For more than five years, GovCon firms have helped federal agencies achieve efficiencies and cost savings and respond to some of the nation’s most pressing concerns through health IT solutions. Big data analytics are just one example—supporting government program managers in their mission to counter fraud, deliver patient benefits in a more timely fashion and make life-saving policy decisions based on tracking—and even anticipating—the outbreak of infectious diseases.
Today, even with a landmark Supreme Court decision in the rearview mirror and a presidential election looming ahead making the next four years of health and technology budgeting hard to predict, GovCon health IT providers are not resting. The genie is already out of the bottle: IT has become fundamental to all aspects of health operations, from electronic health records to medical claims to telehealth and beyond.
As pressure intensifies for agencies in the two perennial goals of achieving efficiencies and fighting waste and abuse, the demand increases for health IT talent and expertise. Infrastructure experts are needed for projects like the Veterans Affairs’ move of 72 of its health systems to DISA data centers.
Meanwhile, federal agencies are tapping the power of mobility for healthcare. The VA and Department of Defense launched the award-winning PTSD Coach smartphone app. And the Health and Human Services’ Office of Minority Health announced a partnership with the American Association of Diabetes Educators and AT&T to deliver diabetes self-management information to minority communities via mobile devices—to name just a few examples. Additionally, health IT solutions in areas such as battlefield medicine, public health surveillance, and emergency planning are changing the field.
For GovCon firms and federal agencies, health IT is driving restructuring, major transactions, and senior leadership moves. Here are some of the people who have been steering the revolution—and the reasons why they are and will continue to be in the driver’s seat.
Assistant Secretary for Information and Technology, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
Dual hats: Baker serves as chief information officer as well as assistant secretary, managing more than 7,500 IT professionals and a $3.3 billion budget.
Restoring IT health: After Baker joined the VA in 2009, he implemented a project management program that shortened project timelines and increased accountability. IT’s met goals rose from 30 percent in 2009 to 89 percent in 2011.
Taming the paper tiger: The plain-spoken Baker has called VA claims processing “the most paper-bound process I’ve seen in my life.” His goal: getting every claim turned around in 125 days through electronic processes.
Cloud conversion: According to Information Week, Baker said the Defense Information Systems Agency and the VA are putting the VistA EHR system on the cloud. “Hospitals don’t need to know and shouldn’t care where their VistA system is running,” Baker said.
Dr. Don Bradshaw
Vice President and Senior Director, Health Solutions Business Unit’s Defense Health Operation, SAIC
Triple threat: Bradshaw is a retired Army Brigadier General with a medical degree and a master’s degree in public health.
Comfortable in command: In addition to managing multi-facility health systems with the Army, Bradshaw oversaw the $2.3 billion integration of the Military Healthcare System with TRICARE Managed Care Support, supporting 26 military medical treatment facilities across 18 states.
Transformative role: As a $12 billion awardee under the T4 contract, Bradshaw’s team will be helping the VA integrate systems, networks, software, and other IT products—a task that may cover the entire system lifecycle and demands skill in areas from cybersecurity to IT facility support.
Vital infrastructure: SAIC also is providing five years of system monitoring, management and engineering support to the Military Health System’s Tri-Service Infrastructure Management Program.
Federal Healthcare Sales Manager, Microsoft
There from the beginning: Brummell has been with Microsoft since 1998, when he joined as the company’s account executive for military health.
Plugged in: Brummell’s accounts include such federal health heavyweights as HHS, the Social Security Administration, and the numerous organizations that make up the Military Health System.
Big data experience: The many projects he’s been involved with include a data warehouse for DoD to analyze the department’s 9 million electronic health records for health-enhancing information, such as which patients have been prescribed FDA-recalled drugs.
Big cloud announcement: On May 31, Microsoft announced one of its most recent federal government IT initiatives, Office 365 for Government, which will store U.S. government data in a segregated community cloud and is designed to support global security standards including HIPPA.
DoD-VA IPO Director
Field tested: During his 20+ years in the Army, Butler served as a CIO in Haiti and Korea and at the Walter Reed Medical Center in the United States.
Well schooled: Butler holds five university degrees, covering biology/bioengineering, signal processing, bioinstrumentation, military arts and sciences, and biomechanics.
GovCon cred: Before joining the VA IPO, Butler held leadership positions at Harris, Apptis, IMC, and Oracle.
Upcoming battle: Getting the VA’s iEHR and Virtual Lifetime Electronic Record systems to provide a single access point for health and benefits services—despite staff shortages and the recent cancellation of a $100 million-plus contract for management support.
Director of Government Relations for HHS, Lockheed Martin
A seat at the table: Campanelli serves on the board of trustees for the Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT®).
Proven leadership: His senior healthcare positions have included Counselor to the Secretary and HHS, as well as Director of the Office for Civil Rights at HHS.
Portability potential: Campanelli’s group has two contracts with the Nationwide Health Information Network: one to support the development, testing, and adoption of future Nationwide Health Information Network capabilities, the other to develop real-world demonstrations and pilots.
Expanding horizons: Around this time last year, Lockheed acquired QTC Holdings, Inc., the largest provider of outsourced medical evaluation services to the federal government and the Veterans Affairs Department.
Vice President, Health IT Programs, Northrop Grumman
Hands-on experience: In 28+ years, Caro has worked on several large-scale automated financial, health, and related administrative information systems using mainframe, web-based, and cloud technology.
One-click access: Her team developed the Blue Button Mobile App, which enables veterans and their families to access personal health information at any time to improve their interactions with providers.
Innovation investment: Under Caro’s leadership, Northrop Grumman is establishing two research and demonstration centers to develop innovative tools and solutions that address complex public health challenges.
Targeting fraud: Northrop Grumman’s support of the National Level Repository (NLR) for the Medicare Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program is proactively reducing healthcare fraud, waste, and abuse for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
VP for Business Development, DRC
Primed for VA opportunity: In a previous position, Cradlin led a team in delivering enterprise architecture as well as project and program management support to the VA at the executive level.
Potential synergies: In another previous position as group vice president of enterprise technologies, he worked with both HPTi’s health science and solutions and homeland security practices, which may make him a dual contender in the protection of sensitive health data.
New applications: Last year he told the GovCon media of his goal “to leverage HPTi’s technical capabilities that have matured in other industries—such as computational science, architecture, and systems engineering—to improve the research in clinical decision-making support in healthcare.”
If a rocket scientist is needed: Cradlin has a B.S. in aero engineering from the University of Maryland.
Senior Vice President of Health Services, Acentia
Strengthening the bench: Davis came to Acentia with the April acquisition of health IT company 2020. “The addition of 2020 extends Acentia’s reach with the services and expertise to pursue and execute more and even larger opportunities on programs of national significance,” said Todd Stottlemyer, Acentia CEO, after the merger.
Utility player: Davis has experience in both policy and IT. Her more than 20 years in the field include positions as Food and Drug Administration chief information officer and health policy operations at Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). She was also deputy director of what is now the CMS Office of e-Health Standards and Services.
Management chops: At the FDA, she was responsible for a $450 million-plus IT investment portfolio and about 1,500 federal and contractor staff.
Moving contracting to the cloud: Last year Acentia was chosen to develop the web-based contractor and solicitation document management for NIH.
Dr. Tony Hess
Managing Partner and Group Vice President, Healthcare and Natural Resources, Unisys Federal Systems
Broad perspective: Since his Unisys appointment in February 2011, Hess has led federal business in the areas of agriculture, health and human services, veteran affairs, commerce, energy and transportation, and NASA.
Realignment rewards: Hess’ appointment was part of an effort to bolster the federal systems management team and federal sales. In October 2011, Unisys was awarded a task order to support the CDC’s Information Technology Services Office, which manages the agency’s IT infrastructure.
Compliance coup: Under Hess’s management, Unisys recently helped the CDC’s Mid-Tier Data Center in Atlanta become one of the first federal government data centers to be compliant with the ISO/IEC standard for best managed service delivery.
Experience at the helm: Hess previously served as SVP and general manager for SAIC’s health solutions business unit, as president and CIO of Capital Information Services, and in a variety of management positions with IBM.
Vice President of Federal Healthcare Solutions, Harris Corporation
Interoperability win: In April, the VA awarded Harris an $80.3 million contract to develop the key services-oriented architecture that will integrate the VA and DoD healthcare systems.
Strategic growth: As VP of federal healthcare solutions, Mestas led Harris’ acquisition of IT security firm Patriot Technologies—one of many strategic purchases the firm has made since Mestas joined in 1987.
Critical communications: Equipped with voice recognition and noise cancellation technologies, Harris’ RF-3590 ruggedized tablet can be used in a variety of first-responder situations.
Medical mobility: These applications include the TacMed tactical medical triage system used by combat medics. It’s a packaged C4ISR system solution that’s part of Harris’ strategy to grow its line of existing projects in addition to doing custom development.
Vice President and General Manager, CSC North American Public Sector (NPS) Health Services Division
On-the-ground experience: Moore’s 20+ years in the industry includes CIO roles with the State of Maryland and leading health IT for the National Organization of Counties for Public Technology.
Data leader: “We look forward to her leadership as we continue to transform healthcare with better information for better decisions,” said NPS Civil Group President Mike Gaffney.
Furthering discoveries: CSC’s health IT contracts include providing desktop, server and workstation support for FDA’s research community.
Fostering better care: CSC also has a $95 million contract to support the DoD’s Pharmacy Data Transaction Service, which enables the DoD to reduce fraud and abuse, improve reporting, save money and increase patient safety.
Senior Vice President and Director, SRA Health Group
Valuable acquisition: Nedzbala came to SRA with the 2007 acquisition of Constella Group, where he was chief operating officer for Constella’s health sciences business unit. He previously had held IT leadership positions with United Information Systems and Washington Consulting Group.
Long-time relationship: SRA has worked with the Health Resources and Services Administration since 1994, providing total lifecycle support of operations, maintenance, and system enhancement.
Latest win: In January, HRSA extended for another five years SRA’s work with the National Practitioner Data Bank—a confidential information clearinghouse established to fight fraud and encourage data-sharing.
Service support: Also this January, the Center for Information Technology chose SRA to provide IT training, desk service, and desktop support for NIH’s nationwide IT Customer Service Portfolio. It’s a $60 million contract that will generate 100 new jobs.
U.S. Chief Technology Officer
Cloud pioneer: As CTO of HHS, Park led the creation of HealthCare.gov, the first public, online inventory of public and private health insurance plans searchable by zip code. For this achievement and others, he was named one of Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People for 2010.
Start-up attitude: Park’s Presidential Innovation Fellows program is giving five teams six months to change the game in the areas of public communication, ease of doing business, mobile payments, health record portability, and open data.
GovCon roots: Before joining HHS, Park consulted with Booz Allen Hamilton in the area of healthcare strategy, IT, and operations.
Entrepreneurial drive: Park also co-founded Athena Health, a medical billing, practice management, and EHR firm that is now a publicly traded company.
VP, Healthcare Industry Leader, IBM Global Services
Rainmaker chops: During her tenure as senior vice president of corporate development with Vangent, the company signed over $1 billion of awards, including several key contracting vehicles.
Acquisition savvy: While with SRA, she was responsible for integrating 1,600 employees across 40 countries following the Constella Group acquisition.
Agency connections: HHS was among the accounts Patterson held responsibility for while with SRA.
Innovation leader: Patterson was the founding co-chair of the Northern Virginia Technology Council’s Health IT committee.
Senior Vice President, Booz Allen Hamilton
Agency range: Penfield has worked with every major federal health-related organization, including VA, DoD, FDA, NIH, CDC, and CMS.
Advancing the fight: Penfield oversaw development of the National Cancer Institute’s Cancer Bioinformatics Grid (caBIG), which crunches data for cancer researchers so they can better share progress.
Streamlining solutions: She also transformed how the CDC distributes vaccines for children through efficient ordering, approval, and inventory management processes.
Mapping scenarios and plans: Penfield’s work includes designing, developing, and conducting avian flu simulations and applying strategic planning methodology to the current national Alzheimer’s crisis.
Dr. Keith Salzman
Chief Medical Officer, CACI International
Battle tested: A retired U.S. Army colonel, Salzman was the first surgeon for the Stryker Brigade combat team, led clinical services in Kosovo, and ran a health IT program in Iraq to document patient care and transmit information back to the United States.
Scouted talent: Salzman was giving a talk at an electronic medical records conference about the IT tools he had used in Iraq when CACI executives made him an offer he couldn’t refuse.
Integration opportunity: Salzman says he sees CACI’s work on the VA’s Virtual Lifetime Electronic Record initiative as an opportunity to “securely and seamlessly connect the VA, DoD, Social Security Administration, and private civilian medical offices.”
A growing force: CACI’s more than 50 contracts in the health IT sector include the VA’s multiple-award, indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (IDIQ) Transformation Twenty-One Total Technology (T4) program and the Defense Medical Logistics Standard Support (DMLSS) suite of applications.
Vice President, Healthcare Solutions, URS
Integration background: Before joining URS, Turner was a vice president at Microlog Corporation, an Integrated Voice Response (IVR) and Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) provider to the government.
First to the cloud: URS helped DoD’s Military Health System move the designated provider application for its Uniformed Services Family Health Plan onto a commercial cloud—the first application to do so and gain authority to operate.
Lofty kudos: URS’s IT business, Apptis, won Best Cloud Solution for 2011 from the Government Technology Research Alliance.
Preparedness connections: URS has designed, developed, and executed readiness exercises for the HHS Secretary since 2007.
Vice President, General Dynamics IT Health Solutions
Package deal: When General Dynamics acquired Vangent, it also landed Weems, who after being selected by the White House in 2007 to be CMS administrator, implemented the Medicare e-prescribing program, EHR pilot projects, and landmark payment reforms during his tenure.
High praise: Weems has earned the highest honor for civilian employees—the Presidential Rank award—under both the Clinton and Bush administrations.
Military medicine: In February, GDIT was awarded a contract to support investigational research programs and centers run by Naval Medical Logistics Command and the U.S. Bureau of Medicine and Surgery.
Cloud potential: In April, the Army awarded General Dynamics two contracts to develop and implement fixed and mobile cloud computing capacity for its Area Processing Centers Army Private Cloud initiative.
Senior Vice President, ICF International
Multifaceted perspective: A former senior executive with the General Services Administration, Whitley has studied at the U.S. Military Academy and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
Service partnership: ICF is working with HPTi to develop advanced voice-recognition applications, enhanced web self-service tools, and integrated desktop interfaces for VA public contact representatives.
Community mobilizer: She leads ICF’s continued support of HHS and OCVMRC work to strengthen public health, emergency response, and community resiliency through volunteer engagement.
Driving values: “This is more than a practical mission,” Whitley has said of her work. “This is a moral mandate to provide quality health services to those who serve our nation.”
Director, Intel Federal
A GovCon return: After stopping direct sales to the federal government in the early 1990s, Intel launched subsidiary Intel Federal in August 2011.
Powerful goals: According to Information Week, Intel Federal will initially focus on high-performance computing, aiming to help the government achieve “supercomputer performance levels of a hundred times more powerful than today by 2018,” in the words of Kirk Skaugen, VP and general manager of Intel’s Datacenter and Connected Systems Group.
Mobile moves: At the HIMSS Europe World of Health IT Exhibition in May 2012, Intel discussed how its technology could enable more intelligent care and increased access throughout a healthcare system.
HP pedigree: Before joining Intel in 2009, Zagaria worked for Hewlett Packard, holding a variety of positions that culminated with the title of client principal, Federal Healthcare. GCE