Australia hosts international e-health conference

Representatives from several countries seek common ground among e-health systems at defense and veterans affairs departments.

Centre for Military and Veterns Health

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The Center for Military and Veterans Health (CMVH) at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, is holding a conference this week on the use of health information technology systems in defense and veterans affairs departments. Administrators from departments in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States are participating.

CMVH Director Niki Ellis, a professor at the university, said the conference is designed to foster international collaboration on e-health technology, including the use of electronic health record (EHR) systems.

Conference panel sessions, which run through Friday, focus on the common ground the participating countries’ military and veterans e-health systems share. In keeping with its theme “From Enlistment to Entitlement: e-health across the Continuum,” the conference also features panel sessions on integrating military and veterans departments’ EHR systems.

Mark Sullivan, secretary of the Australia Department of Veterans’ Affairs, and Tony Kenneth, air vice-marshal and head of the Australia Defense Health Services, are keynote speakers at the conference.

U.S. participants include Cliff Freeman, director of the Defense Department/Department of Veterans Affairs Health IT Sharing Program; Army Col. Ron Poropatich military liaison to the Department of Homeland Security; Mick Worstell, assistant director of business management, compensation and pension service at the VA; and Thomas Pamperin, assistant director of policy in the VA’s Compensation and Pension Service.

Other Australian participants in the conference are Dr. Brian Richards, national director of e-health implementation at the Department of Health and Ageing, and Rear Adm. Graham Shirley, surgeon general for the Australian Defence Force. Royal Australian Navy Lt. Cmdr. Bob Curtis is also attending the conference, but in his role as head of the U.S. Navy’s Telemedicine Office.

Canada’s delegation includes Gary Doucette, director general of the Information and Technology Services division of the Veterans Affairs Department. Surgeon Cmdr. Allison Drewry, director of naval medicine for the Royal New Zealand Navy, represents New Zealand.

Participants from the United Kingdom include Royal Navy Surgeon Capt. Stuart Allison, assistant director clinical policy at the Ministry of Defence, and Royal Army Col. M.P. Manson, director of medical information management in the Defence Medical Services Directorate.

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