Department of Medicine

Department of Medicine

  Division of General Internal Medicine

Division of General Internal Medicine Newsletter

  • GIM News
  • Donna L. Bishop, Editor
  • Next issue:
    December 2016
  • Submission deadline:
    November 18th, 2016
  • E-mail: Donna Bishop

Bridging Silos in Health Tech Conference

Bruce L. Rollman, MD, MPH; Patrick Gallagher, PhD (Chancellor), and Charles Jonassaint, PhD, MHS

Bridging silos across Pittsburgh's health tech community sounds like an ambitious task for a pilot conference, and yet the Center for Behavioral Health and Smart Technology (CBHST) rose to the challenge in hosting their first event on Monday, May 2, 2016.

In conjunction with the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business, CBHST co-hosted the inaugural "Integrative Conference on Technology, Social Media, and Behavioral Health" in the newly renovated Mervis Hall. The audience included more than 130 guests comprised of university faculty, students, health technology start-ups, incubator organizations, and the private sector.

Center director Dr. Bruce Rollman, together with the conference organizing committee, Drs. J. Jeffrey Inman, Lora E. Burke, Michael Spring, and Ms. Sakena Washington, planned the event. The purpose of the conference was two-pronged: to foster collaboration in the space of innovative health technologies and to maximize networking potential among private stakeholders within the region.

The day-long event provided several organic opportunities for networking and included four breakout sessions led by the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University faculty. The morning featured a keynote address by guest speaker Dr. Marc Malandro, Founding Director of the Innovation Institute, as well as welcoming remarks from the University Chancellor, Dr. Patrick Gallagher, and the Dean of Katz Graduate School, Dr. Arjang Assad. Session topics included business in healthcare, eHealth in nursing, human-computer interaction, machine learning, and information sciences.

The conference concluded with a 90-minute reception where more than a dozen researchers demonstrated their smart tech behavioral health interventions. In lieu of posters, each of the participants showcased their apps, websites, and desktop platforms and exchanged ideas with guests.

The CBHST launched in December 2015 with the support of an Integrative Social Science Initiative granted by the Vice Provost for Research, Dr. Mark Redfern. The center's proposal sought out to host a pair of interdisciplinary conferences and launch a website to augment their mission to create connections within and outside the university.

CBHST will host their next conference on November 11, 2016, at the University Club. For more information visit:

Sakena Washington, MFA, Amy Anderson, MS, LPC, and Chris Wiltrout, BS