After turning his own tragic loss into a passion project to fight the opioid epidemic, Stanford Health Chief Information Officer Ed Kopetsky was named the 2018 CIO of the Year by HIMSS and the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME).
Last year, Kopetsky—who is the top IT executive at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital and Stanford Children's Health—became one of the first co-chairs of the newly formed CHIME Opioid Task Force. He took on the role after losing his 31-year-old son Tim Kopetsky to an opioid overdose.
“Ed is one of the most courageous people I know,” said Russell Branzell, president and CEO of CHIME, in a statement. “Ed has turned a personal tragedy into a mission for CHIME and our members that already is saving lives. He has a vision of what can be achieved when healthcare IT leaders work together, and with his leadership we are making inroads against this devastating opioid epidemic."
The boards of CHIME and HIMSS said they selected Kopetsky for his dedication to the profession, which has included launching and sustaining numerous initiatives over the decades, to help the industry grow. He was among the pioneering CIOs to become founding members of CHIME in 1992 and has been an active member of HIMSS since 1987.
Kopetsky joined Stanford Children’s as CIO in 2009, where he oversaw the implementation of enterprise systems, including an integrated electronic health record across Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford and Stanford Children’s Health.
He previously worked as a partner at professional services organization Healthlink, which was acquired by IBM in 2005. Kopetsky also formerly served as CIO of Colorado-based health system Centura Health from 1996 to 2000 and CIO of San Diego-based Sharp HealthCare from 1986 to 1996.
The award is named for John E. Gall Jr., who pioneered health information systems in the 1960s. Last year’s honor went to Randy McCleese, CIO of Methodist Hospital in Kentucky.
“I have had the great fortune to work with and learn from many healthcare executives and IT leaders, and to have talented teams working alongside me throughout my career,” Kopetsky said in a statement. “I am honored to have been nominated, and to have CHIME and HIMSS select me for this award.”
Kopetsky will be honored on Feb. 11 at the 2019 CHIME HIMSS CIO Forum in Orlando, Florida, and officially receive the award at the HIMSS19 conference that runs Feb. 11-15 in Orlando.