March 27, 2023 News

Civitas Networks for Health and Maryland Health Care Commission Release their Health Data Utility Framework

Action-oriented, research-based, and expert-informed framework developed to define and support stakeholders in the implementation of Health Data Utilities

Washington, DC – March 27, 2023 – Civitas Networks for Health, a national collaborative comprised of more than 160 member organizations working to use health information exchange (HIE), health data, and multistakeholder, cross-sector approaches to improve health, today released their Health Data Utility (HDU) Framework, developed in collaboration with the Maryland Health Care Commission (MHCC).

The HDU Framework is intended to guide states, regions, HIEs, and community partners in the design and implementation of an HDU that provides deeper integration of health-related data to support public health and care delivery.

“There is tremendous promise with HDU models to further interoperability efforts, advance health equity, and more effectively support whole-person care delivery by providing key stakeholders with the most comprehensive health data they need to make informed and proactive decisions,” said Lisa Bari, CEO of Civitas Networks for Health.

HDUs represent a new paradigm to support multi-stakeholder, cross-sector needs by serving as a data resource for use cases beyond clinical care delivery through multi-directional exchange. Information on this evolving landscape and drivers for emerging HDUs is included in Civitas and MHCC’s Advancing Implementation of Health Data Utility Models Issue Brief which was released in late 2022.

HDUs are models with cooperative leadership, designated authority, and advanced technical capabilities to combine, enhance, and exchange electronic health data across care and service settings for treatment, care coordination, quality improvement, and community and public health purposes. They leverage existing infrastructure through collaboration with state and regional HIEs.

“Health Data Utilities not only bring forward richer health data sets, but they ensure the most complete data privacy and security protections are upheld in the process. This is the result of utilizing existing infrastructure, trusted relationships, and deep knowledge of local regulations,” stated Craig Behm, CEO of the Chesapeake Regional Information System for Our Patients (CRISP) in Maryland and National Advisor of the Health Data Utility Framework.

Civitas is committed to continuing to advance the health information exchange and health improvement industry and sees the publication of the HDU Framework as a critical milestone. The interactive Framework can be found on the Civitas website, and there is also a downloadable pdf available. The goal is for the Framework to assist collaborators and entities within states in assessing their current readiness level, identifying next steps, and actioning or furthering implementation.

Earlier this month, Civitas officially opened registration for the Civitas Networks for Health 2023 Annual Conference, in Partnership with Chesapeake Bay Region Members. The conference will take place from August 20 through 23, at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Md. The theme for the conference is Public-Private Partnerships that Inspire Health Transformation. Civitas will continue to explore HDU models at the event as we dive deeper into the program tracks aligned with the theme.

Three industry thought leaders were announced as keynote speakers for the event. CEO of the CDC Foundation, Judith Monroe, MD, CEO of the deBeaumont Foundation, Brian Castrucci, DrPH, MA, and Chief Medical Officer of the Alaska Department of Health and President of ASTHO, Anne Zink, MD, will all join the conference as in-person keynote speakers. Additional keynote speakers will be announced in the coming weeks.

Early bird registration rates are offered through May 31, and the call for proposal for the conference is currently open through the month of March. For more information about the annual conference, visit



About Civitas Networks for Health

Civitas Networks for Health is a national collaborative comprised of member organizations working to use health information exchange, health data, and multi-stakeholder, cross-sector approaches to improve health. Civitas was previously known as the Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement and the Strategic Health Information Exchange Collaborative, and today represents more than 160 member organizations and business partners moving and using data to improve health outcomes across the U.S. Civitas educates, promotes, and influences both the private sector and federal and state policymakers on matters of interoperability, quality, coordination, health equity, and cost-effectiveness of health care. Working with healthcare and public health innovators at the state and local levels, Civitas facilitates the exchange of valuable resources, tools, and ideas—and offers a national perspective on upcoming standards and regulations, emerging technologies, and best practices.

For more information, visit


About the Maryland Health Care Commission

The Maryland Health Care Commission is an independent regulatory agency whose mission is to plan for health system needs, promote informed decision-making, increase accountability, and improve access in a rapidly changing health care environment by providing timely and accurate information on availability, cost, and quality of services to policy makers, purchasers, providers and the public. The Commission’s vision for Maryland is to ensure that informed consumers hold the health care system accountable and have access to affordable and appropriate health care services through programs that serve as models for the nation.

For more information, visit