AMIA 2009 Signature Awards presented to America's leaders in biomedical, health informatics

November 16, 2009

The professional association for biomedical and health informatics, the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA), honored leading informaticians working in the country today at ceremonies that opened the Annual Symposium 2009 on Biomedical and Health Informatics. The AMIA Signature Awards recognize individuals who have performed outstanding leadership in the field of biomedical and health informatics. Many of the top professionals in this health care field have gathered in San Francisco this weekend to participate in the Annual Symposium, which features 96 scientific sessions, more than a dozen workshops, and more than two dozen tutorials. Like informaticians in the biomedical and health sector, the award recipients represent multiple disciplines and work settings, including clinical practice, research, health care policy, public health, academia, and information technology.

The awards were presented by AMIA Chairman David Bates, chief of General Medicine Division at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, and Edward Shortliffe, president & CEO of AMIA.

"The field of biomedical and health informatics will reach critical mass in the first half of this century," said Dr. Bates. "The population of trained informaticians, though still modest and insufficient to fill all the positions available in health-related informatics, has made major contributions to the national dialog on health care policy and standards, performs vital research, and overall, is having an increasing impact on improving quality health care delivery in the United States."

Dr. Shortliffe explained, "Informaticians are a small army dedicated to constructing a massive edifice that will change the health care delivery environment significantly. Each trained informatics leader carries the weight of many more professionals and patients on his or her shoulders. It is because of this ground-breaking sensibility and commitment that we are pleased to recognize and honor those in our compact community who have contributed to U.S .and global health and performed with extraordinary success."

Don Eugene Detmer Award for Health Policy Contributions in Informatics
Paul C. Tang, MD, MS, chief medical information officer at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation in Calif., serves as vice chair of the Federal Health Information Technology Policy Committee created by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). He is a leading force in representing national standards for quality health care and EHRs, chairing an IOM patient safety committee and other panels dedicated to safeguarding patients through precision measurements and patient management.

Donald A.B. Lindberg Award for Innovation in Informatics
Pediatric professor Isaac (Zak) Kohane, director of the Children's Hospital Informatics program at Harvard Medical School, Boston, leads multiple collaborations at Harvard, using genomics and computer science in the study of cancer and autism. Dr. Kohane developed i2b2 (Informatics for Integrating Biology and the Bedside), a program used internationally at more than 18 academic health centers.

New Investigator Award
S. Trent Rosenbloom, MD, MPH, assistant professor of Biomedical Informatics and Nursing at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Tenn, is honored for his research as a clinical informatics systems evaluator. His early work focused on evaluating clinical decision-support systems, clinical documentation systems and the interface terminologies that support structured data entry. His special research interest is evaluating pediatric informatics systems, including growth charts in electronic health record systems.

Virginia K. Saba Informatics Award
Connie White Delaney, professor and dean at the University of Minnesota School of Nursing, is honored for her distinguished career using informatics to transform patient care. She is the first Fellow in the American College of Medical Informatics to serve as a Dean of Nursing. A policy "wonk" active nationally, she is a recent appointee to the HIT Policy Committee established by ARRA. She is particularly interested in national standards for essential nursing care and outcomes/safety data.

Morris F. Collen Award of Excellence
Betsy L. Humphreys, deputy director of the U.S. National Library of Medicine, receives the Collen Award for her personal commitment and dedication to biomedical informatics, which has made a lasting impact on the field. The prestigious Collen Award is the highest honor offered in the field, recognizing a body of work that has influenced biomedical informatics throughout an entire career.

Leadership Awards
In addition to the Signature Awards, AMIA recognized the growing field's most accomplished and promising professionals with Leadership Awards at a dinner held Saturday, Nov. 13. Among the guests honored for outstanding volunteer leadership and service to AMIA and its members were:
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About AMIA

The American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) is a member-supported association of leaders advancing biomedical and health informatics in the United States. AMIA supports the development and application of informatics in patient care, public health, human life sciences, education, research, administration, and health care-related policy. AMIA's 4,000 members advance the use of health information and communications technology with the ultimate goal of improving health through improved health care systems. www.amia.org

American Medical Informatics Association

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