CHIME Names Cook Children’s Health’s Theresa Meadows CIO of the Year

The nationwide association of healthcare CIOs has named a children’s hospital CIO as CIO of the Year. Leaders at the Ann Arbor, Mich.-based College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) have chosen Theresa Meadows of the Ft. Worth, Texas,-based Cook Children’s Health System for that recognition.

The press release announcing the honor began thus: In the 1990s, Theresa Meadows was tapped to teach a new system to physicians given her rapport with them, as a cardiac transplant and interventional cardiology nurse. That temporary role ignited a passion for health care IT that would lead her to the mainstage at the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) Fall Forum conference to accept the award for CHIME 2023 CIO of the Year. The award is given annually to a CIO who has demonstrated significant leadership and a lifetime of achievement in the healthcare IT industry. The recipient is selected by the CIO of the Year Award committee comprised of past recipients and is approved by the Board of Directors of CHIME.”

 “When I looked at the list of the previous winners, I was humbled to see that over half of the names on that list have served as a mentor, role model, and supporter to me throughout my entire career,” said Meadows in her acceptance. “I cannot stress enough to emerging leaders the importance of finding strong mentors and participating in organizations like CHIME to build their professional networks. These networks have helped me grow in my career but also allowed me to give back to the industry.”

The press release continued to say that “Theresa’s experience as a nurse gives her the unique ability to fluently speak both the language of health care and technology and to marry the two disciplines seamlessly. And that’s exactly what she has done for over 20+ years. Some of the most endearing qualities exhibited by this barrier-breaker are her humility, confidence, influence, and presence.” And it quoted Russ Branzell, CHIME’s president and CEO, who said of Meadows that “Her very personal approach to leadership embodies the highest industry standards.  She has distinguished herself through her contributions to the industry and to her organization.”

The press release went on to note that “Meadows’ experience prepared her to help lead the clinical response to the greatest challenge that healthcare has faced in a lifetime.  When COVID-19 struck, her team helped physicians, nurses and other health providers see thousands of patients via virtual telemedicine visits. When the vaccine became available, they created a patient portal within days to support a massive drive-thru vaccination effort. They also continued to move forward with projects unrelated to the pandemic but certainly challenged by it. Theresa and her team recently celebrated the 1-year anniversary of the opening of Peaks Tech Zone at Cook Children’s Pediatric Specialties – Prosper. The zone is believed to be a first-of-its-kind hybrid model that blends a technology lounge with an in-person help desk where guests can get one-on-one tech assistance from a health technology advocate.”

“I am so incredibly grateful to the amazing colleagues and family that I have built through the digital health industry and here at CHIME,” said Meadows. “Thank you for supporting, challenging, and inspiring me at every step of the journey.”  

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