Healtheway rebrands itself to reflect new mission

'We need a neutral party working in the best interest of the American people'
By Erin McCann
09:37 AM
The Sequoia Project

Healtheway, the non-profit organization that supports nationwide interoperability and health information exchange initiatives, announced today that, thanks to the broadening scope of its activities, it is rebranding itself as The Sequoia Project.

[See also: Healtheway convenes Carequality to take HIE to the next level]

Sequoia officials say the new name – inspired by the massive trees with complex, interconnected root systems – more accurately reflects its work and capabilities, both of which have evolved considerably since just three years ago when the Healtheway was founded.

Currently, the organization supports two health IT initiatives: eHealth Exchange, billed as the largest HIE network in the country, and Carequality, a multi-stakeholder interoperability collaborative.

Healtheway's Chief Executive Officer Mariann Yeager described the why behind the name change: "The name is aspirational," she said in a press statement. "We're building something that can grow on a national scale and that can stand the test of time."

The renamed organization's tagline: "Connected we stand."

In addition to the new moniker, The Sequoia Project's business model will be expanded, broadening its list of interoperability initiatives and HIE education projects in the years ahead.

The move was approved by Healtheway board members, which include big-name players such as Epic, Kaiser Permanente, the American Medical Association, WEDI and HIMSS, among others.

Over the next decade, the organization will focus on three primary areas, officials said.

Most notably, The Sequoia Project will grow its list of initiatives over the next few years beyond Carequality and eHealth Exchange.

Officials say the organization will focus more closely on multi-stakeholder engagement and governmental initiatives – collaborating with other industry groups to further interoperability progress.

Sequoia will also be expanding its education and research projects: It's poised to soon release the results of a two-year study that examines patient matching best practices, for example.

In a statement, Joyce Sensmeier, vice president of informatics at HIMSS, called The Sequoia Project an "essential voice in the community," one that "transcends the perspective of individual stakeholders to reflect an industry-wide perspective on data exchange."

"As a Sequoia Project member, Kaiser Permanente benefits from the collaboration fostered by the organization as well as from the best practices learned from other members trying to accomplish very similar work within their organizations," added Kevin Isbell, Kaiser's senior director of health information exchange.

"WEDI has been collaborating closely with Healtheway for years given the complementary nature of our work," said that organization's CEO Devon Jopp. "Now that Healtheway has become The Sequoia Project, that partnership will continue. We will continue to feed each other's work with the goal of promoting interoperability on all fronts."

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