Health IT Fellows: Leaders in Health IT
ONC is in a continuous state of coordination and collaboration to meet provider needs through outreach to grantees, national partners, and federal & local government agencies. In addition, ONC has identified a particular need to hear directly from providers, office staff, and administrators in the field to ensure that smaller practice & organizational needs are being met when providing resources & creating technical assistance tools. As a result, the Health IT Fellows program was created to learn with and from those in the field and to create conversation whereby Fellows can share best practices with their peers facing similar challenges to leveraging Health IT. Learn more about individual HIT Fellow backgrounds and think of how YOU can participate in the national conversation on leveraging meaningful use.
Health IT Fellow Purpose Statement
The purpose of the Health IT Fellows (“Fellows”) is to provide grassroots insight and critical feedback/critique of appropriateness, clarity, and effectiveness of resources, tools, and other technical assistance initiatives of the ONC and others geared towards their peers. Fellows are empowered to ensure these and other communications are realistic, authentic, and clear to their colleagues in an effort to ensure that all messages and tools resonate with the provider and practice community. Fellows also act as champions to their provider and practice community colleagues on a local and national scale. Fellows will lend their voice and experience regarding ways providers can leverage Health IT to improve patient engagement and experience in the delivery of patient care.
Health IT Fellows Program Update (January 2017)
We are proud to announce the addition of 16 new provider and administrator champions to join the Health IT Fellows Program! These 16 champions from across the country join a team of over seventy on-the-ground leaders to leverage health IT to improve health and health care and create a learning health system. The HIT Fellows have taken up the call to action to serve as champions in their communities, working with local and state partners to tackle tough challenges together. Please join us in welcoming our newest class:
Adam Buck, MD, is a board-certified internist and hospitalist practicing at Contra Costa Regional Medical Center, a safety net teaching hospital located in the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition to supervising residents on the wards, Dr. Buck has a senior leadership position within the department of Clinical Informatics. His primary interests are patient engagement, quality improvement, and clinical decision support. Dr. Buck is the physician lead on his health system’s implementation of OpenNotes and OpenResults, allowing patients to access their provider notes and test results through a patient portal. Realizing that clinicians and IT staff often speak different languages, Dr. Buck was able to accelerate improvements by learning how to customize the EHR himself. He has reduced medication dose warnings by 86% in an effort to reduce alert fatigue. With a focus on the highest-risk drug classes; Dr. Buck rewrote and optimized the electronic order sets relating to intravenous opioids, insulin, and heparin. He also co-founded his hospital’s antimicrobial stewardship program.
Chuck Norlin is a general pediatrician, Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, and adjunct Professor of Biomedical Informatics at the University of Utah. Since 2001, he has directed the Medical Home Portal (medicalhomeportal.org), which supports clinicians, care coordinators, and families in caring for and about children and youth with special health care needs (CYSHCN) and connecting with valuable specialists and other services in their communities in Utah, Montana, New Mexico, Idaho, Rhode Island, and Nevada. Collaborators on the Portal include colleagues in Pediatrics, Biomedical Informatics, the Utah Department of Health, and Utah Family Voices who, along with the Utah Health Information Network, are also developing the Pediatric Patient Summary (PPS). The PPS aims to tap HIE to generate and present a summary of relevant, accurate, current, and useful information about CYSHCN. The summary will be curated by patients' medical homes and shared with providers by parents/caregivers and through HIE.
Jennifer Carpenter, MSN, RN, CPHIMS is Vice President, IT Clinical Systems for University Hospitals in Cleveland Ohio. Jen has a clinical background in pediatric nursing and 10 years of experience in various health IT roles. One of Jen’s most formative health IT experiences was the opportunity to coordinate the IT projects for the hospital system’s Meaningful Use program, which laid a foundation for improvements in care processes across the health system. She has a special interest in the optimization of EHRs and other clinical systems to enable high reliability medicine and clinical decision support for better, cost effective patient care. Jen is currently focused on integrating newly acquired hospitals into the core clinical system portfolio for the health system, and utilizes information exchange through CCDA and other methods which were driven to commercial use by the EHR Incentive program and certification standards.
Kay S. Lytle
Dr. Kay S. Lytle, DNP, RN-BC, NEA-BC, CPHIMS, FHIMS is the Chief Nursing Information Officer (CNIO) for Duke University Health System in Durham, NC. As CNIO she is responsible for the development, deployment, optimization, integration and maintenance of clinical information systems to support clinicians and patient care across the various care settings. Dr. Lytle also serves as a clinical associate for the Duke University School of Nursing and teaches part-time in the MSN health informatics and DNP programs. She has over 20 years of experience in clinical informatics including system selection and implementation for a wide variety of applications ranging from small departmental systems to large, health system deployed EHRs. Dr. Lytle is interested in engaging nurses and other clinicians in designing health IT/EHR solutions to solve clinical and operational problems, with a focus on improving the clinician’s efficiency while supporting and improving patient safety. Dr. Lytle is also an advocate for mapping nursing data on nursing sensitive measures to information models to improve patient care through sharable, comparable nursing data.
Kristie Ross, MD, MS is a pediatric pulmonologist and sleep medicine physician who serves as Clinical Director of the Division of Pediatric Pulmonology, Allergy/Immunology and Sleep Medicine at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital and Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. In her practice of pediatric pulmonary and sleep medicine in an urban academic medical center, use of health IT is an important part of broader goals to address gaps in access, care, and outcomes in respiratory health in disadvantaged children. Projects include validating technology that can be used in the home setting by high risk children and adolescents with asthma to track symptoms and medication use to prevent exacerbations and health care utilization, and the development of care algorithms and decision support tools for the treatment of pediatric acute asthma to reduce variation in care across a large health care system’s network of emergency room and urgent care centers.
Kumar Vengadabady is a physician trained in Medical Informatics and hospital management. Currently, he is the Director of Quality and Performance Improvement (at ElderONE) and the Director of Adult Day Health Care Services at Rochester Regional Health, Rochester, New York. In this role, he directs quality teams and informatics team involved in build, implementation, and optimization of EHR; steers ElderONE’s Information Management initiatives and Change Control Committee; and oversees quality reporting (regulatory and operational). He brings over 10 years of experience in leading and being part of health care services and health IT initiatives and operations.
Dr Lynn Ho's solo family medicine micro-practice is located in North Kingstown, RI. Her goal is to offer every patient " exactly the care" they want and need. She measures this metric, along with a full slate of patient experience, engagement and practice quality indicators, using a robust internet practice tool called "HowsYourHealth". Her paperless practice leverages multiple technologies, including an online scheduler, patient portal, virtual visits and RI's Health Information Exchange, Current Care, to provide patients with seamless access to efficient, coordinated care.
Dr. Ho's high functioning practice has achieved recognition as an NCQA Level 3 PCMH. Her practice consistently achieves the highest marks by population health and patient experience of care metrics, while lowering total cost of care compared to PCMH peers. Although Dr. Ho still derives much joy from the practice of medicine, this is being threatened by the heavy burden of collecting quality data in primary care. Her current mission is to try to shift the de facto standard of administratively-based quality measurement paradigms to simpler, more useful, patient-centered methods as exemplified by "HowsYourHealth".
Marty Fattig has been involved in healthcare for over 40 years. He began his career as a bench Medical Technologist. He expanded his technical skills to include radiology and electrocardiology. He is currently the CEO of Nemaha County Hospital in Auburn, Nebraska where he led the effort to install their EHR in 2004. He is Chairman of the Rural Health Advisory Commission. He is a member of the Critical Access Hospital Advisory Council, and the Critical Access Hospital Advisory Board on Quality. He serves on the Region 6 Regional Policy Board of the American Hospital Association. He is Co-Chair of the Nebraska eHealth Council. He has also served as a member of the HIT Policy Committee Meaningful Use Workgroup, being appointed by the Office of the National Coordinator.
He has earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Medical Technology and a Masters degree in Healthcare Administration.
Rajib Ghosh, MS, MBA, is the Chief Data and Transformation Officer at Community Health Center Network (CHCN), a network of eight federally qualified health centers in the San Francisco Bay Area. CHCN health centers take care of about 250,000 underserved patients around the East Bay area. CHCN is also a managed care organization that bears full professional risks for more than 130,000 members. Together CHCN health centers deliver medical, dental and mild to moderate behavioral health care from 80 different sites distributed over a vast geographic area. AT CHCN Mr. Ghosh leads the overall Health IT strategy for the network including data governance, data warehouse and analytics, health information exchange and other digital health initiatives like care coordination, mobile health and technology enabled process automation. Prior to this role Mr. Ghosh has spent many years in Health technology and medical device companies like Hill-Rom, Solta Medical, Bosch Healthcare and have launched several technology products globally generating over $100 million in revenue. Mr. Ghosh has several publications and writes a regular column on healthcare analytics in the Analytics magazine published by INFORMS. He also has publications in IEEE and ACM.
Robert 'Bob' Latz
Dr. Robert 'Bob' Latz, PT, DPT, CHCIO has a special interest in data sharing across the continuum of care. As such, he is the Co-Chair of the NASL (National Association for the Support of Long Term Care IMPACT Act Implementation Workgroup). In addition, he is the CIO for Trinity Rehabilitation Services which provides Physical, Occupational and Speech Therapy services in Skilled Nursing, Assisted Living, and Home Health settings in five states. He is also the consulting CIO for Passage Healthcare, which manages Continuing Care Retirement Centers in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. In both CIO roles, he has coordinated various integrations between therapy, pharmacy, and facility software. Dr. Latz continually works to improve transitions of care thru optimizing the use of the EHR and thru other communication methods. Finally, Bob has been a member of CHIME (College of Healthcare Information Management Executives) for several years and is the only Physical Therapist in the United States with Certified Healthcare CIO status.
Steven Grant, M.D., F.A.C.P. has over two decades of experience in leading physician organizations. Dr. Grant was the co-founder of United Physicians (“UP”), a 2,000-member independent physician organization and, from 2000-2010, served as itsPresident and CEO. In 2010, he left UP to create the Detroit Medical Center Physician Hospital Organization (“DMC PHO”) and, from 2010-2013, was its first Executive Director. In both positions, Dr. Grant led successful efforts to implement modular and full EHR’s in independent physician offices. At the DMC PHO, he led the effort to obtain Meaningful Use Certification for numerous offices. As a longstanding member of the Executive Committee of the Greater Detroit Area Health Council, and current Board Chair, Dr. Grant has been instrumental in launching the first online multi-payer performance report in Michigan—one of the first nationally. As President of TIPAAA, The IPA Association of America, he has kept his finger on the pulse of what doctors are thinking around the country. Dr. Grant is an Assistant Clinical Professor at Wayne State University School of Medicine, and maintains his private practice in general internal medicine.
Sid Thornton, PhD serves as Director of Clinical, Quality, and Research Informatics at the Homer Warner Center of Intermountain Healthcare, and also serves with the adjunct research faculty of the University of Utah School of Medicine Department of Bioinformatics. He drives projects designed to relieve operational burdens of community care coordination and patient-centric reform. His collaborations extend data interoperability services for automatic identity resolution and for inter-organizational management of patient-provider relationships. He contributes to multiple regional and national committees dealing with issues of health information exchange including the Care Connectivity Consortium, Carequality, and the Utah Health Information Network. He chairs the technical committee for The Statewide Identity Services for Utah (ThSiSU) and is a contributing author of several related publications.
Thomas R. Ortiz
Dr. Thomas R. Ortiz, a board certified Family Physician, has been in the private practice of Family Medicine as the Founder and Medical Director of Forest Hill Family Health Associates, PA (www.fhfha.com) in Newark, NJ Northward since 1984. In 2010 his practice was nationally recognized by the NCQA as a Level 3 Patient Centered Medical Home, a unique designation only offered to high preforming practices, pioneering transitions of care programs, population care coordination and patient outreach, clinical care HIT integration while embedding behaviorists, nurse practitioners, physician’s assistants, health navigators and educators directly into the primary care delivery team.
A graduate of New Jersey Medical School in Newark, NJ and Mountainside Family Practice Residency Program in Montclair, NJ, Dr. Ortiz joined the National Health Service Corp. and has made a career as a public health advocate for universal access to primary care for all, focused on the poor and vulnerable populations.
With the advent of a national movement for healthcare reform and the passage of the Affordable Care Act, Dr. Ortiz has been leading the charge for urban primary care infrastructure development, medical neighborhood integration, value based payment reform, technology innovation and an advocate for Patient Centered Medical Home principles for health care delivery through participation on Stakeholder task forces and local coalitions.
Most Recently, Dr. Ortiz has been named the Chief Medical and Information Officer of the NJIT-NJ Innovations Institute for Health Care iLab, CMS- Practice Transformation Network, tasked with bringing practice transformation support services to thousands of primary care practitioners.
Dr. Peterson is a practice emergency medicine physician at the University of Michigan Health System in Ann Arbor. Dr. Peterson has previously served as the Medical Director for Population Health at the University of Michigan and the Executive Medical Director for Physician Organization of Michigan Accountable Care Organization (POM ACO). He is currently the ACO Executive for POM ACO, one of the largest Medicare Shared Savings Program ACOs in the country. Dr. Peterson has been active in advocating for comprehensive data sharing and data use for direct clinical applications as well as analytic efforts targeting population health improvement efforts.
Terri Steinberg, M.D., M.B.A. is the Chief Health Information Officer and Vice President of Population Health Informatics at Christiana Care Health System, a large multi-entity healthcare organization in Delaware. She has lectured and consulted extensively on methods to ensure successful technology adoption by physicians and nurses, on the positive impact of technology on safe medication practice, and on the use of technology to drive Population Health management. As a clinician as well as a software developer, Dr. Steinberg has used her experience to guide the optimal implementation of clinical systems in a manner that is well-accepted by doctors and nurses.
Dr. Steinberg is actively involved in the Delaware Health Information Network, the first state- wide health information exchange, and serves as a member of the Board of Directors of that organization. Her experience includes a tenure at Siemens Medical Solution where she participated in the early development of the Soarian clinical suite of applications. She has consulted on technology matters for the Institute for Safe Medical Practice and has worked with many hospitals and healthcare organizations as they endeavor to implement advanced clinical systems.
Dr. Steinberg is a practicing Internist and Geriatrician who devotes time each week to home visits for housebound patients who would not otherwise be able to see a doctor. She holds a certification in Internal Medicine from the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) and was among the first group of US physicians to achieve subspecialty certification in Clinical Informatics.
Dr. Steinberg completed her undergraduate studies at the Sophie Davis Center for Biomedical Education, a six-year accelerated medical program at the City College of New York. She earned her Medical Degree from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. She completed her Residency at the State University of New York School of Medicine at Stony Brook, and earned an MBA from Jones University. Dr. Steinberg has two adult daughters, and lives in Delaware and Philadelphia with her husband and two Labrador Retrievers, Rufus and Zeke.
Dr. Valeriya Kettelhut, MD, PhD, MPH, is Clinical Quality Lead at Nebraska Medicine. In this role, Valeriya leverages meaningful use to improve transplant patient survival and decrease cost of care. She analyzes different health data sources for quality measures, performs data integration, develops algorithms for business intelligence, and delivers clinical outcomes analytics and BI reports to various hospital stockholders. One of her focuses is healthcare cost-containment. Recently, she deployed a technology that helps maximize data analytics productivity and shortens the time of delivering actionable information to clinicians. Valeriya is a member of the American Medical Informatics Association. She also held the American Board of Medical Quality Certification.
This class will increase the HIT Fellows program's cumulative participation to 78 provider and administrator champions from 30 states! Participation in this program is strictly voluntary and we are thrilled to have such a strong and diverse cohort moving into our third year as a program. Fellows are empowered to work with the local & national community to promote open and productive dialogue, including working with a local provider/practice to help them leverage meaningful use.
The Health IT Fellows are primary care providers and administrators representing a range of organization setting types including small practices, large practices, rehabilitation centers, Critical Access Hospitals, rural clinics, and tribal health organizations.
The Health IT Fellows are of, by, and for the practices, as such, we will continue to provide insight into the program and share examples with you on how the Fellows are leveraging health information technology in their practices, communities, and on a national level for helping keep patients at the center of care.
All Health IT Fellows
Health IT Fellows Alum Class of 2015
- Chris Collinge of Orlando, FL
- Tobe Fisch, MD, PhD of Plainsboro, NJ
- Allison Foley, MD of Orange, CA
- David O'Hara of Westchester, NY
- Sharon Phelps, RN of Cody, WY
- S. Shafiq Rab, MD of Hackensack, NJ
- Matthew Rafalski, MD of Jellico, TN
- Michael Rakotz, MD of Chicago, IL
- Angela D. Scott of Russell Springs, KY
- Sanjay Seth, MD of Piscataway, NJ
- Dennis Ward of Portsmouth, OH
- William Wulf, MD of Columbus, OH
Participating in the Health IT Fellows Program
For information on how to become a Health IT Fellow, , please contact us at HealthITVanguard@hhs.gov.