Canadian Information Processing Society (CIPS)


Podcast/Video Interviews by Stephen Ibaraki

A Chat with Dr. Tim Pletcher: Social Entrepreneur; Digital Infrastructuralist; Founding Executive Director of the Michigan Health Information Network (MiHIN) and the CEO of both Velatura Public Benefit Corporation and the Interoperability Institute

This week, Stephen Ibaraki has an exclusive interview with Dr. Tim Pletcher.

 Dr. Tim PletcherDr. Tim Pletcher, a social entrepreneur and digital infrastructuralist, has dedicated his life's work to harnessing the power of information technology to empower communities and bridge the public-private divide. A champion of the "Lug-Nut Theory" of adoption, Dr. Pletcher believes that innovation thrives when it seamlessly integrates into existing infrastructure, challenging many conventional notions of technological progress and transformation. This philosophy has been the driving force behind his decades-long career in data science, digital transformation, and interoperability.

As the visionary founding executive director of the Michigan Health Information Network (MiHIN) and the CEO of both Velatura Public Benefit Corporation and the Interoperability Institute, Dr. Pletcher stands at the vanguard of healthcare's digital transformation. His entrepreneurial spirit has catalyzed the launch of several startups, expanding their operations across numerous states. Under his leadership, these ventures now generate over $80 million in combined annual revenues and enable the exchange of billions of health information transactions, demonstrating the power of public-private partnerships to transform healthcare delivery for a broad spectrum of stakeholders, including: healthcare providers, systems, plans, and governmental agencies.

Before steering the MiHIN constellation, Dr. Pletcher's eclectic career trajectory spanned several innovative and diverse endeavors. He forged novel academic partnerships to deliver advanced data science, predictive modeling, and machine learning services to Fortune 500 companies and served as the Chief Technology Officer for a startup specializing in electronic commerce and custom supply chain automation. His tenure as a senior IT director at one of the nation's leading academic medical centers involved overseeing system wide critical enterprise applications and revenue cycle management. Notably, his work with the NASA EOS-DIS project related to global change research broadened his exposure to international organizations such as the CDC, UN, World Bank, and WHO. His leadership of "special projects" (one of his favorite jobs) focused on adopting emerging technologies such as telehealth, advanced network and security protocols, novel software development, call center integration and even helped the team earn a Smithsonian-Computer World 2000 Medal for the innovative use of virtual reality and simulation to mitigate medical errors.

Currently, Dr. Pletcher contributes his expertise as an Adjunct Research Investigator of Learning Health Sciences at the University of Michigan Medical School, where he teaches health infrastructure and explores subjects like health policy, informatics, and the intricacies of creating a Learning Health System. His educational foundation includes a Doctor of Health Administration and a Master's in Health Administration from Central Michigan University, alongside a Bachelor of Science from the University of Michigan.

Dr. Pletcher's commitment to transforming healthcare through digital innovation and his advocacy for person centered technological integration reflect his ongoing influence on the health information technology landscape.

About MiHIN

About Velatura Public Benefit Corporation

About Interoperability Institute