Recently, I joined healthcare technology leaders from around the state at the New York eHealth Collaborative (NYeC) Gala & Awards at The Edison Ballroom in New York City.
The event is an annual opportunity to recognize individuals who are contributing to the ideals of the Statewide Health Information Network of New York (SHIN-NY) by advancing the use of electronic records, healthcare technology and related data-sharing efforts.
This year, the Transformative Leadership Award went to David Blumenthal, MD, president of The Commonwealth Fund, a national philanthropy engaged in independent research on health and social policy issues. He’s served in several national-level positions in health information technology, laying the groundwork for a nationwide health information system and is recognized as a thought leader on the use of electronic records.
The gala also honored four additional individuals who reflect the efforts of people across the state to advance the SHIN-NY. In fact, listening to Paul Francis, Deputy Secretary for Health and Human Services, and NYeC Board of Director Chair David Klein, it was apparent that everyone has great faith in the leadership at NYeC and is pleased with the progress of the SHIN-NY over the past year.
All four of these recipients have made significant contributions that have helped shape the direction of Hixny and the SHIN-NY:
Pat Roohan, currently vice president of data management and analytic solutions at MVP, helped advance the goals of the SHIN-NY in his role as Director of the Office of Quality and Patient Safety at the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH).
Gene Heslin, MD, First deputy commissioner at NYSDOH, primary care physician and former NYeC board member, has long been a big proponent of the SHIN-NY – emphasizing the need to seamlessly exchange information across all regions of the state.
Jim Tallon, president emeritus of the United Hospital Fund and former NYS Assembly majority leader, working with Bill Schroth at NYSDOH developed the idea for a public-private partnership that became NYeC in the earliest days of this effort.
Paul Macielak, Esq. president and CEO of the New York Health Plan Association, and current chair of Hixny’s Board of Directors and Hixny co-founder, recognized early on the value of getting parties together for a common good that didn’t typically work together.
As I watched all the presentations, it really struck me how all of these individuals shared a common vision and contributed to bringing people together across the healthcare spectrum to solve a problem. When you look at the success of the SHIN-NY—allowing electronic information to flow seamlessly and securely across the state from border to border— it is directly the result of the leadership these four individuals showed early on. Working without a roadmap or existing models of success to copy, these men forged ahead when it might have been much easy to ignore the problem or let someone else solve it. We owe these four a great debt of gratitude for their perseverance and commitment.
I felt really good to be among so many people who were there to see these individuals honored. NYeC should be congratulated for building a community intent on delivering on the promises of the SHIN-NY that these honorees envisioned years ago.