Governor Bryan Opens Office of Health Information Technology Second Annual Digital Health Summit on St. Thomas

U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS — Governor Albert Bryan Jr. opened the Office of Health Information Technology’s Second Annual Digital Health Summit at Antilles School on St. Thomas on Tuesday, June 14, by detailing the Bryan-Roach Administration’s aggressive push to improve health care and access to health resources for Virgin Islanders by incorporating digital health technology.

The Digital Health Summit attracts representatives from federal agencies, as well as global experts in the fields of health IT, cybersecurity, doctors and other officials from the digital health industry. The three-day summit concludes on Friday.

“There are so many things that people don’t pay attention to that constantly improve your quality of life. Technology is one of those things. In health care, it’s more important than ever,” Governor Bryan said.

The Governor gave an example of living with someone with a chronic illness and having to travel all over the United States to see doctors and medical specialists.

“It would always freak me out that I’d go in with my daughter, and the physician never touched her,” Governor Bryan said. “I would think, why did we have to come all the way here? That’s the power of what health information technology can bring to the Virgin Islands.

“Over 30 percent of our people live below the poverty line. They don’t have the ability to get on a plane and fly to D.C. or to Florida to get health care and not be touched,” the Governor said. “But now, through your help and through the work of Commissioner Encarnacion and a lot of others, we’re able to get people in touch with physicians, health care, information, education, all along the way.”

Governor Bryan also spoke about advances in artificial intelligence, and how that has amazingly broadened the capabilities in digital health care.

“Imagine the power of health care when we are able to put data together to study and look at how we can serve our community better. And not just the best health care, but the best social care,” Governor Bryan said.

Governor Bryan, who said he wants to be known as the first Digital Governor, also spoke about how the Bryan-Roach Administration plans to expand internet technology and digital access to Virgin islanders beyond health care.

“Health information technology is only a piece of that. Right now, we’re making sure that we have connectivity for people and access of at least 5 megabits all over the islands for free,” the Governor said. “It truly does connect you to the world. We’ve joined the President in making sure that IT is a big part of Virgin Islanders’ lives here.” 

Dr. Sandra Elizabeth Ford, a renowned pediatrician who previously served as President Biden’s Special Assistant for Public Health and Science, was the summit’s keynote speaker, and she highlighted the role of digital health tools in closing health equity gaps and improving healthcare through data-driven treatment plans.

Governor Bryan established the Office of Health Information Technology (OHIT) in 2021 to enhance health and wellness in the USVI through innovative and transformative health information technology resources.

The Bryan-Roach Administration is investing in the Territory’s people, infrastructure and future through transparency, stabilizing the economy, restoring trust in the government and ensuring that recovery projects are completed as quickly as possible. Visit