NHIN Connect Project Freedom Award Acceptance Letter

Vish Sankaran has agreed to receive the 2009 Linux Medical News Freedom Award on behalf of the Federal Government for the NHIN Connect project. Click Read More for the full text of the acceptance letter after the break which contains interesting history and what has transpired to make NHIN Connect what it is.

Dear Dr. Valdes,On behalf of the entire Federal Health Architecture and the CONNECT Open Source Community, it is my pleasure to accept the 2009 Linux Medical News Freedom Award.

In April, 2007, senior federal agency health IT program directors came together and determined that a common solution was needed for participation in the emerging Nationwide Health Information Network (NHIN). From that decision came the CONNECT gateway software, which enabled federal agencies to link their existing electronic health information systems to the NHIN, allowing data exchange within the federal government and with state, tribal and local governments and with the private sector.

Due to their Herculean efforts of more than 20 federal agencies, CONNECT had its first successful demonstration in September, 2008, and it was released to the industry at large on April 6, 2009. Since the public release of CONNECT, multiple stakeholders have joined together as part of the CONNECT Open Source Community. Today federal agencies, states, counties, cities, providers, payors and health IT vendors are collaborating to advance the functionality and widespread use of CONNECT.

As a critical component to making CONNECT a viable solution for organizations throughout the United States, the CONNECT Open Source Community has been actively working toward platform neutrality, and in the past few months, it has made it possible for CONNECT to run on Linux. This was an important step in the maturation of the software, and we look forward to seeing how opening the software up within a Linux environment will accelerate innovation.

Your recognition, called the Freedom Award, aptly describes what we hoped to achieve with the CONNECT software solution. Our nation is unique because of the unlimited possibilities that each of us have to pursue our dreams, provide for our families, and establish a quality of life that is second to none. But we do not have the freedom to do so without the benefit of good health, realized through the ready access to quality medical care.

CONNECT seeks to free the data and support health information exchange that is essential to any health reform effort that will reduce costs and improve access to care. Hopefully, a healthier nation will produce the great ideas and solutions necessary for our challenges ahead.

I applaud the good work of the Linux Medical News staff and again thank them for their recognition of the CONNECT team.

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