HIMSS expands international presence because 'we are all facing the same challenges'

HIMSS announced that it has hired new top executives, Charles Alessi, MD and Bruce Steinberg, as UK e-Health Week kicks off in London.

Alessi is the new HIMSS International Chief Clinical Officer and Steinberg is Managing Director and Executive Vice President of HIMSS International.  

“We are all facing the same challenges on a global platform,” HIMSS CEO Hal Wolf. “I think everyone recognizes that the traditional encounter-based care is changing. We have to be digital or we won’t be able to take care of the aging population. The big picture for us is to be a partner at any level through information and technology.”

To that end, Alessi brings more than 25 years of experience in the UK National Health Service with a focus on healthy aging and reducing the risk of dementia, digital interventions, behavioral change, antibiotic prescribing and air quality, among others. As Chief Clinical Officer, Alessi will focus on forging stronger relationships among international clinician communities.

“Most are grappling with the new digital revolution taking place at a speed that is quite extraordinary,” Alessi said. “The CCO can assist members by bringing the experience of knowing what’s happening around the whole globe and identifying good practices potentially customized to their local geography.”

Steinberg’s international background includes working at Disney, MTV Europe, News Corp., Viacom, and serving as CEO of digital mental health specialist Big White Wall.

Steinberg will draw on the experience to “address the possibility for new technologies that enable transformation to improve the healthcare experience and lower costs,” he said. “We all need to use a limited amount of resources to help improve facilities and care.”

Wolf said that all the governments and many hospitals around the world are reaching a critical point of needing to figure out new delivery systems, different ways to innovate, and hiring Alessi and Steinberg can help HIMSS bring global thought leadership and put it in a regional context.

“When we get together around the world we learn from each other and people are moving away from ‘not invented here’ syndrome at a rapid rate, it’s happening at an unparalleled level,” Wolf said.

Alessi added that healthcare needs to become more personalized by embracing digital technologies in ways it has not done before.

“The realization is that we have to do this together,” Alessi said. “Digital has enormous advantages, it’s one of the best levelers, but it needs a lot of explanation.”

Wolf added that Alessi and Steinberg also bring more expertise in change management to HIMSS.

“Instituting change, and trying to do it at breakneck speed because we have burning platforms, is hard,” Wolf said. “The next five years are absolutely critical or the next 10 may be unbearable.” 

The appointments of Alessi and Steinberg follows HIMSS acquiring Healthbox in early March.

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