University of Alabama at BirminghamSue Feldman, R.N., Ph.D. As a registered nurse for over 30 years, Feldman brings a unique clinical and informatics blend to everything she does, grounding policy and theory with practice.
(Photo by: Steve Wood)
 professor Sue Feldman, R.N., Ph.D., is one of 11 people around the world named a recipient of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Changemaker in Health Award. The award is determined by a public vote, making it a unique representation of the voices of the health care industry.

One of the criteria for the HIMSS award is driving “transformational change, leading to improved health outcomes for patients through the advancement of the best use of information and technology within communities.” Feldman, director of the UAB Graduate Programs in Healthcare Informatics, has been a leader in UAB’s GuideSafe™ platform that has monitored symptoms, exposure and risks of COVID-19 for colleges, universities, K-12 schools and medical institutions.

“Sue is an example of how the commitment and ingenuity of UAB faculty and staff made a positive difference in our community and beyond throughout COVID-19,” said UAB President Ray L. Watts. “I credit her and the team behind GuideSafe™ for saving numerous lives and helping so many manage the worst pandemic in our lifetimes.”

Feldman led development of the “Map it, Zap it” coronavirus symptom tracker, adopted by nearly 100,000 community users. In addition, the GuideSafe™ Event Passport — part of an ongoing COVID-19 symptom monitoring program to manage building entry — reached 250,000 daily users.

“As evidenced by the nominees, there are so many very deserving people who contributed to the multiple facets of what moved America forward during 2020 — I am honored to be among them,” said Feldman, faculty member in the School of Health Professions’ Department of Health Services Administration. “Health IT, in many ways, contributed to acceleration of innovation, shattered barriers to implementation and allowed for a culture of collaboration — all in record time with a sharp focus on ‘we can do this!’ During the GuideSafe™ project, I kept this mission, vision and ‘can do’ spirit at the forefront of my mind, and these three elements: innovation, implementation and collaboration drove my passion and purpose for execution.”

“This is a fitting award for Sue because it is routine for her to challenge conventional thinking and to act boldly in her efforts to improve health care everywhere,” said Christy Harris Lemak, Ph.D., chair, Department of Health Services Administration. “She exemplifies what it means to be a changemaker and we are proud to have her leading our health informatics programs and positively shaping future health informatics leaders and health systems.” 

Feldman will be recognized during the 2021 HIMSS Global Conference & Exhibition, held Aug. 9-13, 2021, in Las Vegas. The HIMSS event has been around for nearly 60 years and is known as the industry’s most influential conference and trade show.

HIMSS, with more than 100,000 members worldwide, offers a unique depth and breadth of expertise in health innovation, public policy, workforce development, research and analytics to advise global leaders, stakeholders and influencers on best practices in health information and technology.