2017-2018 Board of Directors
VP Business Development
Rob Aaron is currently the Senior Director of Alliances and Channels for the Health Sciences Global Business Unit at Oracle. Rob has 15 years of experience in the healthcare information technology sector. Rob began his health IT career at McKesson where he had successive roles of responsibilities in sales and account management. After seven years at McKesson, Rob was recruited to Microsoft and had several roles including a Healthcare Strategist a Global Alliance Lead – Healthcare. Rob is very active in the Georgia Chapter of the HIMSS – He was the former President of GA HIMSS and is currently the Chair of the GA HIMSS Annual Conference 2015. Rob has a BBA in International Business from the University of Georgia and a MA in Political Economy from the University of Munich (Ludwig Maximilian University) in Munich, Germany.
President Elect & HI-HIT Project Chair
Gwinnett Health System
Sr. Vice President and CIO
Patty, Sr. Vice President and CIO for Gwinnett Health System is a leader in healthcare information technology with more than 25 years of experience in the industry. She has served as Chief Information Officer for several regional health systems in Georgia and as an interim in New Jersey, developing each organization’s IT strategy and implementing operational improvements and technology-related regulatory compliance policies. She has maintained memberships and industry involvement in national organizations, such as VHA, HIMSS, ACHE and CHIME. Patty holds an MBA from Florida State University, is a Fellow with the American College of Healthcare Executives and is a CHIME Certified Healthcare Chief Information Officer. She currently sits on the Board for the Georgia Chapter of HIMSS and the Advisory Board for Gwinnett Tech’s HIT Program.
Past President & Annual Conference Co-Chair
HIT Consultancy, LLC
Dee Cantrell is a Chief Information Officer most recently with Georgia Health Information Network in a consulting role. Dee retired from Emory Healthcare after 21 years. Three weeks into retirement, Dee decided to start her own consulting business and HIT Consultancy, LLC was born.
Ms. Cantrell earned her Master’s degree in Organizational Management from Capella University and her Bachelor's degree in Nursing from Brenau University. She worked as a Registered Nurse in multiple capacities before becoming involved in healthcare information technology and traveled extensively for a national consulting firm as a clinical informatics expert helping to lead numerous HIT initiatives. Ms. Cantrell has been instrumental in expanding the role and the influence technology plays in healthcare at every level – patient care, research and education. Examples of key initiatives she has led includes - development and implementation of EMRs, development and implementation of an enterprise-wide, extensible clinical data warehouse, development and implementation of an enterprise-wide Global Patient Registration System, implementation of various clinical and business systems and the extensive list goes on. She led several hospitals and clinics in the achievement of Meaningful Use and ICD10 compliance. Collectively the initiatives led by Ms. Cantrell have changed and will continue to change the face of healthcare to the patients, to the providers while also offering new potential for research and discovery.
Ms. Cantrell is very active professionally; she serves as the President of the Board of Directors for the Georgia Chapter of HIMSS. She is a member of Georgia Health Information Network Board of Directors, the Institute of Medicine Committee for HIT and Patient Safety, National Health Information Management Systems Society and is the Technology Committee Chair for the Georgia Health Information Network, one of the leading health exchanges in the country. She has also received numerous international and national recognitions and awards such as the 2011 HIMSS CIO Innovator of the Year Award, an International Technology Innovation Award for Emory Healthcare’s leading edge virtualization, Information Week’s “Most Wired”, HIMSS Analytics EMR adoption, Computer World Search for Honors Award for technology innovation and Society of Hospital Medicine’s Award for Excellence in Teamwork in Quality Improvement, to name just a few.
In addition, Ms. Cantrell has been recognized as one of the key leaders in technology by Women in Technology (WIT), an affiliate of The Technology Association of Georgia and was awarded the 2009 and 2010 Georgia CIO of the year by the Georgia CIO Leadership Association (GCLA). She was identified by Becker’s Hospital Review as one of the top 50 leaders in health IT in 2015 and as one of the top 10 Women in HIT leadership. In 2016, she was accepted in the World Wide Association of Women Executives for her accomplished leadership career.
Communications Officer & Secretary
Sepi Browning, MHA, CPHIMS, FHIMSS, PMP, CHTS-IM
Brighthour - HIT Consulting
Emory Healthcare, Inc. (Johns Creek)
Information Technology - Operational & Project Leader
Sepi is a Healthcare Management Professional with 26 years of successful leadership in a variety of roles. In-depth experience in operational/project management and change management within healthcare Information Technology, Revenue Cycle and Clinical Support Services, including Electronic Medical Record (EMR), ICD-10, American Recover and Reinvestment (ARRA) gap analysis, and associated project portfolio creation for meaningful use in a hospital and physician practice environment.
Demonstrated expertise in implementing numerous health delivery projects focused on clinical, revenue, and technical arenas, involving system selection, procurement, workflow analysis, workflow documentation and workflow process improvement, configuration and development, testing, reporting, training, activation, launch and production support, and creation of policy and procedures for daily operations.
Core team facilitator and member of established clinical and revenue cycle governance with mission to effectively prioritize all Information Technology needs and create and maintain an operational roadmap. Certified Project Management Professional and International Project Management Professional.
Adept at leading clinical and revenue cycle staff while also accomplishing technical duties, practicing continuous communication, collaboration, and documentation to ensure both Human Resources needs and Technical needs were successfully met. A confident and hardworking professional focused on employee, customer and patient satisfaction.
Regional Vice President
Stuart has been in healthcare informatics since 1992 with extended roles at McKesson and Microsoft. Stuart is presently a Regional Vice President for LogicStream and spends most of his time in the southeast. Stuart earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology with a minor in Chemistry from Florida State University. He also earned an MBA with a concentration in Hospital Administration from the University of South Carolina. His passion is improving business and clinical operations through the implementation of different applications, services and technology. Stuart earned an MBA because he found the business of healthcare to be more engaging than the administration of Medicine. Taking on complex challenges for his customers, and finding a way to solve those challenges and improve patient outcomes keeps him dedicated to continuing a career in health informatics. Stuart loves what he does because he knows that he is making a positive impact by improving quality and clinical outcomes. Stuart grew up on the east coast of Florida and presently lives in Atlanta with his wife and two children. His interest include boating tennis and hiking.
Practice Director - Healthcare
Harvard Whipple, an Atlanta native, is a Sr. Sales Executive with 20+ years of sales experience; the last 10 of which in Director-level roles working in the HCIT Staffing Industry. Harvard joined OmniPoint Staffing in 2014 serving as the Director of their Healthcare Practice and works with Providers and the Big 5 Systems Integrators to plug resourcing gaps on their EMR, ERP and related/ancillary Technology Teams for implementation, upgrade and optimization project initiatives. Harvard is a graduate of the University of Georgia and, rumor has it, is a certified Ninja.
VP, Business Development
Todd Schlesinger is an accomplished healthcare professional with more than 20 years of experience working within the healthcare information technology space. He has an extensive background in meeting and solving clinical workflow and technology challenges for a diverse list of healthcare clients throughout both the public and private sectors.
Todd has devoted his career to helping healthcare executives address industry, organizational and departmental challenges by implementing solutions that ultimately improve patient outcomes and positively impact the bottom line. Throughout his career, Todd has maintained a strong reputation as a client and patient advocate.
In his current role at Jvion, Todd champions the application of predictive algorithms to address the significant clinical and financial challenges created by the new value-based models of care and reimbursement. His goal is to help hospitals reduce organizational waste and patient suffering.
Golf Tournament Chair
Strategic Account Director
Gina Haylett has over 15 years of IT & business experience and is currently the National Account Director of Healthcare at QTS Data Centers. She joined QTS in August 2011 to assist in developing the national healthcare vertical strategy for QTS's Cloud & Managed Services and colocation services. Gina has been instrumental in leading the QTS healthcare strategy, including QTS's IaaS product for healthcare, QTS's HIPAA compliance and the recently announced QTS Healthcare Community Cloud. Additionally, Gina consults with Providers and Health IT companies on their cloud and infrastructure initiatives related to performance, scalability, redundancy, security and compliance. Since joining QTS, Gina has played a major role in securing over $25M in new healthcare contracts.
In addition to Gina’s involvement with Georgia HIMSS, she is also an active member of the Bioscience Leadership Council and TAG Health. Gina received her bachelor’s degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
Annual Conference Co-Chair
Floyd Medical Center
VP / CIO
Vice President/Chief Information Officer – Jeff Buda joined Floyd Medical Center in July, 2012. As CIO, Mr. Buda leads the Information Technology strategy and service delivery for Floyd Medical Center, Polk Medical Center and all other Floyd affiliates to include Project Management, Network/Telecommunications, IT Operations and Information Security. Prior to 2012 he served as Executive Director of Business Applications for the WellStar Health System in Marietta and Vice President of System Initiatives and Chief Information Officer for Mercy Health System/Catholic Health East in Conshohocken, Penn. He has also held roles with a major consulting firm and an information technology software vendor. Mr. Buda earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in business economics from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Member At Large
WellStar Health System
VP, Information Technology Applications
Sandra Lucius, RN, MSN is an experienced leader with a unique blend of clinical, operational, consulting, project management, and information technology expertise. She received her Masters of Science in Nursing in Acute Care Administration from the University of Alabama and Bachelors of Science in Nursing from Clemson University. In her current role as Vice President of IT Applications; she leads the Clinical Informatics; EPIC (Clinical and Revenue Cycle); Enterprise Data Management and Operational and Department Application teams for WellStar Health System an 11 Hospital system in Georgia. Prior to her VP role; Sandra was the Assistant Vice President of Nursing Operations at Kennestone Hospital and was appointed as EPIC Nurse Champion and System Operational Readiness for the WellStar Connect Project. Previous experience includes: Executive Director of IT Clinical and Business Technologies where her team supported 400+ applications and facilitated IT strategic planning, application roadmaps and strategic project oversight for all applications that support the clinical and business environments of WellStar. Prior to WellStar, Sandra had experience in healthcare applications and EMR product management. Sandra was the featured Cover Article in Pulse for Health Care Professionals - Nursing Informatics - Where Caring Meets Technology, published in March 2013. In June 2012 she published an article in the Nurse Leader Magazine: Nurse Informatics Executive - Reshaping the Patient Experience through Technology.
Gretchen Tegethoff, FCHIME, CHCIO, FHIMSS, CPHIMS
CHIME Technologies, Inc.
Tegethoff has been nationally recognized with several industry awards and honors of recognition. In 2013, she was named as one of the “20 Health IT Leaders Who Are Driving Change” by InformationWeek and Becker’s Hospital Review’s “100 Hospital and Health System CIOs to Know.” In 2011, she was recognized by Modern Healthcare as one of twelve national leaders in the publication’s “Up and Comers” report.
Tegethoff earned her Master’s degree in Information Systems Technology from the George Washington University School of Business and her undergraduate degree in Medical Technology from West Virginia University School of Medicine.
Information Technology Manager
Jodi Tarpinian is a seasoned healthcare professional with over 30 years of experience in both the clinical and IT arenas. In her current role with Emory Healthcare IS, Jodi oversees governance and operational workgroups for Emory’s Health Information Exchange and is also involved with Population Health, mHealth and Meaningful Use initiatives. Responsible for the Interoperability IT Roadmap, Jodi balances the interests and needs of internal and external stake holders to ensure clinical and business needs are weighed against Emory’s strategic priorities. Prior to joining Information Services, Jodi was a senior technologist in Emory’s HLA Molecular Lab and holds a B.S. degree in Medical Technology from the University of North Dakota.
Chapter Presence National Conference Chair
Metro Atlanta Chamber
Director of Bioscience, Industry Expansion
Kornelius Bankston, director of Bioscience, Industry Expansion, at the Metro Atlanta Chamber (MAC), is responsible for supporting and enhancing MAC’s efforts to retain, recruit and expand companies across the 29-county metro region. The Bioscience priority industries include, but are not limited to, medical devices, pharmaceutical, biotech and health IT. Kornelius also leads the Bioscience Leadership Council.
Prior to joining MAC, he served as the Program Manager at Morehouse School of Medicine’s Division of Industry Collaborative Research. He managed Morehouse School of Medicine’s industry sponsored clinical trials and relationships with pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device companies.
Prior to MSM, Kornelius was a Project Manager at the Georgia Department of Economic Development, where he managed Georgia’s relationships with the global Life Science and Biotechnology community.
Kornelius holds a Master of Business Administration from the Georgia Institute of Technology, a Master of Science in Biomolecular Chemistry from Emory University and Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Morehouse College.
Member At Large
Barry Herrin, FAHIMA, FACHE, ESQ.
Herrin Health Law, P.C.
Barry Herrin is the Founder of Herrin Health Law, P.C., a boutique law practice dedicated to the needs of health care providers. He regularly represents health care providers in all segments of the industry and advises on a wide variety of regulatory and operational issues, including hospital and health care operations and compliance, medical information privacy and confidentiality, cybersecurity and data breach response, and the formation of provider collaborations for population health and managed care contracting. He is admitted to the bars of Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina. Mr. Herrin is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives and a Fellow of the American Health Information Management Association. He also holds a Certificate in Cyber Security from the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Mr. Herrin received both his undergraduate and law degrees from Georgia State University in Atlanta, graduating each time with honors. He has served as a faculty member for numerous state and national meetings and symposia across the country and has authored or co-authored numerous articles on health law compliance for regional and national publications.
Mr. Herrin is an Eagle Scout and volunteers his time to the Boy Scouts of America, in which he serves as chair of the Religious Relationships Committee of the Northeast Georgia Council, and to The United Methodist Church, for which he acts as Coordinator of Scouting Ministries throughout the Southeastern Jurisdictional Area. He recently retired at the rank of colonel from the United States Air Force Auxiliary, in which he served as the Staff Judge Advocate for both the Southeast and Great Lakes Regions and as the Chief Judge Advocate for 6 years.
Member At Large
Geoff Brown, FCHIME
Chief Information Officer
Geoff Brown is VP & CIO at Piedmont Healthcare. He has over 35 consecutive years of progressive experience in Information Technology (IT), management, consulting and strategic planning. Geoff is in the unique position of having work experience as CIO in public, for profit and not-for-profit healthcare organizations, and is known for delivering real results through improved utilization of technology and people.
In 2013, Brown earned the State Public Policy Award for CIO Leadership by the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME). In 2011 he was appointed by Governor, Robert McDonnell as technology chair, for the Virginia Health Reform Initiative. In 2009 Brown was appointed by Governor, Timothy Kaine to serve on the Virginia, Health Information Technology Standards Advisory Committee.
Brown earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and was awarded an American Management Association Certification from Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, Georgia.
Professional Development Chair
John Milner, MSN, RN, CPHIMS
Georgia State University
As a nurse, I have extensive experience in Critical Care. As an Informatics Nurse Specialist, I have CPHIMS certification and have worked in both the US and Canada providing Consulting services and Informatics expertise in the clinical arena. I have contracted to multiple organizations both large and small, providing leadership and consulting services to assist in the development, implementation, and evaluation of Health Information Systems and Electronic Health Records. I am an expert in HIPAA, Meaningful Use and the HITECH act for Healthcare Information Systems, and currently work as the Program Coordinator for the Nursing Leadership in Healthcare Innovations Master’s Degree track at Georgia State University. I am attending Augusta University to obtain my PhD in Nursing with an Informatics focus.
Professional Development Co-Chair
Ryan Spikes, RN, BSN, CHTS
Miripa Consulting, LLC
Senior Consultant - Healthcare Technology
Experience gained during direct patient care, case management, and clinical review has led the pursuit of a career that involves using Health Information Technology (HIT) to advance health care by implementing and managing HIT to increase efficiency and quality while reducing cost and improving patient outcomes.
Specialties: Meaningful Use, Patient Centered Medial Home, Implementation Management, Workflow Redesign, Wound Care, Oncology, Med-Surg Nursing, Case Management.
Member At Large
Justin Barnes Advisors
Justin is a corporate, board and public policy advisor. In addition, Mr. Barnes is Chairman Emeritus of the HIMSS EHR Association as well as Co-Chairman of the Accountable Care Community of Practice where he assists these organizations with growth strategy and leadership. Mr. Barnes is also the host of the weekly syndicated radio show “This Just In” on Healthcare Radio and Business Radio X as well as the voice of HIMSS Radio.
He has formally addressed and/or testified before Congress as well as the last three Presidential Administrations on more than twenty occasions with statements relating to alternative payment & care delivery models, MACRA, value-based medicine, interoperability, EHR meaningful use, consumerism and much more.
Chapter Administrative Assistant
Pat McPherson Senn
30 years Healthcare, Administrator (Material Management). 10 years consulting software experience in public sector. Business degrees in Marketing as well as in Management. I am looking forward to working with the GA HIMSS Chapter and facilitating administrative needs!