Women Urged to Tackle the Difficult | Healthcare Informatics Magazine | Health IT | Information Technology Skip to content Skip to navigation

Women Urged to Tackle the Difficult

February 24, 2014
by Charlene Marietti
| Reprints

The annual HIMSS conference is a microcosm of the healthcare IT world—and it’s a guy world.

Women in healthcare IT have taken similar paths into the specialized field, but few make it to leadership positions. That includes to the CIO office.  HIMSS 2014 addressed the slim ranks of female leaders in its session, Wisdom and Advice for the Next Wave of Female Executives.

Pamela Arora, VP and CIO, Children’s Medical Center, Dallas, advised the women not to focus on limitations. This includes the perception of a ‘glass ceiling.’ Rather, she likes to think about the big picture, the challenges, the opportunities—the long game, as it were. 

Along the career path for professionals like Arora, change is an opportunity. “How you perceive change makes the difference,” she said, noting, “Change can be very exciting when you can help shape it.”

The pivotal moment is what most refer to as the ‘big break.’ When you get your big break, Arora advised her female audience, it will be handed to you on a silver platter. “Your big break opportunity will be the one that others run away from. There are many challenges in this industry. Gravitate toward them and you will find opportunities come your way.”

Molly Joel Coye, MD, MPH, chief innovation officer at Los Angeles-based UCLA Health summarized her advice into main points:

  • Envision the future you want to create and enlist everyone to your cause;
  • Listen acutely to be able to understand people and be able to lead them; and
  • Be frank and generous to create trust and foster aspirations.

Data is your ally, she adds. “Using data to make a point is a very powerful way of bringing people along. When up against a problem put it out to others. Ask other people. Be transparent. Don’t’ assume you alone must come up with the answer.”

But beware, says Coye, using a quote from Cross-eyed and Painless by the New Wave band Talking Heads: “Facts all come with points of view; Facts don’t do what I want them to.”

Get the latest information on Staffing and Professional Development and attend other valuable sessions at this two-day Summit providing healthcare leaders with educational content, insightful debate and dialogue on the future of healthcare and technology.

Learn More



Former Health IT Head in San Diego County Charged with Defrauding Provider out of $800K

The ex-health IT director at North County Health Services, a San Diego County-based healthcare service provider, has been charged with spearheading fraudulent operations that cost the organization $800,000.

Allscripts Touts 1 Billion API Shares in 2017

Officials from Chicago-based health IT vendor Allscripts have attested that the company has reached a new milestone— one billion application programming interface (API) data exchange transactions in 2017.

Dignity Health, CHI Merging to Form New Catholic Health System

Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI), based in Englewood, Colorado, and San Francisco-based Dignity Health officially announced they are merging and have signed a definitive agreement to combine ministries and create a new, nonprofit Catholic health system.

HHS Announces Winning Solutions in Opioid Code-a-Thon

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) hosted this week a first-of-its-kind two-day Code-a-Thon to use data and technology to develop new solutions to address the opioid epidemic.

In GAO Report, More Concern over VA VistA Modernization Project

A recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report is calling into question the more than $1 billion that has been spent to modernize the Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) health IT system.

Lawmakers Introduce Legislation Aimed at Improving Medicare ACO Program

U.S. Representatives Peter Welch (D-VT) and Rep. Diane Black (R-TN) have introduced H.R. 4580, the ACO Improvement Act of 2017 that makes changes to the Medicare accountable care organization (ACO) program.