TRIBUTE TO BETSY HUMPHREYS; Congressional Record Vol. 163, No. 100
(Senate - June 13, 2017)

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                       TRIBUTE TO BETSY HUMPHREYS

  Mr. VAN HOLLEN. Mr. President, as a Member of the Senate who supports 
efforts to build support for biomedical research and improved public 
health, I would like to pay tribute to a great public servant and the 
first woman and first librarian to lead the National Library of 
Medicine, NLM, the world's largest biomedical library and a part of the 
National Institutes of Health. Ms. Humphreys recently announced that 
she will retire at the end of June after 44 years of extraordinary 
leadership and distinguished public service.
  On May 9, the board of regents of the National Library of Medicine 
approved and presented the following resolution to congratulate, 
commend, and thank Betsy Humphreys for her 44 years of service to the 
NLM. I would like to share that resolution with my colleagues and join 
the NLM board of regents in paying tribute to Betsy Humphreys, a public 
servant who has had a profound and lasting impact on the NLM, the 
United States, and the global community.
  I ask unanimous consent to have the text of the resolution printed in 
the Record.
  There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

       Ms. Betsy L. Humphreys has served NLM, the United States, 
     and the global community with distinction since 1973, 
     culminating in her appointment as the NLM Deputy Director in 
     2005, a post she continues to occupy today, and serving as 
     NLM Acting Director from April 1, 2015 to August 14, 2016--
     the first woman and first librarian to lead the Library.
       In a career that could be called one long highlight reel, 
     she directed the groundbreaking Unified Medical Language 
     System project, which produces knowledge sources to support 
     advanced processing, retrieval, and integration of 
     information from disparate electronic information sources, 
     and which is used around the world. In the process, she 
     developed unique knowledge and experience with the content 
     and format of many biomedical terminologies, health 
     vocabularies, and clinical classifications that would serve 
     her well in all endeavors to follow.
       She was a key contributor to interagency efforts to advance 
     standardization of electronic health data, which resulted in 
     the development, promotion, and implementation of mechanisms 
     for designating US standards for health data exchange. She 
     was also a major contributor to the Federal regulation 
     setting the standards for use in electronic interchange of 
     administrative health data.
       Taking a broader view, she led US government efforts to 
     remove major barriers to the use of standard clinical 
     terminologies in electronic health records (EHRs). Before 
     there was an Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for 
     Health Information Technology within HHS, she negotiated the 
     world's first nationwide license for a clinical terminology, 
     SNOMED CT, with usage terms favorable to the US. This became 
     a model for other countries and was adopted by the 
     International Health Terminology Standards Development 
     Organisation (IHTSDO) when it was formed to put ownership of 
     SNOMED CT in an international entity. She was IHTSDO's 
     founding Chair and has served with distinction as its US 
       With the establishment of the ONC, she led NLM's 
     substantial and ongoing collaboration with that body to 
     develop, support, and disseminate for free US use the key 
     clinical terminologies required for certification of EHR 
     products and use of EHRs by Medicare and Medicaid providers 
     and hospitals. She also directed the development and 
     dissemination of many tools, including mappings, subsets, 
     browsers, etc., and innovative systems, including the NLM 
     Value Set Authority Center and NIH Common Data Element 
     Repository, to support the use of standards in health care, 
     quality measurement, and in research.
       She directed the legislatively mandated expansion of to encompass registration of additional 
     trials and submission of summary results information. This 
     multi-year, multi-faceted process involved numerous partners 
     and stakeholders, showcasing her ability to grasp and solve 
     complex problems and her considerable skill at consensus 
     building. is the largest and most heavily 
     used international clinical trials registry.
       She worked tirelessly and creatively to expand and enhance 
     access to research publications, data, and high quality 
     health information for scientists, health professionals, 
     system and product developers, information professionals, and 
     the general public. This often involved building and 
     maintaining strong partnerships across the Federal government 
     to adapt and rebrand strategies to changes in Administrations 
     and priorities and to capitalize on emerging opportunities.
       She oversaw the expansion of PubMed Central to include 
     direct deposits of articles from many publishers, manuscript 
     submissions from investigators of publications resulting from 
     NIH-funded research and research funded by other Federal 
     agencies and private funders, including the Gates Foundation, 
     and digitized articles from back issues of biomedical 
     journals, through a partnership with the Wellcome Trust.
       She led a collaboration with the Food and Drug 
     Administration (FDA) to make drug information and device 
     registrations submitted to the FDA by product manufacturers 
     available to the public via NLM's heavily used DailyMed 
     system. In addition, she guided the creation of the 
     AccessGUDID database, which provides public access to 
     registration data for medical devices.
       Under her enthusiastic direction, NLM became an early 
     implementer of application programming interfaces and 
     download sites for its many heavily used data and information 
     resources, flinging open the gates and allowing their use by 
     other computer systems and by innovative product developers.
       As NLM Acting Director, even in the face of hiring 
     restrictions, she enhanced the quality and efficiency of 
     NLM's high-volume operations, ensured reliable 24/7 
     availability of electronic information services that are 
     essential to research, health care, and public health 
     worldwide, and advanced major initiatives, including the re-
     competition of NLM's Informatics Research Training Grants and 
     the re-competition and migration from contracts to 
     cooperative agreement grants of the Regional Medical 
     Libraries in the National Network of Libraries of Medicine.
       Throughout her career, in an exemplary fashion, she 
     demonstrated creativity, adaptability, and resilience in 
     partnering with stakeholders inside and outside of NLM. She 
     leads by fostering employee development, diversity, teamwork, 
     and making optimal use of human, financial, and information 
       Throughout NLM, she is respected and indeed beloved for her 
     kindness, her resourcefulness, and her can-do spirit. Truly a 
     treasure as a human being and as a public servant, she 
     demonstrated a career-long commitment to interagency 
     collaboration and harnessing government resources for the 
     public good.