50 leading healthcare IT experts, Part 1

A 2017 list of some of the top sources for knowledge in the field

50 Top Healthcare IT Experts, Part 1

Healthcare IT is fortunate to have many knowledgeable experts willing to share what they know with others. Following up on last year’s popular look at 50 of the leading HIT experts in the field, Health Data Management today and tomorrow offers this compilation of some of the guiding lights of the industry, many of which are new to the list this year.

Some have worked to advance the industry for nearly half a century, while others are newer voices who have taken on the industry’s new challenges. All are worthy of mention as a sample of those who are advancing the important work of healthcare IT.

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.

Cassi Birnbaum

System-Wide Director, Health Information Management and Revenue Integrity, UC San Diego Health

As the board chair and president of AHIMA, Birnbaum was able to successfully lead the industry, profession and its members to a successful transition to ICD-10, while advancing AHIMA’s vision on Information Governance and adoption of its Global Curriculum. She presently represents the AHIMA Board of Directors on CAHIIM, and Chairs the 2017 BOD Strategic Planning Task Force.

Lee Barrett

Executive Director, Electronic Health Network Accreditation Commission

Barrett created EHNAC 23 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.

Bryan Bliven

CIO and executive director, University of Missouri Health System and Tiger Institute for Health Innovation, University of Missouri Health Care

Bliven has been a driving force behind the healthcare system’s massive IT push, linking 29,000 devices, including beds, laboratory equipment and patient monitors--to a systemwide connectivity hub. UM Health Care is a 2015 recipient of the HIMSS Davies Award and at Stage 7 on the association’s EHR Adoption model.

Kate Borten

President, Marblehead Group (consultancy)

Borten, a former information security officer at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Massachusetts General Hospital, is a certified information security professional, has authored several books and is a frequent speaker at conferences.

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).

Bobbie Byrne, MD

Executive Vice President of Consumer Driven Health and CIO, Edward-Elmhurst Health

Byrne recently led a $45 million implementation of an Epic EHR across the three hospitals and ancillary facilities at Edward-Elmhurst Healthcare, a job made even trickier by the fact that the health system was created by the recent merger that bought Elmhurst Memorial Hospital and other facilities into the fold.

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.

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.

Josh Denny, MD

Professor of biomedical informatics/professor of medicine, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine

Denny has been thrust into a visible role within healthcare informatics. The National Institutes of Health’s Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI) Cohort Program is a landmark longitudinal research study that will collect genomic information, electronic health records, as well as lifestyle and environmental exposure data from 1 million or more U.S. volunteers. The job of acquiring, organizing and securing what will be one of the world’s largest and most diverse datasets for precision medicine research falls squarely on the shoulders of Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) in Nashville, Tenn., and Denny will be leading that effort.

Mark Dill

Principal consultant, tw Security

Up until recently, Dill was director of information security at the Cleveland Clinic; he’s since moved to this consulting role for tw Security. Do you need help creating a book of evidence to demonstrate good faith in HIPAA privacy and security compliance? Dill has done it, says it is easy and ensures an organization won’t be overwhelmed if audited.

Linn Freedman

Partner, Robinson & Cole LLP

Freedman specializes in data privacy and security law covering compliance, emergency breach response, investigations and related issues.

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.

Bruce Merlin Fried

Partner, Dentons

An expert on healthcare law and policy, Fried served in the Health Care Financing Administration (CMS) overseeing policies and operations of the Medicare program, including the Medicare managed care program.

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.

Peter Greene, MD

CMIO, Johns Hopkins Medicine

Greene is chief medical information officer for Johns Hopkins Medicine and associate dean for emerging technologies at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He helps JHM with strategic planning and implementation of enterprise-wide technology projects that impact clinical care.

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.

W. Ed Hammond, PhD

Director, Duke Center for Health Informatics

For many years, Hammond has been a key spokesman for the healthcare IT industry, leading innovation in countless ways. He’s still active in leading the Center for Health Informatics, Duke’s academic home for health informatics and is engaged with interoperability efforts with HL7.

Michael Hodgkins, MD

CMIO, American Medical Association

Hodgkins is trained in internal medicine, and as a technologist, he has spent 25 years working in healthcare information technology, much of it with startups focused on information sharing. He is deeply involved with health information technology initiatives to ensure that they better meet physicians’ needs.

Elizabeth O. Johnson, RN

Chief Information Officer, Acute Care Hospitals at Tenet Healthcare

Johnson was tapped to lead one of the biggest initiatives in Tenet’s history: leading a $620 million project to implement electronic health records in 49 Tenet hospitals over a four-year period. Now, she’s helping standardize EHRs at eight hospitals Tenet has acquired through a recent acquisition of Vanguard Health, as well as continuing to enhance the 80-hospital system’s electronic capabilities. She becomes chair of CHIME in 2017.

Kyle Johnson

System Vice President and CIO, Eastern Maine HealthCare

Before moving to Eastern Maine in early 2014 to develop a foundation for population health, Johnson was the lead on deploying an enterprise analytics platform across the 84 hospitals in 21 states that comprise Trinity Health. The platform runs in the cloud, pulling together hospital EHR data, physician billing and clinical data, other data from Trinity's own data warehouse and, lastly, claims files, pharmacy fulfillment records and patient eligibility files from a number of ACO partners.

Charles Macias, MD

Chief Clinical Systems Integration Officer, Texas Children's Hospital

Utilizing near real-time visualization platforms to view daily updated dashboards, Macias led an effort to access and analyze population data to support rapid cycle process improvement strategies. His team has been able to drive decreases in chest X-ray utilization (from 72% of cases down to less than 28%), as well as improved evidence-based order set utilization, and decreased length of stay for patients with asthma.

Randy McCleese

Vice president of information services and CIO, St. Claire Regional Medical Center

McCleese has served as CIO at St. Claire Regional Medical Center in Morehead, Ky., for more than 20 years and has focused on visioning and strategic planning. He has been very active in CHIME, and this past fall was named the winner of the organization’s Federal Public Policy Award for CIOs..

Mac McMillan

Chairman, CEO and co-founder, CynergisTek

McMillan leads CynergisTek, a top-ranked information security and privacy consulting firm focused on the healthcare IT industry. He is a member of CHIME’s AEHIS Advisory Board, recognized as a HIMSS Fellow and former Chair of the HIMSS Privacy & Security Policy Task Force. McMillan brings nearly 40 years of combined intelligence, security countermeasures and consulting experience from positions within the government and private sector and has worked in the healthcare industry since his retirement from the federal government in 2000.

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