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etHIN Awarded 2019 SHIEC Achievement Award for Community Partnership

August 27, 2019 — East Tennessee Health Information Network (etHIN) was awarded the 2019 SHIEC Community Partnership Achievement Award on Tuesday, August 20, at the fifth Annual SHIEC Conference in National Harbor, Maryland.

The Community Partnership Achievement Award recognizes outstanding achievement by a Health information Exchange in responding to a community crisis, meeting a community need, or facilitating community action or collaboration, including Social Determinants of Health.

etHIN was selected for its work with North Carolina HIE Authority (NCHIEA) in September 2018 in the face of Hurricane Florence.  In less than 48 hours from the initial phone call regarding the emergency situation, a connection was established between the two entities via the eHealth Exchange, allowing providers in the etHIN region to retrieve medical records for North Carolina residents who evacuated to East Tennessee to escape Hurricane Florence.

“etHIN is very proud to be selected for this award, because the work that was done last year shows what can be accomplished for patients when HIEs work together,” said Leigh Sterling, etHIN’s executive director and CEO. “Our neighbors in North Carolina were facing dire circumstances with Hurricane Florence predicted to make landfall as a Category 4 storm.  North Carolina residents were hurrying into our area to find shelter from the storm, but being away from their homes didn’t stop them from seeking needed medical care.  etHIN and NCHIEA had previously discussed establishing a connection at some point in the future, but the approaching hurricane created an emergency situation that called for immediate action.”

“Both the etHIN and NCHIEA teams worked long hours over the two-day period before the storm made landfall to create a live connection between our two HIEs.  It was a tremendous effort on everyone’s part, and etHIN was extremely gratified to be able to provide needed medical records to providers in this area who were treating evacuees from North Carolina.”

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