Chuck Christian, a longtime advocate for applying health IT to improve patient care, is the recipient of the CHIME 2017 Federal Public Policy Award for CIO Leadership.
According to Marc Probst, CIO at Intermountain Healthcare and chair of CHIME’s Policy Steering Committee (PSC), Christian “stays focused on the big picture — that health IT should improve patient outcomes, safety and costs — and helps guide everyone around him toward achieving that goal.” Probst also noted that Christian “brings the valuable perspective of a CIO with many years of experience in healthcare systems and a heath exchange to our committee and to members of the Hill.”
Christian currently serves as VP of Technology and Engagement at the Indiana Health Information Exchange, which operates the nation’s largest inter-organizational clinical data repository. He is the vice chair of CHIME’s PSC, holding the role of PSC chair in 2011, 2013 and 2016. In addition, he was a member of CHIME’s Board of Directors between 2002 and 2004; chaired the CHIME Board of Directors in 2015; and chaired the CHIME Foundation Board of Directors in 2016.
“We began talking about advocacy when I was on the CHIME board in 2002,” Christian said. “At that point in time, it was advocating for the role of the CIO within the organization because it was just starting to take shape. But as we looked at what was happening in Washington, it became apparent that there needed to be a more expert voice in those conversations.”
The Federal Public Policy Award for CIO Leadership recognizes a CHIME member who is a CIO who has demonstrated leadership in educating Congress and administration officials at the federal level about the value of health IT and its role in patient care. Christian has been active on CHIME’s PSC since its inception about a decade ago.
Before joining IHIE in 2015, Christian served as vice president and CIO at St. Francis Hospital in Columbus, Ga., and CIO at Good Samaritan Hospital in Vincennes, Ind. He is a fellow and lifetime member of CHIME and a fellow of HIMSS. His numerous awards and honors include the John E. Gall HIMSS/CHIME CIO of the Year Award in 2010 and the CHIME Collaboration Award in 2010.
In his role as a member of PSC, Christian said he tries to ensure that policymakers have accurate information and hear a variety of perspectives so that they can understand the potential impact of their rules and regulations. In 2018, he hopes the focus in health IT policy will shift toward measuring meaningful outcomes.
“Interoperability, which I am in the middle of right now, is not one thing, it is many things,” he said. “How do we leverage that to improve the quality of care and inform the care? I will keep working on that.”