Readers' choice: 21 health IT leaders to know

Health IT is a burgeoning industry, with thought leaders emerging in all aspects of digital health.

In July, Becker's Hospital Review asked for reader input for health IT leaders to know, and we received names of CIOs, executives at IT companies, and everyone in between.

Here, presented in alphabetical order, are 21 IT leaders Becker's readers would like you to know about.

David Bennett. Executive Vice President of Healthier Populations, Orion Health (Scottsdale, Ariz.). As executive vice president of healthier populations, Mr. Bennett helps lead the population health service line of Orion Health, a healthcare software company. Part of his duties include overseeing the North American Development Center, the new divisional headquarters for the Auckland, New Zealand-based company that will focus on advancing Orion Health's open platform, analytics and care coordination. Mr. Bennett previously served as a software engineer for Bank of America, system engineering services director for Gateway Data Sciences and founder and CTO of Cyclone Commerce, a B2B technology company, among other positions.

Roger Davis. President and CEO, T-System (Dallas). Mr. Davis took the helm of T-System in July 2014. He joined the documentation and coding company from Accenture, where was a senior executive and partner for almost four years. Previously, Mr. Davis was senior vice president of physician services for Perot Systems (acquired by Dell in 2009), vice president of physician services for GE Healthcare IT and CEO of Viztek, a healthcare digital software provider.

Jake Dorst. Interim CEO and CIO of Tahoe Forest Health District (Truckee, Calif.). Mr. Dorst has been CIO for TFHD since September 2014 and was named interim CEO in May 2015. Mr. Dorst led the health system through its attestation plan for stage 1 of meaningful use. Prior to joining TFHD, Mr. Dorst served as vice president and CIO of Hagerstown, Md.-based Meritus Health and CIO of Southside Regional Medical Center in Petersburg, Va.

Graham Gardner, MD. Cofounder and CEO, Kyruus (Boston). Trained in internal medicine and cardiology, Dr. Gardner left his role as a practicing physician at Boston-based Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center to attend Harvard Business School and enter the non-clinical side of healthcare. Before cofounding referral management solution provider Kyruus in 2010, Dr. Gardener was a venture executive with Highland Capital Partners, cofounder and CMO of health management company Generation Health and cofounder and clinical consultant for SynapDx, a laboratory services company.

Chris Hobson, MD. CMO, Orion Health (Scottsdale, Ariz.). Dr. Hobson began his medical career as a family physician in New Zealand. From 1999 to 2002, Dr. Hobson was the integrated care and IT lead at a large tertiary hospital in Auckland, overseeing software system selection, development and implementation process. He was then appointed clinical director of Orion Health and assumed his current duties in 2006. As CMO, Dr. Hobson oversees more than 20 clinicians globally to ensure solutions support safe, quality care.

Anil Jain, MD. Senior Vice President and CMO, Explorys (Cleveland). Dr. Jain helped develop Explorys, a big data analytics company, while he was working at Cleveland Clinic. In his current role, Dr. Jain leads informatics and analytics, product management, training and solutions delivery. Dr. Jain joined Cleveland Clinic in 1995 as an internal medicine resident and went on to hold various leadership positions, most recently as senior executive director of IT. Dr. Jain has written more than 100 publications and abstracts and is a fellow of the American College of Physicians.

Thomas Lee, MD. CMO of Press Ganey (South Bend, Ind.). In addition to his CMO duties with Press Ganey, which he has executed since 2013, Dr. Lee, an internist and cardiologist, continues to practice primary care at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. Dr. Lee has made a name for himself at the academic medical center: Each year, Brigham and Women's awards a physician with the Thomas H. Lee Award for Excellence in Primary Care. Dr. Lee previously was network president for Boston-based Partners HealthCare System and CEO of Partners Community HealthCare. From 2006 to 2012, Dr. Lee was a member of the Massachusetts Health Care Quality and Cost Council, helping develop and implement healthcare reform in the state.

Jeff Margolis. Chairman and CEO, Welltok (Denver). In 2011, Mr. Margolis joined Welltok, a consumer-facing health optimization platform, as chairman and CEO. Previously, he founded TriZetto, a healthcare management solution geared toward providers and payers. Mr. Margolis has authored two books, The Healthcare Cure: How Sharing Information Can Make the System Work Better and The Information Cure: Solving the Healthcare Crisis Systematically through Integrated Healthcare Management. He currently sits on the board of directors for Quality Systems, Predilytics and Alignment Healthcare, the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America, Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian in Newport Beach, Calif., and University of California at Irvine's Center for Health Care Management & Policy.

Mac McMillan. Cofounder and CEO, CynergisTek (Austin, Texas). Mr. McMillan cofounded information security services firm CynergisTek in 2003. He currently is the chairman of the HIMSS Privacy & Security Policy Task Force, a position he has held since July 2011. He is also a HIMSS fellow and contributing author of HIMSS' book Information Security in Healthcare: Managing Risk. Additionally, Mr. McMillan served as director of security for the Department of Defense's Defense Threat Reduction Agency.

James Merlino, MD. President and CMO, Strategic Consulting, Press Ganey (South Bend, Ind.). Dr. Merlino joined Press Ganey in 2015 after leaving Cleveland Clinic, where he was chief experience officer and associate chief of staff. Dr. Merlino was also a practicing colorectal surgeon with Cleveland Clinic's Digestive Disease Institute. A thought leader in patient experience, Dr. Merlino published his first book in 2014, titled Service Fanatics: How to Build Superior Patient Experience the Cleveland Clinic Way. He is also the founder and current president of the Association for Patient Experience.

Robert Napoli. Senior Vice President and CIO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands (Seattle). Mr. Napoli has served in his current position since July 2013, prior to which he was director of IT at Lawrence & Memorial Hospital in New London, Conn., and manager of IT at St. Luke's Cornwall Hospital in Newburgh, N.Y. In his first two years with Planned Parenthood, Mr. Napoli led the overhaul of the organization's IT infrastructure. Mr. Napoli is a Certified Healthcare CIO by CHIME.

Roger Neal. Vice President and CIO, Duncan (Okla.) Regional Hospital. In 2014, Mr. Neal was named among Computerworld's Premier 100 IT Leaders. Additionally, the hospital has been named as a "Most Wired" hospital by Hospital & Health Networks magazine for nine out of the past 12 years. Mr. Neal has been with Duncan Regional Hospital since 2001. He previously served as director of information systems at Jackson County Memorial Hospital in Altus, Okla., and director of IT for the resident shows division of Cirque du Soleil.

Shantanu Nigam. CEO, Jvion (Suwanee, Ga.). Mr. Nigam helped develop Jvion, a predictive analytics software, in 2012. The company received the AHIMA National Innovator Award and Intel's Healthcare Innovator of the Year in 2014. Before starting Jvion, Mr. Nigam was a senior manager with the health and life sciences practice of Accenture and president of the healthcare practice at Mid Size Atlanta Consulting. He also held other advisory positions with STA Global and InsideInjuries.

Bill O'Connor, MD. Vice President of Consulting Services, Orion Health (Scottsdale, Ariz.). Dr. O'Connor is a physician executive with more than 20 years of healthcare experience, including time spent in operations, strategic planning and consulting. Prior to joining Orion Health in February 2014, Dr. O'Connor held positions with several prominent healthcare companies, including McKesson, Allscripts and PricewaterhouseCoopers. Dr. O'Connor is an orthopedic surgeon, earning his medical degree from New York University School of Medicine.

Daniel Palestrant, MD. Cofounder and CEO, par8o (Newton, Mass.). Dr. Palestrant created par8o, a cloud-based care delivery operating system, in 2011 as a spinoff from another startup he founded, Sermo, an online physician community. Dr. Palestrant received his medical degree from Durham, N.C.-based Duke University and trained in general surgery at Boston-based Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. He also designed, developed and deployed the CIGNA Internet Based Universal Resource in 1996, one of the first commercial web-based resources for physicians and health professionals.

Ed Park. Executive Vice President and COO, athenahealth (Watertown, Mass.). Mr. Park has been with athenahealth since 1998, serving throughout the years as chief software architect, CTO and senior vice president. He became EVP and COO in July 2010. In addition to his duties at athenahealth, Mr. Park also is a board member of Castlight Health and HealthPoint Services. He previously was on the board of directors of Kyruus.

Micky Tripathi, PhD. President and CEO, Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative (Waltham). Dr. Tripathi is the founding president and CEO of the Massachusetts eHealth collaborative, an initiative to advance health information exchanges and deliver best practices for EHRs. Dr. Tripathi is involved with activity at all government levels, including federal policy guidance, strategic planning with states and communities, and frontline healthcare delivery. He previously served as founding president and CEO of the Indiana Health Information Exchange in Indianapolis and was a manager with Boston Consulting Group. Dr. Tripathi holds a PhD in political science from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a master's degree in public policy from Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Gerri Vaughan. Senior Vice President of Network Integration, Circle Health (Lowell, Mass.). Circle Health is an integrated health system made up of Lowell General Hospital, Circle Home and Lowell Community Health Center. Ms. Vaughan served as executive director of Lowell General Physician Hospital Organization before assuming her current role with Circle Health in January 2015 where she is responsible for system contracting, network development, hospital/physician alignment strategies and ACO strategy, among other duties. Previously, Ms. Vaughan served as director of network contracting for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts and for Tufts Health Plan in Waltham, Mass.

Jason Wolf, PhD. President, The Beryl Institute (Bedford, Texas). As president of The Beryl Institute, Dr. Wolf oversees the organization's commitment to improving the patient experience. Dr. Wolf has been with The Beryl Institute since 2010. Prior, he worked with the Eastern Group of Nashville, Tenn.-based Hospital Corporation of America, leading organizational change and leadership development strategies. Dr. Wolf is also the founding editor of Patient Experience Journal.

Julie Yoo. Cofounder and Chief Product Officer, Kyruus (Boston). Ms. Yoo helped found Kyruus in 2010. Previously, she was a pre-sales engineer, application developer and software engineer for Endeca Technologies. Ms. Yoo also was a product manager for Knome, a genomic sequencing and analysis services platform, and vice president of clinical products for Generation Health. Currently, Ms. Yoo is a member of the board of trustees of the Mass Technology Leadership Council.

Adrian Zai, MD, PhD. Clinical Director of Population Informatics, Massachusetts General Hospital (Boston). Dr. Zai TopCare, an IT platform for population health management that Boston-based Partners HealthCare selected as its enterprise population health management solution. Additionally, Dr. Zai is an instructor in medicine at Harvard Medical School. He earned his MD and PhD from Boston University School of Medicine.

Editor's note: A previous version of this article said Jeff Margolis founded Welltok. It has been updated to reflect that he joined the company in 2011. We apologize for our error.

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