MHC Welcomes Seasoned Health Care Professionals

2/27/2019 – COLUMBIA, MO.— Missouri Health Connection (MHC) is proud to introduce its newly elected Directors to MHC’s governing board. Karen Johnson, Mike Paasch and Dr. Keith Woeltje were each selected for their respective industry expertise in health plan data analytics and health information technology management respectively.
“The addition of our newest board members embodies the spirit of improving the quality of health care delivered to the communities in our region by making important information available to caregivers. We are very fortunate to add their talents and expertise to the board.” said Debe Gash, MHC Board Chair.

Karen S. Johnson, PhD 

Karen Johnson

Karen S. Johnson, PhD is the Vice President of Healthcare Insights & Partnerships at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City (Blue KC). Karen builds and implements Blue KC’s enterprise data management and analytic strategies – both within Blue KC and across the healthcare ecosystem in which Blue KC and its members interact. Karen brings experience that spans health strategy, data analysis, and research methods. Karen has worked in a variety of roles throughout the health insurance and health care industries for more than 30 years. Prior to joining Blue KC in 2017, she served as a consultant to Blue KC for six years and played an integral role in product development, marketing, and integrated health services. Previously, she worked as a benefits consultant, helping employers implement innovative approaches to benefit design. Karen earned her PhD in Health Policy and Management at The University of Kansas School of Medicine and her Master of Health Services Administration degree from Arizona State University. She graduated from Hanover College with her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology degree. “Blue KC believes that our members, and the providers of their choosing, should have access to their health history when and where they need it. We see our role as ensuring that happens as seamlessly as possible and welcome the opportunity to be the voice of our members in charting the future of MHC,” said Karen Johnson.
Angie Bass, Chief Executive Officer of MHC, said “Karen’s collaborative approach to improving the delivery of health care will be instrumental in MHC’s future growth.”

Mike Paasch, MBA

Mike Paasch

Mike Paasch, Vice President and Regional CIO at SSM Health since 1999, manages the information systems and telecommunications needs for the entities and business units within SSM Health St. Louis. Working with regional and corporate leadership, he leads the efforts of enabling technology providing advances in strategic business initiatives and the organizational mission of SSM Health. Mike’s role includes the standardization of technology, applications and support models that enhance efficiency and improve his colleague’s ability to share information and processes. Mike is a longtime employee of SSM, with 34 years of service in various roles. Mike received his undergraduate degree in MIS from the University of Missouri – St. Louis and his MBA from Lindenwood University. “Utilizing technology through HIE’s is critical in today’s healthcare environment to insure our caregivers have access to the correct information at the correct time to improve patient care and its associated costs. I look forward to working with MHC and its members to expand and improve the services MHC provides to our organizations,” said Paasch.
“Mike’s leadership in clinical informatics and health information technology will provide tremendous value to MHC and his insights into how MHC can better serve its members will be invaluable,” said Bass.

Keith Woeljte, MD, PhD 

Keith Woeltje

Keith F. Woeltje, MD, PhD, serves as Vice-President and Chief Medical Information Officer (CMIO) for BJC HealthCare . Keith is also a Professor of Medicine in infectious diseases at the Washington University School of Medicine. At BJC he leads clinical analytics, quality measurement and reporting, clinical decision support, and clinical informatics support, as well as clinical content for Epic and ancillary clinical systems. Keith co-chairs BJC’s data governance activities, and works closely with IT on enhancing enterprise information architecture and data integration along with IT business engagement with clinical services. Keith earned his MD and PhD degrees from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. He subsequently trained in internal medicine and infectious diseases at Barnes Hospital (now Barnes-Jewish Hospital) and Washington University School of Medicine. After serving on the faculty of the Medical College of Georgia, he rejoined Washington University and BJC in 2004, serving in a variety of roles. “Sharing of health care information, with appropriate safeguards, is essential for optimizing patient outcomes. I look forward to working with MHC to improve the ability of its members to provide safe, affordable, and high-quality care.”
“Keith’s participation on the Board will add a depth of perspective drawing from his clinical and informatics background that are sure to be invaluable and undeniable to MHC’s members,” said Bass.

About BlueKC

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City, the largest not-for-profit health insurer in Missouri and the only not-for-profit commercial health insurer in Kansas City, has been part of the Kansas City community since 1938. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City provides health coverage services to more than one million residents in the greater Kansas City area, including Johnson and Wyandotte counties in Kansas and 30 counties in Northwest Missouri. Our mission: to provide affordable access to healthcare and to improve the health of our members. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

About SSM Health

SSM Health is a Catholic, not-for-profit health system serving the comprehensive health needs of communities across the Midwest through one of the largest integrated delivery systems in the nation. SSM Health includes 20 hospitals, more than 60 outpatient care sites, a pharmacy benefit company, an insurance company, two nursing homes, comprehensive home care and hospice services, a telehealth and technology company and two Accountable Care Organizations.

About BJC HealthCare

BJC HealthCare is one of the largest nonprofit health care organizations in the United States, delivering services to residents primarily in the greater St. Louis, southern Illinois and mid-Missouri regions. Serving the health care needs of urban, suburban and rural communities, BJC includes 15 hospitals and multiple health service organizations. Services include inpatient and outpatient care, primary care, community health and wellness, workplace health, home health, community mental health, rehabilitation, long-term care and hospice. BJC’s nationally recognized academic hospitals, Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals, are affiliated with Washington University School of Medicine.

About MHC

Missouri Health Connection (MHC) is a leader in the secure exchange of health information, not only within the state of Missouri, but nationally as well and is an experienced interoperability specialist for data exchange between disparate data sources including health care systems, regional, state and national health information exchanges (HIEs), health plans, and accountable care organizations (ACOs). MHC serves as an unbiased, trusted vendor and as a community data trustee of health information that provides access to comprehensive electronic patient records across multiple data sources in real-time. MHC’s service solutions are improving health care outcomes and quality by supporting access to patient information to identify gaps in patient information for better clinical decisions. The electronic exchange of health records in the MHC network enables physicians to quickly and securely access patient health records while treating their patients which has improved the quality of health care delivery by coordinating care, reducing preventable errors and avoiding treatment duplication. MHC is well-positioned to provide a return on investment for all its Participants by transforming the delivery of care, one connection at a time. MHC works with all border state HIE’s and is a key part of the CMS supported national Patient Centered Data Home initiative, where MHC serves as the Midwest Gateway connecting over 10 states. In addition, MHC also works with the VA, DoD, HHS, and various other Federal agencies.

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