Friday, October 29, 2010

HIMSS Celebrates 50 Years and 50 Chapters

HIMSS formed its first chapter in 1968 in New York when the organization was known as HMSS – the Hospital Management Systems Society

CHICAGO (October 28, 2010) –During its 50th anniversary year, HIMSS celebrates another milestone in the organization’s history with the formation of the Central Pennsylvania chapter of HIMSS, its 50th chapter. The chapter serves the Harrisburg/Reading area of the state.

The Society established its first chapter – New York - in 1968 when HIMSS was the Hospital Management Systems Society – or HMSS. The New York chapter also was an affiliate of the American Institute of Industrial Engineers – Hospital Division (Tappan Zee Chapter). Its members hailed from the boroughs of New York City, Long Island and New Jersey, according to documentation in The History of HIMSS.

“When I got involved with H(I)MSS in the early ‘70s, we had a little over 500 members. As we approach our 50th anniversary and recognize the establishment of our 50th chapter, it is wonderful to see that our membership has also grown by a factor of 50,” said John L. Templin, Jr., LFHIMSS, FACHE, FAAHC, DSHS. Templin is a lifetime member of HIMSS and of the New York HIMSS chapter. “More importantly, that HIMSS has become the preeminent healthcare IT professional organization. It is a ‘must-join’ and a ‘must-participate’ society. Congratulations.”

As background, Pennsylvania plays a pivotal role in the formation of HIMSS. Academician Harold E. Smalley, PhD, established the hospital management engineering/management systems profession while at the University of Pittsburgh. He prompted Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh to develop the first management engineering program in the country and helped to recruit Ed Gerner, from the steel industry, to lead this effort. They, with others, envisioned the need and potential for a society for the new hospital management engineering profession with Gerner elected as the first Society president and Smalley became the first Executive Director after he moved to Georgia Institute of Technology.

“We wish to thank the HIMSS board for granting approval to form the 50th chapter as Central Pennsylvania HIMSS (CPAHIMSS) in this 50th year anniversary. We would also like to thank the board members from the Western Pennsylvania chapter and the Delaware Valley chapter for supporting our efforts in establishing a chapter that bridges a large geographical gap in Pennsylvania,” said Ronald M. Cowan, FHIMSS, Vice President of Information Management and CIO, Lewistown Hospital, Lewistown, Penn. ”We believe the establishment of this new chapter will provide greater access for Central Pennsylvania HIMSS members to enjoy more benefits from networking with peers and educational opportunities within a reasonable travel destination.”

“With the announcement of our 50th chapter in Central Pennsylvania, HIMSS has expanded its reach to provide quality education and other professional development opportunities to health IT professionals in this area and to all of our chapters,” said H. Stephen Lieber, CAE, HIMSS President/CEO. “I congratulate the HIMSS members of Central Pennsylvania who have come together with their volunteer chapter leaders to help move forward better healthcare with technology.”

For updates on anniversary activities, visit HIMSS11 News & Announcements.

Read The History of HIMSS, compiled by the HIMSS Legacy Workgroup.

Read the news release - HIMSS Celebrates 50 Years - for more information.


HIMSS is a cause-based, not-for-profit organization exclusively focused on providing global leadership for the optimal use of information technology (IT) and management systems for the betterment of healthcare. Founded 50 years ago, HIMSS and its related organizations have offices in Chicago, Washington, DC, Brussels, Singapore, Leipzig, and other locations across the United States. HIMSS represents more than 30,000 individual members, of which two thirds work in healthcare provider, governmental and not-for-profit organizations. HIMSS also includes over 470 corporate members and more than 85 not-for-profit organizations that share our mission of transforming healthcare through the effective use of information technology and management systems. HIMSS frames and leads healthcare practices and public policy through its content expertise, professional development, and research initiatives designed to promote information and management systems’ contributions to improving the quality, safety, access, and cost-effectiveness of patient care. To learn more about HIMSS and to find out how to join us and our members in advancing our cause, please visit our website at

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