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WEDI Appoints Former AHIP Exec as Interim CEO

Charles Stellar will be responsible for strategic leadership and guidance of the organization, its staff and committees.

By Frank Irving

- The Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange (WEDI) announced on Jan. 20 that Charles Steller has been named interim president and CEO. The organization, which focuses on the use of IT to improve health information exchange, reported on Jan. 13 the resignation of its former chief executive, Devin Jopp.

WEDI, which focuses on the use of IT to improve health information exchange, has named Charles Stellar as interim CEO and president.

WEDI’s board of directors appointed Stellar to his new role, in which he “will be responsible for strategic leadership and guidance of the organization, its staff and committees until a more permanent replacement is named,” according to a statement from the group.

Stellar recently retired from America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), a trade association representing the health insurance industry, where he served as executive vice president. Stellar was the key liaison between AHIP’s 350 health plan and 400 affiliate members, and held responsibility for organizational messaging and membership strategy.

“We are honored that Charles has agreed to serve in this role and propel our organization forward during this transitional period,” said Jean Narcisi, chair of the WEDI board, in a public statement. “In addition to the close working relationships he shares with many of the member organizations on our board, he brings unparalleled domain experience in successfully bringing healthcare associations to national prominence. We expect he will continue our efforts to further WEDI’s role as a recognized leader and advocate for healthcare IT.” 

Aside from his role at AHIP, Stellar’s 35 years of experience in healthcare include former posts as CEO of the American Managed Care and Review Association, executive director of Healthmaster HMO/IPA, executive director of EyeCare Associates, and associate executive director of the American Association of Foundations for Medical Care.

“This year will be instrumental for WEDI as we continue to work closely with the industry to implement exciting new initiatives, drive awareness of healthcare’s ongoing challenges, and collectively improve the quality and efficiency of healthcare IT,” Stellar said in a prepared statement. “I want to take this opportunity to thank our dedicated board, executive workgroups, loyal sponsors and diverse membership base for placing its confidence in WEDI as we prepare for what will be an exciting Spring Conference and a year full of promise and progress.”

At the time of Jopp’s resignation, the WEDI board credited the former CEO with notable accomplishments: coordination of the development of the 2013 WEDI Report, “which serves as an industry consensus roadmap for the next generation of healthcare data exchange,” according to the group; and facilitating the creation of the Virtual Clipboard, an industry initiative created to automate the typically paper-intensive check-in process at clinical care centers.

WEDI board member Narcisi recently commented to HealthITAnalytics (sister site of HealthITInteroperability) that the association’s workgroups “remain hard at work in driving innovation and furthering the progress they’re making toward the important Virtual Clipboard initiative.”

WEDI’s Annual National Conference will take place May 23-26 in Salt Lake City. The schedule includes a presentation by KLAS on its EHR Interoperability Metrics Agreement, as well as general sessions on interoperability and data sharing, informatics and payment models, and yber-security and threat prevention.


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