IT Fellows set out to update fellow docs

ONC Health IT Fellows set out to update fellow docsPhoto used with permission from

Twenty-eight meaningful use-savvy clinicians and healthcare professionals from 18 states will be helping other providers find success with information technology as the Office of the National Coordinator’s inaugural class of Health IT Fellows.   

The fellows mostly represent primary care and include 17 physicians, five administrative workers, three office managers, one IT professional, one nurse and one nurse practitioner — all of them well-versed in using IT for care coordination, medication management, preventive care and other areas.

Serving strictly on a voluntary basis, the fellows “will help promote and focus attention on stories, tools, and technical assistance that can be used in providers’ offices nationwide,” the ONC said.

While one of the goals for the fellows is to have them “work with the local and national community to promote open and productive dialogue” around health IT, the fellows are also “of, by, and for the practices,” the ONC said, and will “continue to provide insight” into improving Meaningful Use.

While all have experience in primary care, the fellows are working in specific areas to correspond with National Quality Strategy programs: patient safety, cardiovascular disease and EHRs.

Among the fellows is perhaps the first doctor in New Jersey (or one of them) to attest to Meaningful Use — Douglas Ashinsky, MD, an internist at Somerset Medical Center and Warren Internal Medicine in Warren, New Jersey, where he’s worked since 1989. One of his interests has been focusing on medication reconciliation post-hospital discharge, as part of a readmissions reduction strategy.

Another one of the 17 docs is Alan Barton, MD, a pediatrician and owner of Colorado River Pediatrics in northwestern Arizona. Specializing in treating chronic conditions and working with patients with special needs like autism, Barton started using health IT early on to maintain problem lists and medication lists, especially for asthma patients.

The fellows also includes docs with feet in both the clinic and IT, such as Felix Carpio, MD, clinical informatics director at AltaMed Health Services in Los Angeles. Carpio directed AltaMed’s early intervention program for HIV, worked as the “physician champion” during AltaMed’s EHR implementation and is currently heading the provider’s assessment of clinical quality performance.

See the next page for the list of Health IT Fellows.

ONC's inaugural class of Health IT Fellows:

  • John Berneike, MD, clinical director at St. Mark’s Family Medicine in Salt Lake City. 
  • Jennifer Brull, MD, a family medicine physician in a solo practice in Plainville, Kansas.
  • Robyn Chatman, MD, managing partner at Trinity Family Medicine in Cincinnati and medical officer for the Greater Cincinnati Beacon Collaborative. 
  • Raj Desai, medical practice administrator at Integrated Family Medical Center in Lady Lake, Florida.
  • Annick Hebou, MD, medical director of MetroHealth Clinic in Washington, DC, and associate professor of clinical medicine at George Washington University.
  • Eugene Heslin, MD, head physician at Bridge Street Medical Group, a family practice in Saugerties, New York.
  • Gustin Ho, MD, president of the Chinese Community Health Care Association and a primary care doctor in San Francisco. 
  • Drew Jackson, the administrator for Arkansas Central Primary Care in Jacksonville, Arkansas. 
  • Emily Krohn, CIO at Boone County Health Center, a critical access hospital in Albion, Nebraska. 
  • Lisa Lyon, clinical informatics coordinator for the Cherokee Nation Health Services in northeast Oklahoma.
  • Frank Maselli, MD, a family practice physician at Riverdale Family Practice in the Bronx.
  • Bambi McQuade-Jones, a nurse practitioner and the executive director of Boone County Community Clinic in Lebanon, Indiana. 
  • Emily Milton, practice administrator at Rosemark WomenCare Specialists in Idaho Falls, Idaho. 
  • Angela Murphy, associate VP for physician development at Norton Healthcare is Louisville.
  • Tiffany Nelson, MD, owner of Desert Ridge Family Physicians in Phoenix and chief innovation officer at Scottsdale Health Partners.
  • Paulo Pinho, MD, a physician at and owner of P.A.S.E. Healthcare in Millburn, New Jersey.
  • Sumir Sahgal, MD, medical director of Essen Medical Associates, a multi-specialty medical group with offices in the Bronx.
  • Bethany Sanders, director of quality improvement outcomes at Mary’s Center in Washington, DC. 
  • Dennis Saver, MD, a physician at Primary Care of the Treasure Coast, in Vero Beach, Florida.  
  • Karen Smith, MD, a family medicine practitioner in rural Raeford, North Carolina. 
  • Frank Sonnenberg, MD, a professor at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Jersey and medical director of clinical information systems at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical Group. 
  • Steve Stark, CIO at Cass County Health System in Atlantic, Iowa. 
  • Christopher Tashjian, MD, a family medicine doctor who practices in rural Ellsworth, Wisconsin;
  • Angie Walker, practice manager for a small family practice in De Queen, Arkansas. 
  • Brian Yeaman, MD, a primary care physician and CMIO at Norman Regional Health System in Norman, Oklahoma.

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