HIMSS spotlights health IT leaders

'Their personal commitment has made an important difference'
By Anthony Brino
09:58 AM

Outgoing health IT leader Farzad Mostashari MD, psychologist and Congressman Tim Murphy, CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner and Rhode Island state representative Brian Patrick Kennedy, are being recognized for their work in advancing the use of health IT by HIMSS during National Health IT Week

Mostashari, who has announced he will step down from his federal post as national coordinator of health IT next month, is receiving recognition for his four years at the Office of the National Coordinator, the last two of them spent leading the Meaningful Use Program and designing Stage 3 of the initiative.

A physician and public health informaticist who brought both consensus building skills and a focus on inclusiveness to government, “Dr. Mostashari has an impact on health IT that is far reaching and effective,” HIMSS said in a news release.

[See also: National Health IT week to draw hundreds.]

HIMSS is also calling attention to Marilyn Tavenner, the administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, one of the largest federal agencies and one of the main implementers of the Affordable Care Act.

Starting her career as a nurse and then working in leadership roles at the Hospital Corporation of America, Tavenner started directing the agency in 2011, just as it was undertaking some of the most ambitious healthcare programs in the country’s history, many of them aimed at common goals of reforming healthcare financing and improving quality and access. CMS is managing the EHR incentive program, health insurance marketplaces, and the regulation of consumer protections and insurance practices.  

For leadership in national healthcare policy, HIMSS is highlighting U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy, who represents the western Pennsylvania region around Upper St. Clair. Murphy worked as a practicing psychologist, taught at the University of Pittsburgh and authored books on child behavior therapies before entering politics.

Once in office, he was “one of only a handful of members of Congress with a background in healthcare,” HIMSS noted, and “established himself as a leader on the issue,” especially for mental health and veterans policies. Murphy also co-founded the 21st Century Healthcare Caucus and sits on the Capitol Hill Steering Committee on Telehealth and Healthcare Informatics.

[See also: National Health IT Week Blog Carnival.]

At the state level, Rhode Island House Rep. Brian Patrick Kennedy, a Democrat, is working on a variety important health and technology issues, HIMSS said. A trained real estate broker and appraiser, Kennedy has represented the region around Hopkinton, near the Connecticut border, since 1989.

Sitting on the HIMSS State Advisory Roundtable and co-chairing the Rhode Island House Healthcare Oversight Committee, Kennedy has brought IT perspectives to healthcare policy challenges in the small New England state. Recently, he has been working on legislation improving state coordination during emergencies, such as Hurricane Sandy, and requiring more transparency in life insurance policy sales.

Kennedy, along with Mostashari, Murphy and Tavenner “recognize the value of health IT to support care coordination and healthcare transformation,” said Carla Smith, HIMSS executive vice president. “Their personal commitment has made an important difference, as we work to improve healthcare for today and tomorrow.”


This article is based on original reporting at Government Health IT.