Connection Update

Q&A: Meet the Newly-appointed THSA Board Members

 

Q A July 2016

Texas Governor Greg Abbott recently announced a number of reappointments and new appointments to the THSA Board of Directors. He reappointed and named Dr. David Fleeger as presiding officer of the board. He also reappointed Dr. Frederick "Fred" Buckwold, Shannon Calhoun, Matthew "Matt" Hamlin, William "Bill" Phillips Jr. and Dr. Stephen "Steve" Yurco and appointed Michael "Mike" Maples and Melanie Williams to serve as ex officio members.

Additionally, Governor Abbott appointed six new board members for terms set to expire June 15, 2017: Dr. David “Dave” Allen, Dr. Paula Anthony-McMann, Dr. Brandon Charles, Dr. Mark S. Lane, Andrew Lombardo and Deborah "Debbie" Marino. THSA interim CEO George Gooch conducted interviews with the six newly-appointed board members to get to know them better. Read their responses to George’s questions below.

David "Dave" Allen, D.N.P., director of professional nursing at Methodist Specialty and Transplant Hospital, San Antonio, Texas

Q. Please describe your professional background and interest in joining the THSA board.
A. I recent retired after spending over 20 years in the military. I have a well-rounded background but my specialty area is critical care. It is my opinion that part of being a professional nurse is giving back to the community.  What better way to give back than to help with the integration of electronic health records.

Q. What are your thoughts on the importance of electronic health records and the need for them to be safely shared within our health care system?
A. Healthcare is complex and requires a team approach to ensure safe quality care is accessible. The use of an EHR allows for the continuum of care that is necessary to guarantee our patients are at the center of their care.

Q. What do you do in your spare time when not helping to advance the delivery of healthcare in Texas?
A. I enjoy spending time with my family and occasionally will head out to the golf course.

Paula Anthony-McMann, Ph.D., vice president and chief information officer for the East Texas Medical Center Regional Healthcare System, Tyler, Texas

Q. Please describe your professional background and interest in joining the THSA board.
A. I have been the chief information officer for a large regional healthcare system for over 20 years. Prior to that, I spent almost 10 years with Ernst & Young's healthcare information technology consulting practice. I am passionate about the need for interoperable health records as the foundation for information sharing. As such, I am hopeful that my perspective as an individual responsible for the delivery of technology-based solutions across a wide continuum of providers will be beneficial to THSA's mission of linking all Texas healthcare providers.

Q. What are your thoughts on the importance of electronic health records and the need for them to be safely shared within our health care system?
A. In the over 10 years since the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology advanced the goal of linking health records nationwide, we have made tremendous progress in the digitization of these records but little progress in true interoperability. The ultimate endgame in the deployment of electronic health records is not merely to support the internal clinical operations of individual providers but to provide the relevant information to the right provider at the right time for every patient – wherever that patient may be. I cannot imagine a more critical information technology imperative related to the advancement of care than this.

Q. What do you do in your spare time when not helping to advance the delivery of healthcare in Texas?
A. My husband and I travel as much as we can, and we return to the Boston area often to visit our two daughters. I absolutely love working and living in Tyler and enjoy many opportunities to work with non-profit and civic organizations. More recently, I have started teaching at a local university – and it's become my newest passion. And then there's our 6 year old Labradoodle, Izzy!

Brandon Charles, M.D., regional vice president and chief medical officer for Amerigroup Texas, Coppell, Texas

Q. Please describe your professional background and interest in joining the THSA board.
A. I am the chief medical officer for Amerigroup Texas and a board certified Ob/Gyn. I practiced Ob/Gyn in the Dallas area for 20 years prior to my present role. Having experience on both the practice and insurance side of the business has highlighted the need for better communication of information safely and seamlessly across all aspects of healthcare. Being part of the process is a fantastic opportunity and look forward to the next year.

Q. What are your thoughts on the importance of electronic health records and the need for them to be safely shared within our health care system?
A. The ability to safely share records across all of the entities is crucial and will benefit patients first and foremost and will enhance quality of care and efficiency of communication.

Q. What do you do in your spare time when not helping to advance the delivery of healthcare in Texas?
A. I enjoy traveling with my family – mainly to the West coast, playing guitar and playing golf with my 11 year old son.

Mark S. Lane, M.D., board-certified family physician and owner of Family Medicine Rural Health Clinic, staff member of Rollins-Brook Community Hospital, Lampasas, Texas

Q. Please describe your professional background and interest in joining the THSA board.
A. I am a family medicine physician in private practice for the past 29 years. My practice includes both inpatient and outpatient medicine in Lampasas, a small rural town in central Texas.  I hope to represent rural medicine and provide the rural perspective in tackling this complex issue.

Q. What are your thoughts on the importance of electronic health records and the need for them to be safely shared within our health care system?
A. The need to be able to share health records is so important to providing the most cost effective and efficient health care for our patients. As a primary care doctor, I see the need on a daily basis to be able to share information with specialist. Just today, a patient came in so frustrated because of the inability to share information between different clinics and her different specialists.

Q. What do you do in your spare time when not helping to advance the delivery of healthcare in Texas?
A. I enjoy hunting, fishing, playing golf and ranching.

Andrew Lombardo, executive director for the Rio Grande Valley Health Information Exchange, of Harlingen, Texas

Q. Please describe your professional background and interest in joining the THSA board.
A. For the past 10 years I have been working in the health IT world. I have gained knowledge in EMR ambulatory systems, HIE platforms, population health, integration engines and other IT solutions. Participating in the THSA board is an opportunity to broaden my professional experience and provide input on the future of patient health information exchange in the State of Texas.

Q. What are your thoughts on the importance of electronic health records and the need for them to be safely shared within our health care system?
A. The sharing of patient health information has personal meaning. As a patient, I want my doctor to have the most current and accurate information about my health. In order for this to occur, patient health information must be digitally captured and shared across health care systems. The use of electronic health records and participation in a health information exchange enables patient records to be securely shared locally, regionally and nationally.

Q. What do you do in your spare time when not helping to advance the delivery of healthcare in Texas?
A. I enjoy spending time with my family and friends.

Deborah "Debbie" Gray Marino, vice president of community relations for SWBC, San Antonio, Texas

Q. Please describe your professional background and interest in joining the THSA board.
A. For the past 17 years, I have been involved with several non-profits and engaged in numerous public policies.  As the VP of community relations for SWBC, one of our focus areas is health care. We monitor trends and regulations within the healthcare industry to keep our clients abreast of any changes that can and will affect their employees and businesses. We are also always looking for ways to improve and streamline costs, all the while aiming to increase standards. I hope I can bring this kind of personal customer service thinking to assist all my fellow Texans.

Q. What are your thoughts on the importance of electronic health records and the need for them to be safely shared within our health care system?
A. In an age where we are all in the cloud, there is no denying that the movement towards electronic health records is important. The balance is to build trust in a secured system that physicians, patients, caregivers and any other health care provider will feel comfortable in utilizing. On a personal note, I am a mother and the secured information for not only myself but my family is critical.

Q. What do you do in your spare time when not helping to advance the delivery of healthcare in Texas?
A. I live, laugh and love as much as possible. To me there is no greater joy than giving of oneself and investing quality time with family.