After 18 years in his current position and 30 years with the organization overall, Dan Drawbaugh, chief information officer and executive vice president at the 20-plus-hospital University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) health system, has been forced out. According to a press release issued on the UPMC website on Aug. 25, Drawbaugh “has decided to step down to pursue other professional interests.” The departure was an immediate one, confirmed Wendy Zellner, UPMC’s director of media relations. Zellner also confirmed for Healthcare Informatics that Ed McCallister, presently senior vice president, enterprise applications & business services, Information Services Division, has immediately taken over as interim CIO. Zellner also said that the departure had nothing to do with UPMC’s massive data breach back in February, when virtually all of its 62,000 employees may have been put at risk by identity thieves.
Dan Drawbaugh in his office in 2013
Drawbaugh, during his tenure as CIO at the massive, $6 billion-in-annual-revenues UPMC system, was at the forefront of helping to facilitate the organization’s bold IT and data strategy, including its groundbreaking co-development ventures with leading IT vendor companies. As Drawbaugh told HCI Editor-in-Chief MarkHagland during Hagland’s visit to UPMC headquarters in January 2013, one goal of the organization has been and will be “intensively leveraging IT for overall organizational performance improvement” organization-wide, and industry-wide.” He added that “One thing I reflect on is that I look at the challenges when we started out” on the organization’s broad data and IT journey, is that “when we first discussed analytics, it was a challenge… Every day, you’re learning, educating, communicating, and finding out every day who can help you execute in the organization. And you have to go outside of the circle where you’re comfortable in… Now we’re at the point where we’re training individuals in big data.”
By the very nature of his being CIO of such a large organization, one of the largest and most prominent privately owned integrated health systems in the U.S., Drawbaugh was an industry leader. He was also well-paid: Zellner confirmed for HCI that in 2012, Drawbaugh’s base salary was $1.2 million, and his total compensation, including retirement and non-taxable benefits, was $1.6 million. According to the Ann Arbor, Mich.-based College of Healthcare Information Executives (CHIME), the average salary for someone with the title vice president and CIO, in 2012, was $310,326.