Day 9: Women and Health IT


On the ninth day of Christmas my true love sent to me, nine health IT ladies dancing…

Day 9 of our 12 Days of Christmas Posts has us dancing in the aisles, while we share our fabulous list of women who are not sitting down when it comes to today’s health care and health IT. Here are our top 9 picks that will have all you men and ladies dancing.

#1 Mariann Yeager – Mariann Yeager is CEO for the Sequoia Project (@sequoiaproject), the nonprofit group that oversees two major health information exchange-related organizations: the eHealth Exchange, one of the first and largest exchange networks in the country, and Carequality, a public-private collaborative working to solve the healthcare industry’s data sharing issues. Under her leadership, the eHealth Exchange more than quadrupled connectivity in just 2 years, making it the largest network of its kind in the US, connecting almost 50% of all US hospitals and 100 million patients. Ms. Yeager also led the successful launch of Carequality, which interconnects data sharing networks using a national-level, consensus-driven approach, much like the telecommunications industry did for linking cell phone networks. Ms. Yeager has more than 20 years of experience in the health IT field. Prior to The Sequoia Project, she worked with ONC for five years on ONC nationwide health information network initiatives. She also led the launch and operation of the first ambulatory and inpatient EHR certification program in the US. Don’t miss Justin Barnes’ interview with Ms. Yeager on This Just In where they discuss interoperability strategies and best practices as well as The Sequoia Project’s patient matching white paper.

#2 Karen B. DeSalvo, MD, MPH, MSc – Dr. Karen DeSalvo (@KBDeSalvo), the Acting Assistant Secretary for Health in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is a physician who has focused her career toward improving access to affordable, high quality care for all people, especially vulnerable populations, and promoting overall health. Her commitment to improving the public’s health includes leveraging public-private partnerships to address the social determinants of health through environmental, policy and systems level changes. Dr. DeSalvo has received many honors, including recognition as a “Woman of Excellence in Health Care” by the Louisiana Legislative Women’s Caucus. In 2013, Governing Magazine named Dr. DeSalvo one of nine Public Officials of the Year. The American Medical Student Association recognized her with a Women’s Leader Award in 2014. Modern Healthcare named her one of the 50 most influential physician executives and leaders in 2015 and 2016.

#3 Denise Hines – Denise Hines, DHA, PMP, FHIMSS is CEO of eHealth Services Group and also serves as Executive Director of the Georgia Health Information Network. Dr. Hines recently received the Phoenix Community Leader of the Year Award at the 2016 Health IT Leadership Summit where she was recognized for her instrumental role in advancing healthcare connectivity in Georgia to ensure physicians have the information they need to deliver quality care. Dr. Hines is Chair Elect of the North America Board of the Health Information & Management Systems Society (HIMSS). Dr. Hines has more than two decades of healthcare experience in a variety of settings, including health systems, physician offices, home health, technology vendors, consulting, state government and revenue management. She is renowned for building service and results-oriented organizations and she possesses a passion for the widespread integration of technology and healthcare.

#4 Deven McGraw – Deven McGraw (@HealthPrivacy) is currently the Deputy Director for Health Information Privacy of HHS Office of Civil Rights where she leads policy, enforcement, and outreach efforts related to the HIPAA Privacy, Security, and Breach Notification Rules. Ms. McGraw also leads the OCR’s work on other presidential and departmental priorities for health data security, according to HHS. Ms. McGraw’s background includes service on a number of committees established by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and other workgroups to provide guidance on a wide array of health IT, privacy and security policy, and business issues. She was one of three persons appointed by former HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to serve on the Health Information Technology Policy Committee, a federal advisory committee established in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Ms. McGraw was the very first guest on Healthcare De Jure where she and Matt Fisher discussed HIPAA compliance, cybersecurity, the commencement of OCR’s audit protocol, and attacks on the industry.

#5 Lucia Savage, J.D. – Lucia Savage (@SavageLucia) is the Chief Privacy Officer at Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, Department of Health & Human Services, where she advises the ONC and other federal partners about how to ensure privacy and security of health information in a digital health world. Most recently, Ms. Savage has been emphasizing the importance of cost and quality transparency in health care, and has been working on the complex issues of maintaining patient privacy while working to fully realize the potential of health information exchange for better patient care in a learning health care system. With more than two decades of experience in employee benefits and healthcare, Lucia is a well-known expert on privacy, Health Information Technology, healthcare transparency and performance measurement, quality improvement, health information exchange, employer health insurance exchanges and ERISA healthcare benefits. In July, Ms. Savage graciously sat down with Matt Fisher to discuss the continuing education on HIPAA and cybersecurity coming out of the government as well as the evolving role of the ONC on Interoperability and Infoblocking.

#6 Susannah Fox – Susannah Fox (@SusannahFox) is the Chief Technology Officer of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. She is responsible for helping HHS leadership harness the power of data, technology, and innovation to improve the health and welfare of the nation. Together with the IDEA Lab team, she creates opportunities for entrepreneurship across the HHS workforce. Ms. Fox most recently served as the Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, helping to catalyze new ways to think about challenges and develop solutions that deliver impact. She frequently give talks about the social impact of technology, particularly as it relates to health and health care.

#7 Pamela Arora – Pamela Arora joined Northern Texas’ Children’s Health, the seventh-largest pediatric health care provider in the country and the only academically affiliated pediatric hospital in the area, in 2007 as Senior Vice President, Information Services and Chief Information Officer. Ms. Arora’s oversight encompasses systems and technology, Health Information Management, and BioMedical technology and support. With more than 30 years of experience in Information Technology, she is a proven leader with a history of achieving results in large corporations in various industries, as well as in entrepreneurial endeavors. In 2015, Arora was named one of the top 50 leaders in Heath IT by Becker’s Health IT & CIO Review, and in the same year, she received the Dallas Business Journal Women in Technology Award.

#8 Geeta Nayyar, MD MBA – Geeta Nayyar, M.D., M.B.A. (@gnayyar), is a nationally recognized leader in healthcare information technology as well as a board-certified practicing physician. She has been named one of the “Top 26 smartest people in Health IT” by Becker’s Report and ranked one of the “Top 25 Minority Healthcare Executives” by Modern Healthcare. She is the author of the mobile health chapter in the HIMSS Medical Informatics textbook and is a noted social media expert and blogger for the Huffington Post. Med City News recognized her as one of the “Top 12 Powerful Women Voices in Healthcare Innovation and on Twitter.” Healthcare De Jure host, Matt Fisher, recently interviewed Dr. Nayyar and the two discussed social media and women in healthcare.

#9 Kathy McGroddy-Goetz – Our own Sarianne Gruber had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Kathleen McGroddy Goetz (@kathymgoetz). Kathy, as she prefers to be called, describes her twenty-three year career at IBM as “fantastic and interesting.” She started in hardware and software, which at the time was on the cusp of joining business and technology, and later moved more into the business development side of research. Now as VP of IBM Watson Health, she is focused on technology and commercialization where “the pace has been very busy.” Kathy has been instrumental in many of new acquisitions and partnerships for IBM Watson Health including Phytel, a population health software company, and Cloudant, a Data as a Service company for Cloud Computing.