Student Challenge

Advocacy (n): public support or recommendation of a particular cause or policy (Oxford Dictionary)

The HIMSS Student Challenge is an opportunity for students from health policy, informatics, public policy, computer science, public health or other related academic programs across the country to devise and implement innovative advocacy activities focused on advancing public health IT awareness in their state or region.

Challenge participants represent graduate and undergraduate students across the country working with local HIMSS Chapters to support their advocacy efforts. Learn more about 2016 participants below, and we look forward to more activity for this year's NHIT Week, October 2-6, 2017. 

2016 Challenge participants: 

Nina Smith, MPH - Doctoral Student - University of Texas, Houston, School of Biomedical Informatics

Nina is working with the Houston Texas Chapter to get a sense of how seniors interact with Health IT, such as, telemedicine, online patient portals, websites, wearable devices, and smart phones.

Reginald Tuyay - University of San Francisco - Master of Public Health Candidate

Reginald is working with the Northern California Chapter to develop a policy brief that will analytically examine the use of Health IT towards progressive improvements in California obesity prevention. The policy brief will highlight the value of Health IT in improving community health and interoperability as the forefront for population health and human services.

Tarang Parekh, MBBS, HMP - Doctoral Student and Research Assistant, Health Policy - George Mason University

Tarang’s project will highlight the value of women in Health IT and STEM Careers for Health. The aim of the project is to create awareness and invite women into the Health IT sector by raising awareness of the policies and programs that support women pursuing careers in STEM programs. Tarang will work with the Virginia and National Capitol Area Chapters.

Marilyn Stephen - Bachelors Candidate, Economics and Public Policy - University of California, Berkeley

Marilyn will lead a group of health policy students with the support of the Northern California Chapter, in an effort to draft a policy proposal to UC Berkeley leadership promoting the use of telemedicine as part of campus health insurance offerings concerning behavioral health. They also plan on holding an on-campus speaker event to increase awareness of telemedicine and the future landscape of healthcare.

Amanda Ortiz and Corbynne Panich - Bachelors Candidates, Healthcare Informatics Program - Montana Tech of the University of Montana

Amanda and Corbynne are working with the Montana Chapter to advocate for telemedicine policies that expand the application of services such as telehealth hubs to expand access to care rural communities in Montana that would allow patients to interact via Skype or another service with medical professionals around the state and eventually around the country.

Samantha Smith and Andre Morales - Bachelors Candidates, Health IT - University of Central Florida

Samantha and Andre are working with the North Central Florida Chapter and the American Telemedicine Association to raise awareness around the value in expanding access to healthcare through telemedicine. Advocacy activities that will be undertaken include, contacting legislators and educating students at the University of Central Florida, as well as the surrounding community about the impacts of telemedicine and briefing them on its ability to be an innovative solution to provider shortages and higher access to care.

All submissions are judged on the following criteria:

· Completeness of application and proposal summary including why you chose the activity, significance of activity advancing the field and potential or actual outcomes.

· Activity must be completed and submitted by current students, either undergraduate or graduate, who have played an active role in the activity

· Activity is new to the health/healthcare field or an inventive use of an existing practice

· Activity is focused on advancing public health IT advocacy and awareness and incorporates at least one of National Health IT Week’s priorities

Contact Valerie Rogers, Director, State Government Relations, HIMSS at with questions.