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Steven Huesing accorded lifetime achievement award

TORONTO – Steven Huesing (pictured), who has worked tirelessly as a leader, a pioneer and an ambassador to advance the use of computers and information technology in healthcare for more than 40 years, has been recognized with a special Canadian Health Informatics Award (CHIA) for Lifetime Achievement.

“Steve Huesing has done more for our industry than anyone I know and he did it with style, passion and tremendous commitment,” said Richard Alvarez, President and CEO, Canada Health Infoway. “We and generations of IT healthcare professionals will be forever in his debt.”

Alvarez presented the industry award and led the tribute to recognize Steven’s accomplishments at the annual CHIA Gala in Toronto on Nov. 15. He shared a collection of recorded accolades and memories from Steven’s friends and colleagues throughout the tribute. A commemorative DVD of these interviews and a booklet of written congratulatory notes were presented to Steven.

Steven Huesing is President of the Canadian Healthcare Information Technology Trade Association (CHITTA), Editor/Publisher of Healthcare Information Management & Communications Canada (HIMCC), the official journal of CHITTA and COACH: Canada’s Health Informatics Association, and Executive Director of the International Medical Informatics Association (IMIA).

At the beginning of his career in the 1960s, computers were still considered avant-garde and risky, even in mainstream industry. A Registered Industrial & Cost Accountant (now CMA), Steven’s interest in health informatics flourished while he filled senior administrative CFO and CIO roles with hospitals and government.

“I was fairly unique in being at a senior management level and being that interested,” he recalls. “In the final analysis, working with computer systems was more interesting and more fun for me than administration of the hospital.”

His many accomplishments include:

• Serving COACH in many capacities, including as Founding President, 1975-78; Executive Director, 1980-99, and Editor of the COACH history book, covering 1975-2005;

• Being the only Canadian to serve as President of IBM’s user group, Electronic Computing Health Oriented (ECHO), 1983-87;

• Starting HIMCC, the only HI magazine in Canada for many years, in 1987;

• Together with David Wattling, founding CHITTA, now the healthcare division of the Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC), in 2002;

• Establishing the COACH Founding President’s Award in 1983 to recognize and motivate outstanding HI students at the University of Victoria. In 1999, COACH established the Steven Huesing Scholarship for students in HI or related programs at Canadian post-secondary institutions. The scholarship reflects Steven’s spirit, dedication and innovation in the field.

• Active involvement in developing HI curriculum with several universities, colleges and associations; currently a University of Waterloo Curriculum Advisory Board member.

This e-Health ambassador is well-respected in the HI community. Mel Hodge, the developer of one of the first commercial HIS companies, Technicon Data Systems (TDS), was one of many colleague who paid tribute to Steven. “Your contributions to Canadian healthcare are well-known to everyone present. Perhaps less widely known by your countrymen is the similar regard in which you are held not only in the United States, but in the worldwide healthcare informatics community.”

The CHIA gala is co-hosted by CHITTA and COACH.

CHITTA was established in 2001 by a dedicated group of Chief Executive Officers and Senior Executives of leading Canadian companies providing products and services to the Canadian healthcare community. Their firms represent a broad spectrum of ICT services to an equally broad spectrum of Canada’s healthcare delivery system and its supporting infrastructure. Health Canada was also represented in this founding group. CHITTA is committed to enhancing the national and international success of its membership. In 2005 CHITTA and ITAC decided to merge CHITTA into ITAC to create a single voice for Canada’s health ICT industry. CHITTA is now the health division of ITAC and all of ITAC’s healthcare activities have been grouped under CHITTA. For more information about CHITTA, please visit www.chitta.ca.

COACH: Canada’s Health Informatics Association is dedicated to promoting the use and practice of health informatics within the Canadian health system through information sharing, networking, education, conferences and communication. Founded in 1975, COACH has a diverse and multi-disciplinary membership of more than 1,300 individuals with common interests in sharing ideas and efforts. COACH is advancing the practice of health informatics and is one of the most dynamic resources in the health industry in Canada. For more information, visit the COACH website at www.coachorg.com.

 

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