VHA Inc., the national health care network, announced today that Russell F. Lewis has been appointed senior vice president and chief information and technology officer. In this new role, Lewis will lead VHA’s Technology and Development department and will oversee all projects related to the acquisition, installation and maintenance of major information systems and technology initiatives across VHA’s family of companies.
“I am pleased that Rusty is joining VHA as our chief information and technology officer,” said Chris Dunleavy, area senior vice president and chief financial officer for VHA. “There is increasing demand for innovative IT solutions from our member hospitals and customers. In order to meet the needs of our members today, as well as the integrated tools they will need in the near term, VHA must have a well-defined focus on technology development. Rusty is a proven leader who understands the importance of consistently delivering technology solutions that help our members achieve a higher level of operational efficiency and more successful clinical outcomes.”
Prior to joining VHA, Lewis served in other technology roles within VHA’s family of companies. He served as senior vice president of information services for Provista, a supply chain company focused on non-acute medical facilities as well as hospitality, education, corporate and government markets. Before joining Provista, Lewis served as a consultant on supply chain business models, technology, operations, commercialization and intellectual property during development phase of aptitudeTM, the health care industry’s first online direct contracting market.
Over his professional career, Lewis has held senior leadership roles in information technology with a number of firms in the health care industry including two Fortune 10 companies. He served as senior vice president and chief technology officer for McKesson from 1996 to 2000, overseeing the company’s health information technology (HIT) products. He later served as president of the automation and technology division of AmerisourceBergen, which is focused on enhancing the efficiency and safety of the pharmaceutical supply chain.
Lewis has also served as a senior executive in a number of venture-backed HIT start-ups including Ameritech Health Connections, Bridge Medical Systems, Skylight Healthcare Systems and Medsphere Systems Inc. Lewis began his career at Texas Instruments in 1982.
Additionally, Lewis holds more than 15 international and U.S. patents spanning handwriting recognition, virtual reality, clinical software and medication management systems. He is the author and editor of two books – “Impact of Information Technology on Patient Safety” and “Barcode and Auto-ID Implementation Guide” – both of which were published by Healthcare and Information Systems Society (HIMSS).
Lewis holds degrees in computer science and applied mathematics from Southern Methodist University. He is a past board member of the National Alliance for Healthcare Information Technology (NAHIT) and Microsoft’s Healthcare User’s Group (MSHUG).
VHA Inc. is a national network of not-for-profit health care organizations working together to improve performance and efficiency in clinical, financial and operational management. Since 1977, when VHA established the first hospital membership organization, the company has applied its knowledge in analytics, contracting, consulting and network development to help members and customers achieve their strategic objectives. In 2013, VHA delivered $2.2 billion in savings and additional value to members. Serving 5,000 health system members and affiliates, VHA represents more than a quarter of the nation's hospitals. VHA also serves more than 118,000 non-acute health care customers enterprise-wide. VHA is based in Irving, Texas, and has 11 regional offices across the U.S. VHA, together with UHC, owns Novation, a supply chain company, and aptitude® , the health care industry's first online direct contracting market. VHA also owns Provista, a supply chain company serving the non-acute market as well as government, education and business. For more information, visit www.vha.com and follow us on Twitter (@VHAInc).