John Halamka
John D. Halamka is a physician and technology leader who focuses on the adoption of electronic health records and the secure sharing of healthcare data for care coordination, population health, and quality improvement.

Early life, education, and early career

Halamka was born in Des Moines, Iowa and relocated to Southern California in 1968. He attended St. James Elementary School and Palos Verdes High School
Palos Verdes High School
Palos Verdes High School is one of three public high schools on the Palos Verdes Peninsula in Southern California, USA...


He graduated from Stanford University
Stanford University
The Leland Stanford Junior University, commonly referred to as Stanford University or Stanford, is a private research university on an campus located near Palo Alto, California. It is situated in the northwestern Santa Clara Valley on the San Francisco Peninsula, approximately northwest of San...

 in 1984 with degrees in Public Policy and Medical Microbiology. While at Stanford he wrote econometrics software for Milton Friedman
Milton Friedman
Milton Friedman was an American economist, statistician, academic, and author who taught at the University of Chicago for more than three decades...

, performed research for the autobiography of Dr. Edward Teller, and served as teaching assistant to Presidential candidate John B. Anderson
John B. Anderson
John Bayard Anderson is a former United States Congressman and Presidential candidate from Illinois. He was a U.S. Representative from the 16th Congressional District of Illinois for ten terms from 1961 through 1981 and an Independent candidate in the 1980 presidential election. He was previously...

. He authored three books on technology issues, wrote a regular column for Infoworld
InfoWorld is an information technology online media and events business operating under the umbrella of InfoWorld Media Group, a division of IDG...

, and was founding technical editor for Computer Language magazine.

In 1981, he formed a software startup company, Ibis Research Labs, in the basement of Frederick Terman
Frederick Terman
Frederick Emmons Terman was an American academic. He is widely credited with being the father of Silicon Valley.-Education:...

's Palo Alto home. The firm developed tax and accounting software for CP/M
CP/M was a mass-market operating system created for Intel 8080/85 based microcomputers by Gary Kildall of Digital Research, Inc...

 and early IBM PC
The IBM Personal Computer, commonly known as the IBM PC, is the original version and progenitor of the IBM PC compatible hardware platform. It is IBM model number 5150, and was introduced on August 12, 1981...

 computers. The firm grew to 25 employees and was sold to senior management in 1992.

He attended the joint MD/PhD program at UCSF and UC Berkeley from 1984-1993 and completed an Emergency Medicine residency at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center
Harbor-UCLA Medical Center
Harbor–UCLA Medical Center is a 570-bed public teaching hospital located at 1000 West Carson Street within the unincorporated Los Angeles County area of West Carson, California...

 from 1993-1996.

Information Technology

Halamka joined the faculty of Harvard Medical School
Harvard Medical School
Harvard Medical School is the graduate medical school of Harvard University. It is located in the Longwood Medical Area of the Mission Hill neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts....

 as an Instructor in 1996. He completed a post doctoral fellowship in medical informatics at Harvard and MIT in 1997. Soon after, he was selected to be the Executive Director of CareGroup Center for Quality and Value (CQV), a data analysis and business intelligence division of the Caregroup Healthcare System.

In 1998, he was named Chief Information Officer
Chief information officer
Chief information officer , or information technology director, is a job title commonly given to the most senior executive in an enterprise responsible for the information technology and computer systems that support enterprise goals...

 of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts is a major flagship teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School. It was formed out of the 1996 merger of Beth Israel Hospital and New England Deaconess Hospital...

 and initiated a multi-year effort to securely web-enable clinical information systems with CareWeb, sharing data among five hospitals with patient consent. CareWeb became a foundation for future information sharing efforts among Massachusetts hospitals. Halamka's efforts ensured Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center was one of the first hospital adopters of electronic health records and electronic prescribing. He is focused on enhancing quality, improving safety, and increasing efficiency in healthcare through the strategic application of information technology.

In 2001, he was hired as part time Chief Information Officer at Harvard Medical School, in addition to his CareGroup duties. His early work focused on the MyCourses Learning Management System.

In 2001, he was named Chairman of the New England Healthcare Exchange Network, leading efforts to enhance the number of payers and providers exchange healthcare data in Massachusetts.

In 2004, he was named Chairman of the Healthcare Information Technology Standards Panel
Healthcare Information Technology Standards Panel
The American National Standards Institute Healthcare Information Technology Standards Panel was created in 2005 as part of efforts by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology to promote interoperability in health care by harmonizing health information technology...

 (HITSP), which harmonized data standards as part of the Bush Administration's healthcare information technology program. HITSP was replaced in 2009 by the Healthcare Information Technology Standards Committee (HITSC) and Halamka was named co-chair. HITSC recommends standards and certification criteria in support of Meaningful Use to the Health and Human Services Office of the National Coordinator for Healthcare IT.

In April of 2011, he was named full Professor at Harvard Medical School.

In July of 2011, Halamka announced his intention to step down from his Harvard Medical School CIO role in 2012, so that he could focus his efforts on Statewide Healthcare Information Exchange and Healthcare Reform efforts in Massachusetts, while retaining his CIO role at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

In August of 2011, he was named Co-Chair of the Massachusetts HIT/HIE Advisory Committee, a multi-stakeholder group which advises the Massachusetts HIT Council, the governance body which sets priorities and approves the allocation of state and federal funds for healthcare information technology spending in Massachusetts.

Other Interests

Halamka continues his work as an Emergency Physician, provides mushroom and poisonous plant consultation to the Regional Center for Poison Control and Prevention (Boston).

He also writes the popular blog, Life as a Healthcare CIO.
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