Dr. William Hersh Wins HIMSS Physician IT Leadership Award

billhersh

It’s been a big year for Dr. William Hersh, professor and chair of the Department of Medical Informatics and Clinical Epidemiology at Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU). He’s worked to advance the new clinical informatics subspecialty, including being a major spokesperson for the movement, directing the one and only (offered by AMIA) board review course in informatics, and leading OHSU’s effort to become the third program nationally to achieve accreditation from ACGME for a new clinical informatics fellowship. He was also awarded new grants for developing curricula for Big Data and for undertaking a project concerning the secondary use of electronic health record data for clinical research.

 

“And I’ve been providing national leadership on incorporating clinical informatics into medical education,” Hersh says, “including publishing a paper on competencies for medical students in clinical informatics.”

 

Hersh has become a strong figure in the informatics field at a time when most physician’s spend hours each day struggling with their clinic’s particular brand of EHR. In fact, he was already working in medical informatics in 1990 and has been a faculty member at OHSU ever since. His research originally focused in the area of information retrieval, where he has authored over 125 scientific papers as well as the book.

 

It is these reasons and more that caused HIMSS to award Hersh with their 2014 Physician IT Leadership award, an award presented for “a single exceptional contribution, sustained contribution or lifetime of exceptional leadership” in healthcare technology.

 

“While Dr. Hersh’s accomplishments within the health IT community are vast, it is his commitment to the education of those in our field that I believe will be his lasting legacy. As director of OHSU’s graduate biomedical informatics education programs, he has led some of this country’s premier informatics programs. His efforts in organizing and leading a comprehensive clinical informatics review course, put together months before the exam was first administered, allowed many physicians to be well prepared for this new exam,” Caitlin Cusack, MD, MPH, HIMSS Physician Committee chair, said in a press release.

 

“I am very honored to receive the HIMSS Award acknowledging my leadership in informatics among physicians,” Hersh says. More than the award, though, Hersh is passionate about discussing 2015’s IT trends, which, according to him, will include increased opportunities for professional work and careers in clinical informatics. “I also hope for increased interoperability of data that will enable more use of it for secondary purposes,” he says.

 

Hersh will be celebrated at the HIMSS Awards Gala on Tuesday, April 14, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. HIMSS is a global, cause-based, not-for-profit organization focused on bettering health through information technology.

Jenni Whalen

Jenni Whalen

    Jenni Whalen is the Executive Assistant of Editorial at Upworthy. She was previously MedTech Boston's Managing Editor and has an MS in Journalism from Boston University, as well as a BA in Psychology from Bucknell University. Whalen has written for Greatist, Boston magazine, AZ Central Healthy Living and the New England Journal of Medicine, among other places. She has also worked as a conference planner, ghost writer, researcher and content developer.

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