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Health eVillages, Qualcomm ‘move the needle’ on global health

I’m back from an extended break, though hardly a vacation. I spent 11 days this month cycling from Chicago to Washington to raise awareness of multiple system atrophy, the rare neurodegenerative disease that killed my father in 2012. For my first post in more than two weeks, I’ll keep it simple but important, namely with an update on Health eVillages, the program I sit on the advisory board of, as well as some vaguely related news from Qualcomm.

First off, Health eVillages this week officially welcomed five new board members: Brad Fluegel, Spencer Warden, Mike Hamilton, Lorri L. Jean and Ulya Khan. Here’s the press release in full:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Health eVillages Welcomes Five Renowned Executives to Advisory Board
Will Provide Strategic Guidance to Bring Quality Healthcare to People in Underserved Areas

READING, MA – (July 16, 2014) -Health eVillages , a program founded by Donato Tramuto andPhysicians Interactive in partnership with the not-for-profit Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights (RFK Center), has appointed five new members to its Advisory Board.

Health eVillages provides iPod®, iPad® and other handheld devices equipped with specialized reference and clinical decision support tools to improve primary and preventive healthcare in underserved areas around the world.

“We are proud to announce the addition of these five fantastic non-profit and corporate executives to our Advisory Board,” said Donato Tramuto, the Founder of Health eVillages. “As HealtheVillages continues to grow its presence across the globe, we are excited to be able to mine the breadth and depth of experience that Brad Fluegel, Spencer Warden, Mike Hamilton, Lorri L. Jean and Ulya Khan bring to the table. We look forward to using their guidance to help shape innovative, strategic approaches to bringing quality healthcare to people in some of the most underserved areas around the world.”

Since its inception in 2011, Health eVillages has made a significant impact in improving access to critical, live-saving medical information worldwide, launching programs in Africa, Central America, Pacific nations, the Caribbean and areas of Louisiana affected by the Gulf oil spill.

The most recent additions to the Health eVillages Advisory Board include:

Brad Fluegel is the Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer at Walgreens Co. Prior to coming to Walgreens in 2012, Fluegel was an executive at several prominent healthcare companies, including Wellpoint, Aetna, Inc., United Health Group and Tillinghast-Towers Perrin. He also serves on the Board of Directors of Metropolitan Jewish Health System in New York City,Health Integrated, Inc., and Performant Financial Corp.

Spencer Warden is the Provider Engagement Lead at Dabo Health Inc., which provides a community healthcare platform to view and track improvement in key performance metrics and allows for collaboration across hospitals and healthcare systems. Spencer’s responsibilities at Dabo Health include business development, corporate strategy, and strategic partnerships in the Hospital and Payer marketplace. He previously worked for Eli Lilly as a Sales Representative in San Francisco’s Neuroscience sleeve.

Mike Hamilton , President of Engagement at Blood: Water Mission, has received numerous honors for his work with youth and children, especially for orphan crisis issues and healthcare needs in Africa. Hamilton came to Blood: Water after 26 years in intercollegiate athletics at Clemson University, Wake Forest University, and the University of Tennessee. He also served on the board for Show Hope and chaired the Knoxville Chamber Partnership and the local United Way Chapter in Knoxville.

Lorri L. Jean is a nationally recognized leader in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (“LGBT”) civil rights movement.  She serves as CEO of the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center, the world’s largest LGBT organization.  Previously, Jean served as the Executive Director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.  Jean was the first openly gay or lesbian person to receive a top secret security clearance from the Central Intelligence Agency, and with her appointment in 1989 as Deputy Regional Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (“FEMA”), she became the highest-ranking openly gay or lesbian person in the Federal government. OUT Magazine has twice named her one of the 50 most powerful gay people in the nation and Los Angeles Magazine named her one of the 100 most influential people in Los Angeles.

Ulya Khan, the Chief Operating Officer at Physicians Interactive, has more than 20 years of experience in technology, data and operations. Prior to joining Physicians Interactive, Khan held several leadership positions including Chief Operating Officer and Chief Of Staff at Thomson Reuters in London and New York City, where she was instrumental in building and exponentially growing several businesses and managing global teams across Asia, Europe and the Americas.

Additional members of the Health eVillages Advisory Board include:

Donato Tramuto, Founder, CEO and Vice Chairman of Physicians Interactive

Steve Andrzejewski, Chief Executive Officer of Spiritus Pharmaceuticals

John Boyer, President and General Manager of MAXIMUS Federal Services

Dr. Tim Bristol, Nurse Educator

Caleb DesRosiers, Healthcare Counsel at Foley Hoag LLP

Greg Divis, President and CEO of KV Pharmaceutical

Dr. Mary Jane England , Professor at Boston University School of Public Health

Mark Friess, CEO and Founder, WelVU, Inc.

Dr. Antoinette Hays, President, Regis College

Kerry Kennedy, President of the RFK Center for Justice and Human Rights

Devin Paullin, Executive Vice President of Corporate Business Development of Physicians Interactive

Derek Rago, Vice President of Marketing & Strategy, McKesson Patient Relationship Solutions

Glen Tullman, Managing Director, 7Wire Ventures

Neil Versel , Freelance Healthcare Journalist

About Health eVillages
Health eVillages, a program of the not-for-profit Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights and Physicians Interactive, provides state-of-the-art mobile health technology including medical reference and clinical decision support resources to medical professionals in the most challenging clinical environments around the world. For more information about Health eVillages, please visit http://www.healthevillages.org/.

About Physicians Interactive
Headquartered in Reading, MA, PI aspires to use the power of worldwide networks of healthcare professionals and life sciences companies together in ways that will change the practice and business of medicine for the better. PI’s value proposition is to offer the life science industry a low-cost, virtual, multi-channel marketing approach that can be used to supplement currently promoted products, as well as non-promoted and orphaned products, that deliver benefits to physicians and patients. A key focus is providing services that fit into physicians’ and healthcare professionals’ daily workflow at the point-of-care when they make diagnosis, treatment and prescribing decisions. More information can be found at www.PhysiciansInteractive.com.

# # #

 

Interested in seeing the kind of difference Health eVillages is making in remote parts of the world? Check out this short video about “moving the needle on global health.”

In somewhat related news, Qualcomm Wireless Reach and Trice Imaging reported last week how their mobile ultrasound technology saved significant amounts of money, time and, ultimately, lives in prenatal care, at three small, rural health clinics in Morocco. Click here to read the case study.

July 16, 2014 I Written By

I'm a freelance healthcare journalist, specializing in health IT, mobile health, healthcare quality, hospital/physician practice management and healthcare finance.

Great news from Health eVillages

As a board member of Health eVillages, I’m proud to share this video from rural Lwala, Kenya, where clinicians and other health workers are harnessing the power of mobile technology to deliver better care and, for some people, the first real healthcare they have ever had. This video, from from when Health eVillages Co-Founder Donato Trumato and Program Manager Matt Linder trekked to Lwala in October, shows how mobile health is helping local women deliver healthy babies.

Subsequent to this trip, the Lwala Community Alliance highlighted the work of Health eVillages here. Then, at a Health eVillages board meeting in December, Trumato issued a challenge to raise $150,000 to construct a dedicated maternity ward at the hospital in Lwala by year’s end. Physicians Interactive, of which Trumato is CEO, pledged half that total, and then others far wealthier than I stepped up and helped Trumato met the goal by Dec. 26. Operating funds are still necessary, and Health eVillages (or “Heal the Villages,” as one partner has pointed out) wants to help more people, including some at a site in rural Louisiana.

Since 2012, Health eVillages has helped the Lwala Community Alliance cut early infant mortality in half (from 60 per 1,000 births to 31 per 1,000). However, the Lwala still area happens to have the highest HIV/AIDS rate in all of Kenya, so education, care and prevention are critical. Here’s an overview on the Health eVillages-Lwala Community Alliance partnership (.pdf). To donate, visit http://lwalacommunityalliance.org/donate/.

Thanks, and stay tuned for more updates.

January 26, 2014 I Written By

I'm a freelance healthcare journalist, specializing in health IT, mobile health, healthcare quality, hospital/physician practice management and healthcare finance.

Great news for Health eVillages

As a board member of Health eVillages, a program that provides mobile health tools to help extend the reach and knowledge of health workers in remote and underserved parts of the world, I am thrilled to hear that the organization has raised $58,000 this month.

Most of the money, $38,000, came from the first-ever “Apps Save Lives” golf tournament, held Aug. 16 at Royce Brook Golf Club in Hillsborough Township, N.J. The other $20,000 was in the form of a grant from the Vodafone Americas Foundation, announced Aug. 11.

From Physicians Interactive, which established and provides administrative support to Health eVillages:

Health eVillages Raises $58,000 for Global mHealth Program in August

Mission Benefits From First “Apps Save Lives” Golf Tournament, Vodafone Americas Foundation Grant

READING, MA–(Marketwired – Aug 27, 2013) – Health eVillages, which provides mobile health technology to rural healthcare providers around the globe, announced today that it raised $58,000 in August through its inaugural “Apps Save Lives” golf tournament in New Jersey and a grant from the Vodafone Americas Foundation.

The tournament, hosted by Physicians Interactive (PI), the leading provider of online and mobile clinical resources and solutions for healthcare professionals, and the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights, was held on August 16th at the Royce Brook Golf Club in Hillsborough Township, New Jersey. It drew representatives from fifteen different life science organizations, including eight major pharmaceutical companies, and raised $38,000.

The Vodafone Americas Foundation, which strives to improve lives through wireless and mobile technology, also announced a $20,000 grant on August 11th to benefit Health eVillages programs. The grant will be used to help further the Health eVillages mission to empower healthcare providers in the most challenging clinical environments anywhere in the world through mHealth technology that helps them to save lives.

“I want to thank all of the Apps Save Lives tournament sponsors and the Vodafone Americas Foundation for their tremendous support of Health eVillages,” said Donato Tramuto, Founder of Health eVillages and Chairman of the Board and CEO of Physicians Interactive. “There was an electrifying sense of energy throughout the day at the tournament as everyone united in support of our mission to use mobile apps to help save lives and advance care delivery in underserved regions around the world.”

Tramuto and Physicians Interactive founded Health eVillages in October 2011 in partnership with the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights to address the knowledge gap faced by healthcare providers around the world. Since then, Health eVillages has provided support to clinicians who have conducted more than 50,000 patient interactions in underserved areas.

Health eVillages provides iPods and iPads loaded with medical reference and clinical decision support apps through six pilot programs to medical professionals in Uganda, Kenya, China, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Pacific Island nations and rural Louisiana. Physicians Interactive supplies the medical content for the mobile devices through its Skyscape platform.

Anyone interested in contributing money or devices to Health eVillages can do so through its website. Corporate sponsorships of Health eVillages are also available. For more information about corporate sponsorships, contact Merrill Press at merrill.press@healthevillages.org.

Also, Health eVillages founder Donato Trumato is a finalist for the 2013 Modern Healthcare Community Leadership Award. I encourage you to vote for him here. Voting is open through Sept. 20.

 

August 29, 2013 I Written By

I'm a freelance healthcare journalist, specializing in health IT, mobile health, healthcare quality, hospital/physician practice management and healthcare finance.

Apple highlights Skyscape, Health eVillages, other health apps

As you may know, I am on the advisory board of Health eVillages, The program got a huge honor Monday by being featured in a video shown at Apple’s World Wide Developers Conference — you know, the annual meeting that’s always a hot ticket among Mac-heads and app developers because Apple usually unveils its latest products there. (Last week was no exception. Apple CEO Tim Cook introduced iOS 7, albeit to mixed reviews.)

In the video, called, “Making a difference. One app at a time,” Apple highlighted Skyscape, the company that makes the mobile medical reference software that Health eVillages, and sent a camera crew to a Health eVillages pilot site in rural Lwala, Uganda. A nurse from the clinic showed how he visits patients by motorcycle, using an iPad to help treat and educate the area’s residents. (Skyscape parent company Physicians Interactive provides operational support to Health eVillages, and CEO Donato Trumato, also featured in the video, co-founded the program with Kerry Kennedy.)

Two of the other three apps that Apple chose to include also are related to healthcare: Galileo, an app from Orthocare Innovations that helps amputees adjust prosthetic limbs; and Proloquo2Go, a product from AssistiveWare that in the video helped an apparently autistic child learn to speak.

June 13, 2013 I Written By

I'm a freelance healthcare journalist, specializing in health IT, mobile health, healthcare quality, hospital/physician practice management and healthcare finance.

Health eVillages and mobile health in the developing world

I’m in New York today for a Health eVillages board meeting. It’s a program that provides mobile health tools to help extend the reach and knowledge of health workers in remote and underserved parts of the world — including in rural Southern Louisiana. The meeting opened with this powerful video that explains the power of this program.

I can’t say anything more about Health eVillages now, but there is some big news coming this summer.

April 30, 2013 I Written By

I'm a freelance healthcare journalist, specializing in health IT, mobile health, healthcare quality, hospital/physician practice management and healthcare finance.

Breaking: Allscripts fires Tullman, hires former Cerner exec Black as CEO

Allscripts Healthcare Solutions today gave into considerable investor pressure and fired CEO Glen Tullman. Former Cerner COO Paul M. Black has been named CEO. Lee Shapiro has been removed from his position as company president, but will stay on as a consultant to Black for as long as six months, the company says.

Allscripts also said that this decision ends the company’s “evaluation of strategic alternatives.” This means there will be no sale or merger.

Here is the text of the press release:

Glen Tullman Steps Down as CEO and Board Member
Board of Directors Concludes Evaluation of Strategic Alternatives

CHICAGO, Dec. 19, 2012 /PRNewswire/ – Allscripts Healthcare Solutions, Inc. (NASDAQ:MDRX) today announced that it has named Paul M. Black as its President and Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately.  Mr. Black is the former Chief Operating Officer of Cerner Corporation and is currently an Allscripts board member.  He replaces Glen Tullman, who will step down from his positions as Chief Executive Officer and board member.  Lee Shapiro also will step down as President, effective immediately, and will serve as a consultant to Mr. Black for up to six months.  In addition, the Company announced that the Board has formally concluded its evaluation of strategic alternatives.

“We want to thank Glen Tullman for building Allscripts into one of the leaders in the evolving healthcare IT industry,” said Dennis Chookaszian, Allscripts Chairman of the Board. “Glen began at the Company in 1997 when it was unprofitable, turned Allscripts around and achieved record revenues and profits in 2011.  Along the way, Glen also grew the workforce to more than 7,000 employees. I also want to thank Lee Shapiro for his many important contributions to Allscripts, particularly with respect to our M&A strategy and international expansion.”

Commenting on the selection of Paul M. Black as President and CEO, Mr. Chookaszian said: “Paul possesses a unique blend of operational, healthcare and IT sector expertise, and we are pleased that he has agreed to lead the Company at this critical juncture. Paul’s deep domain expertise in healthcare technology, industry relationships, and understanding of Allscripts’ solutions and client base make him the ideal choice.  Together with our recently appointed Chief Financial Officer Rick Poulton, we are confident that we have a leadership team in place that can execute on our strategic initiatives, capitalize on the many global opportunities that lie ahead, and lead Allscripts through its next phase of growth.”

Commenting on the strategic alternatives process, Mr. Chookaszian stated: “The Board conducted a thorough and rigorous review of strategic alternatives.  The Board concluded, however, that the best course at this time is to develop Allscripts’ long-term potential under the direction of our new management team.”

Incoming Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Black said, “I look forward to building on the many successes achieved by the Allscripts team.  Without underestimating the challenges ahead, we have compelling open-platform solutions, an impressive global client base, and a very dedicated and talented team.  We will improve the execution of our strategic vision, deliver on our worldwide client commitments, and continue to innovate. Our focus will be on creating long-term value for our shareholders.”

Glen Tullman added, “It’s always been Allscripts’ goal to revolutionize healthcare and I am proud that Allscripts’ employees have moved this industry forward in both the US and abroad – enabling more people to access our healthcare systems, adding thousands of jobs, and developing an industry that will be one of the biggest

future growth engines of the U.S. economy. Allscripts’ team has shown great resilience and dedication, and I appreciate their hard work to build Allscripts into a leading provider of clinical software, connectivity and information solutions. I am confident that Allscripts is in good hands and has a bright future ahead.”

In addition to currently serving as an Allscripts board member, Mr. Black has served on the Board of The Truman Medical Centers for 12 years, most recently as Chairman, and as a director of Haemonetics Corporation (NYSE:HAE), a global healthcare company dedicated to providing innovative blood-management solutions.

Mr. Black spent more than 12 years with Cerner Corporation and retired as its Chief Operating Officer in 2007.  He helped build Cerner into a market leader in healthcare information technology solutions with more than $1.5 billion of annual revenues. For most of his career at Cerner, Mr. Black was Chief Sales Officer, playing an instrumental role in the company’s double-digit organic growth.  Prior to Cerner, Mr. Black was with IBM from 1982 to 1994, in a number of senior sales, marketing and professional services leadership positions. Since 2007, he has been a Senior Advisor with New Mountain Capital in New York and served as a Director with several New Mountain portfolio companies.  Mr. Black recently has served as an operating executive with Genstar Capital, responsible for expanding Genstar’s healthcare and software practices, with specific focus on healthcare technology.

He received a B.S. from Iowa State University and an MBA from the University of Iowa.

Conference Call

Allscripts will conduct a conference call tomorrow, Thursday, December 20, 2012, at 8:30 AM Eastern Time to discuss today’s announcement.   Investors can access the conference via the Internet at http://investor.allscripts.com.  Participants also may access the conference call by dialing (877) 303-0543 (toll free in the US) or (973) 935-8787 (international) and requesting Conference ID #83012880.

A replay of the call will be available two hours after the conclusion of the call, for a period of four weeks, at http://www.allscripts.com or by calling (855) 859-2056 or (404) 537-3406 – Conference ID #83012880.

About Allscripts

Allscripts (NASDAQ: MDRX) delivers the insights that healthcare providers require to generate world-class outcomes. The company’s Electronic Health Record, practice management and other clinical, revenue cycle, connectivity and information solutions create a Connected Community of Health™ for physicians, hospitals and post-acute organizations.  To learn more about Allscripts, please visit www.allscripts.com, Twitter, YouTube and It Takes A Community: The Allscripts Blog.

 

Full disclosure: I serve on the advisory board of Health eVillages with Tullman. I have had no contact with him regarding his fate at Allscripts or the company’s recent troubles.

 

December 19, 2012 I Written By

I'm a freelance healthcare journalist, specializing in health IT, mobile health, healthcare quality, hospital/physician practice management and healthcare finance.

Attending Health 2.0? Donate your old smartphone

If you’re planning on attending the Health 2.0 conference in San Francisco next Monday and Tuesday, Health eVillages, a program of the RFK Center for Justice and Human Rights, will be collecting used Apple iOS and Android mobile devices. Health eVillages, of which I am a member of the advisory board, will refurbish your device and load it with medical reference materials, clinical decision support tools, drug dosage calculators and other mobile health tools and deploy it to a clinician working in a developing country, helping to bring higher-quality care to that community.

Current Health eVillages sites are in Haiti, China, Kenya, Uganda, with more to come.

If you have a used iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android phone or and tablet (sorry, no BlackBerrys, which is what I happen to have), drop it off at the Health 2.0 registration desk or at the Physicians Interactive booth (No. 37) in the exhibit hall.

If you want to learn more about Health eVillages, founder Donato Trumato, CEO and vice chairman of Physicians Interactive, will be speaking for about 5 minutes on the main stage the morning of Tuesday, Oct. 9, and then will lead a lunchtime presentation at 12:50 p.m. PDT in the Imperial B ballroom at the Hilton San Francisco.

I will be there, too, participating the “3 CEOs” session Tuesday at 8:10 a.m. I will be interviewing Phytel CEO Steve Schelhammer live on stage. Am I nervous? Only about having to get up that early.

 

October 2, 2012 I Written By

I'm a freelance healthcare journalist, specializing in health IT, mobile health, healthcare quality, hospital/physician practice management and healthcare finance.

Health eVillages is Monday’s AOL ’cause of the day’

Health eVillages, which I am on the advisory board of, has been selected as AOL’s “Cause of the Day” for Monday. That means it’s highlighted on the home page of AOL. If you have an old smartphone you’re not using, donate it to Health eVillages and help save a life. Thanks.

September 17, 2012 I Written By

I'm a freelance healthcare journalist, specializing in health IT, mobile health, healthcare quality, hospital/physician practice management and healthcare finance.

Video: Jonathan Bush at HIMSS12

As has become custom, I carved out some time at HIMSS to interview Jonathan Bush, the always outspoken and insightful CEO of athenahealth. This time, instead of meeting in some sterile conference room, we got together just before the start of athenahealth’s annual HIMSS party, which happened to be at Ghostbar at the top of the Palms hotel in Las Vegas.

The setting, on the balcony of the 55th floor, tied into the company’s embrace of the cloud. The staff of both the bar and of athenahealth did a great job finding a single spotlight on the balcony, overlooking the bright lights of the Strip. Yeah, there’s a shadow on Bush’s face and you can hear the wind at times, but I think it adds to rather than disrupts the vibe.

As usual, we joke around a lot, but we also get into some serious discussions about ICD-10, meaningful use, health IT innovation and even my involvement with Health eVillages, a subject that came up because athenahealth has a health IT charity effort of its own in India. (Speaking of HealtheVillages, co-founder Donato Trumato is presenting a case study at HIMSS Thursday morning. It’s at 9:45 a.m. PST in Marco Polo 803 on the first floor of the Venetian. I’ll probably be waiting for the media availability of Dr. Farzad Mostashari at that time. Something about meaningful use Stage 2.)

Enjoy the video. I know I did.

Jonathan Bush at HIMSS12 from Neil Versel on Vimeo.

 

February 23, 2012 I Written By

I'm a freelance healthcare journalist, specializing in health IT, mobile health, healthcare quality, hospital/physician practice management and healthcare finance.

Learn about Health eVillages at HIMSS12

Remember Health eVillages, the program launched last fall to bring mobile medical reference and decision support technology to clinicians in underserved parts of the world, including poor communities right here in the U.S.? You know, the project of the Robert F. Kennedy  Center for Justice and Human Rights and mobile medical content provider Physicians Interactive, the one I am serving on the advisory board of?

You probably haven’t heard too much of late, but you will be able to learn more about Health eVillages at the upcoming HIMSS conference — slightly more than a week away, if you can believe it. That’s because co-founding partner and Physicians Interactive CEO and Vice Chairman Donato Tramuto will be presenting about Health eVillages a week from Thursday, Feb. 23. Here are the details:

Title: “No Power, No Internet, No Problem:  Mobile HIT Improves Care Worldwide” (Session #138)

Description: This session will use real cases to explore how “Health eVillages” brings mobile medical technology to challenging rural clinical environments around the world, helping clinicians deliver safer, more effective healthcare.

Date/Time: Feb. 23, 9:45 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. PST

Location:  Venetian-Palazzo-Sands Expo Convention Center, Las Vegas

Room:  Marco Polo 803

Objectives:

  • Describe how Health eVillages and the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights have partnered to improve patient care via mobile technology and medical information
  • Recognize the value of easily adaptable mobile devices deployed in remote areas
  • Discuss the unique needs and challenges of rural medical environments in developing nations
  • Outline how you can help Health eVillages enable practitioners to deliver safer and more efficient medical care worldwide

If you are interested at all in how mobile technology is having an incredible impact on healthcare and health education in low-resource communities all over the world — perhaps even a greater effect than in wealthier areas — you will want to attend the session. This is taking place immediately after the keynote address by national health IT coordinator Dr. Farzad Mostashari. You’ll probably be pretty energized after Mostashari speaks, and Donato’s session is sure to be eye-opening and uplifting. That’s not a bad morning, if I do say so myself.

By the way, Health eVillages is seeking additional sponsors and sources of funding. Drop me a line or speak with Donato at HIMSS if you are interested. Thanks.

I hope to see you in Las Vegas.

 

February 12, 2012 I Written By

I'm a freelance healthcare journalist, specializing in health IT, mobile health, healthcare quality, hospital/physician practice management and healthcare finance.