20 Professors Changing Health Information Technology

In an age where technology and information are the greatest commodities, healthcare information is one of the most sought after. Everyone from the patients themselves to doctors and nurses need fast, reliable access to information in order to make the best judgements when it comes to identifying and treating injury and illness. As a registered health information technician (RHIT) or manager, clinical analyst, or clinical application developer, you will do your part to improve patient outcomes by getting the right information into the right hands, quickly and securely. These 20 professors are at the forefront of this fast-paced field of study. Whether they are creating computer models to calculate the rate of cancer cell growth or developing new systems to eliminate treatment errors, these 20 professors are building a future where healthcare information — and therefore healthcare itself — is faster, easier, safer, more secure, more accurate, and ultimately better.

Kathleen Hunter

PhD, RN-BC, CNE

Chamberlain College of Nursing - Downers Grove , IL

Kathy Hunter brings over 40 years of experience as a nurse and researcher to her high-impact classes. Her focus is on nursing informatics system engineering, design, development, and implementation. She co-chaired the first Education Work Group of the Computer-Based Record Institute and has held several influential positions in the healthcare technology sector. She currently teaches and acts as Director for the MSN Degree Program at Chamberlain in addition to being the Director of Research for the American Nursing Informatics Association (ANIA). 

Susan Bakken

PhD, RN, FAAN, FACMI

Columbia University - New York , NY

Dr. Bakken is an alumni professor of Nursing and current professor of Biomedical Informatics at Columbia. She is also the Director of the Center for Evidence-Based Practice in the Underserved and Reducing Health Disparities Through Informatics (RHeaDI) training programs. She has published more than 200 peer-reviewed articles relating to nursing informatics and biomedical technologies. Bakken is currently the President of the American College of Medical Informatics (2015-2016). Her teaching has received numerous awards, including the Pathfinder Award from the Friends of the NINR in 2010. 

Jessica Tenenbaum

PhD

Duke University - Durham , NC

Dr. Tenenbaum is currently the Associate Director, Bioinformatics for the Duke Translational Medicine Institute. Her work with the MURDOCK Study has resulted in a standards-compliant integrated collection of clinical, biobanking, and consent data in addition to experimental metadata. She has held leadership roles in the CTSA Consortium and the American Medical Informatics Association, for which she is Chair of the Genomics and Translational Bioinformatics Working Group and an elected member of the Board of Directors. She is an Associate Editor for the Journal of Biomedical Informatics and serves on the advisory panel for Nature Publishing Group's Scientific Data initiative. Her research focuses on: infrastructure and standards to enable research collaboration and integrative data analysis; informatics to enable precision medicine; and ethical, legal, and social issues that arise in translational research, direct to consumer genetic testing, and data sharing.

Srinivas Aluru

PhD, MS, BTech

Georgia Institute of Technology - Atlanta , GA

Dr. Aluru is a professor and the Co-Director of the Strategic Initiative in Data Engineering and Science at the Georgia Institute of Technology. His courses reflect his experience with bioinformatics, scientific computing, and systems biology, giving his students an unparalleled depth of knowledge in biological computing. He has won many awards, including the NSF Career Award (2007), IBM Faculty Award (2002), and a fellowship from the Government of India (2007). He also serves as an editor for the International Journal of Data Mining and Bioinformatics.

John D. Halamka

MD

Harvard - Cambridge , MA

John Halamka brings his excessive experience with emergency medicine and award-winning understanding of technology to his students at Harvard. Under his leadership as CIO of the Beth Israel Deaconness Medical Center in Roxbury Crossing, MA, the hospital was named Top Information Innovator by Information Week in 2012. His work with healthcare information platforms has revolutionized the healthcare industry and has given his students a front-row seat to the new era of healthcare data management.

David Blumenthal

MD, MPP

Harvard University - Boston , MA

A celebrated author, speaker, and influencer in the world of healthcare information adoption, Dr. David Blumenthal has been a leader both inside and outside of the college classroom. He was an honored professor of Health Care Policy at Harvard Medical School and served as the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology under President Barack Obama (2009-2011). In addition, he has authored over 250 scholarly papers regarding health IT adoption, and regularly speaks at national conventions.

Patricia C. Dykes

PhD

Harvard University - Boston , MA

Dr. Dykes has received numerous awards for her research, service, and innovation in the field of health information management. Her work with tailored fall risks interventions earned the Rita D. Zielstorff Nursing Informatics Leadership Award (2014), the Biomedical Research Institute Research Excellence Award (2010), and the Richard Nesson Award for Innovation (2011). Her books on integrating clinical pathways and electronic records are some of the most widely-used guides in the U.S., Asia, and Europe.  

Angela Kennedy

Angela Kennedy

PhD

Louisiana Technical University - Ruston , LA

Dr. Kennedy is a professor and the Department Head of Health Informatics and Information Management at Louisiana Technical University. She is very active in professional organizations in healthcare IT, serving as the President of the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) in 2014, as the Chair of the Commission on Health Informatics and Information Management (CAHIIM) in 2010, and the State President for the Louisiana Health Information Management Association (LAHIMSS). She provided testimony to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP), and is regarded as an excellent and innovative teacher, earning herself the AHIMA Triumph Award for Mentoring. 

Justin B. Starren

MD, PhD

Northwestern University - Evanston , IL

Dr. Starren's work is centered around Bioinformatics and Computational Biology which is used to engineer unique Human Computer Interfaces (HCI) which are more user-friendly and helpful for physicians. He has published over 100 peer-reviewed articles and acts as a Director for AMIA. He has also been a guest speaker at conventions like the Pathology Informatics Summit (2014, 2015) and the American Board of Preventative Medicine (2012).

Susan E. White

PhD, RHIA, CHDA

Ohio State University - Columbus , OH

Dr. White teaches Healthcare Statistics, Data Analysis, and Healthcare Financial Management at the OSU College of Medicine. She has been an active member of AHIMA over the last five years, serving as the Co-Chair of the Data Governance and Analytics Practice Council (2012-2013) and on several other influential boards. She regularly publishes research regarding data analysis and integrity, and she has been invited to speak on these topics at the AHIMA National Convention.

Brett Trusko

PhD, MBA

Texas A&M - Round Rock , TX

Dr. Trusko is a founding member and Board Director of the United States Healthcare Information Technology Standards Panel. His background as a healthcare strategist, project manager, and quality expert has allowed him to give students a unique look into the future of healthcare information technology. He is a global lecturer and consultant in the fields of healthcare technology and quality standards.

Chandrasekaran Ranganathan

PhD, MA

University of Illinois - Chicago - Chicago , IL

Dr. Ranganathan (Ranga) is an acclaimed IT thought leader and teacher, as well as the Director of Graduate Studies for the Department of Information and Decision Sciences (IDS) at UI-Chicago. Ranga is a three-time winner of the paper awards competition sponsored by the Society for Information Management, as well as the winner of the Best Teaching Case award at the International Conference on Information Systems (2003). He is a Director with the Center for Healthcare Information Management and Systems (CHIMS) and is an expert in the fields of Healthcare IT and IT implementation in health settings.

Phillip J. Kroth

MD

University of New Mexico - Albuquerque , NM

Dr. Kroth is a professor of healthcare informatics as well as the Director of the UNM Biomedical Informatics Research, Training, and Scholarship Department. He is the current Chair of the AMIA Academic Forum (2015). In addition to his healthcare technology leadership, he has published many peer-reviewed articles about how biomedical information systems can better help diagnose disease and provide medical transparency for patients. 

Dean Sittig

PhD

University of Texas - Houston , TX

Not only is Dr. Sittig nationally acclaimed for his research on clinical informatics, he is regarded by his students at the University of Texas as one of the best professors on campus. In 2009, he won the John P. McGovern Outstanding Teacher Award. He has also won the HIMSS Book of the year award three times. He currently teaches Introduction to Electronic Health Records and Advanced Electronic Health Records in addition to mentoring graduate students. Sittig also sits on the Board of Directors for the AMIA.

Wendy Chapman

Wendy W. Chapman

PhD

University of Utah - Salt Lake City , UT

Dr. Chapman is the Chair of the Biomedical Informatics Department at the University of Utah. She is also a tenured professor and teaches Clinical Practicum and Graduate Seminar courses. Dr. Chapman has been the principal researcher on a number of grants through organizations like the National Library of Medicine and the National Institute for General Medical Studies. She currently serves as the Treasurer for the AMIA and is the Chair of the AMIA Student Paper Awards Committee. 

Indra Neil Sarkar

PhD, MLIS

University of Vermont - Burlington , VT

Dr. Sarkar is the Director of Biomedical Informatics at the University of Vermont in addition to being a professor of Microbiology, Molecular Genetics, and Computer Science. His vast background in Biomedical Informatics and computer research focuses on the place where computer science and healthcare meet, with an emphasis on computational techniques and systems for linking molecular and public health data more efficiently. In addition, he acts as a Director for the Board of the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA). 

Thomas H. Payne

MD, FACP

University of Washington - Seattle , WA

Dr. Payne serves as the Medical Director of Information Technology Services at the University of Washington Medical Center as well a professor of medicine and Bioinformatics. In addition to his teaching responsibilities, Payne is the current Chair-Elect for the AMIA (2015). He has published many research papers regarding concepts like clinical computing, EMR, and CPDE. 

Eneida A. Mendonça

MD, PhD

University of Wisconsin - Madison - Madison , WI

Dr. Mendonça's is a professor of Biostatistics, Medical Informatics, and Pediatrics. Her courses and research focus on how healthcare technology can help doctors and other professionals understand complex diseases better through computational methodologies. Her recent publications include research on mathematical models to predict cancer metastatis, bloodstream infections from catheter use, and skin cancer relapse. She also serves as the Secretary for the AMIA. 

Blackford Middleton

MD, MPH, MS

Vanderbilt University - Nashville , TN

Dr. Middleton is a professor of Biomedical Informatics and a tenured professor of Medicine at Vanderbilt. He is internationally acclaimed, having being highlighted as one of the Top 50 Most Powerful Physician Executives by Modern Healthcare (2005) and one of the HIMSS 50 most accomplished leaders in the field of medicine (2010). Middleton was appointed by the US Secretary of Health and Human Services to serve on the National Committee of Vital and Health Statistics (NCHVS) in 2008. He has over 400 publications and is a highly influential voice in the health informatics community. 

Cheryl D. Parker

PhD

Walden University - Minneapolis , MN

For students interested in how informatics and healthcare technology can affect a clinician's workflow, Cheryl Parker is the expert to learn from. Her activity in professional organizations such as the ANIA-CARING nurse informatics society and the Healthcare Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS) make her an excellent contact for students seeking a mentor with strong professional connections. In addition to teaching nursing informatics courses at Walden, she has published several high-impact papers in journals such as the Journal of Healthcare Information Management.  

Methodology

Each of the members on this list have been chosen through careful research based on the following criteria:

1. Active Teaching. All of these professors are actively teaching or mentoring students at an accredited college.

2. Publication. Many of these professors have been published in online or print professional journals.

3. Thought Leadership. Professors on this list have been chosen due to their leadership in the health information technology community, based on speaking engagements, public leadership, or social media following.

4. Extracurricular Involvement. Each of these individuals are involved in both teaching and outside professional engagements, such as professional communities, educational organizations, or industry advocacy and activism groups.

Barry Franklin
Barry Franklin Editor

Barry is the Editor-in-Chief of MedicalTechnologySchools.com, operated by educational web publisher Sechel Ventures Partners LLC, which he co-founded. Previously, Barry served as a VP at a Silicon Valley software company. In addition to running editorial operations at Sechel, Barry also serves on the Board of Trustees at a local K-8 school, and graduated from Carnegie Mellon University, where he also met his wife.