Alaska’s Health Information Exchange Announces Governance and Leadership Changes

Governing Board’s strategic review brings new strategic direction while announcing changes in board and organizational leadership

ANCHORAGE, AK, US, October 1, 2021 / — Alaska’s Health Information Exchange (healtheConnect Alaska), the State of Alaska’s official health information exchange, is shifting leadership roles at both the board and executive levels.

At the September board meeting the Alaska HIE board elected Dr. Gene Quinn as the new board president. Dr. Quinn, previously vice president, takes over for Jerry Jenkins whose term ended after six years of service to the Alaska HIE board. Dr. Aaron Kusano will be assuming the Consumer Representative board seat held by Jerry Jenkins. Colt Courtright with Premera Blue Cross/Blue Shield will be replacing Jennifer Sanders also with Premera who has also served for six years on the board as the Payor Representative.

Also announced at the same meeting was the transition of Laura Young, the current Executive Director, back into full time consulting on health information and interoperability work. Laura will remain with the Alaska HIE during this transition and will continue to lend her services to the Alaska HIE as needed in the future.

Noel Rea has been secured to serve as the interim Executive Director and will lead the organization as it completes their strategic planning process and through any subsequent organizational changes. Mr. Rea is an experienced healthcare executive with over 20 years of organizational leadership in Alaska. Mr. Rea said, “It is my privilege to serve during the transition. I look forward to working with the board and the talented employees at healtheConnect to support Alaska’s healthcare delivery system.”

Dr. Gene Quinn, chair of the healtheConnect board, said, “On behalf of the entire board, I want to thank Laura for her dedicated service to healtheConnect during a critical time in the organization’s history, especially in the face of large-scale change in the health care industry. I would also like to express the board’s appreciation to Noel and thank him for agreeing to serve during the transition period. We are confident in his abilities and those of healtheConnect staff, who work tirelessly to ensure Alaskans have better access to health information.”

Quinn continued, “The healtheConnect board sees opportunity to serve more Alaskans and make healthcare more effective and efficient. We have talented teams and resources behind this effort and intend to bring more value to our participants in the years ahead. The strategic review we launched this year is evaluating possibilities that will put Alaska’s HIE on a growth trajectory while encouraging innovation and collaboration with our partners.”

The full list of elected board members of the Alaska HIE:
• President – Gene Quinn, M.D., M.P.H., Alaska Heart & Vascular Institute.
• Vice President – Nancy Merriman, CEO, Alaska Primary Care Association.
• Secretary – Aaron Kusano, M.D., Anchorage Radiation Therapy Center.
• Treasurer – Albert Fogle, Moda Health & Delta Dental of Alaska.
• Adam Crum, Commissioner, Department of Health and Social Services.
• Kathryn Craft, University of Alaska.
• Colt Courtright, Premera.
• Thomas Steinbrunner, Executive Director, Alaska VA Healthcare System.

healtheConnect Alaska is the State of Alaska’s official Health Information Exchange. Created in Alaska State Statute, the organization offers services that help healthcare providers share and receive important patient health information. Alaska’s HIE connects healthcare providers on a statewide basis from primary care, specialty care, hospitals, and public health.

laura young
healtheConnect Alaska
+1 907-519-7670
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