How I became a healthcare CIO: 10 CIOs, 10 different career paths


Many of the country's top CIOs came to their positions from stints in different leadership or clinical roles within hospitals and health systems or from IT roles outside the healthcare industry. Below is a roundup of 10 different career paths of 10 prominent hospital and health system CIOs.

Nurse to CIO: Mary Alice Annecharico, RN.
Senior Vice President and CIO of Henry Ford Health System (Detroit).

Ms. Annecharico began her career as a nurse, and gained interest in IT when an executive at Jersey Shore Medical Center (now Meridian Health) asked her to participate in an informatics project. Her career then took a turn toward IT, resulting in CIO roles as the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia and University Hospitals in Cleveland.

In her current role as CIO of Henry Ford Health System, Ms. Annecharico uses her nursing background to ensure new IT systems can be used efficiently by clinicians to help realize the goals of the organization.

Physician to CIO: John Halamka, MD.
CIO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (Boston). 

Dr. Halamka received his medical degree from the University of California, San Francisco and completed a residency in emergency medicine at Harbor General-UCLA. He then moved to Boston, earned a masters degree in medical informatics through a joint Harvard/MIT program and joined the Harvard Medical School faculty.

In addition to being CIO of BIDMC, Dr. Halamka is currently a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, chairman of the New England Healthcare Exchange Network, co-chair of the national Health IT Standards Committee and co-chair of the Massachusetts Health IT Advisory Committee, as well as an attending emergency department physician at BIDMC.

Corporate CIO to Health System CIO: Gilbert Hoffman.
Vice President and CIO of Mercy (Chesterfield, Mo.). 

Mr. Hoffman started with Maritz, a company that developed and implemented employee rewards and customer loyalty programs, in 1973. He rose through the ranks to become CIO in 1998, a position he held until 2012 when he was appointed CIO of Mercy. For his work with Maritz, he was named one of the top 100 CIOs in the nation by ComputerWorld in 2001.

He has adapted quickly to his new healthcare role by recognizing how much his experience outside the healthcare industry applies to his work with Mercy. As he said in a recent interview with Becker's, "Coming out of the gate in my first 90 days here, I spent a lot of time worrying about understanding every healthcare issue. I thought I needed to be a healthcare expert in a very short period of time. I really just needed to understand the technical issues, and I was able to relate to those quickly from my 39 years with Maritz."

Geologist to CIO: Randy McCleese.
Vice President of Information Services and CIO of St. Claire Regional Medical Center (Morehead, Ky.).

Before joining St. Claire Regional Medical Center as CIO, Mr. McCleese spent more than 14 years with Equitable Resources in Prestonsburg, Ky., and Kingsport, Tenn., as a geologist and manager of information resources.

Now, Mr. McCleese oversees IT, telecommunications and biomedical technology at Claire Regional Medical Center. An advocate for rural health technology efforts, he played a major role in the development of the Northeastern Kentucky Regional Health Information Organization and helped to establish the NEKY RHIO/Healthbridge Tri-State Regional Extension Center. Mr. McCleese also currently serves as the chair of CHIME's board of trustees.

CMIO to CIO: Pravene Nath, MD.
CIO of Stanford (Calif.) Hospitals and Clinics.

Dr. Nath joined Stanford Hospitals and Clinics in 2008 as CMIO and became interim CIO upon the retirement of Carolyn Byerly in February 2013. In September 2013, Dr. Nath was appointed the health system's permanent CIO.

Before coming to Stanford, Dr. Nath was CMIO and senior director of clinical information systems at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City. He received his board certification in emergency medicine in 2004, and has served on the medical faculty at both Stanford and NYU.

Air Force to CIO: Jaime Parent.
Vice President of IT Operations and Associate CIO of Rush University Medical Center (Chicago).

Mr. Parent is a 20-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force, retiring in 2003 at the rank of lieutenant colonel. During that time, he held various IT positions within the Air Force Medical Service.

After his retirement from the Air Force, Mr. Parent continued to work in health IT as a civilian. He was the CIO of Maryland General Hospital in Baltimore for three years before taking his current position at Rush.

Still strongly influenced by his time in the Air Force, Mr. Parent is currently spearheading a program at Rush designed to prepare veterans for careers in health IT.

IT Manager to CIO: Marty Paslick.
Senior Vice President and CIO of Hospital Corporation of America (Nashville, Tenn.). 

Mr. Paslick has been with HCA for more than 28 years. Beginning as manager of clinical systems development, he worked his way up and, following the retirement of Noel Williams, was promoted to CIO in 2012.

As CIO, Mr. Paslick oversees about 4,000 employees throughout the 165-hopsital system. Every year Mr. Paslick has been CIO, HCA's IT department has been on Computerworld's list of the "Best Places to Work in IT."

Consultant to CIO: Marc Probst.
Vice President and CIO of Intermountain Healthcare (Salt Lake City). 

Mr. Probst was named vice president and CIO of Intermountain in January 2004. Before then, he was a partner with Deloitte Consulting, a senior vice president with Certus Corporation and a partner with Ernst & Young. 

He is currently serving as a member of the Health IT Policy Committee, using his more than 20 years of experience as a consultant and a CIO to help shape federal health IT policy.

Healthcare CIO to Health System CIO: Cris Ross.
CIO of Mayo Clinic (Rochester, Minn.). 

Mr. Ross came to Mayo Clinic in 2010 after serving at Surescripts, where he led the company's interoperability business as executive vice president and general manager of clinical interoperability.

Prior to joining Surescripts, Mr. Ross served as CIO and then executive vice president of product and information services at CVS Caremarke's MinuteClinic during a period of rapid growth, as the retail clinic expanded from 60 to 650 clinics.

CFO to CIO: Brent G. Snyder, JD.
CIO of Adventist Health System (Winter Park, Fla.).

Before he assumed his duties as CIO of Adventist Health System, Mr. Snyder served as CFO of the system's multi-state division from 1997 to 2002.

He has a total of more than 35 years of experience with Adventist Health System, largely in financial leadership positions. He previously held the positions of vice president and CFO of Tennessee Christian Medical Center in Madison, Tenn., and CFO of Takoma Adventist Hospital in Greeneville, Tenn., both Adventist hospitals.

More Articles on CIOs:

HIMSS' Workforce Survey Shows Health IT Hiring Continues to Rise
Study: Health IT "Vital" for ACOs
Hospitals Respond to CMS' Proposed MU Flexibility, Ask for Changes


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