NCGENES project recognized as a health IT innovation by NCHICA


Chapel Hill, May 9, 2013 – Tuesday, May 7, marked the first annual Health IT Innovation Awards sponsored by the North Carolina Healthcare Information and Communications Alliance (NCHICA). RENCI had a strong presence at the awards event, held at the Friday Center in Chapel Hill, and walked away with the top award for health IT innovation in the research applications category.

The research applications Health IT innovation award went to RENCI’s NCGENES project team. First, I want to congratulate Phil Owen, RENCI Research Software Architect and a key member of the NCGENES project team. NCGENES is an informatics framework that systemizes genomic analysis in order to mine genomic data for better healthcare decisions and research uses.

Phil Owen, RENCI research software architect, accepted the award for the RENCI team, which includes co-principal investigator Kirk Wilhelmsen, also with the UNC genetics department, Chris Bizon, Erik Scott, Josh Salisbery, Dylan Young, and Jason Reilly. Other lead investigators on the NCGENES project are Jim Evans, Bryson Professor of Genetics and Medicine at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, and Jonathan Berg, an assistant professor in the UNC genetics department.

Another RENCI project led by Senior Research Scientist Ketan Mane was selected as a finalist in the research applications category. The project is a collaboration with the Duke University School of Medicine that uses data from an Electronic Medical Records database of more than 2 million psychiatric patients at the point of care to help clinicians make more informed, targeted treatment decisions for their patients.

“We applaud the exemplary work these organizations are doing to improve health and healthcare,” said Holt Anderson, executive director of NCHICA. “ “It is through these types of innovations that we will transform the U.S. healthcare system with improved clinical outcomes.”

NCHICA is a nonprofit consortium dedicated to assisting its members in accelerating the transformation of the U.S. healthcare system through the effective use of information technology, informatics, and analytics. The awards ceremony was sponsored by Intel, the North Carolina Technology Association (NCTA), the North Carolina and Georgia chapters of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS),  Carolinas HealthCare System, CDW, and the Duke Center for Health Informatics.

Read the NCHICA news release on the award winners.