Women of Influence in the Health IT Industry

The 2017 Health Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) conference featured the first Most Influential Women in Health IT Awards. Seven women from around the world were recognized for their contributions to the industry.

The inaugural recipients were selected from a list of more than 140 nominees and included physicians, government officials, business executives and researchers. They were:

  • Shareefa Alabulmonem – head of eServices, office of the CIO at King Faisal Hospital and Research Center in Saudi Arabia.
  • Marion J. Ball – senior adviser at the IBM Center for Computational Health.
  • Rachelle Blake – CEO and managing director of Omni Med Solutions in Germany.
  • Christina Caraballo – senior healthcare strategist at Get Real Health.
  • Karen B. DeSalvo – acting assistant Secretary for Health (former National Coordinator for Health Information Technology and director of the ONC).
  • Karen Guice – acting assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs.
  • Lisa Stump – chief information officer at Yale New Haven Health and Yale School of Medicine.

March is Women’s History Month, the ideal time to look beyond the recently recognized women influencers in the health IT industry. Here are a few more distinguished health IT professionals whose contributions to the industry have been – and continue to be – indispensable:

Regina Benjamin – the 18th U.S. Surgeon General (2009-13) became an advocate of electronic health records after Hurricane Katrina destroyed the Bayou La Batre Rural Health Clinic near her hometown in Alabama. She continued that advocacy work during her tenure as Surgeon General under President Barrack Obama.

Helen Burstin – chief scientific officer of the nonprofit National Quality Forum. Her primary responsibility is to discover and advocate for advances in the science of quality measurement and improvement. Her career has focused on research into the intersection of health IT and the quality of care.

Sylvia Mathews Burwell – the 22nd Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently was hired as the president of American University after serving in the Obama administration. During her tenure, HHS secured a commitment from 90% of American hospitals to transition to electronic health records to improve the flow of health information.

Diane Carr – deputy director of operations, chief information officer, Jacobi Medical Center and North Central Bronx Hospital; member of the HIMSS North American Board of Directors and chair of its finance committee. Carr’s career focus is on finding ways clinical and business intelligence can be used to improve patient care.

Judith Faulkner – founder and CEO of healthcare software company Epic Systems, a leader in electronic medical record design and implementation. In 2013, Forbes magazine dubbed Faulkner the most powerful woman in healthcare.

Susannah Fox – former chief technology officer, HHS. For a decade-and-a-half, Fox served as the associate director of the Internet Project at the Pew Research Center, where she explored how IT and social media influence health care.

Kate Goodrich – director of the Center for Clinical Standards and Quality and chief medical officer of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Goodrich has been a leading federal government voice in the transition from the previous Medicare and Medicaid payment process to the Quality Payment Plan (QPP), which is part of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA).

Elizabeth Casey Halley – a long-time RN and clinical informaticist, Halley was chair of the HIMSS Nursing Informatics Committee and is a member of the HIMSS Board of Directors. Her work has focused on health IT collaboration between federal agencies the private sector.

Denise W. Hines – Hines, a physician and HIMSS board member, leads the Georgia Health Information Network and is CEO of the eHealth Services Group. She was a featured speaker at the 2017 HIMSS Conference, presenting the session “Shattering the Glass Ceiling: Lessons Learned for Aspiring Female Executives.”

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