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Better health care through technology

Conference focuses on building health care partnerships, technology transfer opportunities in Southeastern Ohio


Sept. 12, 2008

By Richard Heck

The impact of health information technology on rural clinical and community settings and the way health care affects economic development are among the topics featured in an upcoming conference at the Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Building upon efforts begun last fall, OU-COM will sponsor the
2nd annual RHIOhio conference Oct. 13 and 14 at Baker University Center.

Participants at this year’s conference, “RHIOhio: Building Partnerships for Change,” include health care providers and professionals, biotechnology researchers and administrators, government officials, policy makers and representatives. The focus of the two-day event includes discussion about the integration of health information
technology into clinical and community environments, and the impact information technology can have on economic development and job creation. 

“RHIOhio 2007 was an overwhelming success, and our expanded program for 2008 will provide additional opportunities for practitioners, technologists, researchers and policy makers to explore new partnerships in health information technology,” said Brian Phillips,
chief information officer for OU-COM and chairman of the conference. 

 “This year’s program will focus on building partnerships to explore the challenges and opportunities of health information technology, including deploying information exchanges, rethinking workforce development and contributing to economic development through technology transfer opportunities,” Phillips said.

“In many rural and small communities, health care facilities such as hospitals often are the largest employer,” Phillips noted. 

The region’s unique aspects make the area ideally suited for economic development of the biotechnology industry because of ongoing research into the field and of already well-established biotechnology businesses, such as Diagnostic Hybrids based in Athens, said Phillips. 

New to this year’s conference is a concurrent clinical diabetes track organized by the ARHI Diabetes Center @ OU-COM for diabetes physicians, nurses, educators and community health professionals. The intent of the clinical track is to provide information concerning barriers to diabetes care in rural Appalachian Ohio. The diabetes track will be held Oct. 13, only.

Keynote speaker for this year’s conference is Aneesh Chopra, secretary of technology for the Commonwealth of Virginia. Chopra leads the Commonwealth’s strategy to effectively leverage technology in government reform, promotes Virginia’s innovation agenda, and fosters technology-related economic development with an emphasis on entrepreneurship.

The conference registration fee is $150, or $50 for students, and includes admission to both days of all general and breakout sessions, conference meals and the vendor exhibition area. A limited number of scholarships have been generously provided by the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio. ”On-line registration is available at

For additional information, contact Elissa Welch at (740) 597-3367 or at

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Last updated: 01/28/2016