Health IT achievements honoured at
TORONTO – COACH:
Canada’s Health Informatics Association and ITAC Health
achievements in Canadian healthcare IT at the fifth annual Canadian
Health Informatics Awards. The event was held at the Four Seasons Hotel
on Nov. 19. “The gala is a valuable reminder of the very real and
significant advances HI is making in Canadian healthcare,” said Linda
Miller (pictured), COACH President.
“The award winners,
through their dedication, commitment and innovation, have played vitally
important roles in taking HI mainstream and ultimately improving the
system for all Canadians,” said Miller. “I am immensely proud of all the award
recipients and nominees, as well as all the people who took the time to
The recipients of the awards were:
• Leadership in the Field of Health Informatics Award
Awarded to: Dennis Rankin, Independent Health Industry Informatics
Awarded for: Outstanding, ongoing contributions by an individual, with
leadership recognized within his/her jurisdiction or more broadly. See
A true health informatics (HI) pioneer, Dennis’ leadership has strongly
influenced health outcomes and improvements across Canada for 35 years.
With a resume that reads like the history of Canadian HI, Dennis is
renowned for his negotiating, influencing and directing skills and
ability to bring together hesitant partners with disparate views. Many
business leaders from across Canada reach for Dennis’ phone number when
a large and seemingly unmanageable project looms.
In his early career in the private sector, Dennis was involved in the
very first HIS implementations in Canada - in a few cases these products
remain in use today. He also led key private sector initiatives that
remain influential and foundational in Quebec, Ontario and Alberta.
Today, Dennis continues to lead some of the largest and most complex
strategic HI projects in this country.
While his accomplishments are too numerous to list here, his recent
• Diagnostic Imaging Repositories in Ontario, providing leadership in
leveraging solutions for several local health authorities and more;
• being instrumental in the creation of Hospital Diagnostic Imaging
• playing a pivotal role in the DI PACS national procurement process
involving Quebec, Saskatchewan and Ontario.
The award nominators emphasized Dennis’ exceptional dedication,
commitment and resolve: “Dennis is not about self-promotion or
marketing, but about real and tangible accomplishments over his entire
career. He is a consummate and exceptional leader who prefers to let his
actions speak instead of words.”
• Innovation in the Adoption of Health Informatics Award
Awarded to: Ontario Telemedicine Network’s Telehomecare Phase One
Awarded for: An information technology project that has, through
innovation and commitment, been successfully integrated into the health
The Telehomecare Phase One Program, the largest of its kind in Canada,
was designed to improve self-management and health status in 813
patients with congestive heart failure and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary
Disease (COPD) in Ontario.
A time-limited intervention, the initial focus was on setting up
technology in the patients’ homes to provide them with the confidence
and support to learn how to better manage their chronic disease. The
longer-term goal was incorporating self-management into the patients’
lifestyle, slowing the progression of disease and improving quality of
The Ontario Telemedicine Network worked with Family Health Teams, made
up of primary care providers, which liaised with their health and
community care partners, to roll out the program.
Meeting the requirements of both patients and providers contributed to
the program’s success. Key results included:
• reduced hospitalizations and emergency department and walk-in clinic
• enhanced primary care and patient self-management;
• high patient satisfaction and quality of life.
• Community-Based Physician Leader/Innovator Award
Presented by the Canadian Medical Association & Practice Solutions Ltd.
Awarded to: Dr. James Lane, Family Physician & IT Lead, Georgian Bay
Family Health Team.
Awarded for: A practicing, community-based medical doctor who has shown
outstanding leadership or innovation in the use of health IT in medical
A champion of eHealth innovation in his community, James recently led
two projects that improved patient outcomes and increased the adoption
of Electronic Health Records (EHR) and medication management tools among
Georgian Bay Family Health Team clinicians now have a database that
enables them to share, document and collaborate with each other through
a single health record maintained for their patients in the Georgian Bay
community. James spearheaded the development and implementation of the
merged database for this multi-site practice of 38 physicians, three
nurse practitioners and 12 allied health professionals serving 55,000
patients from Collingwood, Stayner, Wasaga Beach and Creemore.
In addition, he was the project lead and physician champion for the
team’s ePrescribing Demonstration Project which moved the electronic
prescribing process online. This means physicians can securely generate,
authorize and transmit prescriptions electronically to local pharmacies.
The ePrescribing functionality was integrated into the team’s EMR to
improve prescriber workflow and patient outcomes through the elimination
of illegible handwritten prescriptions.
James is a full-time Family Medicine and Obstetrics staff member at the
Collingwood General and Marine Hospital and an Associate Professor of
Family Medicine at McMaster University.
• Emerging Leader in Health Informatics Award
Presented by Courtyard Group
Awarded for: An individual in the first five years of his/her health
informatics career who has clearly demonstrated leadership and early
success in the field.
Awarded to: Ian Cummins, Senior Policy Analyst, eHealth Ontario
eHealth initiatives are all too often delayed because legislation and
policies haven’t kept pace with advances in technology. Ian has played a
leading role in closing this gap. He was instrumental in establishing
the first Ontario Health eHealth Regulatory College Advisory Panel, a
forum that brings professional regulators together to discuss emerging
technologies, ranging from electronic prescribing to consumer solutions.
Ian has analyzed and recommended policy and legislative issues on
numerous eHealth initiatives, including integrated policy solutions
across key strategy areas like drugs, diabetes, identity access and
privacy. His emphasis on partnership and open, honest communication has
been most important in establishing Ontario’s eHealth relationship with
its regulatory colleges.
In his current role, Ian continues to work proactively to identify
policy issues facing a number of key provincial initiatives, including
medication and diabetes management solutions. He also continues to
contribute in the academic and volunteer communities.
• Steven Huesing Scholarship
Awarded to: Mu-Hsing (Alex) Kuo, Master’s of Science student, School of
Health Information Science, University of Victoria
Awarded for: Any student currently enrolled in a health informatics or a
related program at an accredited post-secondary institution. The
scholarship recognizes the spirit, dedication and innovation that COACH
Founding President Steven Huesing has brought to the field of health
Mu-Hsing (Alex) is hard working and well-equipped to efficiently
addressing some of the most complex issues we face today in heath
His most promising work in the area of health informatics has been his
Master’s thesis work on developing an XML based mediator for health data
interoperability. This work has already generated considerable
international interest and has been accepted for presentation and
publication at a major international health informatics conference.
Additional award winners included:
• 2009 Company of the Year
• 2009 Project Implementation Team of the Year
ColonCancerCheck (CCC) Project Team
Clytan Inc./ Cancer Care Ontario
• 2009 Healthcare Transformation Award
TELUS Health Solutions
through their work with the Grand-Littoral Health and Services Centre
• 2009 Corporate Citizenship Awards
sponsored by Healthcare Information Management & Communications Canada
• MultiNational Corporation 2009 Citizenship Award
• Small to Medium Enterprise 2009 Citizenship Award
“Health informatics is making a very valuable contribution towards
improving patient care for Canadians,” said Michael Green, Interim
Chair, ITAC Health Board. “The fifth annual CHIA Gala recognized people
and organizations that made outstanding contributions during 2009.
Canada is a recognized global leader in the field of healthcare IT;
continued investment will benefit the health of all Canadians.”
Recipients of other industry awards presented before the gala were also
recognized at CHIA 2009. They were the Canada Health Infoway Standards
Collaborative Peer Award, Canadian Health Information Management
Association (CHIMA) Pinnacle Awards winners and the Canadian Society of
Posted Nov. 26, 2009