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July 1, 2007
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NBHD Names New Executives

The Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based North Broward Hospital District (NBHD), one of the top 10 largest public health systems in the nation encompassing more than 30 healthcare facilities, has appointed two new executives.

Tony Ruiz has been named the new director of information services project management. Ruiz will be responsible for directing and evaluating day-to-day operations of the project management office for information services, as well as providing operational, strategic, and maintenance support.

Fernando Martinez has been named the new information technology and data security officer. Martinez's main responsibility will be to develop a technology and telecom strategy that supports the business objectives and requirements of the NBHD. He will oversee an organization of approximately 160 employees.

NGA Appoints Taskforce Chair

The National Governors Association, Washington, D.C., has appointed Commissioner Rhonda Medows, M.D., FAAFP, to co-chair its Health Information Communication and Data Exchange Taskforce.

The taskforce is charged with addressing the appropriate roles for publicly funded health programs in interoperable, electronic health information exchange. The National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) created the State Alliance for e-Health in October 2006 to improve the nation's healthcare system by increasing the effectiveness of health information technology initiatives.

The taskforce will develop and advance actionable policy statements, resolutions and recommendations for referral to the State Alliance.

Adventist Health's Newest Head

Alan Soderblom has been named vice president and CIO of Roseville, Calif.-based Adventist Health.

Previously, Soderblom was president and CEO of Paradise Valley Hospital, where he also was vice president of finance and CFO. Prior to that, he was vice president of Loma Linda University Behavioral Medicine Center.

Soderblom holds a B.S. in accounting and business administration from La Sierra University in Riverside, Calif., and an M.B.A. from the University of Redlands.

Soderblom will replace Brett Spenst who has accepted a job in the Midwest.

Hospitals Need to Prep for Boomers

A joint report, entitled "When I'm 64: How Boomers Will Change Health Care," from First Consulting Group, a healthcare IT services firm located in Alpharetta, Ga., and the American Hospital Association (AHA, Washington D.C.), discusses the demands that baby boomers will place on healthcare, and how hospitals will respond.

Key findings of the report include:

  • By 2030, there will be over 70 million Americans over the age of 65 demanding healthcare services to manage chronic conditions.

  • By 2030, one out of every four boomers—14 million—will be living with diabetes.

  • By 2030, 26 million boomers—nearly half of the boomer population—will have arthritis.

  • By 2030, more than 21 million boomers will be considered obese, and their care will cost Medicare 34 percent more than others.

  • By 2020, the registered nurse shortage will reach 1 million.

  • By 2020, hospital admissions among boomers will increase more than 100 percent, totaling half of all admissions in America.

  • Knee replacement surgeries will increase 800 percent by 2030.

According to the report, hospitals have begun improving patient flow management, increasing recruiting efforts at medical and nursing schools, and creating outpatient programs for chronic conditions.

HIMSS Advocacy Awards Announced

Michael Leavitt, secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), is among the individuals named by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) to its 2007 Advocacy Awards winners list.

Leavitt was recognized for directing the nation's efforts to protect the health of Americans and providing human services to those in need.

The other winners are:

  • U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), described by HIMSS as the Senate's "go to" person regarding healthcare and prescription drugs.

  • Senator Olympia Snowe (D-WA), the fourth woman elected to both houses of Congress and the first woman to serve in both houses of a state legislature and both houses of Congress.

  • Commonwealth of Virginia Secretary of Technology Aneesh Chopra, who, according to HIMSS, leads the Commonwealth's strategy to leverage technology in government reform and fosters technology-related economic development.

  • Colorado State Senator Bob Hagedorn (D), who has served on interim committees that examined the need for accessible and affordable healthcare throughout the state.

For the first time, HIMSS also included a statewide award to the Michigan. More than nine regionally based health information exchanges have started in the state and are preparing to compete for 2007 grants.