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Founder and CEO of Epic, Judy Faulkner, Named 2024 Glaser Award Recipient

Judy Faulkner Founder and CEO of Epic 2024 Glaser Award Recipient
Judy Faulkner, Founder and CEO of Epic, 2024 Glaser Award Recipient

In 2015, The John P. Glaser Health Informatics Society (Glaser Society) was initiated by D. Bradley McWilliams School of Biomedical Informatics at UTHealth Houston in recognition of the expertise and leadership of John P. Glaser, PhD, who is a universally recognized thought leader in the field of health informatics. The Glaser Society was created to acknowledge outstanding innovators in the field of health informatics through the John P. Glaser Health Informatics Innovator Award. The attendant annual Glaser Society Proceedings and related events provide education, collaboration, and networking opportunities for the broader community of health informatics professionals, clinicians, and students.

On October 25, 2024, Judy Faulkner, one of the early developers and champions of electronic medical records, will receive the 2024 John P. Glaser Health Informatics Innovator Award and be formally inducted into the Glaser Society by its Founding Member, John P. Glaser, PhD, and Jiajie Zhang, PhD, Dean and Professor, McWilliams School of Biomedical Informatics. Immediately after the induction ceremony, A Conversation Focused on Health IT—Evolution and Current/Future Trends will occur, followed by a reception.

Judy Faulkner, Founder and CEO of Epic, began a doctorate in Computer Science at the University of Wisconsin in 1965, where she met Professor Warner Slack, who was teaching perhaps the first course on computers in medicine. In the early 1970s, Faulkner started working with a physicians’ group at the University of Wisconsin, developing a database to track patient clinical information over time. Faulkner wrote all the code on a Data General Eclipse 16-bit minicomputer, which was roughly the size of a refrigerator. Several years later, after a good deal of badgering from her colleagues, Faulkner founded Epic in 1979.

Over the past 4+ decades, Epic has grown to more than 14,000 employees worldwide, with 12,000 individuals located at its 1,600-acre Intergalactic Headquarters in Verona, WI. More than 325M patients across the globe have a current patient record in Epic. Designated the #1 Overall Software Suite by KLAS Research for 14 years running, Epic continues as an employee-owned, developer-led company, creating software to help people get well, help people stay well, and help future generations be healthier.

Faulkner holds a BS in Mathematics from Dickinson College (Carlisle, PA) and an MS in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin (Madison, WI). She has received honorary doctorates from the University of Wisconsin, Rush University (Chicago, IL), Temple University College of Public Health (Philadelphia, PA), Dickinson College, and The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (NY, NY). Currently, she is a member of the National Academy of Medicine’s Leadership Roundtable, The Scottsdale Institute, and the Aspen Health Strategy Group. Faulkner has signed The Giving Pledge and has committed 99% of her assets to philanthropy. Faulkner and her family have established the Roots & Wings Foundation, which provides vital support to low-income children and families.

Namesake and Founder of the Glaser Society at McWilliams School of Biomedical Informatics, Dr. John P. Glaser, commented on this year’s Glaser Award recipient, observing: “I have known and followed Judy Faulkner’s pioneering work for years, and we are delighted to have an opportunity to honor her with the seventh John P. Glaser Health Informatics Innovator Award. It is impossible to properly gauge the immense influence Judy has had on the EHR and healthcare landscapes. She is a singular visionary, with one striking difference:  Leavened by empathy, Judy’s intellect is firmly grounded in the never-ending, pragmatic quest for what the patient and clinician truly need.”

Dean of McWilliams School of Biomedical Informatics, Dr. Jiajie Zhang, recently remarked: “Each year, we review a variety of potential Glaser Award candidates from academia and industry. Hands-down, no one from industry has contributed as much to Health IT and the evolution of the EHR as Judy Faulkner. She has maintained her autonomy, integrity, and patient-focused ethos during Epic’s myriad iterations—and throughout, she has added value and benefit to Epic’s patients and institutional clients through an enhanced, ever-expanding software product line.” Zhang continued his comments, stating, “For more than 30 years, I have conducted research focused on biomedical informatics, cognitive science, human technology integration, information visualization, usability and workflow, decision making, and machine learning. Early on, I recognized the importance of usability, design, and cognitive support in health information technology. Little did I know that when I led the $15M ONC SHARP Program SHARPC Project arm—which was focused on enhancing patient-centered cognitive support in EHR and health information technology—I would one day meet one of Health IT’s legends and a personal hero!”

The public is invited to attend the Glaser Society Proceedings (i.e., induction ceremony and A Conversation Focused on Health IT—Evolution and Current/Future Trends—Featuring John Glaser, Judy Faulkner, and Ivo Nelson; 3:50 pm-5:30 pm) and reception (5:30 pm-6:45 pm) hosted by McWilliams School of Biomedical Informatics on October 25, 2024. These events will be conducted at the IMM Building (1825 Pressler at Fannin), which is adjacent the UTHealth Houston University Center Tower (7000 Fannin); more specifically, the Glaser Society Proceedings will be held in the IMM Beth Robertson Auditorium and the reception will be in the IMM Atrium; parking is available at 7000 Fannin. Due to space limitations, an RSVP is required. To RSVP or to obtain more information, contact Judy E. Young at [email protected].

Abbreviated Bio of John P. Glaser, PhD

Dr. John P. Glaser is an Executive-in-Residence at the Harvard Medical School Executive Education Program. Previously, he held the posts of Senior Vice President of Population Health, Cerner Corporation; Chief Executive Officer, Siemens Health Services; and Chief Information Officer, Partners HealthCare (now, Mass General Brigham). In addition, he was Founding Chair of the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME); President of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS); Chair of the Global Agenda Council on Digital Health, World Economic Forum; and Senior Advisor to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC). He serves on the boards of the Scottsdale Institute, Neu Health, Lumeon, National Committee for Quality Assurance, Wellsheet, Relatient, and the Student Conservation Association. Glaser has received numerous awards, including the John P. Glaser Health Informatics Innovator Award (established by McWilliams School of Biomedical Informatics in 2015), the William B. Stead Thought Leadership Award (American Medical Informatics Association), and a Lifetime Achievement Award from CHIME. He received his PhD from the University of Minnesota, and has written over 200 articles and three books on the strategic application of IT in health care. Glaser is on the faculty of McWilliams School of Biomedical Informatics and the Harvard School of Public Health; he formerly served on the faculty of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Previous Glaser Award Recipients

In 2016, Ivo D. Nelson, a notable health information technology entrepreneur, was accorded the first John P. Glaser Health Informatics Innovator Award (Glaser Award); Dr. David Westfall Bates, Harvard’s internationally renowned patient safety expert, was presented the Glaser Award in 2017; H. Stephen Lieber, former President & CEO of the Health Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), received the 2018 Glaser Award; Grahame Grieve, Founder of HL7 FHIR and FHIR Product Director at HL7 International, accepted the 2019 Glaser Award; after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, Dr. Clement “Clem” J. McDonald, Chief Health Data Standards Officer of the National Institutes of Health National Library of Medicine, was given the 2022 Glaser Award; and Dr. Marion Jokl Ball, an extraordinary proponent of health informatics and technologies that ameliorate health and healthcare, received the 2023 John P. Glaser Health Informatics Innovator Award.

About D. Bradley McWilliams School of Biomedical Informatics at UTHealth Houston

McWilliams School of Biomedical Informatics at UTHealth Houston is the largest biomedical informatics program in the nation, the sole program of its kind to exist as a free-standing school named by the transformational gift of a generous donor, and an international leader in Medical AI research and education. With 68 regular faculty, 65+ adjunct faculty, 140 research staff, 50 administrative staff, and more than 400 graduate students, McWilliams School has diverse course offerings across its three departments: Health Data Science and AI, Clinical and Health Informatics, and Bioinformatics and Systems Medicine. The mission of the school is to collect, process, and convert data—ranging from molecules to populations—into actionable information, knowledge, and intelligence; to educate current and future leaders, innovators, and problem-solvers across Texas, the nation, and the world; and to disrupt, transform, and innovate to elicit biomedical discoveries, improve healthcare delivery, and aid in disease prevention by conducting outstanding basic and applied research and developing impactful information technology products and solutions. McWilliams School of Biomedical Informatics offers a unique collaborative research/learning environment focused on transdisciplinary programs—bringing together the engineering, computer, and biomedical sciences. True to its vision, McWilliams School of Biomedical Informatics is Transforming Data to Power Human Health™.

Kara Rettenmund (Epic)

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