Speaker Bios2016 Healthcare IT Conference

Sajid Ahmed

Chief Information and Innovation Officer
Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital

Sajid Ahmed is the Chief Information and Innovation Officer of Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital in South Los Angeles. He is leading the new hospital’s $70 million health information technology initiative and launching an innovation hub on the 42-acre MLK Medical Center Campus.

Mr. Ahmed is a true innovator and pioneer in healthcare information systems. He has unparalleled experience in all aspects of using computer technology and web-based applications to deliver the best 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 consultant on innovation, and frequently lectures about entrepreneurism and information technology for healthcare environments.

Mr. Ahmed was formerly the 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.

Before leaving L.A. Care, Mr. Ahmed created and launched eConsult in partnership with the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services. 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 eConsult, Mr. Ahmed was the visionary behind SelfMD™; developed the ELICIT™ concept (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. He was honored 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 on Healthcare. Currently he is an advisory board member of the California Health eQuality Initiative based at the University of California, Davis.

Chris Nicholson

Chief Executive Officer
mPulse Mobile

As Chief Executive Officer of mPulse Mobile, Chris bring over 20 years of experience in healthcare and digital technology. His experience has ranged from leadership in fortune 100 companies to dynamic startups. Prior to mPulse Mobile, Chris spent over a decade in strategic leadership roles at Humana, including VP and COO of Wellness, and led Humana’s Strategic consultancy division.  He holds a B.A. in Marketing from the University of Kentucky and an MBA from University of Louisville. He also completed the Harvard Executive Development Program for Healthcare Leaders.

Patrick Anderson

SVP and Chief Information Officer
Hoag Hospital

Patrick Anderson recently joined Hoag as the Senior Vice President (SVP) and Chief Information Officer (CIO). Prior to Hoag, Patrick served as the SVP and CIO at Ochsner Health System in New Orleans, LA where he was instrumental in the growth and innovation of the health system through population management strategy, telemedicine system development, and deployment of clinical and business systems across a network of 25 hospitals. Patrick delivered scalability to a fast growing health system with high availability of systems and exceptional customer service.

Prior to Ochsner, Patrick spent over six years at Sutter Health in Sacramento, CA where he was the Chief Operating Officer, Information Services, leading an IT staff of over 2500 employees. Sutter Health operates 25 hospitals and 250 clinics employing 50,000 employees. Patrick’s major accomplishments at Sutter include the oversight of clinical and business enterprise systems, Electronic Health Record implementation, and oversight of all IT infrastructures. He deployed Epic Systems and delivered strategic planning, high availability, innovation, optimization, business transformation, compliance, and operations.

Prior to Sutter Health, he was the Chief Information Officer at the Los Angeles County Department of Health. A U.S. Air Force veteran, Patrick’s past experience also includes working at United Healthcare. He has served on multiple boards and advisory committees for major technology organizations and non-profit community organizations.

At Hoag, Patrick will lead the optimization of the IT department/services and Hoag’s clinical and business systems ensuring world class quality and safe patient care through leadership of systems, staff, and adoption of advanced technology.

Zan Calhoun

Chief Information Officer
Healthcare Partners

Zan Calhoun is the Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer for HealthCare Partners, a wholly owned subsidiary of DaVita HealthCare Partners. He has been the CIO for HCP since 2004.

In 1980, he co-founded First Consulting Group and was that organization’s CEO until 1991. From 1994 until 2001, he was a healthcare IT consulting partner with Ernst & Young where he had responsibility for their national health plan consulting practice for a number of years.

He holds a B.S. in finance and an MBA from Cal State-Long Beach and is a CPA. He has taught or led workshops on Healthcare Information Technology at a variety of colleges and industry meetings across the country.

Korey Capozza

Director, Electronic Care Coordination Initiative
The Children’s Partnership

Korey Capozza manages The Children’s Partnership’s (TCP) county-level projects related to advancing electronic care coordination for vulnerable youth. Korey’s expertise is in patient-focused technology innovations in health care. She comes to TCP from HealthInsight, the REC and Beacon program site for Utah, where she led the organization’s consumer and community engagement programs and served as the principal investigator for three pilots that explored using new technology to empower patients to manage their own health. Korey has published widely on best practices for engaging vulnerable populations with emerging digital tools and is the recipient of three awards for entrepreneurship in the health care field. 

Karen Grimley

Chief Nursing Executive, UCLA Health
Assistant Dean, UCLA School of Nursing

Karen A. Grimley, Ph.D., chief nursing executive for UCLA Health and assistant dean in the UCLA School of Nursing, joined UCLA on Sept. 28, 2015 from the UC Irvine Medical Center, where she served as chief nursing officer and volunteer assistant clinical professor.

Her areas of responsibility at UC Irvine have encompassed all aspects of nursing practice, inpatient nursing operations, and programmatic oversight of the concierge services, burn, trauma, stroke and transplant programs. As a champion of the patient experience at UC Irvine, Grimley organized and co-led the Patient Experience Coordinating Council to improve the patient experience by heightening organizational awareness and facilitating process improvements aimed at care and service delivery.

Her strategic direction for nursing was essential in revitalizing both the shared governance structure and the Relationship-Based Care model. Clinical quality and operational metrics were used to show nurses how their practice and delivery of safe, high-quality care directly contributed to the operational success of the hospital.

In her role at UCLA Health, Grimley is responsible and accountable for the overall delivery and management of nursing professional practice, care delivery methods, education, professional development, research, administration and clinical services. She will have staff accountability for enhancing a healthy clinical practice environment that is person-centered, with unsurpassed clinical quality and patient safety while also providing significant contributions to education and research.

Grimley received a B.S. degree in nursing at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire and an M.B.A. from Anna Maria College in Paxton, Massachusetts, before earning a Ph.D. in nursing from Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing at Florida Atlantic University.

Lori Hack

Principal and CEO
Object Health

Lori Hack is Principal and CEO at Object Health. Ms. Hack is a nationally recognized health technology leader and has led efforts organizing Health Information Organizations (HIOs) in California for Alameda, Contra Costa, Riverside, San Joaquin and San Francisco Counties and more recently Central Oregon and Northern New York Counties. Ms. Hack also leads Object Health’s team in their work around clinic implementation of electronic health records for achieving meaningful use. Object Health was recently awarded a contract with the Department of Health Care Service supporting specialists and other providers in their effort to achieve Meaningful Use funding for MediCaid programs. She is also currently working with MediCal Health Plans around the state supporting quality improvement efforts through research, technical assessment and workflow redesign to enhance HEDIS and encounter data reporting for population management projects.  Previously Ms. Hack served as Program Liaison for the California Privacy and Security Advisory Board on behalf of the California Office of Health Information Integrity. She recently advised the State Attorney General office on Medical Identity Theft and worked with the CalOHII office on Data Stewardship and Governance among county and State agencies.

Additionally, Ms. Hack consulted for the State of California on Mental Health Information Technology through the California Mental Health Services Act (MHSA). Previously Ms. Hack served as Interim CEO for the California Regional Health Information Organization (CalRHIO) and Executive Director for Health Technology Center (HealthTech). She served several terms on the Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT) Privacy Expert Panel, directed by Secretary Leavitt of Health and Human Services. Ms. Hack earned her BA in psychology at the University of California at Los Angeles, and her MBA from the University of Southern California.

Aisha Iqbal

Director, Health IT
Community Clinic Association of Los Angeles County (CCALAC)

Aisha Iqbal is the Director of Health IT at the Community Clinic Association of Los Angeles County (CCALAC). CCALAC represents 58 non-profit community clinics and health centers that operate primary care sites throughout Los Angeles County. CCALAC’s members serve as the medical home for more than 1.4 million patients per year. Community clinics provide primary health care, including medical, dental, and mental health services to the uninsured, underinsured, working poor, high-risk and vulnerable populations. Prior to CCALAC, Aisha worked at L.A. Care Health Plan, leading the training, adoption and implementation of eConsult, a web-based system that allows PCPs and specialists to securely share health information and discuss patient care.  Aisha started her career as a healthcare consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). At PwC, she worked on a number of projects, including a Cerner Go-Live in Chicago’s Cook County Hospital. Aisha received her Masters in Health Information Management from Claremont Graduate University, where she worked on the design, development, research and implementation of the HealthATM program and application. HealthATM is a touch screen kiosk that allows patients in community clinics to log into the touch screen system and do a number of actions, such as schedule doctor visits, email their doctor, or set up electronic reminders for health promotion activities.  Aisha views technology as a powerful tool that is bringing changes long overdue to the healthcare industry.

Kara Marx

Vice President of Information Systems
Sharp HealthCare

Kara Marx is Vice President of Information Systems at Sharp HealthCare in San Diego.  Kara joined Sharp HealthCare in January of 2015 and is primarily focused on patient care systems. Sharp HealthCare is a not for profit health system with 17,000 employees that are dedicated to delivering the highest quality of patient-centered care. The health system consists of four acute care hospitals, three specialty hospitals, two affiliated medical groups and a full spectrum of other services.

Prior to joining Sharp HealthCare Kara was the Vice President and Chief Information Officer for 9 years at Methodist Hospital Southern California which is located in the greater Los Angeles area.  She has worked as a consultant with several consulting firms including IBM and First Consulting Group where she had the opportunity to engage with many leading health care organizations across the country.  Kara also has experience working with a major health care IT software vendor holding many different positions which further expanded her unique background of clinical practice, consulting and software development/implementation. 

Kara is a Registered Nurse and has a Master’s Degree in Healthcare Sciences. As a Registered Nurse Kara spent many years providing patient care in the ambulatory and acute care setting on the East Coast.  During this time she also held management positions for a large physicians practice establishing new service offerings to the community.

Kara is actively involved in many industry organizations including HIMSS and ACHE of which she is a Fellow in both. Additionally, she has served on several Advisory Boards including the O’Neil Center, KLAS Research and Qwest Diagnostics, she also teaches at University of Southern California, Price School of Public Health.

Gary Mendoza

Founder and CEO
Health eWay

Gary Mendoza is the Founder and CEO of Health eWay.

During his career, Gary has crafted a number of features of the healthcare landscape, including The California Endowment, the California HealthCare Foundation, the restricted Knox-Keene license (the organizational architecture for full risk ACOs) and the DMHC’s Help Center.

Gary formed Health eWay to tackle significant barriers to the delivery of effective, integrated healthcare services, starting with the EMR-based Tower of Babel.

Gary served as Deputy Mayor of Los Angeles during the Riordan Administration and practiced as a corporate attorney and CPA. He is a graduate of Claremont McKenna College and Yale Law School.


Chief Nursing Officer
IBM Global Healthcare

Judy Murphy is Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) for IBM Global Healthcare, where she helps put together health IT solutions for providers in order to improve health and health care, and lower costs.  Prior to this she was CNO and Deputy National Coordinator for Programs and Policy at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) in Washington D.C.  In these roles, she led federal efforts to assist health care providers in adopting health information technology to improve care and to promote consumers’ greater understanding and use of health information technology for their own health.  She came to ONC with more than 25 years of health informatics experience at Aurora Health Care in Wisconsin, an integrated delivery network with 15 hospitals, 120 ambulatory centers, and over 30,000 employees.  As Vice President-EHR Applications, she led their EHR program since 1995, when Aurora was one of the early adopters of health IT.

Judy has a long-standing reputation of patient advocacy and maintaining a “patient-centric” point of view, and approaches her work with unyielding energy as well as passion and commitment to the healthcare transformation enabled by technology.  She has published and lectured nationally and internationally.  She has served on the AMIA and HIMSS Board of Directors.  She is a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing, the American College of Medical Informatics and HIMSS.  She has received numerous awards, including the AMIA 2014 Don Eugene Detmer Award for Health Policy Contributions in Informatics, the HIMSS 2014 Federal Health IT Leadership Award, the HIMSS 2012 Distinguished Fellows Service Award, and the HIMSS 2006 Nursing Informatics Leadership Award.  She was named one of the “20 People Who Make Healthcare Better” in 2007 by HealthLeaders magazine, and was selected as one of 33 Nursing Informatics’ Pioneers showcased in the Nursing Informatics History Project sponsored by AMIA, NLM, AAN, and RWJF.

Joshua Newman, MD, MSHS

Chief Medical Officer and General Manager of Healthcare

Joshua Newman, M.D., M.S.H.S., is Chief Medical Officer and General Manager of Healthcare at Salesforce. Dr. Newman has a 15-year history in Health IT, having designed, built, and managed web applications that have been used to digitalize medical residency administration, billing, and clinical care, to promote collaboration between physicians, and to ease the adoption of electronic medical records systems. 

In his current role at Salesforce, he leads the strategy and cross-functional efforts on the company's health products, develops partner and customer presence on the Salesforce development platform, and enables health applications for non-profit organizations through the Salesforce Foundation. 

Prior to Salesforce, he worked as a practicing physician and Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine at UCLA with a research focus on health information technology. 

Dr. Newman received his MD from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and completed his residency in Family Medicine at the Advocate Illinois Masonic/UIC program. He completed a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program, a postgraduate fellowship at UCLA, and received an MSHS degree in Health Services. He is a member of a number of professional organizations around medicine and technology.

Eleanor Ramirez

Vice President, Chief Nursing Officer

Ms. Eleanor Ramirez serves as the Chief Nursing Officer and Vice President for Nanthealth.  NantHealth is a member of the NantWorks ecosystem of companies and is a transformational healthcare IT company converging science and technology through a single integrated clinical platform, to provide actionable health information at the point of care, in the time of need, anywhere, anytime.

Ms. Ramirez has extensive experience in the healthcare market, focusing on quality, operations, program management, infrastructure modeling and most clinical and support serves.  Prior to joining Nanthealth, Ms. Ramirez was Chief Operating Officer of Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California and served in the role for overall operations of the Health Center.

Prior to her role at Saint Johns, Ms. Ramirez has served as Chief Operating Officer and as the Chief Nursing Officer for profit, non-profit health centers as well as independent and multi campus health centers.  Ms. Ramirez has served on numerous strategic operations and clinical technology committees for hospitals and large hospital systems.

Ms. Ramirez has an undergraduate degree in Nursing and a graduate degree in Health Care Administration.


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