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Episode 162: Workgroup Voices, The Inner Workings of Prior Authorization

ONC’s Micky Tripathi one of the industry leaders honored for contributions to further WEDI’s mission and national health IT industry initiatives.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — December 15, 2023 — WEDI, the nation’s authority on efficient health care information exchange, and a statutory advisor to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), proudly announced the winners of its esteemed annual awards program. This program celebrates the extraordinary contributions of industry leaders and the invaluable dedication of the organization’s volunteers. The announcement of each award recipient was a highlight of the 2023 WEDI Annual Membership Meeting held earlier this week.

“The 2023 WEDI award recipients embody innovation and unwavering commitment to the advancement of health IT. It was our distinct honor to acknowledge these outstanding individuals and organizations for their significant contributions,” said Charles W. Stellar, president and CEO of WEDI. “Our heartfelt congratulations go out to each of the 2023 award winners. We deeply appreciate their steadfast dedication to fulfilling WEDI's vision and objectives, and their vital role in advancing national health and wellness.”

The award winners included:

Health IT Champion – The Louis W. Sullivan Award – Named in honor of the Honorable Louis W. Sullivan, MD, the former HHS Secretary who was instrumental in the creation of WEDI and initiating our industry’s ongoing commitment to improving health care through the development and deployment of standards for administrative simplification. This award recognizes an individual who has distinguished themselves through their leadership, vision, and achievements in advancing the efficiency of health care. The 2023 Sullivan Award was awarded to Micky Tripathi, Ph.D., National Coordinator for Health Information Technology.

Leadership in Volunteerism - The Andrew Melczer Award – Named in honor of the late Andrew Melczer who committed his career to health care and devoted his life to helping, teaching, and sharing with others. This award recognizes an individual who has provided exemplary service by giving their time to WEDI and the health IT industry. Stanley Nachimson, Nachimson Advisors, is the 2023 award recipient.

Innovation in Health IT Award - Recognizes an organization such as a provider, health plan or vendor that has contributed to the advancement of HIT and advancing administrative automation and technology in health care. The 2023 awardee is Cambia Health Solutions. 

Chair’s Award – This award is presented at the discretion of the WEDI Chair to individuals who have demonstrated exceptional leadership and commitment to the advancement of specific WEDI initiatives. The 2023 recipients of this award are:

  • Denny Brennan, Massachusetts Health Data Consortium
  • Merri-Lee Stine, Aetna Inc, a CVS Health Company

Excellence in Service Award – This award recognizes individuals who have provided significant leadership to the fulfillment of the mission, objectives, programs, and overall volunteer activities of WEDI through participation in committees, workgroups, Board of Directors, among others. The following are the 2023 recipients of this award:

  • Amanda Abbott, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas
  • Janice Bakos, Aetna Inc, a CVS Health Company
  • Terry Cunningham, American Hospital Association
  • Donna Campbell, Health Care Service Corporation
  • Beth Davis, Veradigm
  • Heather McComas, American Medical Association
  • Michael Pattwell, Edifecs
  • Tom Wilder, UnitedHealthcare

For more information on the 2023 awardees or on 2024 WEDI educational programming, please visit


About WEDI
WEDI was formed in 1991 by then HHS Secretary Dr. Louis Sullivan to identify opportunities to improve the efficiency of health data exchange. WEDI was named in the HIPAA legislation as an advisor to the Secretary of HHS. Recognized and trusted as a formal advisor to the Secretary, WEDI is the leading authority on the use of health information technology to efficiently improve health information exchange, enhance care quality, and reduce costs. With a focus on advancing standards for electronic administrative transactions, and promoting data privacy and security, WEDI has been instrumental in aligning the industry to harmonize administrative and clinical data. For more information, please visit

Samantha Holvey
Director, Workgroups & Communication

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