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

Susan K. Gregurick, PhD.

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

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.

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, PhD.

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

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. 

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, MD, PhD.

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

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, PhD.

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

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

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

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

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.

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, MD, MPH

Chief Health Information officer at Duke Health

Dr. Poon currently serves as the Chief Health Information Officer (CHIO) for Duke Medicine. He also practices primary care internal medicine at the Durham Medical Center as part of Duke Primary Care. In his capacity as CHIO, he is responsible for the visioning and strategic planning of clinical and analytic information systems that impact patient care, research and education.  He works with the Duke Medicine leadership to ensure technology solutions are well aligned with our overall organizational objectives. He oversees the ongoing development and optimization of the Maestro Care (Epic) electronic health record and other clinical and analytics systems, and partners with physicians, patients and operational leaders to effectively leverage innovative IT in support of the Duke mission.  He also has a keen interest in IT innovation, and work with investigators across Duke to pursue new and innovative ways to efficiently deliver high quality care to our patients.

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

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.

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.