CommunityHealth IT leadership receive national award

WellFlorida News Release

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (October 15, 2013)—CommunityHealth IT President Kendra Siler-Marsiglio, Ph.D. and Chief Medical Information Officer David Willis, M.D. recently received the prestigious Critical Access and Rural Hospital Champion Award for 2013 from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT. The award is given to individuals for their efforts in helping critical access hospitals and small, rural hospitals nationwide effectively achieve Meaningful Use and embrace health information technology (HIT) to improve patient care. The award is given annually for multiple instances of dedicated effort.

Siler-Marsiglio and Willis received the award for their work on CommunityHealth IT, a nonprofit entity designed to improve the health of local communities that addresses the barriers that slow HIT adoption among healthcare providers and hospitals. The organization developed a nationally-recognized HIE called MyHealthStory which helps Florida providers and hospitals exchange relevant health information in a safe and secure way while satisfying Meaningful Use standards.

Meaningful Use is the set of standards defined by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that governs the use of electronic health records and allows eligible providers and hospitals to earn incentive payments by meeting specific criteria. Through the efforts of CommunityHealth IT and others, 65% of critical access hospitals and small rural hospitals had achieved Meaningful Use as of July 2013.

In addition to their CommunityHealth IT efforts, Siler-Marsiglio and Willis also led the development of curriculum for certified HIT physician practice managers and have participated in several national HIE/HIT projects‹including one with the VA which allows veterans to provide their health information electronically to community medical providers. Siler-Marsiglio, Director of Rural Health Partnership at WellFlorida Council, earned her Ph.D. at the University of Florida. Willis, Medical Director at Healthy Ocala and a practicing physician, earned his M.D. at the University of South Florida. For more information about CommunityHealth IT and the MyHealthStory HIE, visit CommunityHealthIT.org.

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