NAHIT launches new strategy, names new leadership

By Bernie Monegain
12:00 AM
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The National Alliance for Health Information Technology has announced new leadership and a new strategic and operating framework.

The changes support a sharpened focus by the organization on the intersection of healthcare IT and healthcare delivery, NAHIT executives told the audience at its membership meeting Thursday.

The board named George Lynn and John Glaser as co-chairmen, and it named Jane Horowitz as chief operating officer.

Lynn is former chief executive and president of AtlantiCare and past chairman of the American Hospital Association. Glaser is vice president and chief information officer of Partners HealthCare System in Boston and a CHIME (College of Healthcare Information Management Executives) fellow. Horowitz served NAHIT as vice president and chief marketing officer,

The announcement comes two months after NAHIT President and CEO Scott Wallace stepped down. He had led the organization since 2003. NAHIT executives said then they would be exploring new directions.

"With George, John and Jane, we have put in place the right leadership to take NAHIT forward," Curt Selquist said. “Having launched and led many of NAHIT's major initiatives, Jane is a critical link to our organization's accomplishments and its uniquely successful approach to consensus-building among all healthcare sectors."  

Selquist is stepping down as interim chief executive and board chairman but will continue to serve as a board member.

To strengthen its efforts in addressing healthcare IT as a strategic, rather than a purely technology issue for senior executives, Selquist said, NAHIT has established formal alliances with the AHA and CHIME, both founding members of NAHIT in 2002.

 

Both the AHA and CHIME will contribute staff for NAHIT support.

AHA is providing core staff, back-office support and other services that provide connections to critical distribution and education channels and linkages with leaders across the field. CHIME, too, will contribute full-time staff and functional support for key NAHIT member services such as education, communication, Web site and content development and connections with more than 1,200 information technology leaders and providers of IT products and services.

UCLA Medical Sciences CIO and CHIME Chairman Rodney Dykehouse also has joined NAHIT's board.

 "Health IT is fundamental to the advancement of the U.S. health care delivery system," said Neil Jesuele, AHA executive vice-president and NAHIT board member. Jesuele led NAHIT's transition team. "Providers and other stakeholders across healthcare focused on IT-enabled patient care know it is central to any significant progress in quality, safety and efficiency. There's much at stake, and NAHIT has a pivotal role to play in ensuring we get it right."

In the next month, NAHIT will transition its work with the Healthcare Supply Chain Standards Coalition to GS1 Healthcare US and wrap up the healthcare IT definitions project for the Office of the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology. At the same time, Horowitz said, the board and members are working to determine NAHIT's next initiatives.

 "One of our greatest strengths is our representation and consensus-building across healthcare, and that won't change," Horowitz said. "But we are sharpening our focus on supporting and empowering the process to deliver more effective and efficient patient-focused care."