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 Global Conference & Exhibition, National Health IT Week, HIMSS Global Innovation & Conference Center, HIMSS Interoperability ShowcasesTM, HIMSS Value Suite, ConCert by HIMSSTM, HIMSS Professional Communities, and HIMSS Chapters.
FY19 HNA Board Officers
FY19 HNA Board Chair
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.
FY19 HNA Board Vice Chair
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
Susan Heichert, RN, MA, FHIMSS
Susan Heichert is the former Chief Information Officer at Allina Health. She began her professional career in pediatric/NICU nursing, practicing in Texas and Minnesota, after earning a B.S. in Nursing from the University of Maryland at Baltimore. Previous positions include work in the vendor space and consulting as well as a role at Children’s Minnesota with their Cerner implementation.
Susan joined Allina Health in 2004, where she was part of the team that implemented Epic. Allina was honored to earn the Davies Organizational Award for that initiative in 2007. In 2008, Susan assumed the CIO role and has served in other interim leadership roles including VP for Care Management and SVP HR/CHRO. Susan has been active with the MN Chapter of HIMSS as well as the national HIMSS organization since the ‘90s, serving in a variety of positions and on numerous committees as well as contributing to HIMSS publications. Additionally, she is a member of CHIME and has served on various CHIME committees. She was appointed to the MN State e-Health committee and served until 2016. She also serves on the board of Senior Community Services and the technology committee for Feed My Starving Children.
FY19 HNA Board Vice Chair-Elect
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.
FY19 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.
Melissa Kotrys, MPH
Chief Executive Officer
Health Current, Phoenix, AZ
Ms. Kotrys has more than 15 years’ experience in healthcare. She has led price and quality transparency studies at the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, and supported federal agency IT systems through Deloitte. Over the last 10 years, Ms. Kotrys’ expertise includes:
- Statewide HIE & Interoperability: challenges, policy, strategy, and value.
- E-Prescribing (including controlled substances & medication fill history): supported prescriber education/training, passing EPCS legislation, implementing EPCS adoption incentives, and leading a statewide committee for roll-out.
- Value-Based Purchasing: With AZ’s Medicaid agency, developed, finalized and implemented value-based payment incentives for hospitals submitting data to AZ’s HIE. Developed HIT and HIE requirements for $300M support of Medicaid providers with practice transformation and integrated physical and behavioral health care delivery.
- Integrated Physical & Behavioral Health Information: Led development of a statewide HIE strategy, including protected substance abuse treatment information. Connecting the top 80 behavioral health providers to the HIE for bidirectional exchange.
- Long-term/Post-acute Care: Supported providers in IT adoption. Working with 50+ LTPAC facilities on implementing, and successfully using, statewide HIE services.
- Privacy & Security: Developed a framework appropriate for a statewide HIE. Includes participating in assessments and audits of privacy and security policies, leading passage of state legislation regarding patient rights regarding HIE.
Lydia Lee, MBA, CPHIMS-CA
Partner & National Lead, Digital Health Practice
Ms. Lee brings to the HNA Board of Directors more than 20 years in progressively senior roles in both the US and Canada; all of which focused on harnessing the value of information to support better care delivery, patient safety and the patient experience. In the US, Ms. Lee worked in public sector, helping hospitals optimize Medicaid payments, and creating payer/provider packaged price offerings for specific populations. Since moving to Canada in 1996 Ms. Lee has focused on regional/provincial ehealth programs, multi-organizational change initiatives leveraging strategic alliances and shared services constructs, enterprise level IMIT strategy and operations, and a very strong national and international network of public and private sector peers to bring global best practices to health organizations.
Up until her current role at KPMG as Partner and National Lead for Digital Health Practice in Canada, she described her University Hospital Network role as being two jobs: CIO for Toronto’s hospitals, and ehealth service delivery partner for the Ontario government.
Being in the public sector, Ms. Lee has a deep working knowledge of privacy legislation, procurement directives and Freedom of Information legislation. She led the implementation of the largest HIE in Canada, the largest regional diagnostic imaging repository, and a regional eReferral program that has improved the transitions in care between acute, rehabilitation care, home care and long-term care.
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.
David Smith, MS
Third Horizon Strategies, Western Springs, IL
Mr. Smith has significant expertise in changing payment models, behavioral health, and other IT related policy. Intensely focused on studying the pace of change in America's payment and delivery models, as wrought by public and private forces, and the ancillary impact on peripheral clinical and service enterprises.
Mr. Smith studied the nature of current programs, modeled forecasts, conducted peer-reviewed research, and assisted organizations to construct value-based arrangements within their communities. He’s worked closely with a group of IT experts among Leavitt Partner’s hospital, drug, and device community to advance a holistic model for assessing cybersecurity readiness. Conducted extensive work in public health, social determinants and, most recently, developed a gold standard payment and delivery model for addiction treatment and recovery services financed through a bundle. Has helped to shape competencies and criteria related to interoperability, in addition to working closely with ONC on related issues.
Mr. Smith has engaged in various boards over the course of his career. His most formative experience was a gubernatorial appointment to serve on the Utah Board of Regents, with stewardship over the state's higher education institutions. Since then, he has participated on various boards in either an advisory or director capacity, including the Health Board of Chicago.
Walter Suarez, MD, MPH
Executive Director, Health IT Strategy and Policy
Kaiser Permanente, Washington, DC
Dr. Suarez has more than 30 years of professional and leadership experience and expertise in the areas of clinical care, public health and health IT as a physician, public health professional, and health IT professional. Other areas of expertise include health policy development and implementation in the areas of access, cost, quality, safety, privacy and security, and standards for public health as well as health IT policy and program planning, development and implementation in the areas of:
- EHR adoption and use (including supporting planning and deploying the Meaningful Use program and EHR/Health IT Certification program at Kaiser Permanente);
- Standards development and maintenance (ISO, HL7, X12N, AAMI, NUCC, and others);
- Interoperability of health information systems;
- Regional HIEs;
- Pophealth management (coined the term "precision population health management")
- Privacy, security and cyber security (including national standards, federal and state laws and regulations, organizational policies and procedures); and
- Quality measurement and reporting (including electronic standards for clinical quality measures)
Dr. Suarez has served on public and private boards and committees. He has been trained for, and exposed to, good governance practices, including By-Laws that promoted open and transparent governance practices, strong Conflict of Interest policies, fiscal and fiduciary responsibility policies and practices, and others.
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.