How SIG-HLTH stays a HeaLTHy SIG!

In the last year SIG-HLTH has embarked on numerous efforts to increase its value to its members and the larger membership of ASIST.

  • In St. Louis, at ASIST 2015, we hosted a toiletry drive for @LittleBitSTL. We did this to prevent waste but also to allow ASIST members to contribute to the city that so generously hosted our conference. Check out a photo of our donation here.
  • If you look at our Events page ( you’ll notice our emphasis on webinars. We have sponsored several in the last year to contribute to ASIST’s continuing education opportunities for members.
  • Community! SIG-HLTH maintains a Twitter account and a Facebook page, in addition to our listserv, because we recognize our members are on multiple platforms. Further, we realize the power of our public presences. When we publicize an event on Twitter, almost instantaneously, our leadership retweets it to their audiences, giving us a broader reach.


Ms. Laura M. Eisenmann

Laura M. Eisenmann

Laura M. Eisenmann has extensive experience in global professional services firms delivering knowledge management solutions, developing digital knowledge products and databases, and organizing information for findability and reuse, including content architecture, taxonomy development, metadata management, search, and usability.

She currently leads the Knowledge Management function at Health Advances, LLC, a strategy consulting firm advising healthcare and life science organizations on global business strategy and technology commercialization. She guides and builds knowledge management as a strategic asset of the firm, including developing and advancing leading edge processes and tools to identify, capture, organize, analyze, and disseminate both internal and external information for use by consulting teams.

Laura is also an Associate at Columbia University, co-facilitating a class on Findability and Innovation in the Master’s Program in Information and Knowledge Strategy.

Prior to joining Health Advances, Laura spent 15 years at the Ernst & Young Center for Business Knowledge, where she was responsible for architecture management for global enterprise knowledge applications, navigation, and findability. She directed the development of platforms and products that implemented the knowledge architecture, including navigation, search, user experience, taxonomy and classification, cataloging, and content architecture. She also led a global, cross-functional reference data change management team that coordinated reference data updates in EY’s global systems. Earlier, Laura spent eight years at Bain & Company as manager of the Experience Center, Bain’s corporate proprietary information center.

Laura holds a MS from the Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science and a SB in Music and Math from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Diana L. Ascher

Diana L. Ascher

Diana L. Ascher is a doctoral student in the Department of Information Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. Her lifelong interest in decision making has focused on the evaluation, classification, organization, and communication of information in a variety of fields: behavioral science, higher education, journalism, finance, law, leadership, management, medicine, and policy. She brings more than two decades of experience as a writer, editor, and media director to her work.

Ms. Ascher’s current research projects include:
– the influence of cultural time orientation on information practice (dissertation research)
– hypervigilant information-seeking behavior
– cognitive reflection and information seeking
– the economics of information
– algorithm cognizance and opinion formation
– conceptions of privacy, power, and freedom in contemporary American life

Straddling academia and government, Ms. Ascher serves as director of information of the Behavioral Science & Policy Association, working with many of the world’s leading behavioral scientists to share findings in ways that are relevant and useful for policy makers.

In the corporate world, Ms. Ascher served as a writer, editor, and multimedia producer for companies such as Bloomberg and American Funds. In academia, she was the manager of distance learning at the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University and has consulted with several universities on marketing strategy.

And in the entertainment realm, Ms. Ascher gained experience as a writer and producer working with Roger Corman’s Concorde New Horizons, Paramount Television, and independent filmmakers.

Early in her career as a journalist, Ms. Ascher wrote for the Durham Herald-Sun and the Charlotte News & Observer. She has written and edited in the areas of business, finance, retirement, environmental policy, health, medicine, technology, film, literature, politics, parenting, and more.

Ms. Ascher earned her M.B.A. from the Peter F. Drucker Graduate School of Management at Claremont Graduate University and her B.A. in Public Policy from Duke University as a recipient of the Benjamin N. Duke Leadership Scholarship.

Please contact us to be featured next!


We need volunteers to initiation communication with local and student chapters in our effort to enhance academic exchange and encourage future collaborations. This could be a great opportunity for us to strengthen personal connections with members of local ASIS&T organizations.

We encourage volunteers to:
– Contact the leadership of local chapters and student chapters
– Participate in and/or co-organize chapter activities (e.g. local face-to-face discussion groups) with a health-related theme
– Send us any materials collected during these activities (e.g. minutes, photos, video, etc.)
– Contact Si Sun at with any questions

Our members in the New Jersey area are planning activities with the Rutgers University Student Chanpter. Please join us in this mutual growth with local ASIS&T organizations!

We look forward to an active new year together!


We are planning a few webinars for the coming year, starting from February, 2015. The themes we planned are as follows:

1. Conversation between areas: Communicate patient work with clinical care.

2. Methodology: qualitative research and quantitative research methods in health informatics.

We are looking for speakers and ideas on other topics of interest (we have enough funds for at least three webinars). Please fill out the following short survey ( to share your ideas and insights.

member spotlight october 2014

Emily Vardell


Emily Vardell, MLS, is a Doctoral Student and Teaching Fellow at the School of Information and Library Science (SILS) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her research interests focus on health information behavior, particularly health insurance literacy and decision-making. As a Teaching Fellow, she has served as the instructor of record for graduate-level courses including Health Sciences Information and Information Resources and Services. She is currently president of the Doctoral Student Association at SILS and a member of UNC’s Future Faculty Fellowship Program.
Prior to returning for her doctoral studies, Emily was the Director for Reference and Education at the Louis Calder Medical Library at the University of Miami. In that position, Emily oversaw all library reference and teaching, was as an Evidence-Based Medicine instructor, and served as one of the University of Miami Hospital librarians. Emily earned her Masters of Library Science from Texas Woman’s University in 2007 as a distance education student in Austria. She began her medical librarian career as a National Library of Medicine Associate Fellow.
Emily is honored to be an ASIST New Leader and Chair-Elect of SIG-HLTH. She is also active in the Medical Library Association, where she is currently Chair of the Public Health/Health Administration Section and serves on the Professional Retention and Recruitment Committee.

Si Sun


Si Sun, MS.,Si Sun, MS, is a PhD Candidate and Part Time Lecturer at the School of Communication and Information at Rutgers University. With a special interest in personal information management, Si Sun’s dissertation examines how patients living with chronic conditions manage their daily personal health information and how the design of health information technologies can be improved to support this process. Her previous work on clinical health information systems, online health communities, and personal health information management systems design was presented at ASIS&T, AMIA, ACM CHI, and KCHC.

Si Sun is an instructor at the Douglass Learning Community at Rutgers University. She has also assisted the courses Internet and Information Environment: A Quantitative Perspective and Social Informatics. Si Sun holds a Master’s and a Bachelor’s degree from Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications, majoring in Management Information Systems. As an information management system design specialist, Si Sun worked at Beijing Huicong International Information Corporation, SK c&c, China Computer World, and Communication World Weekly.

As an active member of the ASIS&T community since 2011, Si Sun was appointed secretary of SIG HLTH in 2012 and was later appointed SIG HLTH Chair in 2014. Si Sun is also a patient advocate at two U.S. based face-to-face patient support groups and four Chinese organizations for diabetes patients of various demographics and living with different types of diabetes.