Collaborating in HMIS Land

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For the past few days, I've been questioning the necessity and purpose of this website. I could not quite place what was wrong, but the main gist of it was that I don't have the best ideas in the world, and many other HMIS's around the US are light years ahead of us in terms of accomplishments, so why put this out there? A lot of the fuel behind the idea of keeping this website comes from watching how the SQL community does it. I attended a SQL Saturday event in Columbus a couple of years ago because I missed my SQL days and kind of thought it could help me somehow even though I don't get to use SQL anymore in my work. During the conference, I felt like there was really good energy and the presenters were great. There was a Women in Technology contingent full of brilliant happy women willing to listen and talk to you. After the conference, I found several of them on Twitter. They are constantly blogging about their work, sharing with each other, banging out good ideas, SQL questions, etc.

The other catalyst was the most recent Bowman conference. I left that feeling like a lot of the value we got from that conference was from the people we met. I really loved hearing how other people who do the same exact work I do think through things, what ideas they have, what hurdles they have and how those differ from ours, what has worked, and what has not. I felt like we shared similar frustrations and had similar goals.

If those of us working in HMIS across the country were more connected between conferences, it could be really useful for work, but also to counter that feeling that you're dealing with a unique monster that no one has ever seen before.

Thus, this website. I think other HMIS admins will find it somewhat useful, even if just to know sort of what the Ohio Balance of State HMIS is up to, at least from my perspective. Also, where else would I go to express my ART rage? Not to beat an overused term to death, but collaborating with each other across state/county lines can only be a good thing!

"Use what talents you possess: The woods would be silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best." - Henry Van Dyke