Conference on healthcare information technology returns to WMU

Contact: Cindy Wagner
Photo of John .


KALAMAZOO—The evolving roles of researchers, practitioners and consumers in electronic health records is the focus of this year's International Conference on Healthcare Information Technology Advancement at Western Michigan University.

Healthcare service professionals, health IT solution providers and health informatics and information technology professionals are invited to ICHITA 2013 Thursday and Friday, Oct. 17-18, at WMU’s Fetzer Center. The theme of this year's conference is "Expediting Healthcare Reform through Service Innovation and Stakeholder Engagement."

"The University is poised to become the regional leader in health informatics and information management with leading-edge instruction and experiential learning opportunities like this conference," says Dr. Kay Palan, dean of the Haworth College of Business, which is co-hosting the event with the WMU College of Health and Human Services.

Due to an unavoidable scheduling conflict, John Halamka, CIO of Harvard's medical school, will replace Judy Murphy, who was originally scheduled to deliver the conference's keynote address.

Also at the conference

Other keynote presentations include:

  • Patrick O'Hare, senior vice president and corporate chief information officer of Spectrum Health, "Healthcare Service Integration through Innovation."
  • Nick Lyon, chief deputy director of the Michigan Department of Community Health, "State-wide Initiative in Health Care Information Exchange."
  • Kevin MacRitchie, principal liaison for NetHope Humanitarian Services and executive sponsor of Connected to Justice at Cisco Systems, "Connected Healthcare—Collaborative Healthcare through Innovation and Technology."
  • Rod Smith, vice president of emerging technologies at IBM, "Big Data and HIT—An Evolving Force for Health Reform."

In addition to the keynote presentations, multi-track session topics will include the latest development of electronic medical records and electronic health records, best practices, and issues involving use of HIT applications and effective management of healthcare information resources and service delivery.  

Conference attendees can also take part in the Employer Turbo Presentation, an employer-student speed-networking session that gives students an opportunity to meet in groups with employers for several minutes before moving on to meet with another employer. The session will help both students and employers establish connections.

"This event is a wonderful opportunity to bring together students, faculty, professionals, employers and members of federal, state and local governments to exchange ideas on health care—a vital industry and a vital component of our society," says Palan.

For more information or to register, visit  Live tweeting will take place during the event. To join the conversation, use the hashtag #ichita.