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AcademyHealth becomes host organization for 2016 Health Datapalooza

AcademyHealth will host the 7th Annual Health Datapalooza, May 8-11, 2016, in Washington, DC.

“As the national organization working with the producers and users of evidence to improve health and the performance of the health system, and the home of the EDM Forum, AcademyHealth has long been a champion for data liberation and a catalyst for its use in decision making and quality improvement,” said AcademyHealth President and CEO, Dr. Lisa Simpson. “As hosts of the Health Datapalooza, we’ll build on our work in this area to shape an agenda that engages the broad community of data liberation champions — patients, advocates, researchers and delivery system and industry leaders — in focused discussions about how we turn data into evidence, and evidence into actions that improve health outcomes.”

Now in its 7th year, the Health Datapalooza was born of the data liberation movement and quickly became the signature event for the community. As data has become increasingly available and accessible, the focus of the conference has naturally progressed from “freeing the data” to also using the data, and the community has shifted from imagining the future to the hard work of creating successful approaches for using data to improve health and health care. This shift will be reflected in the content and structure of the 2016 Health Datapalooza.

It’s a shift recognized by Susannah Fox, Chief Technology Officer, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. “The health data ecosystem is evolving to the next phase, from data liberation to application. Data should inform decisions for individuals as well as for the entire health care delivery system and that is the direction we are moving toward,” said Fox.

The Health Datapalooza has existed under various models since its inception, most recently under the leadership of the Health Data Consortium. Through agreement with Health Data Consortium, AcademyHealth will direct and assume leadership of the Health Datapalooza, beginning with the 2016 Health DataPalooza.

“I’ve always seen HDC as a steward of the open health data movement, and I think we’ve succeeded in making health data part of a common national agenda. Our programs and services added value and structure at a critical time in the evolution of the movement,” said Chris Boone, CEO of the Health Data Consortium. “As we enter the next chapter, I think AcademyHealth has the right mix of resources and connections to continue to serve and convene the community around a shared vision for improving health and healthcare through open health data.”

AcademyHealth is well known for its ability to execute high quality, field-defining events supported by rigorous evidence and a diverse mix of stakeholder audiences. A recent example is its Concordium conference – which brought together a highly select audience of individuals and organizations working with big health data to integrate evidence, practice, and policy in the delivery system setting.

“Our leadership of the 2016 Health Datapalooza really builds on a portfolio of work that we began more than five years ago as a means to ensure our members and the field had the skills, networks and methods necessary to use rapidly proliferating data streams to advance our understanding of the health system and improve health care quality and outcomes,” said Dr. Simpson. “We see this as a natural progression for our efforts exploring the practical approaches to convening, user-centered design, innovation, and dissemination.”  

Health Datapalooza will continue to draw on the expertise and vision of the passionate community of data producers and users who have historically helped to ensure the conference’s visionary and dynamic feel. The 2016 steering committee is led by Chair Kavita Patel, M.D., nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and former director of policy at The White House, and Vice-chair Niall Brennan, chief data officer and director, Office of Enterprise Data and Analytics at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

A portion of the program is also selected via a call for abstracts, which closes on November 30.

For information on the call for abstracts, sponsorship options or registration, please visit the conference website at