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Health Data Consortium
Unleashing the Power of Open Health Data

First Annual Health Data Liberator Award

June 10, 2013



Jennifer Cosenza, 202-729-4074

Health Data Consortium Recognizes New York State and Health Commissioner Dr. Nirav Shah for Leadership in Trailblazing Statewide Health Data Liberation

First annual Health Data Liberator Award presented at Health Datapalooza IV before more than two thousand health care, technology, and business leaders and entrepreneurs

Washington, D.C. – June 4, 2013 – Health Data Consortium, a non-profit advocacy and membership organization dedicated to mobilizing health data to transform the U.S. health care system, today announced its first Health Data Liberator Award recipient at Health Datapalooza IV in Washington, D.C. Dwayne Spradlin, chief executive officer of Health Data Consortium, and Deven McGraw, director of the Health Privacy Project at the Center for Democracy and Technology and member of Health Data Consortium’s Advisory Board, presented the inaugural Health Data Liberator Award to Dr. Nirav Shah, New York State Commissioner of Health, for the outstanding accomplishments of the New York State Department of Health.

The Health Data Liberator Award recognizes extraordinary contributions to the liberation of health data, helping to accelerate the pace and multiply the volume of data available to innovators in order to foster the creation of products and services to improve health and health care. This honor was presented at this year’s Health Datapalooza, which drew more than 2,000 innovators, health care industry executives, policymakers, venture capitalists, startups, developers, researchers, providers, consumers, and patient advocates, as well as more than 50 exhibitors focused on data-driven solutions to systematic health care challenges.

“Making our data more accurate, available and secure brings transparency to a traditionally opaque health care market and allows innovators and entrepreneurs to use it for discovering innovative applications, products, and services to benefit the public,” stated Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

The Health Data Consortium, host of Health Datapalooza, was formed as a public-private partnership resulting from early efforts of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and its other founding partners to identify pathways for unlocking the insight and knowledge inherent in our system today.

“Putting data to work to improve health care will require new thinking, new innovation, and all the tools in our arsenal,” said Health Data Consortium Chief Executive Officer Dwayne Spradlin. “Dr. Nirav Shah understands the value of data in solving some of our most complex health care problems. His work in the State of New York serves as a template for others to unleash the power of data in order to translate the information we have today into actionable solutions that drive improvements in care and the health of patients.”

The State of New York’s pioneering efforts to make health data publicly available and to facilitate the data’s use in apps, tools, and services is bringing the data to life in meaningful and innovative ways.

As the commissioner of the New York State Health Department, Dr. Nirav Shah oversees an agency with a $50 billion budget. He is an epidemiologist by training and an acclaimed public health researcher, whose work has focused on driving improvements in data quality to support changes in health care. In March 2013, he led the nation’s first state launch of an open data website devoted exclusively to health, called By making health data available, New York is providing opportunities for data users and developers to create valuable mashups of national and New York State health data, a model that other states have since followed.

The Health Data Liberator Award will be presented every year at Health Datapalooza and will honor leadership and heroic efforts to liberate, promote, and use health data. Video of the award presentation, along with keynote and plenary sessions of Health Datapalooza IV will be available at

Next year’s Health Datapalooza will be held June 1-3, 2014 in Washington, D.C. Visit for more information and to learn how to join the movement to transform health and health care through better data.

“We have asked Dwayne to accept this role because the Executive Committee has recognized the opportunity to significantly amplify HDC’s impact and reach through dedicated leadership, expanded resources, and execution of targeted programs,” said Paul Tarini, a member of the HDS Executive Committee and a senior program officer at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

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About the Health Data Consortium

The Health Data Consortium ( is a collaboration among government, non-profit, and private sector organizations working to foster the availability and innovative use of data to improve health and health care.  The Consortium advocates with data providers for data best practices and information sharing; and works with businesses, entrepreneurs, and academia to help them understand how to use data to develop new products, services, apps, and research insights.