Press Releases

WEDI Honors Industry Leaders through Award Ceremony

October 28, 2015

Health IT leaders recognized for contributions to further association and health IT industry initiatives

RESTON, Va. — October 28, 2015 —  WEDI, the nation’s leading authority on the use of health IT to create efficiencies in healthcare information exchange, announces the winners of its annual awards program. Each award recipient was announced during WEDI-Con 2015 in Reston, Va. on Wednesday, October 28.

“Each year at WEDI-Con, WEDI is proud to honor many of healthcare’s most respected experts and thought leaders,” said Devin Jopp, Ed.D, president and CEO of WEDI. “Voted on by our Board of Directors, these awards provide recognition of the tireless efforts and tremendous accomplishments gained to further the quality and efficiency of our nation’s healthcare system.”

Sullivan Award – Named in honor of WEDI founder and former HHS Secretary, The Honorable Louis W. Sullivan, MD, this award was first presented to Dr. Sullivan in 2001 and recognizes individuals who have distinguished themselves through their leadership, vision and achievements in advancing the overall quality and efficiency of healthcare. The 2015 Sullivan Award was presented to Dr. Walter Suarez, Executive Director of Health IT Strategy and Policy at Kaiser Permanente and Chairman of the National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics (NCVHS).

Melczer Award – This award recognizes an individual who has provided exemplary service by giving their time to the association and healthcare IT industry activities on a national basis. The late Andrew Melczer committed his career to healthcare and devoted his life to helping, teaching, and sharing with others. Melczer exemplified these characteristics through his volunteerism with WEDI. Grant Wood, Senior IT Strategist at Intermountain Health Care Clinical Genetics Institute, is the 2015 recipient of the Melczer Award.

HIT Government Champion Award – This award recognizes exceptional government personnel who have supported policy that advances the Health IT industry. The 2015 HIT Government Champion Award was presented to Shana Olshan, Director of the National Standards Group (NSG) at the Office of Enterprise Information at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).  Olshan has been an active ally of WEDI and has helped build government support on many new initiatives.

Outstanding Corporate Sponsor Award – This award is given to a company that has championed progress in the Health IT industry through their continued commitment to WEDI’s sponsorship programs. The 2015 awardee was InterSystems, a global provider of advanced software technologies including data management, strategic interoperability and analytics platforms.

Chairperson Award – This award recognizes a WEDI member’s dedication and service to the principles and ideals of the association. The 2015 recipient of this award was Gail Kocher, Director of Industry Standards and eHealth at BlueCross BlueShield Association.

Outstanding Leadership Award – This award recognizes Workgroup/Taskforce or Subworkgroup Co-Chairs who have consistently contributed to the growth, success and impact their group has made on the industry. The 2015 recipients of this award were:

  • Tammy Banks, Vice President of Interoperability Program Development at UnitedHealth Group Optum Cloud Team;
  • Rob Gibran, Senior Technical Consultant at Cognosante;
  • Tina Greene, Senior Regulatory Affairs Consultant at Mitchell International;
  • Peggy Honts, Vice President of Consulting Services at AXIOM Systems Inc.;
  • Stanley Nachimson, Owner at Nachimson Advisors, LLC;
  • Jay Sultan, Strategy Advisor at Edifecs; and
  • Sherry Wilson, Executive Vice President and Chief Compliance Officer of Jopari Solutions, Inc.

Volunteer Service – This certificate recognizes a leader in the making – someone who is making a real contribution and a real difference within WEDI. This award recognizes someone who has actively supported the efforts of their workgroup, subworkgroup or taskforce through their commitment, leadership, team play and productivity. The 2015 recipients of this award were:

  • Rhonda Buckholtz, Vice President of Strategic Development at AAPC;
  • Crystal Ewing, Product Manager at Zirmed;
  • Dora Lambert, Associate, Health Data Standards at Cognosante;
  • Joe Nichols, Principal of Health Data Consulting, Inc.; and
  • Corey Spears, Director of Standards and Interoperability at Healthagen.

Distinguished Service – 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, PAGs, Board of Directors, among others. The 2015 recipients of this award include:

  • Jim Daley, Director of  Information Technology Risk and Compliance at BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina;
  • Laurie Darst, Revenue Cycle Regulatory Advisor at Mayo Clinic;
  • Gail Kocher, Director of Industry Standards and eHealth at BlueCross BlueShield Association; and
  • Rob Tennant, Policy Director of Health Information Technology at MGMA.

For more information on the 2015 awardees or on the WEDI-Con conference, please visit

About WEDI

The Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange (WEDI) is the leading authority on the use of health IT to improve healthcare information exchange in order to enhance the quality of care, improve efficiency, and reduce costs of our nation’s healthcare system. WEDI was formed in 1991 by the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) and was designated in the 1996 HIPAA legislation as an advisor to HHS. WEDI’s membership includes a broad coalition of organizations, including: hospitals, providers, health plans, vendors, government agencies, consumers, not-for-profit organizations, and standards development organizations. To learn more, visit and connect with us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.



Press contact information:

Dave Anderson