About HIMSS North America
HIMSS North America, a business unit within HIMSS, positively transforms health and healthcare through the best use of information and technology in the United States and Canada. As a cause-based non-profit, HIMSS North America provides thought leadership, community building, professional development, public policy, and events. HIMSS North America represents 70,000 individual members, 630 corporate members, and over 450 non-profit organizations. Thousands of volunteers work through HIMSS to leverage the potential of digital health to improve both the health status of populations, as well as the quality, cost-effectiveness, access, and value of healthcare. Major initiatives within HIMSS North America include the HIMSS Annual Conference & Exhibition, National Health IT Week, HIMSS Innovation Center, HIMSS Interoperability ShowcasesTM, HIMSS Health IT Value Suite, ConCert by HIMSSTM, HIMSS Professional Communities, and HIMSS Chapters.
FY18 HNA Board Officers
FY18 HNA Board Chairwoman
Denise Hines, DHA, PMP, FHIMSS
eHealth Services Group
Dr. Denise W. Hines heads eHealth Services Group and also serves as the Executive Director of the Georgia Health Information Network (GaHIN). 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.
Nationally recognized as an expert in state government in health information exchanges (HIE), Dr. Hines has participated in hundreds of public speaking events locally and nationally, educating providers on the benefits of electronic health record (EHR) systems, health information technology adoption, and the overall national vision for an interconnected health system.
Dr. Hines was responsible for overseeing and managing the marketing and outreach recruitment of more than 5,200 healthcare providers and 56 critical access and rural hospitals, assisting these providers in meeting meaningful use requirements and qualifying for the CMS EHR incentive program. She participated on Georgia’s HIE Strategic and Operational Plan writing team and served as the co-chair of the HIE Governance Committee. She successfully launched Georgia’s first comprehensive health information transparency and HIE website. She served as the first Executive Director for the GA Health Information Technology Advisory Board and created Georgia’s two-, five-, & 10-year strategic plans for health information technology. She also created and implemented the Georgia HIE Grants Awards Program that awarded $1,800,000 in grants in the first and second years.
Dr. Hines holds her doctorate in healthcare administration where she focused her studies on the use of electronic personal health records and the impact on patient health. She also maintains certifications in project management, software development, and healthcare law.
She is the past President of the Georgia Chapter of Health Information & Management Systems Society (HIMSS) and represents Georgia on the National HIMSS Public Policy Committee. Dr. Hines was recognized as the 2012 HIMSS Chapter Leader of the Year and GA HIMSS was recognized as the 2012 Chapter of the Year. She was also an honoree as the 2012 Woman of the Year in Technology.
Dr. Hines is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc, and a resident of Fayetteville, Georgia. Her hobbies include watching movies, playing basketball, jogging, cooking, sewing, interior decorating, swimming, and spending time with her family. She is married to Wiley Earl Hines, Jr. and a mother of seven children: Crystal, Candice, Sydney, Quincy, Gabriel, Madison, and Wiley Earl Hines III (Trey). She is a member of Flat Rock AME Church where she serves as the President of the Voices of Inspiration Choir.
FY18 HNA Board Vice Chairman
John Kansky, MSE, MBA, CPHIMS, FHIMSS
President & CEO
Indiana Health Information Exchange
John Kansky joined IHIE in 2007 and serves as President & CEO.
Previously, John served as Executive Director and Vice President of Strategy and Planning leading the organization’s efforts to link new communities, hospitals, providers and other health care organizations to IHIE’s statewide network and grow the profile of services offered to customers. IHIE connects the state’s hospitals, physicians, long-term care facilities and other health care providers, enabling medical information to follow patients regardless of treatment location to improve care coordination and patient outcomes. Physicians in the IHIE network provide care to over ten million patients.
John has worked in the health care technology field for 28 years gaining experience at the Indiana University and University of Washington Medical Centers as well as roles in public health and consulting. He has served organizations in the role of Chief Information Officer (CIO), Director of Information Systems, and Director of Clinical Engineering and he has spoken nationally on health information exchange (HIE), health care IT, and HIPAA compliance. John has a BS in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University, an MS in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Washington, and an MBA from Indiana University. He currently serves on the board of HIMSS - the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society.
FY18 HNA Board Chairman-Elect
Cris Ross is Chief Information Officer of Mayo Clinic. He is a member of the Health IT Standards Committee; a board member with HIMSS North America, eHealth Initiative and Zipnosis; an advisor to HL7 and Project Argonaut, and has participated in work groups for the American Medical Association on EHR usability and the American Hospital Association on Interoperability. Prior to joining Mayo Clinic he held technical and business leadership roles with Surescripts, CVS/MinuteClinic, and UnitedHealth Group, prior to which he was an entrepreneur and also served in various roles in federal and state government. He has an MBA from Yale School of Management and a B.S. in economics from the University of Minnesota.
FY18 HNA Board Vice Chairman-Elect
Michael Nusbaum, BASc, MHSA, FHIMSS
M.H. Nusbaum & Associates Ltd.
Michael Nusbaum is a management consultant who has been practicing in the health care industry his entire career. With a broad background in health services administration, coupled with strong education and experience in information management and information technologies, Michael brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to a project. Michael’s strengths lie in applying modern methods and technologies to the specific needs of health care organizations.
Standards and Interoperability: Amongst a number of subject matter domains, Michael has extensive experience in healthcare IT standards and interoperability. Over the past decade, he has contributed as:
- HIMSS North America Board Member
- IHE International Board Member
- IHE International, IT Infrastructure Domain Planning Committee co-Chair
- HIMSS EHR Steering Committee Chair
- Facilitator and Technical Writer, Healthcare IT Standards Panel (HITSP)
- ISO/TC215 Liaison Officer for IHE International
- Joint Initiative Council member, representing IHE International
- IHE Canada, President
- ISO/TC215 Canadian Advisory Committee (domestic lead on all ISO/TC215 WG2/7 items)
- Project Manager, Infoway Standards Collaboration Process (SCP)
- Standards Collaborative Technical Subcommittee (TSC) – ISO Constituency representative
- Standards Collaborative Coordinating Committee (SCCC) – ITAC/Health representative
- Standards Collaborative Steering Committee (SCSC) – IHE Canada Head of Delegation
- ITAC/Health Interoperability and Standards Committee co-Chair
- pan-Canadian Standards Group Chair – Client Registry & Provider Registry
FY18 HNA Board Directors
Ruben Amarasingham, MD, MBA
President and CEO
Ruben Amarasingham, MD, MBA, is founder, President, and CEO of is an expert in the development and evaluation of health information technology; the application of informatics concepts in healthcare; and the use of innovative care models to reduce disparities, improve quality, and lower costs.
He also is an associate professor in the departments of General Internal Medicine and Clinical Sciences at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, where he serves as the Director of the Biomedical Informatics Program for the NIH Clinical and Translational Science Award.
He has conducted and published studies in health IT evaluation, electronic medical records (EMR)-based enterprise-wide quality improvement, and real-time health predictive analysis, and he has won over $28 million in extramural research funding in these areas.
Dr. Amarasingham co-invented the Pieces(tm) software system, an electronic coordination and clinical decision support system that forecasts adverse clinical events using real-time EMR data. He has seven technology patents pending in the United States Patent Office, including the Pieces (tm) system, which is live in multiple U.S. hospitals.
In 2012, Dr. Amarasingham was awarded one of only ten Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Young Leader Awards, which recognize leaders under 40 for "exceptional contributions to improving the health of our nation." He received his Bachelor of Science degree from Brown University and his MD from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. He received postdoctoral training in medical informatics and operations and health services research as a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. He completed his MBA at the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School.
Rene Cabral-Daniels, JD, MPH
Community Care Network of Virginia
My professional experience has involved leading high-level positions that focus on assuring medically underserved populations have not only access to quality health care services, but that they have a voice in the health care policy development.
As an attorney for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), I was the lead attorney for outpatient prospective system payments, CMS communication activities and all payment systems disproportionately impacting rural areas. I competed against CMS attorneys in being assigned a special temporary duty assignment where I drafted policy shaping CMS’ efforts to comply with the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, which had the greatest number of changes to the Medicare program before passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
I also served as the Executive Advisor to the Health Commissioner of the Commonwealth of Virginia. In that role I lead agency-wide programs, including one to improve Information Technology systems for its 36 local health districts. While employed at the Virginia Department of Health, I directed the Office of Health Policy and Planning (OHPP), which included the Offices of Rural Health, Minority Health and Primary Care. The Office of Primary Care administered Virginia’s FLEX program, which includes all Critical Access Hospitals in the Commonwealth. The OHPP was also responsible for educating the Virginia legislature on telemedicine payment issues and was successful in securing Medicaid payment for providers.
Currently, I am the CEO of Community Care Network of Virginia, Inc. (CCNV). CCNV’s shareholders are all 26 federally qualified health centers located in Virginia. The 26 health centers have over 112 sites and served over 300,000 patients in 2015, the majority of whom are members of medically underserved populations. CCNV leads IT services on behalf of Virginia’s FQHCs. CCNV is currently preparing to elevate its role by engaging in efforts to programmatically assist shareholders with value based payment efforts. In addition to serving CCNV shareholders, CCNV also uses automated systems to perform credentialing and other services to clients in 23 states.
Emma Cartmell, FHIMSS
Cartmell Venture Capital
Emma is the currently the CEO of Cartmell Venture Capital. She was also founder and partner at Exsede Health Consulting, which helps innovative technology and services companies enter the healthcare market and grow. She advises international investment banks on the Digital Health market.
She founded the Austin HIMSS chapter in 2004, which was named "Chapter of the Year” in 2015; she currently serves on the board. Emma also serves as an advisor to Minister George Freeman on UK Trade and Investment in the US for Digital Health and Life Sciences.
Emma’s past experience includes serving as the COO of NantHealth, a portfolio of technology and healthcare companies, where she oversaw acquisitions and investments as well as strategy and operations for more than 35 companies. Prior to this role, Emma was the COO of Personalized Medicine at Abraxis BioScience where she was recruited to prepare the company for sale. Abraxis BioScience was a leading publicly traded oncology biotechnology company that was sold to Celgene in 2010 for $2.9 billion. Before Abraxis, Emma served as the Vice President of Healthcare Advanced Programs & Director of Health Business Development and Strategy at SAIC where she was accountable for a $500M healthcare portfolio.
Throughout her career she has been mission-driven to leverage technology to improve healthcare and wellness. This began with her first company, Live4Life, in which she created the first electronic wellness behavior change program and showed measurable improvement for clients, including Rolls Royce and Morgan Stanley.
Emma currently advises growth stage companies, Fortune 500s and venture capital with a focus on value-based care and innovation. Throughout her career she has mentored and promoted women in Digital Health.
Susan Heichert, RN, MA, FHIMSS
Susan began her professional career in pediatric nursing, practicing primarily in Newborn Intensive Care (NICU) and pediatric Oncology. Her early involvement in Nursing Informatics activities in the 1980's provided opportunities to assist the hospital with a beta implementation of McKesson's (then HBOC) STAR system.
Relocation to Iowa allowed her to experience the vendor world as she participated in a startup company and played every role from design/development, pitching to potential investors, marketing, training, installation, implementation, and technical support.
Susan returned to the provider space, after a stint experimenting with a new technologically enabled opportunity called "working remotely". She was involved in both best-of-breed and single vendor selections and implementations for providers (Cerner, SMS/Siemens, etc.), as well as early EDW and HIE work.
After relocating to Shanghai, China, Susan joined Allina Health where she was part of the team that implemented a single EHR including both clinical and revenue cycle components across an entire health system. Allina was honored to earn the Davies Organizational Award for that initiative in 2007, and she had the opportunity to speak at the HIMSS World of Health IT conference in Copenhagen in 2008. In 2008, Susan had assumed the CIO role at Allina and now works with teams on additional initiatives that allow Allina to continue to make progress towards achieving the triple aim for our patients and populations, including predictive analytics and implementing a private
In 2010, Susan worked briefly for a Health IT consulting company before returning to the CIO role at Allina, commuting from Singapore for a year and then relocating back to Minnesota. She has been chosen to serve in interim leadership roles at Allina in addition to the CIO role, including VP for Care Management and most recently as SVP HR/CHRO since January 2015, where she worked with the team to create a Human Resources strategic plan, in addition to several other major initiatives.
LumiraDx represents the fifth generation of my work, which began while working with Steve Jobs and NeXT, Inc. in the early 1990s. From there, I led my first company, Wellogic, to create one of the first longitudinal medical records across major departmental systems in a best-of-breed hospital in Boston, a never before accomplished feat.
In 2011, faced with tremendous opportunity and growth as the US Affordable Care Act was well under implementation, I joined hands with a top fortune company Alere, Inc. to bring Alere's vision of enabling patients to participate actively in the own care in collaboration with their care team to life. Today, I have taken my vision private once again, with the strength and backing of a trio of industry leaders, and I am now helping to drive practical interoperability and standards adoption in the European and US markets as well as globally.
While humble in description, my current work will be the game changer to finally get the delivery and affordability of healthcare to each and every inhabitant in the World and where best practices will be boundarless in scope and delivery. Good compassionate healthcare is a right, not a privilege, and every inhabitant in the World needs the same access and quality. My current work supports this effort. This vision is also supported by my collaboration with Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Inc. one of LumiraDx's clients among many others. Our shared vision is to change the way people are treated for healthcare and its delivery regardless of their socio-economic situation.
I believe in the mission of HIMSS. I am extremely impressed with the HIMSS North America leadership having watched the leadership transform HIMSS North America nothing short of phenomenal to further greatness helping the masses. I want to use my diverse national and international skill sets acquired through my career thus far (in industry and working with various governmental agencies here and in the World), to help HIMSS North America provide support for all healthcare stakeholders.
Jonathan Niloff, MD, MBA
Chief Medical Officer
Dr. Jonathan Niloff is the former vice president and chief medical officer of McKesson Connected Care & Analytics and was the founder and chief medical officer for MedVentive, which is now a part of McKesson.
Dr. Niloff has over 30 years of healthcare experience as a physician, medical director, professor, author, and healthcare technology innovator. Before MedVentive, he was president of the Provider Service Network (part of CareGroup) - and prior to that, he served as president of the Beth Israel Deaconess Physicians Organization in Boston, and Medical Director of the Affiliated Physicians Group of the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC).
He was also the vice-chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at BIDMC and an associate professor at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Niloff received his Doctor of Medicine degree at McGill University and completed his residency in Obstetrics & Gynecology and fellowship in Gynecologic Oncology at Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston. He earned a Masters of Business Administration degree at Boston University.
Joseph (J. Marc) Overhage, MD, PhD, FACP, FACMI
Chief Medical Informatics Officer
Dr. Overhage is the Chief Medical Informatics Officer for Cerner (previously Siemens) HS. Prior to joining Siemens he was the founding Chief Executive Officer of the Indiana Health Information Exchange and was Director of Medical Informatics at the Regenstrief Institute, Inc., and a Sam Regenstrief Professor of Medical Informatics at the Indiana University School of Medicine.
He has spent over 25 years developing and implementing clinical and scientific systems and evaluating their value. Working at the Regenstrief Institute, he created a community wide electronic medical record (called the Indiana Network for Patient Care) containing data from many sources including laboratories, pharmacies and hospitals in central Indiana. Over 104 acute care hospitals and over 22,000 physicians participate in the system which includes inpatient and outpatient encounter data, laboratory results, immunization data and other selected data. In order to create a sustainable financial model, he helped create the Indiana Health Information Exchange, a not-for-profit corporation.
In addition Dr. Overhage has developed and evaluated clinical decision support including inpatient and outpatient computerized physician order entry and the underlying knowledge bases to support them. He practiced general internal medicine for over 20 years including the ambulatory, inpatient and emergency care settings. Over the last decade, Dr. Overhage has played a significant regional and national leadership role in advancing the policy, standards, financing and implementation of health information exchange. He serves on the HIT Standards Committee, Board of Directors of the National Quality Form, served on the National Committee for Vital and Health Statistics and being engaged in a number of national healthcare initiatives. He previously served on the boards of the eHealth Initiative and the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA).
Dr. Overhage earned his MD and a doctorate in Biophysics from the Indiana University School of Medicine where he also completed residency in Internal Medicine, served as Chief Resident in Medicine and completed a fellowship in Medical Informatics at the Regenstrief Institute. He is a member of the National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine), a fellow of the American College of Physicians and a fellow of the American College of Medical Informatics.
James B. Peake, M.D.
Senior Vice President
Lieutenant General James Peake was nominated by President George W. Bush to be Secretary of Veterans Affairs on October 30, 2007. He was unanimously confirmed by the Senate on December 14, 2007, and served from December 2007 through January 2009. Dr. Peake was the principal advocate for veterans in the U.S. government and directed the nation’s second largest cabinet department, responsible for a nationwide system of health care services, benefits programs, and national cemeteries for America’s veterans and dependents.
During his tenure, the VA employed more than 280,000 people at hundreds of medical centers, nursing homes, benefits offices, and national cemeteries throughout the country. The VA’s budget for fiscal year 2009 was $97.5 billion. A St. Louis, Mo., native, Dr. Peake received his Bachelor of Science degree from U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1966 and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army Infantry. Following service in Vietnam with the 101st Airborne Division where he was awarded the Silver Star, a Bronze Star with “V” device and the Purple Heart with oak leaf cluster, Dr. Peake entered medical school at Cornell University in New York. He was awarded a medical doctorate in 1972.
Dr. Peake began his Army medical career as a general surgery resident at Brooke Army Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston, Texas. He retired from the Army in 2004, following service as a general surgeon, cardiac surgeon and commander of several medical organizations culminating in his appointment as U.S. Army Surgeon General from 2000 to 2004. As Army Surgeon General, Dr. Peake commanded 50,000 medical personnel and 187 army medical facilities worldwide. Prior to that, he served as Commanding General of the U.S. Army Medical Department Center and School, one of the largest medical training facilities in the world with 30,000 students annually.
After retiring as a Lieutenant General, Dr. Peake served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Project HOPE, a non-profit international health foundation operating in more than 30 countries. Just prior to his nomination as Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Dr. Peake served as Chief Operating Officer and a member of the Board of Directors for QTC, one of the largest private providers of government-outsourced occupational health and disability examination services in the nation. Dr. Peake is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, Society of Thoracic Surgeons, and the American College of Cardiology. He has been honored with the Order of Military Merit; the “A” Professional Designator; and the Medallion, Surgeon General of the United States.
Mark Sugrue, MSN, RN-BC, FHIMSS, CPHIMS
CNIO and ACNO, Professional Services
University of Massachusetts Memorial Medical Center
Mark Sugrue, RN-BC, FHIMSS, CPHIMS offers over twenty-five years of health care experience in the provider, payer and vendor communities. Mark is recognized nationally for his expertise in Patient safety, Clinical Systems, HIPAA, ARRA/ HITECH and the Revenue Cycle. Mark has a keen sense of the healthcare industry and emerging market trends and is able to effectively apply his expertise to a wide range of healthcare industry issues and setting.
He is a Masters prepared, Registered Nurse and Board Certified Informatics Nurse, a fellow in HIMSS and holds the CPHIMS credential. Mark has designed and implemented clinical systems nationally and internationally including Clinical Documentation, EMRs, and CPOE.
His past Big X Management Consulting experience (Andersen, BearingPoint, PwC) includes a wide range of strategic, operational and financial management consulting engagements. Mark is currently the Chief Nursing Informatics Officer at Lahey Hospital and Medical Center in Burlington, MA where he is responsible for all current and future state technology to support the delivery of exceptional nursing care.
Mark holds a number of local and national Nursing leadership positions. He is a past Chair of the HIMSS Nursing Informatics Committee where he led over 6,000 nursing members. He is also the co-chair of the Informatics Committee of Massachusetts/Rhode Island Organization of Nurse Leaders and is a founder and past president of the New England Nursing Informatics Consortium. Additionally, Mark has served as a board member to TIGER (Technology, Informatics Guiding Education Reform) effort and he currently serves as a Governing Director with the Alliance for Nursing Informatics. Mark is an author and a frequent speaker at trade shows and professional conventions and serves as faculty for a healthcare information technology course he developed as part of a doctorate in nursing practice curriculum.
Ferdinand Velasco, MD, FHIMSS
Senior Vice President, Chief Health Information Officer
Texas Health Resources
Dr. Ferdinand Velasco is the chief health information officer for Texas Health Resources, the largest not for profit health system in north Texas. Dr. Ferdinand Velasco leads the organization’s clinical decision support, medical and nursing informatics, business intelligence and data analytics functions across the continuum of care. This includes systemwide optimization of the electronic health record. In 2013, Texas Health Resources received the enterprise HIMSS Nicholas E. Davies Award of Excellence.
A HIMSS fellow, Dr. Velasco served as chair of the society’s Quality, Cost, Safety Committee from 2012 to 2014. He is a co-author of “Improving Outcomes of Clinical Decision Support”, winner of the 2010 HIMSS Book of the Year Award. Modern Healthcare honored Dr. Velasco as an inaugural member of the Top 25 Clinical Informaticists in Healthcare. He received his medical degree from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Medicine.
Dr. Velasco previously served as an assistant professor and physician champion for the implementation of a computerized physician order entry (CPOE) system at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University. He simultaneously practiced as a cardiothoracic surgeon at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital.