In recognition of her longstanding commitment to leveraging technology to improve children’s health, Pamela Arora has been named the 2016 John E. Gall, Jr. CIO of the Year. The award, sponsored by CHIME and HIMSS, recognizes healthcare IT executives who have made significant contributions to their organization and demonstrated innovative leadership.
Arora has been senior VP and CIO at Children’s Health in Dallas for 10 years, having previously held the role at UMass Memorial and Perot Systems. Under her leadership, Children’s has improved information sharing by hosting EMRs for physician practices and other providers, forged partnerships with regional HIE programs, and created a telemedicine program that enables school nurses to conduct virtual consultations with hospital-based clinicians. Through a 2013 pilot with ONC, Children’s became one of the first health systems in the nation to give parents untethered access to their children’s health data.
“Pamela Arora continues to push the envelope of what it means to be a CIO,” said Russell Branzell, CHIME president and CEO. “Time and time again, she shows how we can use health IT to not only support an organization’s overall strategy, but truly transform patient care across the entire continuum.”
She will receive the award, which is named in honor of the late John E. Gall Jr., at the upcoming HIMSS Conference in Orlando. Gall led the implementation of the first fully integrated medical information system in the world at California’s El Camino Hospital in the 1960s. Arora has exemplified that spirit by ensuring that clinicians at Children’s have the resources and information they need to provide the best care possible for patients.
“Each of us has a personal story that involves healthcare,” Arora said. “Whether we are the patient, or one of our loved ones is the patient, we want our physicians and clinicians to have every resource to ensure they can deliver the best possible care. This recognition reaffirms that, though technology may not always be visible, the work we are doing is making a difference in the lives of patients — in our case, we’re delivering on our mission of making life better for children.”
With cybersecurity threats becoming more pervasive, Arora has taken steps to make data safer by rolling out a HITRUST program called CyberAid that enables small practices to find cost-effective cybersecurity solutions.
“IT has been able to provide the tools and infrastructure necessary to support our organization’s reach outside of our walls,” she said. “Because our team members and clinicians are eager adopters of technology, we are typically able to gain buy in for technology initiatives that will allow our providers to care for patients in new and innovative ways.”
Beyond her passion for improving care in the Dallas area, Arora has also lent her time to helping advance the role of the CIO and other health IT leaders, serving on both the CHIME and HITRUST board of trustees. She has also represented CHIME and HIMSS on the international front, working to build partnerships and share best practices across the globe.
“Pamela Arora understands and advances the strategic connection between quality patient care and the best use of IT. As a HIMSS member for 13 years, her leadership and vision have made a positive difference in the work she does at Children’s Health and in her overall dedication to improving health and healthcare for the patients she serves,” said H. Stephen Lieber, HIMSS president and CEO.