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.


Bones from about 20 to 30 residents of Jamestown, Virginia and St. Mary's, Maryland are available for study at the Smithsonian in a reasonable state of preservation from the viewpoint of an archaeologist. A study by DEXA scan has begun to determine osteopenia or osteoporosis. Currently there is a vast amount of accumu-lated knowledge regarding these diseases.


Can the bones from yesteryear add to current knowledge by showing us differences between today's and a population of Americans from the 1600's utilizing established archaeological technology combined with 20th century technology? Could the results show us a relationship of osteopenia/osteoporosis to disease more prevalent then, such as osteomyelitis, and nutritional or other changes, helping to improve today's health care.


A study on the femurs, and thoracic spines of the above mentioned group could be matched to already known modern day subjects of similar sex and age. Such differences or similarities could be useful in clinical medicine today.


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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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.


2020/2021 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 initiation of  the Phase 1 installation of the Bahmni OpenMRS Distro EMR System for Hôpital Sacré Coeur to enable the hospital and its partners to provide more accessible, durable, and accurate patient histories; as well as showcase an exemplary EMR model for Haiti and other low resource countries medical providers. 

Past Awards

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. 

2020 Winner:
Samuel Gurmu, University of Maryland Medical Center

This year's winner is Samuel Gurmu who engineered a clinical morbidity platform for the University of Maryland Medical Center to ensure rapid and reliable communication between the neonatal intensive care unit and the labor and delivery unit.


This led to demonstrable improvements in healthcare delivery and is now being adopted across the hospital. Gurmu published his solution in the American Journal of Medical Quality.

“I am incredibly honored to be chosen for this award and am glad to see an institution such as AAMI encouraging the healthcare workforce to improve quality of care,” said Gurmu. “Ultimately, this award recognizes our team for striving to serve patients to the best of our ability.”   

Recipients of the AAMI Foundation & ITHC Clinical Solution Award


JoAnne Phillips, DNP, RN, CNS, CPPS


Beebe Healthcare, which serves Sussex County in southern Delaware, and Renovo Solutions, based in Irvine, CA


Regenstrief National Center for Medical Device Informatics (REMEDI) Infusion Pump Collaborative Project Team, Purdue University


James Piepenbrink, Boston Medical Center, Prioritization of Medical Audible Alarms


Texas Children's Hospital Alarm Management Team


Robert D. Butterfield


Lancaster General Hospital and Hospira


Monitor Research Team, Children's National Medical Center


James P. Welch and George T. Blike, MD


Elliot B. Sloane, PhD, CCE, FHIMSS


Julian M. Goldman, MD


Thomas M. Judd, CCE


Antonio Hernandez

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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2020 Winner: Drs. Rebecca Dillingham and Karen Ingersoll of the University of Virginia (UVa) Ryan White Clinic

The American Academy of HIV Medicine and the Institute for Technology in Health Care have awarded the 2020 Cesar Augusto Caceres Award for Technology in HIV Practice to Drs. Rebecca Dillingham and Karen Ingersoll of the University of Virginia (UVa) Ryan White Clinic for their PositiveLinks (PL) digital application. PL is a clinic-deployed, smartphone-based platform that provides tools and support to people with HIV (PWH) to improve medication adherence and engagement with care.  It includes a patient-facing app, a provider-facing app, a web portal for providers, and an on-line training system. (See website here: www.positivelinks4ric.com).  

The technology was developed to address the stigma, poor access to transportation, isolation, substance use, and mental health challenges facing many PWH in rural Virginia. Dr. Dillingham, an infectious disease physician, and Dr. Ingersoll, a clinical health psychologist, collaborated to create PL by adapting evidence-based behavioral interventions to improve adherence to ART, as well as to reduce stigma, depression, and isolation.

PL app features include medication reminders, mood and stress check-ins, educational resources, an anonymous community message board (CMB), secure document upload, and private provider messaging. PL shrinks physical and psychological distance between patients and care providers. It expands connections among PWH in a space that is experienced as safe. It provides important tools that support self-monitoring, care coordination, and social support -- all in a secure mobile app. 

The provider-facing PL app and web portal facilitate providers’ ability to monitor patient-reported data about adherence and mood. They also permit “texting”-like messaging in a health system-approved environment that allows for the flexibility and efficiency of texting.

Development of PL was supported originally by AIDS United beginning in late 2012. Since 2017, based on the successful pilot, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) has supported expansion of PL as a usual care service at UVA and at other HIV clinics.  

Thanks to the visionary support of the Virginia Department of Health (VDH), the tool is available at no cost to clients, and, in fact, if used regularly, can qualify clients for assistance with cellular voice and data access, an increasingly recognized social determinant of health. 

“The ability to remain in touch through a cell phone, whether with calls or through an app, may become increasingly important as the recommended number of visits to an HIV care provider decreases with less frequent need for CD4 and viral load monitoring,” stated Dr. Dillingham. “In addition, care coordination and secure messaging is growing in importance for our aging PWH population who have a rising number of medical co-morbidities.”

In 2019 The Institute for Technology partnered with the Medical Society of the District of Columbia Foundation (MSDC) for the MSDC project "A Study of Technology’s Impact on the Wellbeing of Physicians in the District of Columbia "the goal was to provide the foundation for the MSDC to create or assist in the creation of treatment programs for the benefit of DC’s physicians, its hospitals, private groups or other practices suffering from burnout 

MSDC encourages its members to adopt the best practices identified in the data and promote national policies for other states and practices to adopt them as well. The Healthy Physician Program was initiated.

The COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 highlighted the great need for programs focusing on physician well-being.  The ITHC is pleased to have renewed the award for expansion of the program and data analysis to assess the program benefits.  


The Conway School of Nursing, Catholic University of America


The COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 has brought the need for Telehealth services to the forefront previously limited to rural healthcare settings.  The ITHC is pleased to give a 2020 Award to the Conway School of Nursing to initiate a telehealth course of study for nursing students.   


"The overarching purpose of this project is to prepare undergraduate BSN and graduate nurse practitioner [NP] students to expertly utilize and advance telehealth as a provider platform in academic and professional practice. A unique focus on the ever-present problem of access-to-care underpins this effort and aligns with the values of the University and the Conway School of Nursing.  Today, telehealth is instantly changing the dynamics of provider-patient engagement. The COVID-19 pandemic has rightly peaked the healthcare industry’s interest in this relatively new technology because telehealth effectively disregards the traditional challenges of providing healthcare access to patients living in remote/isolated locations. The faculty at the CSON believe that patient demographics should not result in denying access to health services. Academia must therefore develop creative and useful strategies to educate graduate and undergraduate students to deliver nursing services to patients and families living in remote or isolated locations.  Simulation scenarios will be developed to address use of telehealth in multiple locations (home, schools, skilled nursing facilities, long term care facilities, work sites, and primary care clinics) and multiple communication modes (videoconferencing, store and forward, mHealth, and remote monitoring). Clinical scenarios will include BSN-NP intra-professional collaboration and will be disseminated on the Education Hub. "