At the ONC Annual Meeting, December 2023 in Washington DC, Steve Posnack of the United States handed over the GDHP leadership reigns to Abigail Norville of The Netherlands. In this video Steve looks back at his tenure as GDHP Chair and all the great things he and his team have achieved, and Abigail looks ahead and talks about her ambitions for the GDHP Chair.
Full transcript of the video
On-screen text: GDHP Chair Transition. Global Digital Health Partnership.
ABIGAIL NORVILLE, Deputy Secretary General (Netherlands Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport): ‘I am here today with my team to officially become the Chair of the GDHP. As a Chair, you also have to have a Vice Chair. And I’m really happy that Portugal stepped in. The United States have done it for two years now. And I’m very happy that the Netherlands will take over the Chair position of the GDHP.’
STEVE POSNACK, Deputy National Coordinator for Health IT (US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT): ‘So the GDHP stands for Global Digital Health Partnership. It’s formed in 2018. It’s relatively new as an organisation. We are the global leaders from each of our ministries or departments of health that deal with digital health.’
ABIGAIL: ‘I think the GDHP is very important to the Netherlands, but also other countries, because we all face the same challenges we have in healthcare. We all face people getting older, we have the same challenges when it comes down to digital healthcare and how that goes. How do we address privacy? How do we address availability? How do we address how certain systems can work together?’
STEVE: ‘The benefit that government members get from being part of GDHP is both personal contacts with their peers and then sharing experiences, which I think is one of the greatest benefits, about lessons learned, the policies, practices, programs that have had success. And more importantly, where things have not gone as we had planned and how to avoid those in the future.’
ABIGAIL: ‘I would like to say a big thank you to the USA for having the Chair for the last two years. I’ve seen that they were very enthusiastic, structured and on top of things. It’s been an experience of a lifetime, I guess I would say. It’s a short period of time. It has gone both fast and slow as we’ve gone through it. We’ve made a lot of progress, we’ve added members to GDHP, which has been great. And we’ve really developed a strong foundation among the members to share information.’
ABIGAIL: ‘So I’m really thankful for that. We still have contact and they’ve also said that we can always call if we have questions or we need their help. So they have been very helpful the last two years and they’ve also said: We help you in becoming a good Chair the next two years.’
STEVE: ‘We’re not going anywhere, so we’re here to help. And I think Abigail and the Netherlands team has been a great Vice Chair. And we certainly think that you’ll be able to handle the Chair role without any issue.’
ABIGAIL: ‘My goals for the upcoming two years for the GDHP are focusing on interoperability, but also on government engagement and what is the role and position of government in digital challenges we face? But also, and that’s a third thing, patient engagement, which I think is also important. To have patients on board, to have staff on board, to really listen and learn from professionals and also patients maybe, or people who are not patients yet or maybe will never become a patient but have a vision about how things need to be organised. So also that is important.’
STEVE: ‘So for all the GDHP members, keep it up. This is, as many of us say, a marathon. There are very little quick wins in the digital health space. And a lot of us have invested our passion, our time, our energy in seeing digital health be part of that transformational change in our health systems. So it does take time. We operate on three, five, ten year schedules from a government perspective as well. So I knew we were kind of joking to keep it up, but keep that energy, keep that enthusiasm and keep at it.’
ABIGAIL: ‘There’s a song that always reminds me of the things we’re doing here. It’s from Gil Scott-Heron, The Revolution Will Not Be Televised. It is a protest song, but it’s also a song about progress and that you cannot sit still, that you cannot watch the revolution happen in front of your television, but that you need to be part of the revolution. So that’s what I want to say to all the GDHP members. We are part of the Digital Revolution.’