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AMIA honors Regenstrief Institute's President and CEO with 2011 Morris F. Collen Award

William Tierney, MD, is to receive the 2011 Morris F. Collen Award from AMIA, the association for informatics professionals, in recognition of his personal commitment and dedication to informatics, his numerous achievements, and his lasting impression on the field. Dr. Tierney, president and CEO of the Regenstrief Institute, is Chancellor's Professor at the Indiana University School of Medicine and holds the Sam Regenstrief Chair in Health Services Research, where he also serves as Associate Dean for Clinical Effectiveness Research. He serves, too, as Chief of Internal Medicine for Wishard Health Services, the country's third largest safety-net health care system, where much of Regenstrief's informatics development has taken place. As this year's recipient of the Collen Award, Dr. Tierney personifies persistent efforts to advance the field of biomedical and health informatics, and thus, to exalt data-driven and computer-assisted health care as the norm, both in the United States and globally. The Collen Award will be presented to Dr. Tierney at the opening plenary session of AMIA's 35th Annual Symposium on Biomedical and Health Informatics, October 23, in Washington, DC. He also will present the Symposium's Closing Keynote on Wednesday, Oct. 26, at 12:15 pm ET.

Dr. Tierney, an international leader in clinical informatics and health services research, currently serves as the chair of AMIA's International Affairs Committee and was elected a Fellow of the American College of Medical Informatics (ACMI) in 1990. He has received more than $40 million as principal investigator in grants and contracts on behalf of informatics research from federal agencies and research foundations, and has published more than 270 articles in peer-reviewed journals.

Dr. Tierney's research has focused on implementing electronic health record systems (EHRs) in hospitals and outpatient clinics both in Indiana and in East Africa, where his team of developers implemented sub-Saharan Africa's first ambulatory EHR. This ambulatory EHR system has grown to a comprehensive EHR that supports a network of more than 50 primary-care clinics in Kenya that contain more than 100 million observations derivative from more than 3 million visits, from more than 300,000 patients. With help from developers at the Regenstrief Institute, Partners in Health, and the Research Council of South Africa, the system was the model for the open-source 'OpenMRS,' the most widely implemented EHR in the developing world.

Dr. Tierney also helped implement one of the first computer-based provider- order entry (CPOE) systems in the U.S. at Wishard Health Services, Indianapolis, to enhance the quality and efficiency of health care and was the lead author of the only existing randomized, controlled trial of hospital-based CPOE.

Dr. Tierney is a member of the Institute of Medicine, a Master of the American College of Physicians, and a former president of the Society of General Internal Medicine. In 2010, he became only the second President and CEO of the Regenstrief Institute, Inc., one of the nation's oldest and most productive research organizations.

The Collen Award is named after informatics pioneer Morris F. Collen, MD, a founding physician of one of America's most outstanding health management organizations, Kaiser Permanente. Dr. Collen realized the importance of electronic health records as far back as the late 1940s, even before the advent of computers as they are known today.

Past recipients of the Collen Award are:

  • Don E. Detmer, MD (2010)
  • Betsy Humphreys, MLS (2009)
  • Robert A. Greenes, MD (2008)
  • William W. Stead, MD (2007)
  • Edward Hance Shortliffe, MD, Phd (2006)
  • Reed M. Gardner, PhD (2005)
  • Clement J. McDonald, MD (2004)
  • W. Edward Hammond, PhD (2003)
  • Marion J. Ball, EdD (2002)
  • Howard L. Bleich, MD and Warner V. Slack, MD (2001)
  • Jean-Raoul Scherrer, MD, PhD, (2000)
  • Joshua Lederberg, PhD (1999)
  • Robert S. Ledley, DDS (1998)
  • Donald A.B. Lindberg, MD (1997)
  • G. Octo Barnett, MD (1996)
  • Homer R. Warner, MD, PhD (1994)
  • Morris F. Collen, MD (1993)


Contact: Nancy Light
American Medical Informatics Association

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AMIA honors Regenstrief Institute's President and CEO  with 2011 Morris F. Collen Award
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