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Conference Speakers

David Blumenthal, MD, President, The Commonwealth Fund

David Blumenthal, MD, MPP, is president of The Commonwealth Fund, a national philanthropy engaged in independent research on health and social policy issues. 

Dr. Blumenthal is formerly the Samuel O. Thier Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Chief Health Information and Innovation Officer at Partners Healthcare System in Boston. From 2009 to 2011, he served as the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, with the charge to build an interoperable, private, and secure nationwide health information system and to support the widespread, meaningful use of health IT. He succeeded in putting in place one of the largest publicly funded infrastructure investments the nation has ever made in such a short time period, in health care or any other field. 

Previously, Dr. Blumenthal was a practicing primary care physician, director of the Institute for Health Policy, and professor of medicine and health policy at Massachusetts General Hospital/Partners Healthcare System and Harvard Medical School. He is the author of more than 250 books and scholarly publications, including most recently, Heart of Power: Health and Politics in the Oval Office. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine and serves on the editorial boards of the New England Journal of Medicine and the Journal of Delivery Science and Innovation. He has also served on the staff of the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Health and Scientific Research; is the founding chairman of AcademyHealth, the national organization of health services researchers; and a trustee of the University of Pennsylvania Health System. 

Dr. Blumenthal received his undergraduate, medical, and public policy degrees from Harvard University and completed his residency in internal medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital. With his colleagues from Harvard Medical School, he authored the seminal studies on the adoption and use of health information technology in the United States. He has held several leadership positions in medicine, government, and academia, including senior vice president at Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital and executive director of the Center for Health Policy and Management and lecturer on public policy at the Kennedy School of Government. He served previously on the board of the University of Chicago Health System and is recipient of the Distinguished Investigator Award from AcademyHealth, an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Rush University and an Honorary Doctor of Science from Claremont Graduate University and the State University of New York Downstate.


Judy Hanover, Research Director, IDC Health Insights

Judy Hanover provides research, market analysis and consulting on healthcare information technology, strategy and best practices for both the inpatient and ambulatory healthcare settings at IDC Health Insights. Her understanding of healthcare information technology is based on her experience working in the healthcare provider and payer vendor community, as well as her experience with healthcare IT end users. Ms. Hanover blogs in the IDC Health Insights Community ( Her Twitter handle is judyhanover.

Ms. Hanover serves as research director for IDC Health Insights' Healthcare Provider IT Strategies practice and also contributes to the Healthcare IT Spending Guide. She has a background in healthcare informatics, and experience working with managed care, provider and clinical applications. The technologies she covers include applications, hardware, infrastructure and services in both the inpatient and ambulatory provider settings. The application areas covered include electronic health and medical records (EMR and EHR), hospital information systems (HIS), business and clinical analytics, practice management systems, revenue cycle management systems,computerized physician order entry (CPOE), picture archiving and communications systems (PACS), clinical decision support (CDS), disease and care management, and administrative andbilling systems. Services, hardware and infrastructure that support these application areas are also covered in the Provider IT strategies practice, as well as consulting offerings.

Ms. Hanover previously served as a research manager for the provider IT strategies practice, and as senior research analyst for IDC Health Insights' life science practice. In the role with the IDC Health Insights' life science practice, she developed significant subject matter expertise in research areas including regulatory compliance, clinical trial IT infrastructure, drug development performance management, pharmacovigilance and drug safety technology. She continues to collaborate on coverage of technologies at the intersection of clinical trials/drug development, drug safety and healthcare IT in her current role with the provider IT strategies practice at IDC Health Insights.

Ms. Hanover has held positions in strategic planning, product marketing, product management and market research in both the healthcare and life science industries, at 3M Health Information Systems, Ingenix Inc., McKesson Corporation and Phase Forward, Inc.

Ms. Hanover holds a B.A. in Chemistry from Harvard University, as well as an M.B.A., with concentration in Marketing, and an M.S. in Information Systems, from Boston University.


Somesh Nigam, PhD, SVP, Chief Informatics Officer, Independence Blue Cross

Somesh Nigam, Ph.D. is senior vice president and chief informatics officer at Independence Blue Cross (Independence), overseeing the Informatics division, which develops valuable business reporting tools and analytics to better serve Independence customers and other stakeholders. Nigam leads Independence’s cutting-edge initiatives, collaborations, and partnerships to help improve the quality of patient care and lower costs. He provides strategic direction to drive business innovation and support the emerging needs of the company’s business in a dynamic marketplace.

Since joining Independence, Nigam has spearheaded Independence’s collaboration with New York University and NYU Langone Medical Center to develop “big data” machine-learning algorithms to spot cases of undiagnosed diabetes and predict pre-diabetes in patients. Somesh’s team also oversees an innovative partnership with Penn Medicine on several research initiatives into some of today’s most pressing health issues, including new approaches to improve medication adherence for heart attack survivors, understanding how genomic testing can be used to improve clinical outcomes and lower cancer care costs, and evaluate the impact of establishing stroke centers in Philadelphia hospitals on stroke outcomes.

Somesh’s team championed research about medical costs and hospital utilization for patients seen in patient centered medical homes which were published in several industry leading publications, including the American Journal of Managed Care. Independence was among the first and most ardent supporters of the medical home program, a rapidly growing model for improved, more coordinated health care.

Prior to joining Independence, Nigam was vice president of health care informatics, scientific, and clinical affairs for the Medical Device and Diagnostics Division at Johnson & Johnson. In this role, he created a new, enterprise-wide health informatics capability, serving the company's medical device and diagnostics businesses. His previous experience at Johnson & Johnson includes serving as director of innovation implementation in the Corporate Information Technology group; director of enterprise strategy and architecture for Global Pharmaceutical Research and Development; and senior director of pharmaceutical research and development, responsible for Clinical Informatics technology. Before joining Johnson & Johnson, he cofounded an eBusiness start-up company, Vinimaya.
Somesh has spoken widely on the subject of health care analytics and big data, including in recent months at Apigee’s “I Love APIs” Conference and MedCity ENGAGE. He serves on New York University’s Science Advisory Board and the editorial board for The Applied Clinical Trials Journal.

In October 2013, the Philadelphia Business Journal honored Somesh as the Emerging Executive of the Year for achievements in health care data analytics.
He holds a Ph.D. and an M.S. degree in biochemical engineering from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, and an undergraduate degree from the Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur, India.

Ramanathan Raju, MD, MBA, FACS, FACHE, President & Chief Executive Officer, New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC)

Ramanathan (Ram) Raju, MD, MBA, FACS, FACHE is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC), the largest municipal healthcare system in the nation. Dr. Raju was appointed by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio in January 2014 to lead the 37,000 employees of this $6.7 billion corporation, which includes 11 acute care hospitals, five nursing homes, six large diagnostic and treatment centers, more than 70 community-based health centers, a large home care agency, and one of the New York area's largest providers of government-sponsored health insurance, MetroPlus Health Plan, the plan of choice for nearly half a million New Yorkers. Last year, HHC facilities served 1.4 million New Yorkers -- including more than 475,000 uninsured. 

Prior to accepting the role of President and CEO at HHC, Dr. Raju was the Chief Executive Officer for the Cook County Health & Hospitals System (CCHHS) in Chicago, Illinois, and the third largest public health system in the country.  During his tenure there, Dr. Raju turned the financial status of the system around, improving the cash flow by over 100 million dollars. His proposed healthcare delivery model fetched the much coveted 1115 Waiver to the Social Security Act, enabling the creation of CountyCare, an Illinois Medicaid program to provide coverage for low-income adults in Cook County, and leading to health coverage for more than 82,000 Cook County residents.

Under his leadership, CCHHS received meaningful use designation for advancement in information technology, specifically the electronic medical record; and improvements in the supply chain management which is expected to yield millions of dollars in savings for taxpayers in the years to come.

A positive patient experience, which was a major focus of Dr. Raju’s leadership at CCHHS, was reflected by the improved Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers (HCAPHs) scores, and in the reduction of wait times in the Emergency Department to less than two hours. The clinical improvements at CCHHS include The Joint Commission accreditation for both Cook County public hospitals as well as its ambulatory clinic network.  Dr. Raju's further recognition that patients are more likely to use care they can access near their home resulted in the development of a network of more than 130 primary care access points through partnerships with FQHCs, safety-net and community hospitals, academic medical centers and private doctors.

Dr. Raju began his medical career at Lutheran Medical Center in Brooklyn and went on to serve as the COO and Medical Director at HHC's Coney Island Hospital.  Then in 2006, he became the HHC Chief Medical Officer, Corporate Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President. While he served there, HHC continued to climb and reach great heights in quality, patient safety and healthcare data transparency.

Dr. Raju attended Madras Medical College to earn his medical diploma and his Master of Surgery degree. He underwent further training in England and was elected as a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons. Dr. Raju is also a physician executive, having obtained an MBA from the University of Tennessee and CPE from the American College of Physician Executives.

Dr. Raju is the recipient of numerous national recognitions.  In 2013, he was named Business Leader of Color by Chicago United. Modern Healthcare Magazine named him one of the top 25 Minority Executives in Healthcare for two years running, and one of the 50 most influential Physician Executives in Healthcare in 2013.  Also in 2013, Becker's Hospital Review designated him as one of 20 Hospital and Health System Leaders to Follow on Twitter.


Mark Wagar, President, Heritage Medical Systems

Mark L. Wagar, is President of Heritage Medical Systems, an affiliate of the Heritage Provider Network serving over 1 million patient/members in integrated, population based health quality payment programs through medical groups and independent practice associations (IPA’s) in California, New York, and Arizona. He is an Operating Partner with Enhanced Equity Funds which invests exclusively in healthcare services organizations, and previously served as the President and CEO of Empire BlueCross BlueShield based in New York City.

Heritage Provider Network (HPN), founded by Dr. Richard Merkin in 1979, is one of the nation’s leading physician-led healthcare solutions organizations.  HPN manages one of the largest and most successful Pioneer ACO’s in the United States. 

Mr. Wagar’s focus in today’s rapidly changing market is on helping healthcare providers -- including physicians, healthplans and hospitals -- navigate the complex challenges and shared responsibilities impacting healthcare quality, service, and cost.  His extensive experience with payers, physicians, hospitals, and healthcare service organizations includes a decade of work in community rated, guaranteed issue health coverage markets, where collaboration is essential to delivering sustainable quality and cost improvement.

At Empire BlueCross BlueShield, Mr. Wagar led New York’s largest health insurer covering nearly 6 million people, and was a Senior Vice President in WellPoint, Inc. He had an active leadership role in public policy, provider collaboration, and community engagement.  During his tenure, Empire achieved net growth of over 1 million medical members, market leading member satisfaction results, and the introduction of the first major medical home network in metropolitan New York.

Prior to Empire, Mr. Wagar held leadership positions at Caremark, CIGNA HealthCare, and provider owned managed care organizations, as well as in hospital management, physician practice management, and diagnostic services in market leading organizations based in Ohio, California, Texas, and New York.

An experienced officer and director in public and private corporations, Mr. Wagar currently serves on the Boards of The New York Academy of Medicine, WhiteGlove, Inc, TurningPoint, The Committee for Hispanic Children and Families, and the Tannenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding. He has been recognized as a Distinguished Alumnus of The Ohio State University, and a recipient of the Dr. Jonas Salk Memorial Mentor in Medicine Award, as well as an honoree helping fund numerous charitable causes supporting healthy communities and diversity. In 1971 he was a member of the Big Ten Champion basketball team of The Ohio State University.