Christina Galanis, who has served as president and CEO of HealthlinkNY for the past 13 years, will leave her position at the end of the year.
HealthlinkNY is a qualified entity (QE), funded by the New York State Department of Health (NYS DOH), which operates the health information exchange (HIE) connecting providers and patients in 13 counties in the Hudson Valley, Catskills, and Southern Tier of New York.
Galanis will leave to become president of WOMBA, also known as the World Medical Bank, a data aggregation company that is focused on putting patients in charge of their health data. “During the past 13 years, I worked with a remarkably innovative team and together we built a vital organization. Frankly, it has been my life and my passion,” Galanis said in a statement. One of her greatest hopes, she added, was to connect HeathlinkNY to a HIE network beyond New York State. “WOMBA is a consumer-mediated exchange, controlled by the patient. The opportunity to help them develop such a platform was one I simply could not resist. Although I will miss my wonderful colleagues, I am confident that HealthlinkNY will continue to cement its position as one of the leading HIE operators in the country,” she said.
In the interim, HealthlinkNY Senior Vice President Staci Romeo will assume the role of interim executive director. Romeo has been second in command for nearly a year.
HealthlinkNY was formed in 2015 when Southern Tier HealthLink and the Taconic Health Information Network and Community merged. Galanis, as the founding executive director of Southern Tier HealthLink, built an HIE operation, and after the merger, she brought that technical strength to the Hudson Valley, where adoption of the HIE among providers has grown rapidly, officials noted.
What’s more, under her leadership, HealthlinkNY also expanded into the area of population health. It was awarded two New York State Department of Health Population Health Improvement Program grants—one for the Southern Tier, the other for the Hudson Valley—which are administered by the HealthlinkNY Community Network. In collaboration with dozens of community partners, the HealthlinkNY Community Network has launched several projects to address population health issues such as social determinants of health, mental and behavioral health, diabetes, and transportation issues.
On HealthlinkNY’s horizon is a project to use HIE data to increase reporting and geo-targeting of Lyme disease; capture birth records for counties on the New York State border with Pennsylvania when residents have their babies in a Pennsylvania hospital; identify prediabetes patients and connect them to diabetes prevention intervention programs; and geo-target opioid overdoses and naloxone administration to prevent deaths and connect overdose patients to treatment, officials said.