Speakers

We are delighted and proud to announce the conference keynote speakers from the fields of industry, government, healthcare, and academia!

Susan K. Gregurick, Ph.D.

Associate Director for Data Science and Director of the Office of Data Science Strategy (ODSS) at the National Institutes of Health (Government)

Presentation Title : Enabling a FAIR Data Ecosystem

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In this keynote presentation, Susan Gregurick, Ph.D., Associate Director of Data Science and Director, Office of Data Science Strategy at the National Institutes of Health, will share the NIH’s vision for a modernized, integrated FAIR biomedical data ecosystem and the strategic roadmap NIH is following to achieve this vision. Dr. Gregurick will highlight projects being implemented by team members across the NIH’s 27 institutes and centers and will also share ways that industry, academia, and other communities can help NIH enable a FAIR data ecosystem.

Susan K. Gregurick, Ph.D., was appointed Associate Director for Data Science and Director of the Office of Data Science Strategy (ODSS) at the National Institutes of Health on Sept. 16, 2019. Under Dr. Gregurick’s leadership, the ODSS leads the implementation of the NIH Strategic Plan for Data Science through scientific, technical, and operational collaboration with the institutes, centers, and offices that comprise NIH. Dr. Gregurick was instrumental in the creation of the ODSS in 2018 and served as a senior advisor to the office until being named to her current position.

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Dr. Gregurick was previously the Division Director for Biophysics, Biomedical Technology, and Computational Biosciences at the National Institute of General Medical Sciences. Prior to joining the NIH in 2013, Dr. Gregurick was a program director in the Office of Biological and Environmental Research at the Department of Energy.

Before beginning a career of government service, Dr. Gregurick was a professor of computational chemistry at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Her research interests included dynamics of large biological macromolecules, and her areas of expertise are computational biology, high performance computing, neutron scattering and bioinformatics.

Dr. Gregurick received her undergraduate degree in chemistry and mathematics from the University of Michigan and her Ph.D. in physical chemistry from the University of Maryland.

James S. Marron, Ph.D.

The Amos Hawley Distinguished Professor of Statistics and Operation Research at the University of North Carolina (Academia)

Presentation Title : Object Oriented Data Analysis

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The rapid change in computational capabilities has made Big Data a major modern statistical challenge.  Less well understood is the rise of Complex Data as a perhaps greater challenge.  Object Oriented Data Analysis (OODA) is a framework for addressing this, in particular providing a general approach to the definition, representation, visualization and analysis of Complex Data.  The notion of OODA generally guides data analysis, through providing a useful terminology for interdisciplinary discussion of the many choices typically needed in modern complex data analyses.  The main ideas are illustrated via a survey of a number of approaches which integrate differential geometry and Bayesian statistics, yielding powerful image segmentations. 

Dr. Marron is the Amos Hawley Distinguished Professor of Statistics and Operations Research, at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He received the B. S. degree from the University of California at Davis, and the Ph. D. from the University of California at Los Angeles. Marron has held the positions of Assistant, Associate and Full Professor with the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and is also Professor of Biostatistics and Adjunct Professor of Computer Science and Member of the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. He was a founding Associate Director of the Statistical and Applied Mathematical Sciences Institute (SAMSI). He has also served as the Saw Swee Hock Distinguished Visiting Professor at the National University of Singapore, the Mary Upson Distinguished Professor of Operations Research at Cornell University, and held 13 other visiting positions in four countries. 

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Dr. Marron is an elected Fellow of the American Statistical Institute and the Institute for Mathematical Statistics, and an elected Member of the International Statistical Institute.  Dr. Marron has served as Associate Editor for the Annals of Statistics, the Journal of the American Statistical Association, the Journal of Nonparametric Statistics, Computational Statistics, Test and the Electronic Journal of Statistics.  Dr. Marron has presented the Theory and Methods Invited Paper for the Journal of the American Statistical Association, been the Institute of Mathematical Statistics Medallion Lecturer, and presented the S. N. Roy Memorial Lecture at the University of Calcutta.  He has delivered the Bradley Lecture at the University of Georgia, and the Information Science and Technology Center Distinguished Lecture at Colorado State University.

Brandon K. Fornwalt, M.D., Ph.D.

Associate professor, Department of Imaging Science and Innovation (DISI) at Geisinger Health System (Healthcare)

Presentation Title : Big Data Analytics and Applied Data Science within Geisinger’s Large Integrated Health System

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The overall goal of our group is to leverage data-driven approaches to help improve patient outcomes. This talk will demonstrate examples of how we are working toward this goal by leveraging large clinical datasets, data analytics, machine learning and deep learning. Specific examples include: 1) using 46,583 clinically-acquired 3D computed tomography images of the brain to develop and implement a deep learning model to efficiently reprioritize radiology worklists for quicker diagnosis of intracranial hemorrhage; 2) using deep learning to analyze 723,754 echocardiographic videos of the heart to accurately predict patient mortality; 3) analyzing 2 million 12-lead electrocardiographic tracings from the heart to predict clinically relevant future events and 4) optimizing evidence-based care delivery for a population of >10,000 patients with heart failure using machine learning.

Dr. Fornwalt graduated from the University of South Carolina Honors College in 2002 with an undergraduate degree in mathematics and marine science. He then worked in a free medical clinic for a year before starting an MD/PhD program at Emory and Georgia Tech. After finishing his degrees in 2010, he completed an internship in pediatrics at Boston Children’s Hospital before becoming an Assistant Professor at the University of Kentucky. After four years on faculty in Kentucky, Dr. Fornwalt moved to Geisinger where he completed his diagnostic radiology residency and founded Geisinger’s Department of Imaging Science and Innovation, which focuses on data-driven approaches to improving patient outcomes. Dr. Fornwalt is also a practicing thoraco-abdominal radiologist and an active member of Geisinger’s Heart Institute.

W. David Patterson, Ph.D.

Director of the Health and Demographics Division of the South Carolina Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Office (Government)

Dr. David Patterson is Director of the Health and Demographics Division of the South Carolina Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Office. He oversees the office’s statistical and research units and its systems development initiatives, which include projects such as the SC Integrated Data System and the South Carolina Health Information Exchange (SCHIEx). Dr. Patterson has over twenty years’ experience in SC state government, and served as South Carolina’s Health Information Technology Coordinator from 2009 – 2014. He holds a doctorate in political science from Emory University with specialization in quantitative research methods and social welfare policy. Prior to his employment with the state, he served on the faculty of Southern Methodist University and as a Research Associate with the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Penny Cooper, DHSc.

Data Scientist at Augusta Health in Virginia (Healthcare)

Presentation Title : “Doing Big Things with your Data”

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2 data projects will be reviewed

  • Early Identification of Sepsis
  • Geospatial Infection Surveillanc

Penny is a Data Scientist at Augusta Health, a 255 bed Community Hospital located at the intersection of Interstate 64 and 81 in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley.

She holds a Doctor of Health Science from Nova Southeastern University and is passionate about the use of data in analysis and custom development to solve problems in healthcare.

Christopher Lofts, R.N.

Nurse Consultant for the Center for Program Integrity’s Provider Compliance Group, and Contracting Officer Representative (COR) for the Electronic Medical Documentation Interoperability (EMDI) initiative (Government)

Presentation Title : Medical Documentation Interoperability (EMDI) Initiative

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As CMS Administrator Seema Verma states, “Interoperability imagines a world in which medical decisions are fully informed by medical history; health history follows consumers wherever they go; third parties can leverage Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems; data is used not only to treat, but to prevent illnesses; and researchers are using the information to develop cures.”  This presentation provides an introduction to the world of interoperability, an overview of the Electronic Medical Documentation Interoperability (EMDI) initiative, and how the program aligns with CMS’ goals.

Mr. Lofts is a Registered Nurse with over 23 years’ experience; much of that time working in Critical Care environments such as ICU, CCU, and ER.  He has spent the past 5 years working for CMS in the Center for Program Integrity’s (CPI) Provider Compliance Group (PCG) as a Nurse Consultant, and for the past two years has overseen the EMDI program as its Contracting Officer Representative or COR.  He is dedicated to educating providers about the importance of interoperability, increasing interoperability awareness, and showing how taking part in the EMDI pilot program can help further that cause not only for our generation, but for the generations to come.

Pallavi Talekar

Project Manager of the Electronic Medical Documentation Interoperability (EMDI) initiative, MS Information Systems, Certified SAFe® 4 Agilist, Certified SAFe® 4 Scrum Master (Government)

Presentation Title : Medical Documentation Interoperability (EMDI) Initiative

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As CMS Administrator Seema Verma states, “Interoperability imagines a world in which medical decisions are fully informed by medical history; health history follows consumers wherever they go; third parties can leverage Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems; data is used not only to treat, but to prevent illnesses; and researchers are using the information to develop cures.”  This presentation provides an introduction to the world of interoperability, an overview of the Electronic Medical Documentation Interoperability (EMDI) initiative, and how the program aligns with CMS’ goals.

Pallavi Talekar has over 10 years of total professional experience including six years of healthcare IT professional experience. Pallavi has demonstrated experience working across diverse stakeholder groups spread across the nation that include medical directors, nurse practitioners, providers, suppliers, health IT vendors, policymakers, healthcare payers, IT professionals, and standards development organizations.

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Pallavi has worked on product development of face-to-face provider assessments and supplemental member encounter tool, with the goal of achieving a continuum of care. Pallavi has strong technical skills from her IT qualifications. She has extensive experience in spearheading a worldwide project to build a business intelligence system for generating analytical reports for an international organization using big data from diverse sources.

Pallavi is passionate about healthcare IT and interoperability. She finds intuitive ways to blend her expertise in business intelligence, data analysis, decision support systems, stakeholder management, product development, and software development to build nationwide interoperable solutions. 

Eric Poon, M.D., MPH

Chief Health Information officer at Duke Health (Healthcare)

Presentation Title : Overcoming Barriers to the Adoption and Implementation of Predictive Modeling and Machine Learning in Clinical Care: What Can We Learn from US Academic Medical Centers?

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There is little known about how academic medical centers (AMCs) in the US develop, implement, and maintain predictive modeling and machine learning (PM & ML) models.  We conducted semi-structured interviews with leaders from AMCs to assess their use of PM &ML in clinical care, understand associated challenges, and determine recommended best practices. Each transcribed interview was iteratively coded and reconciled by a minimum of two investigators to identify key barriers to and facilitators of PM & ML adoption and implementation in clinical care.  Interviews were conducted with 33 individuals from 19 AMCs nationally. AMCs varied greatly in the use of PM & ML within clinical care, from some just beginning to explore their utility to others with multiple models integrated into clinical care. Informants identified five key barriers to the adoption and implementation of PM & ML in clinical care: (1) Culture and personnel, (2) Clinical utility of the PM & ML tool, (3) Financing, (4) Technology, and (5) Data.  Recommendation to the informatics community to overcome these barriers included: (1) Development of robust evaluation methodologies, (2) Partnership with vendors, and (3) Development and dissemination of best practices. For institutions developing clinical PM & ML applications, they are advised to: (1) Develop appropriate governance, (2) Strengthen data access, integrity, and provenance, and (3) Adhere to the 5 rights of Clinical Decision Support.

His research interests have revolved around the use of health information technology to improve the quality of care and patient safety in both the ambulatory and hospital settings.  His work in the ambulatory setting has focused on the efficient delivery of decision support to clinicians to prevent errors of omission and commission during diagnostic test ordering and review of test results. He has also worked to use information technology, including secure on-line patient portals, to improve the communication between clinicians and patients around health maintenance and the follow-up of abnormal test results.  In the inpatient setting, he has conducted several studies to delineate the barriers to and facilitators of the wide-spread diffusion of computerized physician order entry and has led many studies evaluating the safety, financial and socio-technical impact of barcode technology in the hospital pharmacy and nursing units.

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His research interests have revolved around the use of health information technology to improve the quality of care and patient safety in both the ambulatory and hospital settings.  His work in the ambulatory setting has focused on the efficient delivery of decision support to clinicians to prevent errors of omission and commission during diagnostic test ordering and review of test results. He has also worked to use information technology, including secure on-line patient portals, to improve the communication between clinicians and patients around health maintenance and the follow-up of abnormal test results.  In the inpatient setting, he has conducted several studies to delineate the barriers to and facilitators of the wide-spread diffusion of computerized physician order entry and has led many studies evaluating the safety, financial and socio-technical impact of barcode technology in the hospital pharmacy and nursing units.

Dr. Poon also mentors residents, fellows and junior faculty members as they developed HIT intervention and evaluation strategies. He currently serves as Duke’s inaugural Program Director for its ACGME-accredited Clinical Informatics Fellowship Program.  He has also served as an Associate Editor of the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association (JAMIA) since 2017. He was elected as a Fellow to the American College of Medical Informatics in 2018.

Theodore (Ted) Tanner Jr.

Global Chief Technology Officer and Chief Architect (Industry)

Ted Tanner is the Global Chief Technology Officer at IBM Watson Health. He is responsible for technology and platform directives across all of Watson Health genomics, pharmacology, oncology, imaging, payer and provider systems as it pertains specifically to artificial intelligence-based technologies.

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Prior to joining Watson Health, he was Co-Founder and CTO of PokitDok Inc., a platform-as-a-service company for HealthTech organizations that was acquired by Change Healthcare in 2018. He previously held Architect positions at Microsoft and Apple, and holds several patents related to machine learning, signal processing and signal protection. Additionally, he has held pivotal roles in several start-ups including: Co-Founder and CTO of BeliefNetworks, VP of R&D at MongoMusic, Senior Engineer at Crystal River Engineering, and Engineer at Digidesign. He was also the CTO of Spatializer Audio Labs, a publicly traded company specializing in digital signal processing solutions. He serves on several university boards including the IAB for the University of South Carolina Computer Science Department, the IAB for the Center for Intelligent Systems and Machine Learning at the University of Tennessee, and the Clemson University Restoration Institute Executive Advisory Board for the Zucker Family Graduate Education Center.

He has published numerous articles in leading technical magazines and holds several patents in the areas of blockchain, semantics, machine learning, signal processing and signal protection. He is also a member of leading technology professional organizations such as the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEE). When not behind a computer, you can find him surfing, free-diving or spending time with his family.

Dr. Poon also mentors residents, fellows and junior faculty members as they developed HIT intervention and evaluation strategies. He currently serves as Duke’s inaugural Program Director for its ACGME-accredited Clinical Informatics Fellowship Program.  He has also served as an Associate Editor of the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association (JAMIA) since 2017. He was elected as a Fellow to the American College of Medical Informatics in 2018.

Joseph Hogan, Ph.D.

Carole and Lawrence Sirovich Professor of Public Health, Professor of Biostatistics, and Deputy Director of the Data Science Initiative at Brown University (Academia)

Presentation Title : Causality and Prediction from Electronic Health Records Data

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The growing availability of electronic health records data has
generated considerable research activity related to predicting
patient events and outcomes and investigating questions about
the causal effects of treatments and interventions.  Combined
with the accessibility of modern machine learning tools, the
possibilities for new, empirically-driven discoveries seem almost
unlimited.  Drawing from collaborations in HIV research, I will
describe several case studies where both causal and predictive
inference methods are used to investigate important clinical
and policy-related questions using electronic health records data.
I will highlight key differences between predictive and causal
inference, and will emphasize the importance of sampling design
and principled statistical reasoning in coping with the complexities
inherent in using electronic health records.  These include nonrandom
selection of patients, nonrandom allocation of treatments and
interventions, irregular observation patterns, and missing data.

Joseph Hogan is Carole and Lawrence Sirovich
Professor of Public Health, Professor of Biostatistics, and Deputy
Director of the Data Science Initiative at Brown University.  His research
concerns development and application of statistical methods for
causal inference from observational data, with emphasis on applications
in HIV/AIDS.  For the past 12 years, his research has focused on HIV
in Kenya, where he collaborates with the AMPATH Consortium in
Eldoret, Kenya.  In addition to his research, Professor Hogan is
the Program Director for NAMBARI, an NIH-funded training program
designed to build biostatistics capacity at Moi University in Eldoret.

Anna Shalkham, M.D.

the Chief Medical Informatics Officer at Lexington Medical Center (Healthcare)

Dr. Anna Shalkham is currently the Chief Medical Informatics Officer at Lexington Medical Center.  Her work focuses on EHR implementation and optimization with an emphasis on evidence-based care, clinical decision support, patient safety and patient experience. She is responsible for providing physician leadership, oversight and direction for clinical informatics throughout the Lexington Medical Center Network.

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Dr. Shalkham is a Diplomate in Clinical Informatics from the American Board of Preventive Medicine, a Fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians and a member of the American Medical Informatics Association. She holds a B.A. in Environmental Science from Duke University and a M.D. from the Medical University of South Carolina. Dr. Shalkham completed her residency training in Emergency Medicine at NYU/Bellevue Hospital Center where she also served as chief medical resident.  She holds a Master’s in Public Health from the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina. She continues to practice Emergency Medicine at Lexington Medical Center.

Cathleen Bennett, Esq.

President and CEO of the New Jersey Hospital Association (Healthcare)

Cathleen D. Bennett, Esq., took the helm November 9, 2017, as president and CEO of the New Jersey Hospital Association, a nonprofit trade association representing New Jersey’s hospitals, health systems, behavioral healthcare systems, rehabilitation hospitals, psychiatric hospitals, assisted living, nursing homes and other healthcare providers that provides leadership on quality and patient safety, education and advocacy in both Washington, D.C. and in Trenton.

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As CEO, Bennett oversees NJHA, the Health Research and Educational Trust of New Jersey, a not-for-profit affiliate that promotes continuing education, patient safety, quality improvement and research; and the for-profit Healthcare Business Solutions, which provides group purchasing and other business solutions for healthcare providers. She co-founded Q3HIP, LLC in 2018 with a focus on improving quality of care, patient safety and education and leveraging the collective capabilities of the Hospital Associations of New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Ohio.

Prior to being selected as CEO of NJHA, Bennett served as New Jersey’s 20th Health Commissioner.

Steve Kearney, Ph.D.

the Medical Director at SAS (Industry)

Steve Kearney is the Medical Director at SAS where he helps lead the organization’s focus on the future of digital health across Health Care, Life Sciences and Government. He works with SAS’ world-renowned team to help solve the most complex healthcare challenges utilizing advanced analytical solutions, machine learning and artificial intelligence.

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An innovator in health outcomes and digital medicine, Dr. Kearney co-developed and implemented one of the first electronic disease registries at Duke Health where he practiced in both inpatient cardiology and outpatient internal medicine during his joint faculty appointment at Duke and UNC. Dr. Kearney then joined the Medical Outcomes group at Pfizer where he continued his practical actionable approach to data and the patient journey.  He focused on health outcome insights from electronic medical record migrations, early personal digital assistants, novel health software programs and the first large patient claims databases.  Prior to joining SAS in 2016, he led Pfizer’s ACO and PCMH initiatives while also working with national thought leaders on health policy for state and federal agencies. 

Dianne Davis

SC Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Office, Health and Demographics Division (Government)

Dianne Davis is a supervising Statistician with the Health and Demographics Division of the South Carolina Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Office.  Dianne has over thirteen years’ experience working in South Carolina’s Integrated Data System with particular emphasis on health data.  She provides independent and professional analysis to state and local officials as well as other stakeholders to aid in the development of public policy and effective administration of programs.  Some of her major projects include analyzing and reporting South Carolina’s hospital discharge data, providing data and support to South Carolina hospitals participating in the Premier Hospital Improvement Innovation Network (HIIN), and managing the South Carolina Cardiac Arrest Registry to Enhance Survival (CARES) data.