University of Southern Indiana

Past Events

5th Annual Health Informatics Tri-State Summit
October 25, 2018, USI University Center

By: Tanner Watkins with contributions from Muhanad Almoneef, Lena Katczynski, McCoy Kemmerlin and Savannah Patterson

For the fifth time, the University of Southern Indiana hosted health informaticists, students and other industry professionals for the Health Informatics Tri-State Summit on October 25.  The theme this year was Digital Health: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. 

By utilizing collaborative discussion and engaging presentations, guests speaking at the conference touched on the latest trends and topics in the healthcare information technology industry. This year's event set a high water mark for attendance as a record amount of individuals descended upon Evansville for the annual event. The program was very well-attended by physicians, nurses, pharmacists, informaticists, health information technologists, medical practice managers, healthcare managers, health professionals, students and others whose scope of practice is related to health informatics.

Joining those in attendance at the day-long conference was Dr. Josh Luke, the event's keynote speaker. Luke delivered an exciting, engaging and informative keynote presentation to kick-start the morning. Regarded as a "futurist" on value-based care and how it will shape the continuum of care, Luke discussed his forward-thinking outlook and strategy on teaching ACOs, BPCIs, acute hospital care and post-acute leaders in the industry while demonstrating how to position one's self for revenue growth in a post-ACA model.

At the conclusion of his two speaking periods, Luke signed his book Health Wealth for guests in attendance. The book was provided to conference-goers as a complimentary gift, helping to educate readers about the healthcare affordability crisis in America. 

While multiple supporting sessions filled the middle portion of the day, Dr. Joyce Lee served as the closing speaker in USI's Carter Hall.  Lee, a physician, researcher and designer, described methods of design thinking including participatory design with patients and caregivers. She is a Robert P. Kelch, MD research professor of pediatrics at the University of Michigan medical school.  Lee demonstrated examples and experiences of how her work focuses on the development of learning health systems using the methods of clinical informatics, quality improvement and patient-centered participatory design.

The highlight of the day, though, was participation by the students on hand.  Four students representing the USI Health Informatics and Information Management program took the time to provide their testimony of the day and what they learned by attending the Health Informatics Tri-State Summit in 2018.  We thank Muhanad Almoneef, Lena Katczynski, McCoy “Mick” Kemmerlin and Savannah Patterson for their write-ups, which have excerpts listed below.  Check them out!

This was my first time attending HITS summit as Health Informatics student. This conference tackled different types of topics and was focused on cutting-edge health information and innovative solutions needed to increase the healthcare quality to the next step. At this conference, my group and I presented the meaning of the telemedicine and we gave an idea of how the future of the health care delivery system will be controlling and managing time and distance between different clinics and areas. After that, I went to the cybersecurity lecture, and I learned how to keep my information safe and what should you do to keep your computer and devices protected from hacking. – MA

This was my first experience attending the Health Informatics Tristate Summit. I found the event to be very informative and entertaining overall. I enjoyed the opening keynote speaker, Dr. Josh Luke, the most out of all the speakers at the event. I believe he was the most charismatic and enthusiastic about his topic which made it more engaging to me, as an audience member. He taught me a lot about capitalism’s hold on health care and how even though there has been a lot of negative press on the Affordable Care Act, its utility is obvious, and the framework of the ACA is not going anywhere any time soon. My aha! moment was during Dr. Luke’s initial presentation regarding how ER physician’s role is to admit patients to the hospital and once admitted, it is the hospitalist’s role to discharge the patient. Even though I work in a hospital, this opened my eyes to the broken system that is health care. I look forward to the opportunity to attend this event in the future. - MK

I really liked the two lectures by Joyce M. Lee, because she clearly conveyed her message through her real examples in both lectures. It's hard to imagine that there are so many shocking examples of social media dealing with healthcare professionals. You are what you post. Many are not even aware of what they can do with such a seemingly harmless post and what this can possibly have serious consequences for them. Although it is difficult to separate privately and professionally in social media, we still have to make an effort and train our staff. Lee's examples have shown that there is definitely still a lot of catching up to do in conscious handling. The Internet will never forget, what you posted, and pieces of you are already all over the Internet – even if you don’t use these social media platforms! (@LKatczynski - LK)

During the conference, I was very excited about the different speakers and the different topics that were being presented. My favorite speakers were first the author of the book that was the keynote, and the doctor at the end that concluded the conference. I loved how the author talked about healthcare in a more honest matter. Healthcare is an expense on society and no one has done much to change that fact and it is only getting worse. I also loved that he provided signatures afterward and we were given a copy of his book… The concluding speaker (Dr. Joyce Lee) was very exciting to listen to and kept me wanting to learn more. I loved when she discussed making medical devices make more sense to use rather than having the pen’s needle come out on the same side as the button. It just makes sense to make devices easy to use so when it is time to use them, so they are not used incorrectly in a time of crisis. - SP

In addition to the day's events, WEVV-CBS was on-location to provide coverage of HITS 2018.  Watch the video below to hear from the Chair of the HIIM program and HITS18 keynote speaker, Josh Luke, and watch students displaying the technology of the future.


The Learning Curve
From Illume: Unstoppable, the Fall 2018 Issue | By C.L. Stambush with contributing interviews from Angela St. Clair

The USI Health Informatics and Information Management program was fortunate to be connected with an article written by C.L. Stambush for this fall's edition of Illume magazine.  "The Learning Curve" is a story of four individuals coming together from different walks of life to work towards a common goal.

It features USI HIIM department chair Dr. Gabriela Mustata Wilson as well as international students Bhumika Gandhi and Ru Jia plus Indianapolis HI professionals Terilea Patton and Debra Silberberg.

Read an excerpt from the story below:

Wilson hand-picked an eclectic quartet of curious-minded, diversely-skilled young professionals eager to participate in the project based on their individual aptitudes. She knew their distinct outlooks would benefit the project and that friendship would be central to the team’s success. Three were from the College of Nursing and Health Professions’ MHA online course and one from its 4+1 program, which allows students to obtain a bachelor and master’s degree in five years while attending classes on campus.

Of the four, two were international students— Bhumika Gandhi ’18 from India and Ru Jia ’18 from China—while Terilea Patton ’18 lived in Evansville and Debra Silberberg ’18 resided in Indianapolis. They were single, married, married with children, fulltime working professionals and students with different perspectives and life experiences. The only common language they shared was a fluency in their desire to help others and their passion for the project—traits they’d rely on as they faced personal and project-related challenges and conflicts.

Read the article in its entirety on Illume's official webspace here, and pick up a copy of Illume's Fall 2018 edition when it is distributed on the campus of USI in October.  We encourage you to also share the story and use the hashtag #illumeUSI and #HIIMraceIT to stay connected to all things USI & Health Informatics.


2018 USI Health Informatics and Information Management Program Orientation
August 24, 2018

Keep your Eye on the Prize!  The USI HIIM program will host its first orientation for current students in the program during the first week students return to campus.  This August session will offer a chance to meet program representatives, engage in fun icebreaker activities, learn about internship opportunities, and even a free lunch and polo shirt!

Check out the full agenda listed below, and if you are a HIIM student that is not yet registered, please visit this link to fill out the quick RSVP form.


USI HIIM Student Jaelyn Smith Balances School and the United Way
March 27, 2018 | By Gabriela Mustata Wilson and Tanner Watkins


The first student admitted into the Health Informatics and Information Management (HIIM) program in the College of Nursing and Health Professions has not only adapted to the academic requirements of the new curriculum, but is also gaining real world experience that is helping her in her career path and making her a role model for others in the field.

Jaelyn Smith, a senior at the University of Southern Indiana, started taking courses in the HIIM program in Fall 2017 after completing the necessary pre-HIIM coursework. Eager for opportunities in her new career path, she asked the program chair, Dr. Gabriela Mustata Wilson, about internships or part-time job opportunities in the field of health informatics.

"Before I knew it, Dr. Wilson sent me more information and the link to apply for an AmeriCorps service project,” said Smith. In December 2017, she secured a full-time AmeriCorps position with “United Against Opioids,” working with the Vanderburgh County Health Department in conjunction with the United Way of Southwestern Indiana and the Mayor’s Task Force Against Substance Abuse. In her role, she gathers and compiles data related to the opioid crisis in Vanderburgh County. She will use the data to create an asset map to serve as an opioid resource guide in the community.

Smith recognizes a useful link between the AmeriCorps service and her HIIM coursework. "AmeriCorps requires me to manage and analyze a lot of data, which directly links to health informatics and information management,” she said. “Being in USI's program, I have developed many skills when it comes to the best way to collect data, analyze it, and report it in a simple way. I have also learned how to communicate in the professional world, which has been critical in this service."

Dr. Kenneth Spear, health officer at the Vanderburgh County Health Department, sang the praises of the USI student. “Jaelyn is amazing! She is doing a great job with the data,” he said. “She is so professional, attends all meetings, and presents the data in a concise manner. She is a Godsend!” 

His positive comments were echoed by Amy Canterbury, president and CEO of United Way of Southwestern Indiana. “Thank you for sending Jaelyn my way,” she said. “She has amazing communication skills, attention to detail, and the ability to work in a group and independently.”

Now Smith wants to be a role model for others. She has advice for peers looking to transition into the emerging field health informatics. "Don't wait! In my short few months serving with AmeriCorps and United Way of Southwestern Indiana, I have been approached by individuals across many disciplines sharing with me how important this data collection is and how excited they were for this service project,” she said. “There are so many ways you can get involved in health informatics, and transitioning into the USI Health Informatics and Information Management program was the best decision I have ever made."


USI HIIM Races to New IT Era
October 16, 2017 | By Gabriela Mustata Wilson and Tanner Watkins

Welcome all to the world of Health Informatics and Information Technology (HIIM), where we “Race-IT” into a new era of health care!  What does this mean, you ask?  Race-IT (race information technology) is our rallying cry for the new HIIM program here at the University of Southern Indiana.  It is an analogy showing that similar to a race car, health informatics needs the contribution of many parts to make the healthcare system as a whole perform effectively and efficiently.  As a brand new program, we are incredibly excited to meet students interested in learning more and becoming part of the HIIM Program and the “Race-IT” movement on campus and our community!

So what exactly can you do with a Bachelor of Science in Health Informatics and Information Management (BSHIIM) degree?  Well, anything you desire!  By studying health informatics and information management, you will acquire a versatile yet focused skill set incorporating clinical, information technology, leadership, and management skills. Because of this unique blend, when you graduate, you  will be able to choose from a variety of work settings across an array of health care environments.

The Bachelor of Science in Informatics and Information Management program consists of 120 credit hours of coursework leading to a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Informatics and Information Management (HIIM). The program includes 40 credit hours from University core courses, 18 credit hours of required pre-admission courses, 48 credit hours of required HIIM courses, one general elective at any level (3 credit hours) and six credit hours selected from elective course offerings at 300-400 level.

We have some fascinating courses in the program, including HI 301 Health Informatics, which is the foundation of your Health Informatics and Information Management studies. Think of HI 301 as the engine of your HIIM race car – you need it to move forward in your race to a degree, and you will always put it to good use!  Also, there are seven other Health Informatics and Information Management courses such as Social Media Monitoring in Health Care, Health Information Exchange, and Interoperability, Health Care Data Management and Analytics, Coding, and more!  You will also take HP 475, Professionalism in Healthcare and acquire valuable skills in the workforce through the completion of two internships for a total of 300 hours. These internships will take place in a variety of healthcare organizations dedicated to the advancement of our healthcare system through Information Technology and Information Management.

All these HIIM courses will give you the understanding and the need to perform in a professional, ethical, legal and competent manner upon entering the workforce. While many components make Health Informatics successful, it ultimately falls on YOU to be professional, ethical and exceptional in your daily work. You got it! The driver and his/her attitude are the most important pieces to winning the race! With intense training, passion, and perseverance a degree in Health Informatics and Information Management will go a long way to making Heath Informatics and Information Management FUN and MEANINGFUL!

Enjoy the ride and keep Race-IT!      


2017 USI Wellness Fair
Wednesday, September 27, 2017

The 2017 USI Wellness Fair was a huge success once again!  Wednesday, September 27 saw Carter Hall fill with students, faculty and staff visiting various booths set up for fun and informative interaction.  At the Wellness Fair, attendees were treated to various free health screenings, valuable information on health and wellness, and even some giveaways and treats!  The grand prize for visiting six vendor booths with blue balloons attached were a pair of Skullcandy Smokin' Buds2 wireless Bluetooth earbuds, and someone was very lucky to win those!  Additionally, popcorn, plants and other little goodies were given away so that you could fill a grab bag full of fun stuff.  Flu shots were even available for all who attended!

In the Health Informatics and Information Management program, we took things a step further and incorporated a survey and collection of relevant data into a fun activity using Virtual Reality.  Participants would sit down and have their blood pressure and heart rate measured before taking a pre-Virtual Reality survey detailing their current levels of stress.  Upon completion of the survey, they would then choose a Virtual Reality scene to relax in (including a beach or forest theme!), and the sounds and pictures of the scene would play for approximately 90 seconds.  Once the Virtual Reality session finished, the participant would complete a final post-Virtual Reality survey as well as have their blood pressure and heart rate taken again.

Aiming to have a positive impact on the health of millions of people that suffer complications caused by the long-term activation of the biological stress response mechanisms, VitaEscapes app was developed by Dr. Gabriela Mustata Wilson and one of her former Health Informatics students, Eduardo Peixoto. The app contains relaxing virtual reality (VR) environments and relaxing sounds that offer a parasympathetic stimulation resulting in reduced cortisol levels, heart rate and others biological stress responses.  Use of the VitaEscapes app was met with rave reviews, including a couple of these post-survey statements from fair attendees:

"VitaEscapes app was a very beneficial app in creating a relaxing and semi-relistic environment."

"The VitaEscapes app reminded me of why I want to pursue a career in health care."

Students that helped conduct the study had some great insight on the reactions of participants and the findings of the event, including this excerpt:

"I learned that most people came off more relaxed after the Virtual Reality experiment.  Not only from the results of the blood pressure and heart rate, but also their body language and posture was not so anxious after the experience of the VR.  We were in a high energy environment, all the freebies, all the information, or even getting shots, everyone seemed anxious and energized.  After their participation, they relaxed a lot.  There was one participant that had her blood pressure go up after the VR, and she admitted that she chose wrong on the VR, not realixing how high the mountain on the lake was."

Stay connected to this page and our social media network as we continue to review this year's Wellness Fair and get ready for 2018!  Thank you to all who participated in our study.  Your contributions are greatly appreciated and valued!

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