May 15, 2007, during a Networking Reception and Awards Ceremony at the world-famous Capitol Hill Club, 300 First Street SE, from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.