30 leading HIT experts to watch in 2019

Here are influential voices who will provide key guidance for setting IT direction for the New Year.

30 leading HIT experts to watch in 2019

With a variety of cross-currents expected to buffet healthcare in 2019, the healthcare information technology industry will draw on the experience and expertise of a range of experts. Here is Health Data Managements of top experts who are expected to play a lead role in guiding the HIT industry in the New Year.

Pamela Arora

Senior vice president/CIO, Children’s Health System of Texas

Arora has helped guide her organization to fill a leading role among children’s hospitals and within the state of Texas. Early on, she sensed the importance of information security and has worked closely with the Health Information Trust Alliance to show how a healthcare organization can aspire to HITRUST standards to protect information. She has been an active member within the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME), and has served on its board of directors.

Lee Barrett

Executive Director, Electronic Health Network Accreditation Commission

Barrett created EHNAC nearly 25 years ago to accredit health IT companies for meeting specific metrics for best practices. He has extensive experience in the insurance and electronic data interchange areas of healthcare and has served in multiple industry collaborations, including the Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange.

Jennifer Covich Bordenick

CEO, eHealth Initiative

Jennifer joined eHealth Initiative in 2002 supporting the then emerging electronic prescribing efforts, privacy, and health information exchange. Jennifer has served as Chief Executive Officer since 2009, providing leadership for all the research, education and advocacy components.

Russell Branzell

President and CEO, College for Healthcare Information Management Executives

Branzell came to lead CHIME in 2013, and is helping the organization diversify its reach and mission, while continuing to focus on serving top healthcare IT leaders. Before joining CHIME, Branzell served as CEO for the Colorado Health Medical Group. He previously was the vice president of information services and CIO for Poudre Valley Health System and the president/CEO of Innovation Enterprises (PVHS' for-profit IS entity).

Chuck Christian

Vice President of Technology and Engagement, Indiana Health Information Exchange

In healthcare for 40 years including 26 as a CIO, Christian has seen it all and freely shares his experiences. He has served in multiple leadership roles at CHIME and HIMSS.

Eric Dishman

Director, All of Us Research Program, National Institutes of Health

Dishman is the director of the All of Us Research Program. In this role, he leads the agency’s efforts to build a national research program of 1 million or more U.S. participants to advance precision medicine. Previously, he was an Intel fellow and vice president of the Health and Life Sciences Group at Intel, where he was responsible for driving global strategy, research and development, product and platform development, and policy initiatives for health and life science solutions. His organization focused on growth opportunities for Intel in health information technology, genomics and personalized medicine, consumer wellness, and care coordination technologies. He’s well-versed in healthcare innovation with specific expertise in home and community-based technologies and services for chronic disease management and independent living.

Cletis Earle

CIO, Kaleida Health

Earle was recruited to Kaleida Health from St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital in Newburgh/Cornwall, N.Y., and serves as vice president and chief information officer. He provides leadership for Kaleida Health’s information technology IT team, overseeing strategic and tactical planning, plus development and coordination of the IT platform. Earle previously served as vice president and chief information officer at St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital. In 2018, Earle served as board chair for the College of Health Information Management Executives.

Judy Faulkner

CEO and founder, Epic

Significant Achievements: Faulkner has expanded Epic without venture capital or going public. The company’s software was built in-house with no acquisitions. It is ranked by healthcare providers as the No. 1 overall healthcare software suite. Faulkner founded Epic in 1979 as the original software developer, creating one of the first databases organized around a patient record and designed for clinical information. Epic is now a leading provider of integrated healthcare software, used by an increasing number of integrated delivery systems.

Halee Fischer-Wright, MD

President and CEO, Medical Group Management Association

Fischer-Wright has positioned MGMA to become a marquee tenant at the Catalyst Health-Tech Innovation Center. The association’s new space is being created as part of a strategy to make MGMA a leading voice in shaping the future of digital health and HIT. Through speeches, panel discussions and collaboration with other organizations, Fischer-Wright has worked to raise MGMA’s profile and voice in discussions about the role of IT in delivering safe and effective patient care.

Doug Fridsma, MD

President and CEO, AMIA

Fridsma has been at the helm of the American Medical Informatics Association for since 2014. Before that, he played a key role as chief data scientist within the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT.

Kent Gale

Founder, KLAS Enterprises

KLAS is a research firm, which regularly surveys thousands of providers to assess the performance of health information technology vendors. Gale has been instrumental in the emergence of KLAS as a respected unbiased source of information on various components of the healthcare information technology infrastructure.

Atul Gawande

CEO, non-profit venture formed by Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase

Surgeon and author Gawande was picked to lead the healthcare venture formed by Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan. He is a general and endocrine surgeon at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, and he’s probably best known for his work writing about healthcare for The New Yorker and in books. He’s also the founding executive director of Ariadne Labs, a joint project between Brigham and Women's Hospital and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, which tries to put some of his ideas about improving care into practice.

John Glaser, MD

Senior vice president of population health, Cerner

As senior vice president at Cerner, Glaser focuses on driving technology and product strategies, interoperability and government policy development. He was former CEO of the Health Services business unit of Siemens Healthcare which Cerner acquired this year. He previously was vice president and CIO at Partners HealthCare System and was also the vice president of information systems at Brigham and Women's Hospital. He’s served in many roles in industry organizations as well.

John Halamka, MD

CIO, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, and CIO and Dean for Technology at Harvard Medical School

Most CIOs regularly share information and knowledge with peers; Halamka is an evangelist on a higher level, trying to educate the entire industry. His blog, “Life as a Healthcare CIO,” is required reading. He is also becoming a vocal advocate of emerging technologies in healthcare, such as blockchain technology. And he’s pushed for years to improve the exchange of healthcare information between providers.

Wylecia Wiggs Harris

CEO, American Health Information Management Association

Harris plans to strengthen AHIMA’s membership and foster internal and external partnerships. She is known for her ability to bring organizational change. She maintains an increased focus on continuing education and exploration of new roles in health information management.

John Kravitz

Senior vice president and CIO, Geisinger

In his role at Geisinger, Kravitz leads the IT efforts that supports the nationally acclaimed program at the integrated delivery system. For example, its IT systems have helped support an organizationwide effort that has drastically reduced the amount of opioid proscribing by providers. Kravitz, a member of the CHIME Opioid Task Force, described Geisinger’s model in testimony before a House subcommittee.

Ed Marx

CIO, Cleveland Clinic

Marx is CIO at Cleveland Clinic, an $8 billion medical system that includes a main campus, 10 regional hospitals, 18 family health centers, and facilities in Florida, Nevada, Toronto, Abu Dhabi and London. He is responsible for the development and execution of strategic planning and governance, driving optimal resource utilization and team development and organizational support. Before joining Cleveland Clinic, Marx served as senior vice president/CIO of Texas Health Resources. In 2015, he spent more than two years as executive vice president of the Advisory Board, providing IT leadership and strategy for New York City Health & Hospital.

Daniel Nutkis

Chief executive officer and founder, Health Information Trust Alliance

The Health Information Trust Alliance, widely known as HITRUST, was born out of the belief that information security should be a core pillar of, rather than an obstacle to, the broad adoption of health information systems and exchanges, and Nutkis was the visionary who had the foreknowledge to create it. Nutkis has more than 20 years of experience in providing strategic advisory services in areas relating to health information technology. Before founding HITRUST, he held various positions with email encryption and e-prescribing service company Zix Corp. and was also with Ernst & Young.

Jonathan Perlin, MD

President of clinical services and chief medical officer, HCA

Perlin provides leadership for clinical services and improving performance at HCA’s 170 hospitals and more than 800 outpatient centers and physician practices. Some of his current activities include advancing electronic health records for learning healthcare and continuous improvement; driving value through (big) data science and advanced analytics. Before joining HCA in 2006, Perlin was Under Secretary for Health in the Department of Veterans Affairs. This year, he led a panel of HIT luminaries in writing a discussion paper for the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) that focuses on interoperability; the piece also lays out a roadmap for delivering a return on the nation’s healthcare IT investment over the last decade.

Marc Probst

Vice president and CIO, Intermountain HealthCare

Probst has been a leader in Information Technology and Healthcare services for the past 20 years. Before coming to Intermountain, Probst was a partner with Deloitte Consulting and has served as the CIO for a large third-party administrator. He also has served on federal advisory panels addressing health IT issues. He’s served in several volunteer positions in the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives and remains active in the organization.

Don Rucker

National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC)

Rucker, the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, is in the lead role for setting healthcare IT strategy by leading the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC). He came to the office from the Ohio State University where he was clinical professor of emergency medicine and biomedical informatics, and Premise Health, a worksite clinic provider, where he served as chief medical officer.

Rasu Shrestha, MD

Executive vice president and chief strategy officer, Atrium Health

Shrestha, formerly chief innovation officer at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, is leaving UPMC to take over as the new executive vice president and chief strategy officer at Atrium Health. Formerly Carolinas HealthCare System, Atrium Health announced that Shrestha will replace Carol Lovin, who has been promoted to executive vice president and system chief of staff. Shrestha will officially join the healthcare organization in February and will lead Atrium Health’s enterprise strategy with a focus on innovation, launching new inventions, discoveries, as well as ideas.

Tom Skelton

CEO, Surescripts

The company is enabling the exchange of healthcare information through its national network. Skelton is responsible for leading the nationwide health information network’s strategy, performance and operations, as it works to perfect e-prescribing and expand clinical messaging capabilities. He has more than 25 years of experience in corporate management, strategic planning, and mergers and acquisitions, as well as strong expertise in both the healthcare technology and healthcare services sectors.

Charles Stellar

President and CEO, Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange

Stellar was named by the WEDI Board of Directors as WEDI’s president and CEO after having served as WEDI’s interim CEO since January 2016. As an executive leader with more than 35 years of experience in healthcare, association management and organizational leadership, Stellar oversees the strategic guidance of the organization, its staff and committees. WEDI is a collaboration of stakeholders working to enhance exchange of health information. The group also serves as an advisor to the Department of Health and Human Services.

Robert Tennant

Health Information Technology Policy Director, Medical Group Management Association

Tennant is a widely respected voice within healthcare IT, particularly as it relates to physician engagement and use of technology in medical practice. He also participates in numerous industry efforts and panels.

Eric Topol

Director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute and Chief Academic Officer, Scripps Health

Topol fills a variety of roles, including that of professor of genomics and Gary and Mary West Endowed Chair of Innovative Medicine at the Scripps Research Institute. But through all of them, he prods the healthcare industry to look at innovative ways to use technology to provide better, less expensive and more widely accessible care to patients. Under his guidance, the Scripps Research Institute is playing a pivotal role in enrolling participants in the National Institutes of Health’s Precision Medicine Initiative.

Micky Tripathi

President and CEO, Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative

Tripathi is well-known for playing a leadership role in working to achieve interoperability within the healthcare industry. His activities range from policy guidance at the federal level, to collaborative strategic planning at the state and community levels, to implementation of health IT systems at the frontline of healthcare delivery.

Robert Wachter

Professor and Chair of the Department of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco

Wachter is the author of 250 articles and six books. He coined the term “hospitalist” in 1996 and is often considered the “father” of the hospitalist field. In 2004, he received the John M. Eisenberg Award, the nation’s top honor in patient safety. In 2015, Modern Healthcare magazine ranked him as the most influential physician-executive in the U.S.; he has been on the 50 most influential list for each of the past 11 years. He has served on the healthcare advisory boards of several companies, including Google. His 2015 book, The Digital Doctor: Hope, Hype and Harm at the Dawn of Medicine’s Computer Age, was a New York Times science bestseller. In 2016, he chaired a blue ribbon commission advising England’s National Health Service on its digital strategy.

Harold F. Wolf III

President and CEO, HIMSS

Wolf now leads HIMSS—the industry’s leading HIT organization—taking over the reins from Stephen Lieber, who retired. With nearly 35 years of experience, Wolf is respected internationally as a healthcare and informatics executive with areas of expertise in mhealth, product development, integrated care models, marketing, distribution, information technology and innovation implementation. He has helped health systems and providers across the world with end-to-end operations, commissioning, data and architectural design.

Mariann Yeager

CEO, The Sequoia Project

Yeager is leading efforts at The Sequoia Project to encourage the wider use of interoperability in the U.S. The Sequoia Project is a non-profit public-private collaborative advancing secure, trusted and interoperable health information exchange nationwide; it supports health IT interoperability initiatives, including the eHealth Exchange, the country's largest health data sharing network; Carequality, a multi-stakeholder initiative that enables health data sharing networks; and the RSNA Image Share Validation Program, an interoperability testing program to enable the sharing of medical images.

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