By Daniel Stein 

InterOptimability Training and Certification Curriculum (ITCC)


We’ve known for a long time that expanding interoperability and information-sharing across Health, Human Services, Education, Public Safety and other “domains” will enable more-effective responses to health emergencies such as the coronavirus pandemic, while also driving progress toward integrated, person-centered care. Today, it’s clear that the same approach will simultaneously contribute significantly to addressing racial and socioeconomic disparities and advancing health equity. 

To help achieve all those objectives, Stewards of Change Institute (SOCI) is proud to introduce its InterOptimability Training and Certification Curriculum. ITCC is a first-of-its-kind program designed to further information-sharing and collaboration by providing organizations, teams and individuals with the knowledge, skills and tools to work more successfully within and across their increasingly complex and interconnected fields. ITCC achieves that goal through InterOptimability (think Interoperability + Optimization), a unique methodology that helps you further progress and sustainability by providing a common vocabulary, a shared body of knowledge, and effective methods and tools that support change. 

ITCC utilizes an integrated, systems-level approach to prepare executives, program managers, supervisors and others in the public and private sectors to develop competencies needed to initiate, support and lead organizational change; facilitate data-exchange across silos; and leverage technical interoperability. 

Filling Today’s Fast-Changing Needs

The need for ITCC is clearer now than it has ever been. That’s because, in addition to the other benefits of data-sharing and collaboration – to your own organization’s effectiveness and to systemically improve patient/client outcomes – they can also directly address the social justice issues that inhibit health equity. They do that by providing insights that highlight racial and socioeconomic disparities and their negative impact, as well as by offering timely information with which to make better, more-impactful decisions. In short, we believe improving interoperability will not only enable our country to respond more effectively to health crises, but will also contribute to meaningful racial and socioeconomic progress. 

ITCC is the culmination of 15 years of knowledge that SOCI has accumulated through its work with thousands of government leaders, academic partners and industry experts in Health, Human Services, Education, Child Welfare, Public Health, Public Safety and additional domains that impact everyone’s health and well-being. We’re planning an interactive webinar to give you more details and to answer questions – so stay tuned! In the meantime, learn more and register for the first course. If you have any questions, please write to

Another New Initiative: Our Health Equity Action Agenda

SOCI is committed to tackling health-related problems and promoting equality through all of our work. That’s explicitly the case with ITCC, and it’s at the core of another nascent SOCI effort: The National Action Agenda to Advance Upstream Social Determinants and Health Equity. The leadership of this ambitious effort includes Stanford University’s Center on Population Health Sciences, as well as highly experienced subject matter experts such as Karen Smith, former Director of California’s Department of Public Health and other prominent thought leaders, innovators and change agents nationwide.  

The Action Agenda encompasses a coordinated set of ambitious activities throughout this year and beyond, all designed to advance cross-sector data-sharing, interoperability and collaboration. The initiative’s elements include (but aren’t limited to): 

  • The Stewards’ 14th National Symposium in early 2021 with our Stanford University colleagues. It will be the culmination of all the Action Agenda’s integrated, strategic activities; the event itself will focus on crystalizing and implementing specific, actionable policies and practices at all levels.
  • A Proof of Concept, called Project Unify, designed to demonstrate that health-related data can be shared reliably and securely across Human Services and other domains critical to SDOH. The goal is to enable interoperability of a kind and to an extent that hasn’t been done before.
  • Outreach, advocacy and ongoing workgroups on the Collaboration Hub of SOCI’s National Interoperability Collaborative (NIC). The members of these multi-sector, multi-discipline groups already are helping develop our POC and symposium, as well as other parts of the Action Agenda. 

I’d like to express my sincere gratitude to the scores of NIC members who have been collaborating with us to further this ambitious effort. And, in particular, I want to thank the initial sponsors of the symposium and other parts of the Action Agenda: The Michigan Health Information Network, FEI Systems, the California Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission, and the San Francisco Federal Reserve. Please email me,, to learn how your organization can also join in and support this unique, important work.

It took Stewards of Change more than 15 years to accumulate the knowledge, resources, experience and connections that we’re now bringing together in both ITCC and the Action Agenda. It took just a few months of a global pandemic to underscore just how important this work truly is – and can be. We now have the opportunity to do much more than just wait and see what the “new normal” in our country is going to look like; we believe we’ve got the wherewithal to help shape it. Please join us for the journey.

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