On behalf of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society and all of its members, I am pleased to recognize the three recipients of the 2004 CEO IT Achievement Award. Once again, HIMSS joins with Modern Healthcare to honor these industry leaders as recipients of this award, now in its second year.
The three recipients-G. Richard Hastings, president and chief executive officer of St. Luke's Health System, Kansas City, Mo.; Judith Pelham, president and CEO of Trinity Health, Novi, Mich.; and Leonard Schaeffer, chairman and CEO of WellPoint Health Networks, Thousands Oaks, Calif.-are leaders who have established an organizational commitment to information technology and its role in achieving their organizations' strategic goals.
Although the geography and the organizations may be different, they have one strong and strategic similarity. Hastings, Pelham and Schaeffer have constantly challenged their organizations to use IT to improve the quality of care provided to their patients.
At these organizations, IT and the accompanying infrastructure became the common foundation to deploy new processes and technologies. But the integration of the plan with the people of their organizations-from senior management and the board to individual staff members-made the difference in delivery. These CEOs understood that the team has to be engaged and that individuals throughout the organization were integral in providing the best possible care to each patient.
These honorees also look at information technology as an asset, as an advantage to help fulfill established and strategic goals. They are the driving force behind a bold and enterprisewide business transformation plan that leverages technology to meet the individual needs of the healthcare community in their respective locations.
This approach has more relevance now because the review of and emphasis on IT has evolved since we announced this award in 2003. The Bush administration has set a deadline to achieve an interoperable electronic health record for most Americans within a decade.
The three CEOs, whose stories are presented in this special supplement to Modern Healthcare, are obviously ahead of the plan.
I also want to applaud the 39 other organizations that submitted nominations for this year's competition. These organizations and their nominees have worked to imple- ment information technologies to enhance the quality of care at their organizations. I encourage all of them to apply in 2005 and be among those candidates considered for the third annual CEO IT Achievement Award.
H. Stephen Lieber, President and chief executive officer HIMSS