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Mary's Center

Development of a ChatBot to engage clients in HIV/STI awareness


 In 2022 Mary’s Center awarded a grant to pilot a culturally sensitive, bilingual AI chatbot for use with participants seeking our HIV/STI services, which will allow for 24/7 accessibility to requesting a sexual health consultation. The benefits of an AI chatbot over more basic chatbots will allow Mary’s Center to use more advanced technologies to tailor our services to the participant. Additionally, we will be able to adapt the technology over time as we learn more about what participants are requesting. In order to create a chatbot that is both culturally and linguistically sensitive, we plan to leverage deep learning and natural language processing through a comprehensive testing process reflective of the diverse communities we serve. 

Mary's Center

The Mize Award: The Smithsonian Institution

The Mize Award: The Smithsonian Institution

Utilization of Archaeological Technology to Develop Insights Regarding Bone Health


An award was granted to the Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History for the project Human Bone Density in 17th Century America. This study will use DEXA scan imaging technology to analyze the bone health and general health of the early settlers of Jamestown, VA and St. Mary's, Maryland.Douglas W. Owsley, Smithsonian Curator in the Anthropology section has started on this project that could enhance knowledge in health care in a way that could further stimulate today's ongoing study of bone health in a positive way.

Zamorano University

Zamorano University

The ITHC has funded Zamorano University Food Analysis projects since 2010. The hope is that as an agricultural college the diet of the surrounding population could be influenced in a positive manner.  The purpose of an agricultural college is not only to produce food, but to produce food that is healthful. The work of the students and professors has supported this mission each year since.

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Crudem Foundation

The Crudem Foundation

 Medical records constitute a critical foundation of healthcare institutions and have the potential to improve access to information and quality of patient care. Ready access to reliable, up to date and accurate patient histories support timely diagnoses, appropriate therapies, and treatment plans. The majority of developed countries use electronic medical records (EMR) to ensure optimum efficiency and effectiveness. 

Novel EMR implementations for low resource countries, such as Haiti, despite the considerable benefits, such systems are a luxury for most institutions in low resource countries.


Implementation of Electronic Medical Records in Haiti

Hôpital Sacré Coeur (“HSC”) in Milot recognizes the critical importance of EMR and has committed to upgrading its medical records system to an EMR model in order to provide their regional patient population with excellent, quality healthcare. That need is underscored by the steady annual increase in transaction volume: in 2019, Hôpital Sacré Coeur completed more than 590,000 patient transactions. Thankfully, HSC has both the infrastructure, staff competency and technical resources to entertain the inclusion of EMR in the hospital. 


The Institute for Technology in Health Care supports The Crudem vision and is pleased to assist in The Crudem Foundation's continuation of this effort in 2022 with Phase 2 with the training of superusers --- individuals who will serve as onsite trainers and supervisors for the hospital staff. Haiti Health Promise U.S. Medical Director, James Morgan, MD, Hôpital Sacré 2 Coeur Chief Medical Officer and Chief of Pediatrics, Michele Hanna, MD, Chief of Pharmacy, Marcelle Etienne, and Hôpital Sacré Coeur Communications Center Director, Emmanel Jeannite comprise the onsite superuser team. The three-month superuser training program under the auspices of Mekom staff included onsite and virtual (Zoom) group meetings supplemented with instructional manuals and displays in French and English. A comprehensive user guide detailed step by step instructions for all aspects of the EMR processes and troubleshooting. 

On Monday, October 19, 2015 the Cytopathology Laboratory at Hôpital Sacré-Coeur opened. Haitian women scored a life-changing victory. Thirty-seven Pap Smears were collected that day. They were prepared and stained. On Wednesday, October 21, all 37 Pap Smears had been read by Dr. Santos and the reports printed out. On Thursday, October 22nd, all 37 patients were notified of their results via a system devised by the clinical staff at Hôpital Sacré-Coeur. The following day some of those with abnormal reports had been seen, biopsied and were awaiting final disposition of their cases. One woman was unable to comprehend how such an important test, which had taken her two years to have performed, could have the results ready in only 3 days.

“The Institute for Technology in Health Care has changed this dreadful reality for the better. Because of your generous support, Hôpital Sacré-Coeur in Milot has been able to equip a small pathology lab and acquire the services of Dr. Rene Santos, a Cuban born Pathologist and the only specialist of his kind in all of Northern Haiti --- a region with a population of more than 2 million people..."

This capacity is a really significant step for the women of Haiti, not only for the lives which will be saved, but for the relief of the anxiety and mental anguish that these women endure in fear of this dread disease. This reality was brought home by the pinched, anxious face of one of those notified that her result was abnormal. She happened to be a nurse on the Hôpital Sacré-Coeur staff and she raced to the door of the Operating Room, where an OB-Gyn team was working, with fearful questions about her fate. The fact that the surgery team was able to answer her questions, examine her and perform a biopsy that same day is almost unbelievable to those who know from past experience what a time consuming ordeal this usually is for the patient.”

The Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI)

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The ITHC approached AAMI to establish the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation Foundation / Institute for Technology in Health Care Clinical Solutions Award was established in 2005.  This is an award that recognizes career achievement in the field of Clinical Engineering.  

The AAMI Foundation & Institute for Technology in Health Care’s Clinical Solution Award honors a healthcare technology professional or group that has applied innovative clinical engineering practices or principles to solve one or more significant clinical patient care problems or challenges facing a patient population, community or group. 

2022 Winner: Christopher Bonafide, MD, MSCE, Director of the Patient Safety Learning Laboratory (PSLL), and his team of dedicated professionals. 

AAMI presents to Christopher Bonafide, MD, MSCE, Director of the Patient Safety Learning Laboratory (PSLL), and his team of dedicated professionals. 

PSLL leaders James Won, PhD, SaraDeMauro, MD, MSCE, and Melissa McLoone, RN, BSN, joined Bonafide in researching alarm fatigue within hospital settings. The PSLL team played a vital role in advancing the quality of patient monitoring, leading a groundbreaking redesign of alert systems for children in acute care wards at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. These lessons are now being reapplied in the pediatric home-care setting, with a focus on re-engineering monitoring systems for parents and their children.

“Despite the myriad of challenges posed during the pandemic, our team continued working tirelessly to improve the safety of physiologic monitor systems for children and reduce alarm fatigue in the nurses and families caring for them,” said the four PSLL leaders. “Our successes would not have been possible without the incredible collaboration with the nurses and physicians on the front lines, the guidance from administrators who recognized the importance of our work within the organization, and the financial support of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.”

American Academy for HIV Medicine (AAHIVM)


AAHIVM/ITHC HIV Practice Award was established as an annual award in 2011, with the first awards given by the American Academy for HIV Medicine (AAHIVM) in 2012. Recipients are nominated for the award and an AAHIVM committee selects recipients.  Some of the awards have been given for use of social media to educate at-risk populations, telemedicine to expand clinical reach in urban, rural, and prison populations, and in focusing electronic health software on the needs of clinicians specializing in treating HIV positive patients. While the ITHC funds the awards, it has no involvement in the selection process.

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2022 Winner: Dr. Hillary Liss and Dr. Jennifer Jones-Vanderleest

The American Academy of HIV Medicine and the Institute for Technology in Health Care have awarded the 2022 Cesar Augusto Caceres Award for Technology in HIV Practice to Dr. Hillary Liss and Dr. Jennifer Jones-Vanderleest of Seattle, Washington. Drs. Liss and Jones-Vanderleest are being recognized for an innovative telemedicine partnership between the Madison Clinic, a Ryan White clinic at Harborview Medical Center/University of Washington in Seattle, WA, and Public Health-Seattle and King County Jail (KCJ) Health Services, found to improve care of incarcerated individuals with HIV.

Providing direct patient care since January 2019 via weekly telemedicine sessions, Drs. Liss and Jones-Vanderleest, situated at the Madison Clinic and the jail medical clinics respectively, collaboratively see incarcerated patients, often involving HIV case managers at both sites. This is paired with a weekly videoconference that brings together a multidisciplinary team of medical, public health, community low-barrier clinic, social work/release planner, and community-based organization representatives to assist with adherence, outreach, linkage/engagement/retention in care, and transitions to community or prison.

“It is an honor to be recognized by the Academy and ITHC,” said Drs. Jones-Vanderleest and Liss. “We are committed to developing creative approaches to better serve incarcerated people with HIV, and we look forward to collaborating with others who work with this vulnerable population.”

People with HIV are incarcerated at disproportionate rates in U.S. jails, with many missed opportunities for diagnosis, treatment, linkage to care, and help with transition to the community. Prior to the establishment of this program, incarcerated people who required specialty HIV care needed to be transported in the custody of jail officers to an outside facility which involved a number of challenges including: the stigma of being transported from jail, confidentiality concerns, short jail stays that precluded an opportunity to arrange and attend appointments, and the cost of patient transport and associated staffing, which limited the number of patients who could be brought to the outside clinic.