12 standout healthcare CIOs

The CIO position is a key, but challenging role to fill in the hospital and health system C-suite. Here are 12 CIOs who stand out in their roles at large health systems.

To recommend a CIO for the next version of this list, please contact Carrie Pallardy at cpallardy@beckershealthcare.com.  

Kumar Chatani, MBA, is the CIO and executive vice president of Mount Sinai Health System in New York. Mr. Chatani oversees 800 employees and an approximately $240 million budget. Under his leadership, Mount Sinai received the HIMSS Enterprise Davies Award for excellence in health IT in 2012. Prior to joining Mount Sinai, he was the CIO of Kaiser Permanente's Northwest region in Portland, Ore. In this role Mr. Chatani led systems development for two hospitals, more than 1,000 physicians, 100 dentists, 40 clinics and health plans covering 500,000 members. He earned a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology in Kharagpur, India. He completed his MBA at California State University in Northridge.

Richard Daniels is the executive vice president and CIO of Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and Health Plan, based in Oakland, Calif. Mr. Daniels, the interim CIO since September 2014, assumed his current roles in February 2015. He leads the Kaiser Permanente's IT strategy for its 9.6 million members and customers. Before taking on the CIO role, Mr. Daniels was the senior vice president of enterprise shared services for Kaiser Permanente. He also has experience in leadership roles with JP Morgan Chase and Capital One. Collectively, he has more than 30 years of IT experience.

C. Martin Harris, MD, MBA, is Cleveland Clinic's CIO and chairman of the information technology division. Additionally, Dr. Harris is the executive director of e-Cleveland Clinic, a series of clinical programs offered over the Internet. Aside from his responsibilities at Cleveland Clinic, he has served as the board chairman of the HHS Board of Regents of the National Library of Medicine. He is also a past chairman of HIMSS and former advisor to the director of the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Harris completed his medical degree at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. He then underwent his residency training at The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. He completed his internal medicine fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. He completed his MBA at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.

Dan Kinsella is the executive vice president and CIO of Winfield, Ill.-based Cadence Health, now a part of Northwestern Medicine. Mr. Kinsella joined Cadence in 2012. Previously, he was the senior vice president of Optum Insight, where he oversaw technology consulting within the division's accountable care services practice. He has also been the national practice leader for healthcare consulting at The Revere Group. He completed a master's degree in health management from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management in Evanston, Ill.

Michael Pfeffer, MD, FACP, is the CMIO of UCLA Health, based in Los Angeles. Dr. Pfeffer is also an assistant clinical professor of medicine and associate program director of internal medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He completed his medical degree at Cornell University Medical College in New York. He then completed his residency training at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. As CMIO, Dr. Pfeffer has helped the organization transition to an EHR.

Laureen O'Brien is the CIO and vice president of Providence Health & Services, based in Renton, Wash. She is in charge of directing the use of IT solutions across the entire five-state health system. Ms. O'Brien joined Providence Health & Services in 1997 as the director of information services in Oregon. Before her time with Providence, she was the director of information services at Columbia Healthcare Systems in Denver. Ms. O'Brien has nearly 30 years of experience in health IT. She completed her bachelor's degree in business administration and marketing at San Diego State University.

Patrick O'Hare, MBA, has been the CIO of Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids, Mich., since 1997. Additionally, Mr. O'Hare is the founding board member and chair of Michigan Health Connect, a statewide health information exchange. Prior to joining Spectrum, he was the vice president of IT management at Trinity Health, now CHE Trinity Health, based in Livonia, Mich. Mr. O'Hare also serves on advisory committees for Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Mich., and Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Mich. He completed his bachelor's degree at Ferris State University and completed his MBA in management at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo.

Alan Smith, MPH, is the senior vice president and CIO of Capella Healthcare. Mr. Smith has been with Capella since 2011. He received the health system's Shining Star Award in 2013 in recognition of his outstanding work. He has more than 20 years of experience. Prior to joining Capella, he was the vice president of applications and interim CIO at Vanguard Health System in Nashville, Tenn. Mr. Smith currently serves as the chairman of the HIT Task Force for the Federation of American Hospitals. He completed his undergraduate degree at Michigan State University in East Lansing. He later completed his MPH at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Ryan Smith is the CIO of Banner Health, based in Phoenix, a position he has held since 2013. He leads the development and implementation of technologies and strategies across the Banner system. Before coming to Banner, he worked with Intermountain Healthcare in Salt Lake City. He completed his bachelor's degree in computer science from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. Mr. Smith also completed a masters degree in business administration from Western Governor's University in Salt Lake City.

Steven Smith is the CIO of NorthShore University HealthSystem, based in Skokie, Ill. He has been in this position since 2012. Previously, he was the CTO with NorthShore for nearly 12 years. He worked with a team to implement an integrated EMR. NorthShore was among the first systems in 2009 to receive recognition from HIMSS Analytics for Stage 7 status.

Stephanie Reel has been the CIO and vice provost of information technology at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore since 1999. She has also been the vice president of information services for Johns Hopkins Medicine since 1994. Ms. Reel joined Johns Hopkins in 1990. As CIO, Ms. Reel oversees the implementation and strategic planning of information services, networking, telecommunications and clinical, research and instructional technologies. She serves on the client advisory boards of IBM, GE Medical Systems, Eclipsys, Verizon and Compuware.

Lac Van Tran is the CIO and senior vice president of information at Rush University Medical Center. He is also the associate dean for information technology at Rush Medical College. Prior to joining Rush, Mr. Tran was the senior vice president and CIO of The Methodist Hospital System, based in Houston. He also has experience as the vice president and CIO of Boston Children's Hospital, as well as CIO of SUNY (N.Y.) Stony Brook Medical Center. His first CIO position was at Wilford Hall Medical Center in San Antonio. He served at Wilford Hall for 13 years.

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