Award Winners Move Quality Healthcare Ahead with Health IT -HIMSS Names Two Policy Leader Award Winners During the 7th Annual National Health IT Week

Each year, during NHIT Week, HIMSS honors policy leaders who have helped improve healthcare delivery with the best use of health information technology and management systems. This year, two HIMSS Policy Leader Award winners were honored during National Health IT Week 2012 Networking Reception and Awards ceremony on Sept. 12.  Also recognized were recipients of the Modern Healthcare/HIMSS CEO IT Achievement Award and the Fourth Annual CHIME State Advocacy Award for CIO Leadership.

HIMSS Federal Policy Leader Award, Mary Wakefield, PhD, RN, Administrator, Health Resources and Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:  Dr. Mary Wakefield was appointed HRSA Administrator by President Barack Obama in 2009.   A rural health advocate and Nurse PhD, Dr. Wakefield has worked with HIMSS and others toward realization of the Nationwide Health Information Network for all communities.  Through her leadership, HRSA has administered $2.5 billion in ARRA funds to expand the nation’s healthcare system, address health workforce shortages, and fund hundreds of health centers’ efforts to adopt health IT solutions.

Examples of her leadership include development of a Rural Health IT Toolbox, and an e-referral system that has improved patient care.  She is a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, and serves on the Institute of Medicine, including work on the landmark reports To Err is Human and Crossing the Quality Chasm. She has a bachelor of science degree in nursing from the University of Mary in Bismarck, and master’s and doctoral degrees in nursing from the University of Texas at Austin.

2012 HIMSS State Policy Leader Award, The Honorable Linda Upmeyer, Iowa House of Representatives:  State Representative Linda Upmeyer, a cardiology nurse practitioner, received the 2012 HIMSS State Policy Leader Award. She was first elected to the Iowa State Legislature in 2002, where she serves as House Majority Leader and as a member of the Administration and Rules committee.

Rep. Upmeyer has been a strong supporter of HIMSS and health IT for the last 10 years, regularly introducing and supporting health IT legislation. She has been a strong supporter of HIMSS and health I-T for the past decade, regularly introducing and supporting health I-T legislation. She backed the National Conference of State Legislatures’ Project HITCh, or “Health IT Champions,” and regularly participates in HIMSS Iowa Advocacy Days.

Before becoming the House Majority Leader, Rep. Upmeyer served on the Human Resources, Natural Resources, Economic Growth, and Administrative Rules Review Committees, as well as the Leadership Council and International Relations committees.

She is currently the 2nd Vice President of the American Legislative Exchange Council. She also serves on the Executive Committee of the Midwest Conference of State Governments. Rep. Upmeyer received her BS in Nursing from the University of Iowa, and her Master’s in Nursing from Drake University.

“This marks the 11th year for the HIMSS Federal and State Leadership Awards, recognition honoring outstanding leaders at the federal and state levels who are taking the lead in establishing new initiatives, programs, and projects that foster the use of health I-T in both government and private industry,” says Dave Roberts, MPA, FHIMSS, vice president, government relations, for HIMSS. ”The HIMSS Awards Task Force selected Mary Wakefield, for the 2012 HIMSS Federal Policy Leader Award based on her leadership with HRSA, where she works with HIMSS and others toward realization of the Nationwide Health Information Network, and the benefits it brings for all communities. Representative Upmeyer receives the 2012 HIMSS State Policy Leadership Award for demonstrating extraordinary vision and leadership in the quest to improve the quality of healthcare delivery through the adoption of healthcare information management and technology.”

Modern Healthcare/HIMSS CEO IT Achievement Awards

Modern Healthcare and HIMSS announced in April 2012 the recipients of the 10th annual CEO IT Achievement Award recipients, who were honored during the NHIT Week reception. The annual CEO IT Achievement Award recognizes one or more healthcare industry chief executive officers who demonstrate leadership and commitment to using information technology to advance their healthcare organization’s strategic goals.

The recipients of the 2012 Modern Healthcare/HIMSS CEO IT Achievement Award are:

  • Dr. Steven Altschuler
    CEO of The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Penn.;
  • Lynn Britton
    President and CEO of Mercy in Chesterfield, Mo.; and
  • Richard Miller
    President and CEO of Virtua in Marlton, NJ.

Find out more about the CEO IT Achievement Award on the HIMSS website.

Fourth Annual CHIME State Advocacy Award for CIO Leadership:  The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) presented its CHIME State Advocacy Award for CIO Leadership to Edward W. Marx, Associate Faculty, Senior Vice President and CIO, at Texas Health Resources. Visit the CHIME website for more information.

About National Health Information Technology Week

Now in its seventh year, National Health IT Week is a collaborative forum assembling key healthcare constituents—vendors, provider organizations, payers, pharmaceutical/biotech companies, government agencies, industry/professional associations, research foundations, and consumer protection groups— working together to elevate national attention to the necessity of advancing health IT.  Please log onto for more information.


HIMSS is a cause-based, not-for-profit organization exclusively focused on providing global leadership for the optimal use of information technology (IT) and management systems for the betterment of healthcare. Founded 51 years ago, HIMSS and its related organizations are headquartered in Chicago with additional offices in the United States, Europe and Asia. HIMSS represents more than 44,000 individual members, of which more than two thirds work in healthcare provider, governmental and not-for-profit organizations. HIMSS also includes over 570 corporate members and more than 170 not-for-profit organizations that share our mission of transforming healthcare through the effective use of information technology and management systems. HIMSS frames and leads healthcare practices and public policy through its content expertise, professional development, research initiatives, and media vehicles designed to promote information and management systems’ contributions to improving the quality, safety, access, and cost-effectiveness of patient care. To learn more about HIMSS and to find out how to join us and our members in advancing our cause, please visit our website at