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Two Wake Forest SPS Students Find a “Treasure Trove” of “Innovative Changemakers” at the HIMSS Global Conference

Wake Forest University School of Professional Studies (SPS) is proud to be an Academic Organization Affiliate of Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS). This means that SPS Health Informatics students can become members of this organization for free. Membership comes with multiple benefits including opportunities to build global connections, increase professional resources, and gain industry certification.

This year the HIMSS global conference took place in Orlando, Florida. Two Wake Forest SPS students were able to attend and recapped their experiences. 


Jody Johnson, Master of Health Informatics student: 

“After spending 25 years in healthcare, I decided to pursue my Master of Health Informatics in 2022 at Wake Forest School of Professional Studies. Throughout the program, I’ve been able to  make personable connections with like-minded people and implement new strategies to improve patient care at my job as a CT Technologist. 

Last fall, I also worked with several of my classmates to turn a group project assignment into a submission to the peer reviewed Journal of American Health Information Management Association. Our article “Updating HIPAA Security to Respond to Artificial Intelligence” was published November 13th, 2023. 

Most recently, I had the opportunity to attend the global HIMSS conference in Orlando, Florida with Debra Wolf, the Academic Director of the Master of Health Informatics program. This was an exciting experience for someone who comes from a healthcare background and is currently studying health informatics! 

I am a fan of artificial intelligence (AI) and learning as much about it as possible. There were many speakers and forums about AI at the conference covering relevant topics such as the importance of good data, ethical guidelines, and safer security measures. I also got to meet two authors and get my books signed! 

Beyond the educational component, I enjoyed the numerous networking opportunities, including the opening ceremony and state chapters receptions. I connected with other students, professors, exhibitors, and speakers. Making new friends and new supporters only made this event even more memorable. 

While I am graduating in August, I’m excited to continue my involvement with HIMSS and look forward to attending next year! I am grateful to Dr. Wolf for her guidance and acting as my personal director during the conference and to HIMSS for a new family of innovative change makers that I’m proud to be part of.” 

Meesam Abbas, Master of Financial Technology and Analytics student: 

“As a business process consultant at Centene Corporation and a current student in the Financial Technology and Analytics master’s program at Wake Forest University, I am deeply committed to enhancing my understanding of the latest technological innovations, particularly in the healthcare sector. This led me to attend HIMSS 2024 when I discovered it was being held in Orlando, FL—my hometown. 

Renowned for attracting industry leaders and revealing the forefront of technology, HIMSS 24 offered an invaluable opportunity to deepen my grasp of current trends and tools in healthcare IT. My objective was to enrich my knowledge and gather actionable insights that could be utilized to refine business processes at Centene.

With over a decade of experience in various healthcare roles, several critical insights from the conference resonated profoundly with me. A recurring theme across multiple seminars was the importance of data interoperability, emphasizing the need for flawless information flow within the healthcare infrastructure. The event also illuminated groundbreaking advancements in artificial intelligence and machine learning, outlining their transformative potential in healthcare management and patient care. Additionally, discussions on cybersecurity highlighted the ease with which security can be compromised, underscoring the imperative of safeguarding patient information.

Attending HIMSS 24 was highly beneficial for identifying actionable improvements in operational excellence at Centene. One significant insight was the potential of machine learning and predictive analytics to make our operations more efficient and reduce costs. I also gained a deeper understanding of the latest telehealth platforms and their integration capabilities, which can streamline patient management and improve accessibility to care. 

Furthermore, the discussions on patient data interoperability stressed the importance of seamless data exchange, which could lead to more coordinated care and better health outcomes. These innovations are directly applicable to my work at Centene and can drive significant improvements in how we deliver services. I hope that I can attend future HIMSS conferences and would highly recommend others to do the same. 

The event is a treasure trove of knowledge, networking, and insight into the healthcare technology arena, invaluable for professionals looking to excel in this dynamic sector.”


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