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Theresa Cullen, M.D., joins Regenstrief Global Health Informatics Program

October 19, 2015
by David Raths
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Former Indian Health Service CIO also served as VA chief medical informatics officer

Theresa Cullen, M.D., M.S., former chief information officer of the Indian Health Service, has been named associate director of the Regenstrief Institute's Global Health Informatics Program. She joins the Indianapolis-based institute's Center for Biomedical Informatics as an investigator following three and a half years as chief medical informatics officer and director of health informatics at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Dr. Cullen holds the rank of rear admiral (retired) with the U.S. Public Health Service, with which she served from 26 years, all but one with the Indian Health Service, where, from 2006 to 2011, she was the IHS' chief information officer and oversaw the largest U.S. rural health network (400 facilities in 36 states across the country) from a health information perspective.

She also has had multiple deployments to Albania as a USPHS officer through the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Global Health Affairs and has participated in medical and public health service trips to Central America and Africa.

"Few individuals have the dedication to helping the underserved and the in-depth experience with medical informatics that Terry has," said Regenstrief investigator Paul Biondich, M.D., director of the Global Health Informatics Program, in a prepared statement. The program, which is an active participant in the OpenMRS and OpenHIE communities, has long-term relationships with health leadership and local populations in dozens of countries including Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Nigeria, Bangladesh and Philippines.

Cullen noted that the joint approach through which (a) Regenstrief contributes to global health equity based on longtime experience with serving the underserved through health information technology and leadership training and (b) the local communities contribute through their knowledge of the environment is unique.

Dr. Cullen will also hold an appointment as an associate professor of family medicine at the Indiana University School of Medicine.