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BMI faculty and students attend American Medical Informatics Association conference

November 21, 2008

Faculty and graduate students from the Department of Biomedical Informatics attended the 2008 American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) conference held in Washington, D.C. AMIA is the largest organization devoted to biomedical and health informatics with a membership base of about 4,000 members. The conference, also the nation’s largest, provides a professional platform to, “promote the effective organization, analysis, management and use of information in health care in support of patient care, public health, teaching, research, administration and related policy.”

The six-day conference, held November 8-13, featured several exhibits from different academic departments as well as research exhibits of on-going projects. Two BMI faculty received recognition for their research and service to the organization. SCI Professor Robert Greenes received one of the highest honors in the field of biomedical informatics, as the recipient of the 2008 Morris F. Collen Award of Excellence for his distinguished lifetime service to the field of biomedical informatics. SCI Professor Edward Shortliffe, a founding member of AMIA and one of the five AMIA Fellows who created the American College of Medical Informatics, was voted the new President and CEO of AMIA.

Shortliffe wants to see AMIA “become a major force in the evolution and improvement of our health system and the quality of care in the United States.” He added, “A closer relationship with AMIA will draw more recognition for our educational and research programs. That will help us recruit new faculty and graduate students of the highest quality.”

Program Coordinator Kaitlin Yacob attended the conference to promote both the pending undergraduate program and the new graduate program. She was also present to recruit potential graduate and post-doctorate applicants and answer questions about BMI degree programs.

This year was the first time that BMI provided travel funding for the first year graduate students to attend the conference. Graduate student William Wilkinson was one of the students who attended the conference for the first time this year.

He said, “I learned a lot about medical error research and about BMI health policy. I also saw or met many interesting people who work in and enjoy BMI research.” Xuan Feng also attended the conference. He said, “I learned some new CPOE/EMR implementation cases, translational research trends, and qualitative evaluation of CIS.” He added, “I was so proud to tell any other attendees that I'm from ASU BMI program. You cannot imagine how well our program is recognized and expected.”