James Wellman, CIO of Blanchard Valley Health System (BVHS) is featured in a HealthSystem CIO podcast. Kirby Partners completed the executive placement of Wellman as Blanchard Valley Health System’s first administrative-level CIO in July 2019.
In the HealthSystem CIO podcast, Wellman discusses the strategy he used to adjust to the CIO role and how he gained the trust of his team–an approach that paid off when the COVID-#19 pandemic struck in March. He also discusses how BVHS is leveraging tools like Zoom and Microsoft Teams to support the growing remote workforce, and most importantly, how they’re enabling providers to deliver care.
According to Wellman, the COVID-19 pandemic is “shining a light” on those who aren’t willing or able to respond. “You can’t hide from this. If you’re not able to adapt, we’re going to see some fallout.”
“The neat thing is the team has responded very well. They’ve been flexible. We’ve been able to stand up our telemedicine program and get it launched and moving in a hurry when all of this happened. The team has been very resilient. We’re building multiple negative pressure rooms on one of our floors in preparation for the surge should that hit us, and IT is definitely involved in that. We sent hundreds of people home to work remotely. We’re managing the communications and everything that has to be done with a remote workforce; these are things we had been talking about but had never really done. We pulled the trigger on it in two weeks, and it’s been going surprisingly well. That has to do with a very solid team overcoming obstacles quickly,” Wellman said.
Wellman joined Blanchard Valley Health System as their CIO, bringing more than 30 years of experience in management and healthcare IT support to the role. He earned a Master’s Degree in healthcare administration at Oklahoma State University and eventually became a College of Healthcare Information Management Executives Certified Healthcare CIO (CHICIO). Prior to joining the BVHS team, Wellman was the Chief Information & Compliance Officer for Comanche County Memorial Hospital in Oklahoma. He began his career at the University of Kentucky HealthCare, dedicating 21 years to the organization’s IT department.
Learn more about the podcast here.