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Cal eConnect Appoints New HIT Leadership

November 22, 2011
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Robert M. Cothren, PhD, has been appointed chief technology officer for the Emeryville, Calif.-based Cal eConnect. Cal eConnect is executing on the $38.8 million federal grant California received under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to implement health information exchange (HIE) services and policies. Cothren will serve as principal for all the organization's health information technology and exchange projects, effective November 15, 2011.

Cothren has more than 20 years experience in the health information and exchange field. He comes to Cal eConnect from Cognosante where he has been chief technology officer since 2008. Prior to that he held a number of leadership roles with Northrup Grumman beginning in 2003. During this time he served as an enterprise architect for CONNECT, the open-source gateway for participating on the Nationwide Health Information Network developed under the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) and the Federal Health Architecture program..

He has been an advisor to ONC on current HIE architectures, approaches to governance of widespread HIE and standards development, and early analysis of the technical requirements for meaningful use of electronic health records. Most recently, he supported several states in developing their approaches to statewide HIE, including planning, technical assistance, privacy policy development, and technical assessment of early implementations. In California, he has worked on a number of HIE efforts including the State's strategic and operational plans for statewide HIE and Cal eConnect's architectural concepts.

Cothren's background also includes research and academia. Before joining Northrop Grumman, he was a member of the research staff at The Cleveland Clinic, acting as principal investigator on a number of applied research projects in the detection, diagnosis, and staging of cancer using novel approaches to optical analysis and medical imaging. He was an assistant professor in The Ohio State University's Biomedical Engineering Center, and helped found The Cleveland Clinic's Medical Imaging Lab.

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