2019 HMIS Annual Meeting: A Letter from the HMIS Governing Board

MN HMIS Partners, 

Thank you for joining us at the 2019 HMIS Annual Meeting on 21 October.  We’re grateful for all those who took the time to participate both in-person or remotely.  We’re continually struck by the level of engagement within our HMIS community:  the meeting included 11 presenters and over 75 participants, representing direct service providers, Continuums of Care, and State, Local and Tribal government.  If you weren’t able to join us, we invite you to view the recordingreview the presentationsread the minutes and peruse the survey responses gathered during and after the meeting… 

  • ICA highlighted the Minnesota HMIS Knowledge Base and the Implementation Committee presented their new Best Practices resource, and survey response after survey response expressed a desire for detailed information that can be easily accessed and used.  This alignment speaks to the need, and we’ll prioritize gathering this information and making it available with as few barriers and in as many ways as possible.  We’ll continue to invest in the Minnesota HMIS Knowledge Base, the Spotlight on User and Turning Data into Insight newsletter series, and explore enabling users to retrieve complete archived newsletters in addition to finding past articles on the News page of the MNHMIS website.  Help us explore other ideas by joining the Implementation Committee, taking part in forthcoming Continuum of Care HMIS User Groups, and by dialoguing directly with ICA.   
  • Many of you also shared a desire to continue hearing from the Board and to receive updates beyond the Annual Meeting.  One way to do that is to plug in with our committees, as most committee meetings include an update from the previous board meeting.  We will also look for ways to provide additional updates, including initiating our quarterly board communication concept and exploring a mid-year update.  Our ability to bring the quarterly concept to fruition depends on Communications Committee membership, so if you have an interest in communications and design, please consider joining us! 
  • Effectiveness of communication was a thread running through many survey responses, with participants expressing a clear desire to interact with each other, ICA and the Governing Board electronically, over the phone, by video and in-person.  The ongoing development of Continuum of Care HMIS User Groups is one response to this.  The Board also recognizes that the HMIS community comprises a diverse range of stakeholders with unique needs, and what works best for one group of stakeholders may not work well for others.  To that end the Communications Committee will convene a working group to begin exploring how the Board could best tailor its communications to meet the broader HMIS community’s needs. 
  • You shared during the meeting and in other settings that it would be meaningful to receive recognition for doing the work of HMIS.  We heard you!  In the coming year we’ll develop a process for recognizing HMIS stakeholders who are committed to excellence and improvement, with the goal of implementing a program by the 2020 annual meeting.  We’ll also commit to sharing lessons-learned from our inaugural Data Quality Incentive to help prepare for future opportunities. 

In closing, we’d never pass up another opportunity to invite you to join one (or more) of our committees or the Governing Board itself!  Our meetings are open to anyone who’d like to participate, committees can be joined at any time and the Governing Board is due to welcome new members in 2020.  Most of the board’s work is done in our four vibrant committees, and they’re a wonderful place to make an impact.  Details can be found here.  Minnesota’s HMIS is what you make it.  Join us. 


Joel Salzer 
Chair, HMIS Governing Board