Welcome Message From Bonnie L. Westra, 2014 SPC Chair

Bonnie L. Westra, PhD, RN, FAAN, FACMIBonnie L. Westra, PhD, RN, FAAN, FACMI,
AMIA 2014 SPC Chair

On behalf of the 2014 Scientific Program Committee, I extend a warm welcome to AMIA members, students, practitioners, informatics researchers, industry partners, and others interested in the rapidly emerging field of informatics to attend the AMIA 2014 Annual Symposium.

AMIA is the academic home for informatics and the Symposium is the leading scientific meeting for biomedical and health informatics research and practice.  The AMIA Symposium presents work from many disciplines and specialties including both foundational and applied informatics.  As you can see from the link to the Symposium Themes, the AMIA Symposium offers a variety of topics spanning bench to bedside research.

Thanks to the recent HITECH funding, informaticians have incredible opportunities to make a difference in transforming health and health care.  We have experienced an unprecedented time of rapid implementation of electronic health records and other health information technologies; now is the time to focus on patient safety, quality of care, and how we can prevent unintended consequences and realize the value of digital information. The AMIA Annual Symposium is where you and your colleagues come together to share cutting edge ideas that can make a difference.

The variety of offerings at the AMIA Symposium assure that all attending will find new and exciting ideas to inspire them as they develop their careers or mentor our up and coming informaticians. You have the opportunity to submit your work and learn from others through full-length papers, abstracts, poster sessions, panel discussions, cutting-edge policy presentations, keynotes, tutorials, system demonstrations, and Working Group pre-Symposia.

This year we are adding a new feature, interactive panels intended to address controversial subjects and engage the organizers and the audience. The exhibit hall will provide attendees with the opportunity to learn about the latest products and services in health information and information technology.


Key note speaker Dr. Amy Abernathy will open the Symposium, as an oncologist and NIH funded researcher, Dr. Abernathy advocates patients contributing their health data for research and engage them as partners in their healthcare.

The Informatics Year in Review will be on the schedule, which is so popular that it plays to standing room-only crowds every year. So for 2014, we are planning a second Year in Review session that focuses on informatics in the media.

The Student Design Challenge, which will provide students or teams of students with the opportunity to design a solution to a problem in informatics.

The Student Paper Competition, so students from all computing, information science, and design disciplines will have a venue for recognition of their work.
Special social events including the AMIA Casino Night Meet-Up to dispel the myth that informaticians are all work and no play!

We are back in Washington, D.C. for 2014, in lovely Dupont Circle. It is a great location in a great city, and there is much to do outside of the Symposium, but I know that the program will keep you happily busy inside.

The Scientific Program Committee has prepared a fantastic program. I look forward to seeing you in November!

Bonnie L. Westra, PhD, RN, FAAN, FACMI
Chair, Scientific Program Committee
Associate Professor in the School of Nursing and Institute for Health Informatics and Director, Center for Nursing Informatics at the University of Minnesota.