Cofounder and former President and CEO of the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) Richard A. Correll announced his plans to retire at the end of the month, after 23 years. Correll has been serving as the organization's chief operating officer and senior strategic advisor since April 2013 following the appointment of CEO Russell P. Branzell.
Correll, who championed the emergence of the chief information officer (CIO) in health care, has led the CHIME organization since it was created more than two decades ago as a nonprofit, professional association for senior IT leaders in health care.
"My years serving CHIME have been a privilege and the most rewarding of my career," says Correll. "With the indispensable support of our members, board and staff, the organization has become a recognized leader and advocate for the CIO role and the effective use of information management to improve patient care quality and safety.
Correll, along with prominent health care and vendor executives, formed CHIME in 1992, enlisting 192 charter members in the first year, led by founding board chair Dr. John Glaser. While serving on the HIMSS board in the 1980s, Correll identified the need for a professional organization dedicated to the development of the emerging top HIT executives taking on the new title of CIO. Today, CHIME has grown to more than 1,500 members and 150 Foundation firm supporters.
"Our ability to utilize information technology to improve the quality, safety, and efficiency of care has been significantly furthered because of the efforts of Rich Correll," says Glaser, senior vice president of Cerner. "Rich's creation and leadership of CHIME have led to major advances in the knowledge, skills, and capabilities of the healthcare IT leadership community. His legacy is substantial; we all have been shaped his work."
After CHIME was formed, Correll and Glaser spearheaded the creation of the CHIME Foundation in 1994, comprising HIT vendors and consultants to partner with the members of CHIME, and in 2007, a second office location in Washington, D.C. to create sustained contact with lawmakers while informing and influencing federal policies meant to transform the delivery of health care through IT.
Correll also helped to pioneer many of the programs and strategic imperatives now considered to be the backbone of the CHIME organization, including the Fall CIO Forum, which has become a hallmark event for high quality CIO education and networking, and fostering relationships with other leading industry associations resulting in mutually beneficial, long-term partnerships.
"The American Hospital Association [AHA] is grateful for Rich's long and successful leadership role in information management, an increasingly important and integral part of health care's transformation," says Neil Jesuele, executive vice president for the AHA, and president of Health Forum. "Rich was a terrific ambassador for CHIME and was at the forefront of establishing a trusted partnership with the AHA that continues to grow to this day. Rich was instrumental in so many of the connections to the AHA such as Most Wired and the Health Forum-AHA Leadership Summit that expanded the reach and impact of CHIME."
Correll began his career in health care in 1973 at El Camino Hospital working under the leadership of John E. Gall Jr. in the implementation of the world's first hospitalwide medical information system. He went on to become corporate director of management systems at Harper-Grace Hospitals in Detroit and president of California Health Management Systems in California. He later became the inaugural president of the Center for Healthcare Information Management (CHIM), established within the AHA in 1986 to invest funds donated by vendors and consultants in the growth of HIMSS. It was during that time that HIMSS established an exhibition floor, more than doubled in size, and became recognized for hosting the premier HIT conference and tradeshow.
"Rich's contributions and accomplishments throughout his entire career have been instrumental in establishing IT leadership in the health care industry," says Branzell, CHIME CEO and president. "I've known Rich and have been involved with CHIME for over 17 years, and his vision and guidance have shaped the careers of countless industry CIOs. His presence will be greatly missed."
"Rich's leadership of CHIME has advanced our profession immensely over these 23 years, establishing the CIO as a full partner in our executive suites," says Bill Spooner, long-time CHIME member, past board chair, and retired CIO of San Diego-based Sharp HealthCare. "I am especially grateful for the guidance and partnership he offered during my time on the CHIME board, while I served as chair, and in the years since."
"I've had the privilege of knowing and working with Rich since our days together at El Camino Hospital in the 1970s," says Richard L. Rydell, CEO of the Association of Medical Directors of Information Systems. "He was a leader in the field of management systems and through his founding of CHIM, and later CHIME, he became a leader and influencer in information systems. I have always appreciated Rich's dedication to improving patient care through the use of information technology."
"It's a distinct honor for me to extend deep, personal congratulations to Rich Correll upon his retirement from CHIME. He has been a blessing to the entire CIO community and health care industry at large," says Larry Grandia, who served on the founding CHIME Board of Trustees from 1992 to 1994. "I've known Rich for more than three decades and it's been gratifying to witness his contributions to an industry he loves and a profession he has worked successfully to lift. Rich has routinely focused his efforts on the industry and on others. His leadership behavior has never been about himself.
"Rich's retirement is well deserved," continues Grandia, retired CIO and current board member of Salt Lake City-based Health Catalyst. "He will be remembered by a grateful many of our profession. Given his contributions at the very dawn of the role of the health care CIO, all among our ranks will miss his impact ... even those who have never met Rich. Such is the legacy of one who has made a real difference from the very beginning of a profession."
"I speak not only for the board but for all CIOs when I extend my sincere thanks and appreciation for Rich's vision, guidance, and stewardship," says CHIME Board of Trustees Chair Charles E. Christian, vice president of technology and engagement for the Indiana Health Information Exchange. "Rich has led CHIME with an unwavering passion and commitment to the health care CIO role. We are all better for his contributions and friendship."
Spanning his 45-year career, Correll has received numerous professional recognitions, including the 50 in 50 Award—a HIMSS 2011 recognition of 50 individuals over its 50-year history who have exemplified memorable achievements in HIT, as well as awards of recognition from the CHIME Board for his leadership.
Correll is a past member of the HIMSS Board of Directors (1985 to 1992) and a life fellow member of HIMSS. A native of Ann Arbor, Michigan, Correll earned an undergraduate degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of Michigan and a Master's in Business Administrative from Wayne State University.
Correll says he looks forward to beginning the next phase of his life where he will be able to spend more time with his wife Wendy and two daughters, as well as more time to expand his humanitarian activities through community service. He adds, that "with the current volunteer leadership by the board, supported by a great staff, the organization is progressing into a number of new areas that will be of great value to members of CHIME and the CHIME Foundation alike."
Source: The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives