We are DHIT.

A non-profit education and research institute supporting communities through the process of digital health transformation. We collaborate with leading academic institutions, associations, and industry to cultivate talent and ecosystems with our immersive learning platform, harnessing real-world experiences that drive the adoption of next generation skills, capabilities and mindsets needed to foster the digital health leaders and innovators of the future, today.

OUR MISSION

We make a positive impact by creating the environment for Open Innovation to flourish and driving the development of transformative digital health solutions.

MANAGEMENT TEAM

Michael Levy

Michael Levy

President

Michael is a passionate healthcare executive turned digital health evangelist and entrepreneur. In addition to co-founding Bluedoor, Michael has served as Entrepreneur-in-Residence for the Center for Health Innovation at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he has designed and developed their Digital Health Program in support of UNC’s Digital Transformation strategy. Prior to Bluedoor and UNC, Michael was Co-founder and COO of Digital Therapy, a cognitive computing platform powered by IBM Watson in the behavioral health space. His previous leadership roles include Vice Chair of Administration for the Department of Medicine at the University of Miami Health System, engineering a $15 million turnaround within his first year; and Director of Clinical Operations for UNC Health Care’s specialty ambulatory clinics where continued growth and expansion were achieved. Michael also held several leadership roles at UCLA Health within various clinical departments. He has a BSc in Neuroscience from Tulane University in New Orleans and an MBA from Elon University in North Carolina.

Keith Duprey

Keith Duprey

Executive Director

Keith is passionate about marketing strategy. He sees opportunities where most see problems and is constantly advocating for customer experience while collecting valuable data along the way. His love of customers, brands, data and marketing began in college – receiving his degree in Marketing from SMU in Dallas, TX; Keith went on to work with higher education brands the University of South Carolina and Emory University’s Goizueta School of Business; cutting his teeth on database and loyalty marketing at Delta Air Lines; working to manage new product development, relationship marketing and innovation at Turner; growing share of Interface’s modular carpet business in key priority segments of corporate, education, healthcare, and multifamily; and now shifting his career to digital health products and services that will lead to empowering patients and providers with better data leading to better health outcomes.

Tony Solari

Tony Solari

VP, Government Relations

Tony is a legislative affairs and public policy expert with over 20 years of experience representing state agencies, non-profit and for-profit organizations at the NC General Assembly and previously at the Executive Branch and regulatory agencies. Tony served for eight years as Director of Government Relations and Senior Policy Adviser to State Treasurer Janet Cowell, and nine years as Director of Government Relations and Senior Policy Adviser to North Carolina’s Smart Start program. In 2012, Tony was listed as being one of the most influential lobbyists by the North Carolina Center for Nonprofits. Tony’s areas of expertise include digital and public health policy, public pension funds, public sector investing, public debt issuance and management, and economic development. Tony has extensive grassroots lobbying experience and has worked in over a dozen states managing grassroots advocacy campaigns and fostering collaboration on a variety of policy issues. Tony is a graduate of Rutgers University and holds both a Masters degree and PhD in political science from Duke University. Tony teaches courses in public policy, American political thought, American government, and legislative policy and process at NC State University. Tony was a Robert R. Wilson Fellow at Duke University and the winner of the 2012 “Spirit of Inquiry” award from the Art Pope Center.

Brian Cooper

Brian Cooper

Chief of Staff, VP of Operations
With a career spanning from academic medical centers to oversight of government programs, Brian Cooper is a seasoned leader of statewide initiatives with a particular emphasis on telehealth programs. Brian is an advocate for rural and underserved communities and he is passionate about the use of digital health to impact access to care, clinical pathways, wellness, and the human condition. His previous roles have involved program management, strategic planning, partnership development, grant funding, and execution of complex workplans. His work with the North Carolina Statewide Telepsychiatry Program and the North Carolina Flex Program has achieved national attention from the White House Rural Council, the National Governors Association (NGA), the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA), and the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO). Brian’s previous roles at UNC Health Care, Duke Health, Ciox Health, and the North Carolina Office of Rural Health have established him as a telehealth subject matter expert and thought leader. He regularly serves in an advisory role to organizations wishing to redesign healthcare delivery, including the Mid-Atlantic Telehealth Resource Center, the North Carolina Healthcare Information & Communications Alliance (NCHICA), and the North Carolina Rural Health Leadership Alliance.
Rick Melnyck

Rick Melnyck

Chief Learning Officer

A former healthcare executive at the University of Miami Health System and Miller School of Medicine, Melnyck is the founder of personal development blog, Prime Your Pump.com, where he has written hundreds of articles in the self-improvement arena. The blog covers a wide breadth of topics and discusses them in entertaining ways that can easily be made actionable to improve people’s lives.

At UHealth, he served as both chief administrator for the health system as Assistant Vice President for Medical Affairs and directed the system’s process improvement and project management office as Executive Director of Process Improvement.

Rick is a Six Sigma Master Black Belt and the co-author of A Guide to Six Sigma and Process Improvement for Practitioners and Students published in 2015 by Pearson Financial Times Press. He has taught process improvement in both the School of Business and the Miller School of Medicine at the University of Miami. Rick has consulted on quality, productivity, and related matters with many organizations. A native of Ontario, Canada, he received his MS in Management Science (2008), MBA (2002), and MS in Computer Information Systems (2002) from the University of Miami.

Connie Mester, MPH

Connie Mester, MPH

Advisor

As a former educator transformed into a health innovator through previous roles as start-up founder, strategic leader, business consultant, marketing executive and behavioral scientist, Connie takes pride in blending personal empathy, business intelligence, diverse insights, and creative strategies to influence change and accelerate purposeful innovation. Through an eclectic career spanning organizations large and small, global and local, publicly traded and non-profit, she has led global teams with budgets that total in the multi-millions and partnered with cross-functional leaders delivering a track record of success launching new companies, products and brands and building effective interventions to drive behavior change.

ADVISORY BOARD

Michael Ruhlen, MD, MHCM, FAAP

Michael Ruhlen, MD, MHCM, FAAP

Director of Charlotte AHEC and VP of Medical Education at Atrium Health

Dr. Michael Ruhlen serves as the vice president of the division of medical education at Atrium Health and as director of Charlotte Area Health Education Center. He is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and holds a Master of Science in Health Care Management from the Harvard School of Public Health. He trained in general pediatrics at Children’s Hospital National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. In his previous roles at ProMedica in Toledo, Ohio, he served as vice president of medical affairs at Toledo Children’s Hospital and corporate vice president of medical informatics and was appointed president in 2008, just prior to relocating to Atrium Health (then Carolinas Health System). Ruhlen has exercised national leadership positions in the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Society of Hospital Medicine, the Accreditation Review Commission on Education of the Physician Assistant, and the Accreditation Review Committee of the ACCME. 

Leah Townsend, PhD

Leah Townsend, PhD

Director of Professional Programs, UNC Graduate School; CEO, Pulvinar Neuro

Dr. Townsend is responsible for coordinating all administrative functions associated with professional programs within the purview of The Graduate School, including three Professional Science Master’s programs and the Graduate Certificate in Business Fundamentals.

Dr. Townsend holds a doctoral degree in neurobiology from UNC-Chapel Hill and a Business Essentials Certificate from Kenan-Flagler Business School. Prior to her new role within The Graduate School, she served as Associate Strategy Consultant with the Triangle Insights Group. Her key responsibilities included advising life science and biotech clients and leading Ph.D. recruiting efforts in North Carolina and nationally.

Ian Chuang, MD, MS, CCFP

Ian Chuang, MD, MS, CCFP

Chief Medical Officer, EMEALA and APAC, Elsevier Health, International

Dr. Chuang is the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) for Elsevier, an information analytics business within the UK-based, FTSE-listed RELX group, covering APAC & EMEALA. Dr. Chuang’s focus at Elsevier is collaborating with healthcare leaders to improve Healthcare Information Technology (HCIT) adoption, especially as it relates to clinical decision support, and improving health system decisions and processes of care to improve outcomes.

Dr. Chuang has long been committed to moving the healthcare model from an analog model based on paper processes, to a true digital model where information technology supports a redesigned model of care. His experience spans the entire care continuum, including applied healthcare informatics, controlled medical terminology, knowledge representation, clinical decision support (CDS) and analytics. Prior to joining Elsevier, he was in clinical leadership roles at Medecision, Cigna and Cerner, covering both strategic-level management of healthcare systems and hands-on implementation of process optimization at the point-of-care. His insights cover the full spectrum of delivering knowledge-driven care, whether it is capturing and structuring data, analytics and predictive modeling, or CDS functionalities intersecting with clinical workflow.

Dr. Chuang holds a doctor of medicine degree from the University of Toronto and a Master’s degree in administrative medicine from University of Wisconsin. He holds an adjunct assistant professor position in the Department of Biomedical and Health Informatics at the University of Missouri.

Anika Gardenhire, RN, CPHIMS, MMCi

Anika Gardenhire, RN, CPHIMS, MMCi

AVP Digital Transformation, Intermountain Healthcare

Anika is a healthcare strategist, technology leader, and registered nurse, with significant experience working as a clinical change agent assisting clinicians, and information technology professionals, to utilize information systems to ensure excellent patient care. Anika joined Intermountain as a consultant in 2015. In that capacity she served as the Leidos Program Administrator for the approximately 50 Leidos consultants and 350 event resources assisting the iCentra implementation. Anika is currently responsible for activities in Intermountain Healthcare’s emerging technology, data governance, advanced decision support, knowledge management, research informatics, precision health and biorepository system support, architecture, outreach products and strategy, and business and clinical transformation areas working with partners and key stakeholders to drive transformational change throughout the organization. She is focused on assisting clinical and operational leaders to utilize new technologies to increase operational efficiency. Anika works to anticipate business needs and support business strategic roadmaps, as well as overseeing governance and standards for CTIS operations. Previously, Anika worked as a Principal with Leidos and Senior Manager with Deloitte serving as an advisor to executives across many prestigious institutions including Mayo Clinic and members of the Ministry of Health British Columbia, Canada.

Sujoy Kar, MD

Sujoy Kar, MD

Chief Medical Information Officer & Vice President, Apollo Hospitals

Dr. Sujoy Kar is the Chief Medical Information Officer & Vice President at Apollo Hospitals, one of the largest health systems in India. Previously, he was the Director of Medical Services at Apollo Gleneagles Hospitals in Kolkata. He obtained his post graduate MD in Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases and is an alumnus of MIT Sloan School of Management. He is a Certified Six Sigma Master Black Belt (Indian Statistical Institute) and member of professional organisations like ACHE, VRARA (Member – Healthcare Sub Committee), CHIME and Harvard Square (LE).

Sujoy is currently associated with IIT Kharagpur & IIM Calcutta as Adjunct Faculty for Healthcare Analytics and Management. He has led teams in multiple award winning Patient Safety & Process Improvement projects. His current and ongoing research interests are in the adoption of Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain Technology in Healthcare, Time-Driven Activity Based Costing, Living Labs, Digital Health Platforms and Design Thinking in Healthcare.

Tim Wiltshire, PhD

Tim Wiltshire, PhD

Associate Professor, Division of Pharmacotherapy, Eshelman School of Pharmacy, UNC Chapel Hill

Tim Wiltshire received a BS in organic chemistry from the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, became certified as a high school teacher and taught high school for a number of years in New Zealand. With a career change, he received his PhD in biochemistry and cell and molecular biology from the University of Tennessee and went on to postdoctoral research at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and the University of Pennsylvania. He joined a research division of Novartis Pharmaceuticals, as a scientist becoming a senior research investigator. The main direction of that research was models of disease, genetics and genomics primarily to identify novel drug targets for a drug-discovery pipeline.

Dr. Wiltshire is currently an Associate Professor in the Division of Pharmacotherapy and Experimental Therapeutics at UNC, and directs the Program for Pharmacogenomics. He holds adjunct faculty positions in the Department of Genetics of the UNC School of Medicine and the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and is actively involved with multiple collaborations with other Institutions. The major focus of his research is to take pharmacogenetic knowledge we already have and develop approaches for that information to be used effectively in clinical practice.

ASSOCIATES & INTERNS

Shayan Sarmadi

Shayan Sarmadi

DHIT Global Intern
Farrah Hermes

Farrah Hermes

DHIT Global Intern
Shiva Bakhtiyari

Shiva Bakhtiyari

DHIT Global Intern
Aayushi Patel

Aayushi Patel

DHIT Global Intern

Aayushi Patel is completing her Masters in Physiology and Biotechnology at North Carolina State University. She aspires to transform healthcare through her clinical experience as a Medical Assistant and Certified Nursing Aide. With her unique perspective working at ground level, she understands what patients need and want from their clinicians and healthcare system. She aspires to use this knowledge and her growing interests in data science to improve healthcare at large.

Teresa Phan

Teresa Phan

DHIT Global Intern

Teresa Phan is completing her Master’s in Information Science, specializing in User Experience/User Interface Design at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. With her ability to focus on the user’s needs and journey, she is able to identify opportunities to remove friction and maximize the outcomes that technology enables.  She hopes to improve the user experience of each stakeholder in the healthcare system one persona at a time.

THOUGHT LEADERSHIP

Following on from our inaugural white paper on The State of Digital Health in the Triangle, DHIT is embarking on a research study to benchmark consumer digital health adoption across North Carolina. This study will highlight key challenges, gaps and opportunities from a healthcare consumer and provider perspective and map out what is required to elevate the region into a leadership position for digital health.

DHIT HAPPY HOURS

This popular series of events takes place on the third Wednesday of every month and brings together entrepreneurs and ecosystem partners to connect and debate the future of digital health and provide guidance, mentorship and practical support to the digital health start-up community. REGISTER

DIGITAL HEALTH INNOVATION SPRINTS

Innovation Sprints offer an ideal framework for connecting diverse stakeholders from the healthcare, technology, investor, research, business and entrepreneurial communities to tackle real-world problems in healthcare and create a pipeline of innovation. UNC Center for Health Innovation has already hosted two successful Sprints backed by industry partners including AARP, Becton Dickinson, Lowe’s, and Carol Woods.

DIGITAL HEALTH SUMMIT

DHIT will be hosting our next Digital Health Summit in November 2019, which will involve key stakeholders from across the Digital Health ecosystem with the goal of reimagining healthcare delivery through the lens of digital health.

INNOVATION WORKSHOPS

One of the first DHIT collaborations saw the NSF ASSIST Center at NC State University bring together digital health experts from across the Triangle to support the US Department of Defense in a Warfighter Wellbeing Workshop tasked with optimizing the performance and wellbeing of our troops, using physical, behavioral, and environmental digital health technologies.

DHIT INTERN & FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM

Facilitating and streamlining relationships between the Triangle’s robust student talent pool and our industry members is critical to DHIT’s mission. Student Interns and experienced Fellows with a diverse array of skills and subject matter expertise will be matched with member organizations based on their various needs.

Interested? Let’s talk!