2019-2023 Project Unify Stories

The following is the collection of Project Unify User Story summaries accumulated from 2019 through 2023. Each summary explores a particular challenge in cross-domain interoperability and integration. The entire series of stories follows the Thomson-Hernandez family through the trials and tribulations of their difficult lives, and the community and societal help they need to survive.

Project Unify: Advancing Interoperability

Project Unify is an advanced development project of SOCI and NIC. It is exploring the use of existing and draft standards to implement secure information sharing and interoperability across healthcare, behavioral health, human services and other domains (education, child welfare, etc.) that encompass the social determinants of health and well-being.


May 31st - UNIFY Meeting

PART 2:  Debriefing the findings and recommendations from the eConsent Learning Lab held at HIMSS.  We had participation by 60+ national subject matter experts who participated in five breakout groups to discuss key policy related issues, opportunities and recommendations for advancing consent to share protected information.  

Watch the Recording!

May 17th - UNIFY Meeting

Debriefing the findings and recommendations from the eConsent Learning Lab held at HIMSS.  We had participation by 60+ national subject matter experts who participated in five breakout groups to discuss key policy related issues, opportunities and recommendations for advancing consent to share protected information.  Dr. Lisa Green and Brian Handspicker, leaders of the Equity and Technology groups will share their learning and discuss implications for consent including application for demonstration sites, and jurisdictions and organizations that are beginning to develop their roadmap and framework for consent management. 

Watch the Recording!

March 8th - UNIFY Meeting

Beya Thayer is the Director of Behavioral Health Services for Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office, and also the Executive Director of the Yavapai Justice and Mental Health Coalition. She is a systems advocate supporting enhanced collaborations among multi-disciplinary teams.  Beya shared Yavapai County’s collaborative effort to mitigate involvement in the criminal justice system by people with behavioral health challenges.  She provided an overview of their initiatives, key hurdles they are still facing, and ways they are addressing technology challenges. 

Watch the Recording!

February 22nd - UNIFY Meeting

The Interoperability Institute (IOI) will provide an overview of the Meld Sandbox which is an open-source, FHIR® based platform that allows its users to ideate, test, and validate healthcare applications, workflows, and use cases.

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February 8th - UNIFY Meeting

Dr. Tiffany Manuel shared her work using data for storytelling in a presentation entitled: Using the Data You Have to Build a Stronger Case for Solutions.  This timely webinar explored how to better use the data and information derived from data sharing and interoperability in more impactful and useful ways.

Watch the Recording!

January 25 - UNIFY Meeting

Denise Chrysler and Christine Alibrandi from the Network for Public Health Law led a review and conversation about the recently released Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) by the Office of Civil Rights/SAMHA’s regarding proposed behavioral health 42 CFR part 2 regulation changes.

Watch the Recording!

January 11 - UNIFY Meeting

Our first meeting of 2023 featured Ken Salyards, Information Technology Specialist, Administration for Children & Families/DHHS and Michelle Zancan, Zane Consulting. They presented their work focused on the Operational Data Hub (ODH) development and implementation within a few jurisdictions. The solution shown is a modular, FHIR compliant solution for managing complex case plans for individuals as they engage with multiple organizations and agencies across the healthcare, social service, mental/behavioral health, and public health domains. This person centric tool facilitates engagement, assessment, care coordination, care planning, modular referral, data analytic, and reporting features with API integration capabilities to inform these features.

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November 30 - UNIFY Meeting

 David Lowe-Robertson covered the principles of consent as applied to the journey of secure information sharing from its humble beginnings in central Scotland as a practical platform for enabling information sharing between health and social care professionals to being an integral part of best practice across the UK. 

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November 7 - UNIFY Meeting

Evelyn Gallego, CEO EMI Advisors provided an in depth review of Gravity and plans for next steps with HL7, Civitas, Pilot testing, and affinity groups.

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November 2 - UNIFY Meeting

Hans Buitendijk, David Bucciferro, and Michael Saito participated from EHRA and provided an overview of the Association and shared some emerging and innovative trends regarding electronic records. The group explored the intersection between electronic healthcare records and the requirements for socialcare and other human service organizations as they support whole person care, and better data sharing and interoperability.

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October 12 - UNIFY Meeting

Presenter Amit Trivedi, Senior Director, Informatics & Health IT Standards at HIMSS. Amit reviewed his role leading HIMSS’ interoperability strategy across the health IT standards ecosystem and his liaison role to standards development organizations around the globe. The group discussed collaboration opportunities to advance Consent Utility domestically and globally, featuring the Consent Utility at HIMSS 2023 Innovation Showcase, as well as other initiatives focused on integrating social drivers of health and wellness.

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September 28 - UNIFY Meeting

The session focused on two discussions 1) restarting a NIC/UNIFY demonstration to share information between homelessness and healthcare (and others). This builds off previous demonstration that UNIFY members built in 2020 and 2021. 2) Discussion about the Executive Office of the President's request of SOC Institute to provide recommendations for improving integration of Social Determinants into the National Action Plan that EOP is charged with developing for the nation.

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Consent Utility Update

Many people have been on this project and are working towards preparing proof of concept demonstration projects to develop, test and pilot the Consent Utility Concept. Interest, engagement and commitment in this work has been growing steadily among a wide variety individuals, communities and organizations across the U.S. While we are continuing to develop adequate resources to support this ambitious, multi-year program we feel it is an appropriate time to bring folks together to make introductions, provide an update and outline our current plans and timelines.

View the Slides
Watch the Recording!

Latest blog by Daniel Stein

SOCI’s latest publication, "Modernizing Consent To Advance Health and Equity," is the culmination of several months of examination of consent-related policies and practices across the U.S., along with numerous interviews with organizational leaders and subject-matter experts; a review of relevant literature, research and resources; and other activities designed to provide information and insights about consent processes in the U.S. today. The subtitle of the report tells the tale: “A National Scan of Key Technologies, Legal Issues and Promising Practices.”

Read the blog!

Project Unify Webinar

This demo was created for a Project Unify user story in which a client, Sarah Thomson, is scheduled to check into a homeless rehab facility and is required to take a COVID survey. Having exercised her 42 CFR Part 2 rights to not share her substance use disorder with anyone, including her primary care provider, the problem is how to alert the rehab center of her potential COVID infection without revealing her substance use disorder. The Community Infectious Disease Alerts Service is used to aggregate her rehabilitation community with many other communities to share (subscription) her COVID status (with appropriate consent) without compromising her sensitive information.

Learn more!

Opioid Use Disorder Playbook  

Overshadowed by the Covid-19 pandemic, another public health crisis continued to grow in our country last year. Indeed, drug overdose deaths in the U.S. rose by almost 30% in 2020, hitting the highest number (93,000) ever recorded, according to data recently released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The opioid epidemic has long been a concern – and a priority – for the National Interoperability Collaborative, which is what led us to produce the NIC Opioid Use Disorder Prevention Playbook. This unique publication shines a spotlight on the critical role that prevention should play in addressing the epidemic, including strategies, or “plays,” that communities can replicate or adapt for real-time use. The playbook derives from the efforts by practitioners, researchers and policy-makers to “get upstream” of this national disaster, in addition to providing treatment and saving lives.

View the Playbook

National Action Agenda Symposium

Almost 200 people attended our National Action Agenda Symposium on January 25-26. Its focus included the six action recommendations devised by subject matter experts nationwide during the past year, along with a preview of how work will begin at our first implementation site in the months ahead.

The agenda was chock-full of important sessions led by world-class presenters, with a high level of engagement by attendees over the event’s two days. Please take a look at the “flipbook” program, speaker bios, action recommendations, recordings, and other information from this unique, interactive event. Learn more >> 

View the Program
Biden Op-Ed


Project Unify

Project UNIFY meetings are on hold we 34 prepare the meeting report from the Consent Learning Lab at HIMSS, March 2023.  We expect to concentrate our focus on Consent inlcuding the implementers and subject matter experts that have contributed to the work's developments.  In the mean time, feel free to review our latest two Consent focused resources, which can be found on www.stewardsofchange.org under "publications". 

Contact Daniel Stein if you would like to join one of the Project Unify workgroups or participate in the weekly Project Unify meetings.


Listen to SOCI President Daniel Stein discuss the critical role of consent – and much more – in “The Dish” podcast from Point of Care Partners.

Access it here >>

Get Connected



Matthew P Henry is now a member of The NIC Collaboration Hub
Jul 6
Laura Loe is now a member of The NIC Collaboration Hub
May 15
Anne L. Christman is now a member of The NIC Collaboration Hub
Apr 4
Ronald Morris is now a member of The NIC Collaboration Hub
Mar 8