Dr. Hersh receives HIMSS Physician IT Leadership Award

January 9, 2015

Dr. William HershWilliam Hersh, M.D., FACP, FACMI, professor and chair of medical informatics and clinical epidemiology, OHSU School of Medicine, has been named the recipient of the 2014 HIMSS Physician IT Leadership Award. The Physician IT Leadership Award recognizes significant leadership in the area of applying IT to the needs of physicians while serving the Society and/or the industry. The Physician IT Leadership Award recognizes a single exceptional contribution, sustained contribution or lifetime of exceptional leadership.

Dr. Hersh has been at OHSU since 1990, and has led the development of research and educational programs in biomedical and health informatics. He developed and serves as director of all graduate biomedical informatics education programs at OSHU. He also led the development of OHSU’s distance learning programs. 

An engaged HIMSS member, he has actively supported HIMSS at both the local and national levels for many years. At the local level, he has been an active member of the HIMSS Oregon chapter, serving on the advisory council, and as a presenter and co-sponsor of various events. At the national level, he has been an invited speaker at the HIMSS Annual Conference & Exhibition for over a decade. He is a well-respected leader within the HIMSS Physician Community.  His innovative and educational efforts have contributed to the advancement of health IT and clinical informatics. Hersh is also a regular contributor to the HIMSS Clinical Informatics Insights eNewsletter. 

With dedication to the informatics field, Dr. Hersh also conceptualized and implemented the first offering of the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) 10x10 program, an introductory course in biomedical informatics completed by over 1,800 individuals. 

He has also played an instrumental role in the new physicians’ subspecialty of clinical informatics and was among the first cohort of physicians to achieve certification in the new subspecialty in 2013. Among his accomplishments, he 

  • served as the first course director of the first Clinical Informatics Board Review Course
  • was among the first physicians to be board-certified in the new field
  • provided guidance in his writings to many physicians who are seeking to achieve board certification.

In addition, Dr. Hersh will serve as director of one of the first fellowships that has been accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). Several other clinical informatics fellowship programs from other institutions will use online curricular materials from OHSU's educational program that he directs. His active research program also continues in clinical informatics with a particular interest in uses and limitations of the secondary use of clinical data for research and quality measurement. 

“While Dr. Hersh’s accomplishments within the health IT community are vast, it is his commitment to the education of those in our field that I believe will be his lasting legacy.  As director of OHSU’s graduate biomedical informatics education programs, he has led some of this country’s premier informatics programs. His efforts in organizing and leading a comprehensive clinical informatics review course, put together months before the exam was first administered, allowed many physicians to be well prepared for this new exam,” said Caitlin Cusack, M.D., MPH, HIMSS Physician Committee chair. 

Dr. Hersh will be honored at the Awards Gala on Tuesday, April 14, during the 2015 HIMSS  Annual Conference & Exhibition on April 12-16, in Chicago, Ill.