Tag Archives: COACH

COACH Board of Directors Candidate – Shiran Isaacksz

I have posted several articles recently related COACH,  Canada’s Health Informatics Association, including one promoting the annual eHealth conference co-hosted by COACH.  In this post I’d like to draw COACH members’ attention to the upcoming board of directors elections.

As the governing body for COACH, the board of directors sets the long term vision and provides strategic direction.   Six highly qualified individuals are standing for election for three positions.    I urge all COACH members to take a few minutes to check out each of the candidates’ profiles on the COACH website and, equally important, to cast your votes before April 15th.

I’d like to introduce one of these candidates, Shiran Isaacksz.  I asked Shiran to provide a brief overview of his background and qualifications for the COACH board.  His response follows.

Shiran Isaacksz has been actively involved as the Senior Director at University Health Network for the Regional/Provincial Portfolio.  In this role, he has led the ConnectingGTA (cGTA) Program and the GTA West Diagnostic Imaging Repository Program over the past 6 years. Shiran has shown strong leadership and effective stakeholder engagement, as he leads two very complex, regional initiatives.

At the local level, he is also the Senior Director responsible for the Resource Matching and Referral initiative in the Toronto Central LHIN and he is a member of the Senior Management team at the Toronto Central Community Care Access Centre, overseeing the organization’s IM Strategic Plan.

He is known for his broad system’s thinking and pragmatic approach to move complex projects forward.  Shiran has been very collaborative in his manner dealing with many health service provides across the continuum of care, eHealth Ontario, the Ministry of Health and Canada Health Infoway.

To better understand the unique experiences, passion and commitment that he will bring as a member of the COACH Board, please visit his candidate profile on the COACH website:  http://www.coachorg.com/en/membership/Shiran-Isaacksz-2015.asp

Mike

Why I attend the Canadian eHealth Conference

As winter ever so slowly releases its icy grip, my thoughts turn not only to spring and warmer weather but also to the approaching e-Health Conference. Since attending my first e-Health Conference in 2004, this event has become a tradition that I eagerly await with nearly the same anticipation I feel for major holidays. What is it about this Conference that makes it such a “must attend” event for me?

Check out the rest of the article on the eHealth conference blog … click here

Mike

An interview with Mike Barron of COACH: A president’s prespective

This blog post contains an article that was originally published in the March 2015 print edition of Canadian Healthcare Technology magazine:

———————

The Canadian Organization for the Advancement of Computers in Health is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. More commonly referred to as COACH, this stalwart of the Canadian health IT sector has consistently championed the cause of digital health and advocated on behalf of the health informatics professionals who make it possible.   What does the future hold for COACH? Why should someone join COACH? I put these and other questions to Mike Barron, the current COACH president, in an interview just prior to the Christmas holidays.

Introducing Mike Barron

Ordinarily I would refer to the subject of an article by their last name; e.g. Mr. Barron. However, in this case, doing so simply doesn’t suit the personality of the man. He is one of the most affable and down to earth executives I know.   He pulls no punches yet manages not to offend, no matter how blunt his comments might be.   Mr. Barron just seems too formal and stuffy for such an approachable and friendly man. Instead, I will his first name.

I asked Mike how he ended up working healthcare. Mike explained that his first “main job” was with the Royal Commission on Hospital and Nursing Home Costs in the mid 1980’s.   Two years later, he moved to the General Hospital Corporation in St. John’s to take on the Director of Information Systems. This role, he explained, introduced to him to the “complexities of healthcare.” It was, in Mike’s words, a “rewarding yet challenging” assignment.

At the turn of the century Mike joined the Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Health Information (NLCHI) during what he referred to as their “early days.” In 2006, Mike was appointed NLCHI’s CEO.

Given his rather demanding job, I asked Mike why he devotes time to COACH. He explained that when he first joined NLCHI, Canada Health Infoway in its formative years and he was involved in various federal / provincial / territorial (FPT) committees. These committees gave him a “taste of national vision and leadership.”

Getting involved at the board level at COACH was a natural extension of his other national roles. According to Mike, it gave him “an opportunity to participate in an organization outside government” that involved both public and private sector organizations.

Mike has devoted his working career to working in the health sector. Healthcare, Mike observed, is “something that glues us together as Canadians besides hockey” and is subject about which he is unabashedly passionate. His involvement in COACH provides him another outlet besides NLCHI to feed this passion.

COACH’s Role

When asked how COACH fits into the complex Canadian digital health ecosystem, Mike replied that it is the “glue for the health informatics environment.” While COACH is not, in Mike’s words “a one stop shop”, he does feel that it is, “a place where people from different communities can gather.”

Some people with whom I have spoken wonder how COACH is different from HIMSS, an organization with Canadian chapters that is also focused on digital health. Mike pointed out that COACH “offers more accessibility and more meaningful engagement.” While HIMSS supports a “largely private sector constituency, COACH “brings together public sector necessity and private sector reality.”

Some people have suggested that there might be economies of scale to be gained by combining COACH and ITAC Health to create the Canadian equivalent of HIMSS. I asked Mike what he thought of this suggestion. While he did not rule out the possibility in the longer term, he felt that it was important to recognize that “in the current environment, we need to ensure that we don’t lose sight of the constituencies that these groups represent” as well as “the contributions that these associations offer today.”

Mike pointed out that many of the same benefits attributed to the merging of two organizations could also be achieved by partnering. He pointed to collaborative efforts with ITAC Health and CHIMA as examples. “As Canadians, we are not predatory in nature,” Mike noted. “Partnerships are often a preferred model.”

Membership

According to Mike, membership has remained stable between 1,400 and 1,800 members. HIMSS, by comparison boasts 52,000+ members. It never ceases to amaze me how many people in the Canadian digital health community have opted not to join COACH.

I asked Mike about COACH’s plans to grow membership, a stated objective in their 2014-2017 strategic plan. He replied, “You don’t need numbers to denote success.” Instead, COACH is striving to “balance quality and quantity.” He went on to say that COACH is looking for “engaged members” who can “carry the message into various areas of the health system.”

So, why should someone join COACH? Without hesitation Mike rattled off a number of reasons, all sharing two common themes. First, COACH is one of the most effective ways for anyone with an interest in digital health to broaden their horizons. COACH, Mike observed, offers “exposure at very low cost to an extensive knowledge base” and “provides information about and exposure to different areas of health informatics.”

Second, COACH offers an opportunity to become a more active participant in the healthcare system and to join, as Mike describes it, “a complete national network of very bright and experienced healthcare professionals.”

Annual eHealth Conference

For many people, the COACH brand is most closely associated with the annual eHealth conference co-hosted by COACH. Over the past few years both revenue and attendance have declined leading some people to question the conference’s relevancy. Mike acknowledged that there is a “need to make it more applicable and attractive” but also asserted “as a conference it will remain relevant by sheer nature that it is the only national conference.”

While there are factors such as travel restrictions over which COACH has little control, Mike was emphatic that the annual eHealth conference is an event to which COACH is committed. He spoke about a number of ideas for refreshing the annual eHealth conference, starting with a “need to embrace youth.” According to Mike, COACH and its partners are “concentrating on bringing value and entertainment” and striving to “make the conference a more diverse experience.”

On a Personal Note

I closed up my interview with Mike by asking about his personal goals for his two-year tenure as COACH president. He told me that he had two goals. First, he is “very much into strengthening COACH as a sustainable entity” which, he said, was a natural extension of his involvement in the business side of COACH for many years. His second goal is “to reach out to the youth element.” He wants to create a critical mass of members under 40 years old to “carry the torch” after he and other long-time members retire.

As we concluded the interview, we spoke briefly about his life outside work. I learned that his favourite movie is any of the The Godfather movies.   According to Mike, “you can always use a quote from the movie.”

In Summary

I always enjoying speaking with Mike and my interview was no exception. As a ten year COACH member I was more pumped and enthused about COACH than I have been in a long time.

Are you a COACH member? If so, why? If not, why not? Drop me a line at michael.martineau@avenant.ca comment on my blog posts on this topic at eHealthMusings.ca.

COACH / HIMSS Ontario Update 2015

For the second year in a row COACH and HIMSS Ontario are hosting Ontario Update, a one day conference at which key public sector leaders share their insights and offer updates on local, regional and provincial eHealth initiatives.

Speakers at Ontario Update 2015  include Michael Green from Canada Health Infoway, Sarah Hutchison from OntarioMD, Peter Bascom from eHealth Ontario and Dr. Ed Brown from OTN.     The day will include a panel discussion on the current status of the various “connecting” projects: cGTA, cSWO, and cNEO.

I have been a member of the organizing committee for this conference since its inception.  Last year we sold out and had a waiting list of people who wanted to attend.   There are still tickets available for this year but, given the opportunity to connect with public sector leader, these tickets will go quickly.

You can find more details at:

http://www.coachorg.com/en/newsandevents/ONUP-2015-Speakers—Agenda.asp

You can register at: https://ams.coachorg.com/events/list.aspx

I am looking forward to this opportunity to meet with the health IT leaders whose work I track and write about.  I hope to see you there!

Mike

eHealth has Jumped the Shark

This past May I attended, as I have every year for the past ten years, the annual Canadian eHealth conference. Held for the first time at the new Ottawa Convention Centre, the Canadian eHealth conference is a networking and educational event that attracts health IT decision makers, thought leaders, vendors, and users from across Canada as well as international delegates. As I listened to various presentations and chatted with people about their reactions to the presentations that they attended, I began to wonder whether eHealth as a concept has “jumped the shark” and is on its way to becoming irrelevant.

Read the rest of the article on Technology for Doctors

Mike

A BlackBerry in an iPhone World

On May 28th, 2012 Dr. John Halamka, a physician and highly regarded healthcare IT thought leader, delivered the opening keynote address at the annual Canadian eHealth conference held this year in Vancouver, BC. Dr. Halamaka demonstrated how health IT is transforming the hospital in which he works and offered practical advice on how Canadian healthcare organizations and professionals can realize similar benefits. Fail to innovate, he warned, and “you risk becoming a BlackBerry in an iPhone world.”

Check out the rest of my article in Technology for Doctors

Mike

 

Guest Post: Glenn Lanteigne, candidate for COACH Board of Directors

Glenn Lanteigne, CIO for the SouthWest LHIN in Ontario, offers the following commentary on why he believes is qualified to serve as a COACH board member:

 

Why do you want to join the COACH Board of Directors at this point in your career?

COACH is an organization that I have supported over the years while in progressively more senior leadership roles in both the private and public sector.   At this point in my career and as CIO of the South West LHIN, I wish to apply my broad and varied experience developing and leading high performance teams in the health informatics landscape.  I am uniquely equipped to contribute in a meaningful way by balancing and representing all of the COACH community and make a difference by leveraging my experience in and insight into the overall system of care.   Combined with my open and approachable leadership style, I am confident I will be an asset to COACH Board when it comes to addressing  current and future sector challenges – and I look forward to representing you on the Board.  

What unique skills, perspectives and contributions would you bring to the COACH Board?

Those that know me professionally as the CIO of a Crown Agency involved in the management and delivery of health care for almost 4 million Ontarians would say I bring a broad, non-partisan, system wide understanding of the health care system and the health informatics community; that I am a team builder, a leader by example and a strategist by nature. Those that know me personally would say I’m energetic, passionate and enthusiastic – about leadership, about affecting positive change, and about the industry that I work in.  I am an MBA/MHA, Honours Economics, Six Sigma Black Belt with 20 years of progressive experience that spans the health care spectrum in both the public and the private sector, including experience across: Regional care, acute care, community care, primary care and consumer care at the provincial, national and international levels. In terms of contributions, I have diverse experience in vendor/private organizations and promote the view of private – public partnerships to support health care delivery, innovation and change for the better in the eHealth community.  By way of example, I point to an engagement process I introduced called Vendor Fridays which contributes to the public and private sectors working  more closely together on eHealth solutions to healthcare issues.

 In addition to being bilingual in English and French,  I am an ex-Tank Commander (as you can imagine, there’s more than a few parallels between the battlefield and  the eHealth and healthcare informatics landscape).

 What COACH committees, task groups or activities have you volunteered on in the past 5 years and what were your most significant contributions to COACH’s work?

  1. Member of CHIEF:  Canada’s Health Informatics Executive Forum
  2. Member of COACH’s Pan Canadian Governance Task Group
  3. Ongoing activity of addressing critical business issues, building leadership and forging relationships, enabling peer dialogue and debate and mentoring others in the COACH community
  4. Provided leadership within Canada and acts as an active promoter of COACH nationally and internationally
  1. Active contributor to eHealth conferences as speaker
  2. Contributor to the Interoperability Showcase at the eHealth Conference

What other board appointments or relevant leadership experiences have you had in the past 5 years?

  1. CIO at South West LHIN
  2. Chair of the South West LHIN eHealth Steering Committee
  3. Executive Lead for connecting South West Ontario (cSWO)
  4. Chair of the South Western Ontario eHealth Delivery Council and Steward of the South Western Ontario eHealth Oversight Committee
  5. Chair of the Erie St. Clair – South West LHIN Clinical Connect Viewer Project

Do you currently have your CPHIMS-CA credential? 

I am committed to achieving my CPHIMS-CA.

Brief biography including highlights of experience and expertise in Health Informatics

Glenn Lanteigne joined the South West LHIN as chief information officer in 2010 and is responsible for electronic and information sharing initiatives to promote, maintain and improve health care delivery throughout the region.  His first task was the creation and implementation of a shared LHIN-wide eHealth strategic plan to ensure an integrated, aligned, and community-responsive health care system; prior to joining the LHIN, Glenn was the director, healthcare at TELUS Healthcare Solutions providing overall strategic leadership for a full range of business and electronic health initiatives in regional care, acute care, community care, primary care, home care and consumer care.  Glenn’s current focus is governance reform, cost savings, and support the care reform needed to sustain healthcare delivery.  

Glenn has also held leadership roles with the Federal Government,  ECLIPSYS (now Allscripts), CLINICARE (now a QHR Technologies company) and GE Medical Systems (now GE Healthcare), TELUS Health Solutions, spoken at major eHealth conferences and is routinely quoted in health informatics publications.

What segments within our COACH community do you feel you can best represent?

Executives/
CIOs

Emerging
Professionals    

Telehealth

Clinicians

Vendors

IT/IM
Practitioners

Academic
& Research

Institutions

eHealth
Orgs 

 X

 X

 X

 

 X

 X

 

 X

 X