MaineHealth picks a high-profile physician CIO to lead its IT department

Dr. Daniel J. Nigrin, senior vice president and CIO at Boston Children’s Hospital, will take over in January.
By Bill Siwicki
12:34 PM
MaineHealth indoor lobby sign

MaineHealth, northern New England’s largest health system, has selected a physician-information technology leader from Boston Children’s Hospital to lead its IT team.

WHAT HAPPENED

Dr. Daniel J. Nigrin, who currently is senior vice president and CIO at Boston Children’s Hospital, has been chosen as MaineHealth’s new CIO. He replaces Abdul Bengali, who since January has served as interim CIO. He replaced Marci Dunn, the health system’s previous CIO, who passed away after a long illness.

Nigrin will begin his new duties at MaineHealth in January 2021.

WHY IT MATTERS

Nigrin has been with Boston Children’s since 1995, shortly after completing medical school and his residency at Baltimore’s Johns Hopkins University Medical School and Johns Hopkins Hospital, respectively.

During his time at Boston Children’s, he served as an attending physician specializing in pediatric endocrinology and found he was drawn to the role that technology plays in delivering high-quality care.

"It’s a unique opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives at a time when technology is playing an increasing role in the provision of healthcare."

Dr. Daniel J. Nigrin, Boston Children’s Hospital

Nigrin began to assume increasing responsibility within Boston Children’s IT department. In 1999, he obtained a master’s degree in medical informatics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 2001, he was named senior vice president and CIO at Boston Children’s. He continued to practice medicine and see patients while serving in that role.

During his time leading the IT team at Boston Children’s, Nigrin gained experience across a range of IT functions, including overseeing the installation of Cerner and Epic software.

THE LARGER TREND

Nigrin has a wealth of experience, including dealing with cybersecurity.

In 2014, Boston Children’s Hospital was attacked by the hacker organization Anonymous. The assault was aggressive and attempted to penetrate the hospital’s network through spear phishing emails and direct attacks on exposed ports and services.

No patient data was compromised. Nigrin had three weeks warning. His team and the incident response team were prepared. They met every strike with a counterstrike, and brought in some third-party cybersecurity firms for their expertise.

ON THE RECORD

“In Dan we get an experienced and knowledgeable physician-executive with strong credentials as an information technology leader,” said Richard Petersen, president of MaineHealth.

Nigrin says he was drawn to the opportunity at MaineHealth because it offers a chance to lead an enterprise with multiple local health systems pursuing a broad medical mission.

“At MaineHealth, there’s an opportunity to leverage technology in a way that positively impacts thousands of patients across Maine and Carroll County, N.H.,” Nigrin said. “It’s a unique opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives at a time when technology is playing an increasing role in the provision of healthcare.”

Twitter: @SiwickiHealthIT
Email the writer: bsiwicki@himss.org
Healthcare IT News is a HIMSS Media publication.

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Top row - left to right: Dr Don Rucker, National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), HHS Office of the Secretary, US, Tim Kelsey, SVP - Analytics, HIMSS, Australia and Dr Ahmed Balkhair, Saudi Arabia’s Digital Transformation Advisor, Ministry of Health. 

Bottom row: Dr Anne Snowdon, Director of Clinical Research - Analytics, HIMSS, Canada.

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