HIMSS 2022 | GovernmentCIO Media & Research

HIMSS 2022

The health information technology industry is ripe with modernization. Electronic health records are booming and the software supporting data sharing and interoperability are increasingly incorporating automation, artificial intelligence, advanced security protections and more. The federal government is working to advance these technologies across health agencies and are working on various policies to unlock software's full potential.

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Jim Gfrerer
James Gfrerer
Former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Information and Technology and CIO, VA

Micky Tripathi is the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, where he leads the formulation of the federal health IT strategy and coordinates federal health IT policies, standards, programs, and investments. 

Mr. Tripathi has over 20 years of experience across the health IT landscape. He most recently served as Chief Alliance Officer for Arcadia, a health care data and software company focused on population health management and value-based care, the project manager of the Argonaut Project, an industry collaboration to accelerate the adoption of FHIR, and a board member of HL7, the Sequoia Project, the CommonWell Health Alliance, and the CARIN Alliance.

Mr. Tripathi served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative (MAeHC), a non-profit health IT advisory and clinical data analytics company. He was also the founding President and CEO of the Indiana Health Information Exchange, a statewide HIE partnered with the Regenstrief Institute, an Executive Advisor to investment firm LRVHealth, and a Fellow at the Berkman-Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University.

He holds a PhD in political science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a Master of Public Policy from Harvard University, and an AB in political science from Vassar College. Prior to receiving his PhD, he was a Presidential Management Fellow and a senior operations research analyst in the Office of the Secretary of Defense in Washington, DC, for which he received the Secretary of Defense Meritorious Civilian Service Medal.

National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, HHS
Dr. Neil Evans
Dr. Neil Evans
Chief Officer for the Office of Connected Care, Veterans Health Administration

Ms. Holly Joers serves as the program executive officer for the Program Executive Office, Defense Healthcare Management Systems (PEO DHMS). The mission of PEO DHMS is to transform the delivery of healthcare and advance data sharing through a modernized electronic health record for service members, veterans and their families. Ms. Joers oversees and provides guidance to multiple pro gram offices, including the DoD Healthcare Management System Modernization’s delivery of a single, common, federal record; the Joint Operational Medicine Information Systems’ delivery of operational medicine capabilities; and the Enterprise Intelligence and Data Solutions targeting data innovation. Ms. Joers continues to fulfill her deputy PEO role in overseeing acquisition lifecycle management framework implementation, program management, tracking requirements, personnel and resource management, metrics and contract management.

Ms. Joers most recently served as the interim deputy director for the Federal Electronic Health Record Modernization (FEHRM) program office. She led program office activities, including efforts to establish an organizational structure, staffing and priorities to ensure that FEHRM responsibilities, mandated by both the National Defense Authorization Act 2020 and the FEHRM Charter, are carried out effectively. Before joining PEO DHMS and FERHM, she served as the Chief of Strategic Sourcing for the Office of the Deputy Under Secretary of the Air Force for Management and Deputy Chief Management Officer. She was responsible for initiation and governance of the Air Force’s Category Management Program aimed at proactively and strategically managing costs. She also had oversight of the Headquarters Air Force contracted support services portfolio, ensuring disciplined governance, performance management, identification of efficiencies and implementation of con tinuous process improvement activities.

She began her career at Eglin Air Force Base, where she held several positions of increasing responsibility, including logistics management specialist; integrated product team lead; chief, Director’s Action Group/PEO Execution Group; and flight chief, Full-Scale Aerial Targets. Her experience spans multiple functional areas, including logistics, test, and program management, at multiple program levels, ranging from ACAT 1D to ACAT III weapons systems. She also served as the deputy director, F-35 Lightning II Production, F-35 Joint Program Office.

Ms. Joers holds a Bachelor of Science in Marketing Management from Virginia Tech, a Master of Business Administration from University of West Florida and a Master of Science in National Security and Resource Strategy from National Defense University. Her professional certifications include Acquisition Corps Membership; DAWIA Level III, Program Management; and DAWIA Level III, Life Cycle Logistics. She completed courses at several defense colleges. She holds numerous awards and honors, including the Air Force Civilian Achievement Award, Air Armament Center Acquisition Logistician of the Year, Exemplary Civilian Service Award, Air Force Program Manager of the Year and OSD Exceptional Civilian Service Award.

Program Executive Officer, DHMS
Dr. Ryan Vega
Dr. Ryan Vega
Chief Officer, Healthcare Innovation and Learning, VHA
Mike Wynn
Mike Wynn
Director of Information Management and Infrastructure Engineering, VA
Heather Agler
Heather Agler
Senior Program Manager, CDRH, FDA
Brynn Cole
Brynn Cole
Director, Design & Storytelling, VHA Innovation Ecosystem

Rafael Fricks, Ph.D., is a computer engineer at the Department of Veterans Affairs National Artificial Intelligence Institute (NAII). Dr. Fricks leads the AI Tech Sprints, which are 3-month challenges that invite outside teams to prototype AI tools for veterans’ care. Additionally, he researches emerging deep learning technologies in imaging with applications in radiology and digital pathology, and is a contributor to the VA Radiology workgroup to develop a national AI in Radiology strategy.

Prior to joining the NAII in 2020, Dr. Fricks joined the VA as a postdoctoral fellow in 2018 as part of the Big Data Science Training Enhancement Program (BD-STEP), pursuing deep learning research in radiology in collaboration with Duke University and the Carl E. Ravin Laboratories at Duke. He completed his MS and PhD degrees in biomedical engineering at Duke University in 2017 and 2018, respectively, with dissertation work in discrete event simulation of healthcare systems. He received his BS degree in biomedical engineering from the University of Texas at Austin in 2013, with a specialization in imaging and instrumentation.

Lead AI Tech Sprints Coordinator, VA
Amanda Purnell
Amanda Purnell
Director, Data and Analytics Innovation, VHA
Leonie Heyworth
Leonie Heyworth
Director of Synchronous Telehealth, VA
Matthew Quinn
Matthew Quinn
Science Director at Army Telemedicine & Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC)

Related Coverage

TATRC established the National Emergency Tele-Critical Care Network to make critical care expertise more accessible during the COVID-19 pandemic.
DHMS' Holly Joers provides updates on EHR roll out and outlines next steps.
We get an on-the-ground perspective of how health IT is impacting medicine at the point of care.
ONC's Micky Tripathi highlights how the foundation for interoperability that ONC has set is going to transform health data exchange and use in 2022.
New EHR modernization leads discuss the unified approach driving the program's next steps.
The two agencies are working together on USCDI+, electronic prior authorization improvements and more.
VA Lighthouse director Dave Mazik explains new digital tools that are supporting veteran health outcomes.
The team is now strategizing how to incorporate more data standards into the technology.
The Wilmot Cancer Institute is looking to AR/VR for data visualization beyond dashboards.
Though still in its infancy, collecting and making actionable data can provide insights on optimal performance of service members.
Many challenges in any tech modernization initiative is grappling with the business perspective.
Amid data challenges, CDC and ONC are working to modernize and drive interoperability.
There are underlying biases that impact levels of recruitment ultimately affecting the cybersecurity workforce.
Brynn Cole breaks down how the department is scaling human-centered design to improve health care delivery and solutions.
Amanda Purnell Unpacks VA’s "Arches" that uses synthetic data to improve veteran care.
VA is looking to make data more interoperable to populate insights via dashboards and inform pandemic next steps.
New upcoming measures will sharpen quality of care for Medicare patients.
VA interoperability lead Ken Rubin discusses a new data platform that’s improving data discovery and sharing.
Telehealth leads Neil Evans and Leonie Heyworth discuss how VA has leveraged lessons learned from COVID-19.
The rule will outline API standards for payer-to-payer data exchanges of health information.
Agencies can access CIO-SP3 for orders until Oct. 31 as NITAAC preps to begin CIO-SP4 awards in November.
Ryan Vega breaks down real-world examples of digital tools showing the way of the future of veterans health.
Rafael Fricks is working on efforts to make artificial intelligence impactful for reducing clinician burdens and improving how veterans are treated.
FDA's Heather Agler from CDRH talks leveraging lessons learned from COVID-19 to improve supply chain resiliency and develop new solutions.