Health information technology (health IT), including electronic health records (but much, much more), enables health care providers--from individual clinicians to widely networked health care organizations--to better manage patient care through streamlined sharing of health information. Since 2004, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology has led U.S. efforts to deploy advanced health IT in order to improve clinical service delivery and support patient engagement. As a result, nearly every hospitalization and most doctor visits now have a digital footprint, and an extraordinary amount of health data exists that simply didn't a decade ago. The health IT goal now is to foster seamless and secure data sharing to improve the health and care of individuals and populations alike.
In this special Medical Center Hour, Dr. Vindell Washington, National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, introduces this key national initiative and cites the promise and chief challenges for this increasingly central component of our nation's health care system.
A John F. Anderson Memorial Lecture
Southern Appalachia often provides a folksy backstory to our national mythology—a tale of coal miners, moonshining, bluegrass, and ballads. But Appalachia is a real place that figures fundamentally in this country's heritage and destiny.
Its rugged mountains are rich in natural resources while its remote communities are home to some of the nation's most fiercely proud people and most persistent poverty. This region has endowed American culture—and the University of Virginia—with a wealth of gifts and innovations but itself faces staggering difficulties. Embracing Appalachia is challenging, especially now, as the coal industry disappears and crises of poor health, environmental degradation, and poverty deepen.
This Medical Center Hour with West Virginia coalfields native David Gordon probes our particular connections to Appalachia and how the enduring tragedy of this place is a “canary in the coalmine” for the rest of our nation.
Is "healthy Appalachia" possible? What will it take? What must we do?
Co-presented with the Center for Global Health, Institute for the Humanities and Global Cultures (Global South Initiative), Department of Public Health Sciences, and Healthy Appalachia Institute
"Give a [wo]man a mask and [s]he will tell you the truth." –Oscar Wilde
Since 2010, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center's therapeutic arts program has engaged brain-injured and traumatized military veterans in hands-on mask making. Even as they conceal the face, these soldiers' masks vividly reveal secret suffering, declare deeply felt identity and patriotism, signal spiritual wounds and moral strengths, externalize guilt or grief. Making a mask can help its creator to (re)claim identity, and to heal. In this AOA Lecture, physician-educator Mark Stephens and art therapist Melissa Walker discuss the construction of masks as an artful means of recognizing oneself and reflecting on identity, not just for wounded warriors but also for healthcare professionals.
Co-presented with Alpha Omega Alpha national medical honor society, UVA Chapter
What happens when an extroverted six-year-old dog and her introverted human partner enter the local public nursing home as a therapy dog team? This was the question writer Sue Halpern (nervously) asked herself when she and her dog Pransky began their work at the Helen Porter Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Middlebury VT. In this Medical Center Hour, Halpern revisits the remarkable experiences she and Pransky had over six years with the nursing home residents, experiences that continued even after Pransky's health declined. She also speaks to the increasingly recognized value of introducing therapy animals into medical settings and the significant physical and emotional benefits that follow—for patients, staff, and therapy teams.
A John F. Anderson Memorial Lecture