A national trade association representing healthcare chief information officers and other IT leaders is expanding to also serve chief IT security officers, chief technology officers and chief application officers.

The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives has launched the Association for Executives in Healthcare Information Security (AEHIS), targeting chief security officers, chief information security officers, and other professionals with similar roles, such as HIPAA officers. Associations representing CTOs and CAOs are planned for launches in 2015.

AEHIS, the first organization solely serving healthcare security professionals, launched late on July 31 with a goal of having 100 members by year-end and already has 50 members, says Russell Branzell, president and CEO at CHIME. Twenty-two years ago when CHIME launched, it took 1.5 years to get to 100 members. CHIME members are encouraging their security counterparts to join the new association, and CIOs and other IT leaders who also serve as security officers are welcome to join.

George McCulloch, former deputy CIO at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, joined CHIME in May as executive vice president of membership and professional development to lead the creation of AEHIS. He will serve as administrator of the association, but a stakeholder advisory board will make policy. Security professionals joining through 2014 will receive a complimentary membership for 2015; for others the annual membership fee is $99.

CHIME beefed up staff in recent months to create and serve the new associations, but believes it can keep costs low for members and itself as it enjoys significant economies of scale by already offering similar services to CIOs and other IT leaders, Branzell says.

Resources that AEHIS offers include a membership directory, web seminars, member surveys and job postings, as well as a series of one-day, in-person forums. Three initial forums are scheduled through the end of 2014 in New York, Washington and Houston, with plans for more regional forums in 2015. The association also may have a national conference next year and on-line forums are being considered. The association encourages CIOs and CSOs to jointly attend events, McCulloch says.

More information on AEHIS is available here.

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