10th Annual Clinical Informatics Summit - Speaker Bios

Sajid Ahmed

WISE Healthcare

Sajid Ahmed is a true innovator and pioneer in healthcare information systems. He has unparalleled experience in all aspects of applying computer technology and web-based applications to deliver the highest quality of medical care to patients, facilitate collaboration among multiple and diverse medical care providers and systems, and increase the efficiency of healthcare environments. He is also a highly respected innovation consultant, and frequently lectures about entrepreneurism and information technology for healthcare environments.

Currently serving as an advisor to the CIIO at Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital (MLK) in South Los Angeles, Mr. Ahmed was formerly MLK’s chief information and innovation officer. Mr. Ahmed is leading the hospital’s new $70 million health information technology initiative, and launching an innovation hub on the 42-acre MLK Medical Center Campus.

Mr. Ahmed’s prior experience also includes serving as director of health information technology and innovation for L.A. Care Health Plan, the nation’s largest public plan, serving more than one million Los Angeles County residents through free or low-cost health insurance programs. He was responsible for coordinating, managing and integrating healthcare information technology and eHealth initiatives among multiple users and partners. This includes all medical care providers, community organizations, government agencies, vendors, and other health information technologies. He served as vice chair of the organization’s Technical Advisory Committee. One of his most significant contributions to L.A. Care is the creation of HITEC-LA (Health Information Technology Regional Extension Center for Los Angeles County) for electronic health record adoption and implementation for providers throughout L.A. County.

Mr. Ahmed created and launched eConsult in partnership with the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services before leaving L.A. Care. eConsult is an innovative telehealth system that allows for virtual consultations and collaboration with specialists. As eConsult expands throughout California and accumulates thousands of end users, it is becoming a national model for the standard for care coordination and access to specialty care in the U.S.

Prior to his work on eConsult, Mr. Ahmed was the visionary behind SelfMD™; he developed Artificial Intelligence tools including, emulating logical inferences of cognition and intuition theory, and was instrumental in getting the U.S. Military Medical Command to adopt advanced diagnostic technologies and electronic health records systems. He also served as co-chair on health IT committees for California’s Health and Human Services Agency, helping to draft the state’s $38.8 million Health Information Technology strategic plan.

Mr. Ahmed has lectured at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Fielding School of Public Health, and as a guest lecturer at the California Institute of Technology (CalTech), University of Southern California (USC) and CalState LA. USC honored him for his teaching at the USC Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies and also was a finalist for the Advanced Business League (ABL) Innovative Leadership Award for Healthcare. In 2016, the Los Angeles Business Journal lauded Sajid as “CIO/CTO of the Year” across all industries in the Greater Los Angeles Area. Currently, he is an Advisory Board member of the California Health eQuality Initiative based at the University of California, Davis.

Nasim Eftekhari, MSc

Clinical Data Scientist
City of Hope

Nasim is a Clinical Data Scientist at Center for Informatics at City of Hope National Medical Center. With expertise in Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning, Innovation and Implementation, she also advises startup companies on technology strategy. Nasim received her diploma in mathematics and physics at 17 and started college majoring in Computer Engineering. After earning her B.S. degree in 2012, she traveled to the United States on a full scholarship to pursue a Master’s degree in Computer Science from Southern Illinois University which she completed in 2014. She then co-founded Aistra, an AI company focused on financial markets, which merged with Potentia Analytics in 2017. After the merger, Nasim decided to explore healthcare industry and apply her skills in AI to cancer research. When Nasim is not working, she enjoys reading, writing short stories and poems, playing soccer and beach volleyball, and traveling with family and friends.

Ramesh Jain, PhD

Director, Institute for Future Health
Donald Bren Professor in Information & Computer Sciences
Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences
UC Irvine

Prof. Ramesh Jain’s interests combine multimedia information systems, visual computing, and intelligent systems to address Future Health systems.

Ramesh has been an active researcher in experiential computing, multimedia information systems, machine vision, and intelligent systems. While professor of computer science and engineering at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and the University of California, San Diego, he founded and directed artificial intelligence and visual computing labs. He was also the founding Editor-in-Chief of IEEE MultiMedia magazine and Machine Vision and Applications journal and served on the editorial boards of several magazines and journals. He has co-authored more than 450 research papers in well-respected journals and conference proceedings. Ramesh has been elected Fellow of AAAS, ACM, IEEE, AAAS, IAPR, AAAI, and SPIE.

Ramesh co-founded multiple companies (Imageware, Virage, Praja, Seraja, mChron, and Krumbs), managed them in initial stages, and then turned them over to professional management. His current research is in Future Health. He is founding director of UCI Institute for Future Health.

Kevin Nortrup, CPHIMS, CSEP

Sugar Creek Solutions, LLC

Kevin Nortrup, CPHIMS, CSEP, graduated summa cum laude from the University of Illinois in computer engineering. A member of HIMSS, SHS, IISE, INCOSE and InfraGard, he holds several patents and has extensive experience in designing, implementing, analyzing and troubleshooting complex sociotechnical systems. As Principal at Sugar Creek Solutions, he champions a transdisciplinary systems approach to envisioning, actualizing and optimizing products, services, processes, companies and institutions for the Information/Communication Age, in healthcare and in other sectors. Kevin is the recipient of the 2018 SHS/HIMSS Excellence in Healthcare Management Engineering / Process Improvement Award. 

Kevin is on the Board of Directors of the Indiana Chapter of HIMSS, and he chaired the 2017 Midwest Fall Technology Conference, a collaboration of five regional chapters of HIMSS. For the past several years, he has spoken at national conferences to encourage healthcare professionals to apply systems thinking and systems engineering to transform process-improvement into systems-improvement. His other interests include playing music, writing songs and enjoying nature.

Pramil N. Singh, DrPH

Director and Associate Professor of Epidemiology Center for Health Research
School of Public Health
Loma Linda University

Dr. Singh is the Director of the Center for Health Research at Loma Linda University and holds a joint appointment in Epidemiology and Global Health.  Born in New Zealand, Dr. Singh completed his undergraduate work at University of California, Los Angeles and doctoral training in epidemiology at Loma Linda University. During the past two decades, his research has focused on the study and measurement of lifestyle exposures (diet, tobacco, physical activity) in population-based studies in the U.S. and Asia. He has authored or co-authored numerous reports in peer-reviewed scientific journals and serves in PI and co-I roles in grants from the NIH, DHHS, ASPPH, and foundations.  He currently heads an NIH-funded project building GIS and mobile apps for the governmental health sector in several nations of Asia, and is leading a clinical trial on smoking cessation funded by Pfizer Foundation.

Tushondra Thomas, MBA, MSN, PHN, RN-BC

Lead Clinical Informatics Specialist
City of Hope

Tushondra Thomas MBA, MSN, RN-BC is a board certified informaticist with over 15 years nursing experience 11, of which have been in leadership and informatics. She is an experienced healthcare provider with expertise in the implementation and adoption of technology, change management, and clinical process improvement. Tushondra earned her MBA from Texas Woman’s University and her Master’s in Nursing Informatics from the University of South Alabama where she is currently enrolled pursuing a Doctorate of Nursing Practice in Nursing Informatics. Much of her current work at City of Hope, is focused on the integration of nursing science with data science for the creation of machine learning driven predictive models. When she is not working, Tushondra enjoys volunteering, traveling, and spending time with loved ones.