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Building the Next Great Telehealth Idea -- a SARTA Innovate-A-Thon

What’s the next great telehealth idea?  SARTA invites you to join us for our first Innovate-A-Thon, a fast-paced program where we will explore the evolving landscape for commercializing telehealth products and services, share success stories from companies who have commercialized telehealth solutions, hear from healthcare practitioners on their greatest unmet needs and then collaborate in small teams on the next great telehealth idea!

With the advent of Obamacare and recent changes in state law, the future has never looked brighter for commercializing telehealth solutions in California!  Whether you are already a player in the telehealth space or you are investigating ways to broaden your product offerings into the medical marketplace, you won’t want to miss this innovation and networking opportunity!

Who should attend:

C-level leaders, founders, and entrepreneurs at tech companies (not just medtech companies! There is room in this space for many technologies!).  Providers, Payors, Clinicians, IT and Internet professionals, software and app developers, health informatics professionals, government agencies involved in telehealth solutions--anyone interested in the telehealth frontier!


Tuesday, February 12, 2013


2:00 to 5:45 pm


Sierra Health Foundation
1321 Garden Highway
Sacramento, CA  95833


$40 general, $20 SARTA member

If you are a SARTA member, please email for member discount code.

Register Now

Program Agenda

Part 1: The Collision of Telehealth and Accountable Care
Knowledgeable insiders will paint the current telehealth landscape for commercialization of products and services.

Peter Yellowlees, MD, MBBS
Professor of Clinical Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, UC Davis Health System

Jim Greene, MD, MS
Medical Director, IT Partnerships at UC Davis Health System

Shawn McKenzie
Founder, President & CEO, Ascendian Health Care Consulting

Cindy Morton
Chief Operations Officer, California Telehealth Network

Part 2: Snapshots Presentations on Commercial Successes
Three companies present (in rapid-fire 6 minute Snapshots) the unmet need they addressed, the solution they created and how they successfully took that to market.

Presenting Companies
Care Innovations, an Intel-GE company  
Marcus Grindstaff, Director, Product Management 

Healthlink Now
Barb Johnston, CEO and Co-Founder

Georgene Waterman, COO  

Part 3 Unmet Needs -- Opportunities for Commercialization

Where is the pain in the market, and how severe is it?  What clinical needs could be better, or more efficiently, or more successfully, met with the creative and bold application of telehealth solutions? Listen closely to people with first-hand knowledge, and see what insights -- and market needs -- you come away with!

Yan Chow, MD, MBA
Director, Innovation and Advanced Technology, Kaiser Permanente

James Marcin, MD, MPH,
Professor, Pediatric Critical Care, UC Davis Children’s Hospital

Muhammad Afzal MD, FCCP
Chief Executive Officer, Performance ICU
Chief of Staff, Sutter Medical Center

Part 4: Team Collaborations
We’ll connect you with a small team where you’ll continue the conversation around building the next great telehealth idea!  You’ll have an opportunity to brainstorm innovative ideas with providers, payors, technologists, clinicians, IT professionals and more!  

Following the team collaborations, Sierra Health Foundation will host a networking reception for all participants.

For more information about this event, contact Laura Good at SARTA.


Event management for Building the Next Great Telehealth Idea powered by Eventbrite

Peter Yellowlees, MD, MBBS
Professor of Clinical Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, UC Davis Health System
Dr Yellowlees is Director of the Graduate Program in Health Informatics and Professor of Psychiatry at UC Davis. He is a Board Member of the American Telemedicine Association, and is also on the Boards of the Californian health exchange governance organization, CaleConnect and HealthLinkNow Inc.

After completing his medical training in London, Dr. Yellowlees worked in Australia for twenty years where he completed his Board Certification in Psychiatry and a research Doctorate before becoming Chair of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Queensland, and Founding Director of the Center for Online Health. He moved to UC Davis in 2004 to continue his research in telemedicine and eHealth and has an international reputation in telemedicine and long distance health and education delivery. He is an experienced speaker and media commentator who has a number of research interests and is presently working on projects involving Internet e-mail and video consultation services and the use of virtual reality for health education on the Internet. Dr. Yellowlees has worked in public and private sectors, in academia, and in rural settings. He has published four books and over 150 scientific articles and book chapters. His latest book, “Your Health in the Information Age” ( was published in 2008. 
Jim Greene, MD, MS
Medical Director, IT Partnerships at UC Davis Health System
Dr. Greene practiced family medicine for 27 years in a number of delivery system settings - a staff model HMO, an IPA model MCO, and solo private practice in a suburban/rural interface environment.  He has also become familiar with healthcare reimbursement mechanisms when he served as a vice president of the Prudential Insurance Company of North America.  Along the way, Dr. Greene served as his medical group's physician champion for installation of its Epic Ambulatory EMR license. Dr. Greene followed this interest in healthcare technology to a Master's degree in Health Informatics from UC Davis. 
More recently Dr. Greene is a member of the American Telemedicine Association and serves with Dr. Yellowlees as co-chairs of the ATA's electronic prescribing workgroup, charged with developing an ATA sponsored guideline on electronic prescribing.  Dr. Greene also co-teaches the Clinical Decision Support course within the UC Davis graduate Health Informatics program. 
Shawn McKenzie
Founder, President & CEO, Ascendian Health Care Consulting
Shawn is a dynamic and accomplished professional with 32 years of progressive contributions in clinical operations management and implementation of business and clinical information systems.  A former Administrative Director of Radiology and Cardiology, he is widely known as very personable, articulate and a highly effective communicator, facilitator, trainer, coach and mentor. Shawn is a national thought leader pertaining to changes in the current healthcare delivery model.  He speaks nationally on the topics of delivery reform and the associated business models and technologies available.  Shawn developed the concept of “Silos to Synergy” in the healthcare delivery methodology.  He is defined by his desire to improve care through the use of technology designed to develop fluid and interoperable care.The changing landscape of healthcare requires a trusted advisor that is multi-lingual and capable of speaking fluently in the areas of clinical delivery, information technology and business while remaining true to the mission of enhancing the quality of healthcare.  Shawn is that uniquely qualified resource. 
Cindy Morton
Chief Operations Officer, California Telehealth Network
Cindy Morton is the Chief Operating Officer at the California Telehealth Network (CTN). CTN is the State of California’s broadband network dedicated to health care designed to connect medical sites in rural and medically underserved communities with the State’s major medical centers and research institutions to improve clinical outcomes and reduce costs.  Ms. Morton has 20 plus years of experience in the financial and project management fields. Cindy most recently served as the Financial Operations Controller for the California State Children’s Health Initiative Program (CHIP) where she was responsible for overseeing the monthly collection of $3 million in premiums. She is an accomplished PMP professional with excellent experience in leading complex, multi-faceted programs and projects.Ms. Morton is an acknowledged change leader with demonstrated success in providing tactical and strategic vision, leading and developing teams, coordinating resources, controlling costs, and building constructive communications between players to reach goals and high standards of professional excellence.
In addition to receiving her Project Management Professional Certification from the Project Management Institute, Morton is a graduate of Andersonville Biblical Seminary with a Bachelor’s degree in Divinity.
Marcus Grindstaff
Director, Product Management, Care Innovations, an Intel-GE company
 Marcus Grindstaff is Director of Product Management for Care Innovations.  Prior to joining Intel’s Digital Health Group, Marcus was the Lead Technologist in Intel’s Ultra-Mobility Group, Office of Big Ideas.Marcus was born in San Jose, California.  He attended University of California, Davis and graduated with a Bachelor’s of Engineering degree in Computer Engineering in 1996.  Over the next seven years, he held engineering, marketing and applications management roles in Intel’s core semiconductor businesses.  During this time, he focused on growing exceptional teams to deliver technical and marketing solutions throughout the United States, Asia and Europe. In 2002, Marcus transitioned into Intel’s New Business Ventures organization, part of Intel Capital – the world’s largest technology venture capital organization. In this role, Marcus drove new businesses for Intel, driving semiconductor solutions beyond the limits of Intel’s core business. In 2007, Marcus found his most satisfying role when he joined Intel’s Digital Health group to improve lives and bend the cost curve by deploying the right technology to the right people at the right time.
Marcus is married and has two children.  He enjoys spending time with his wife Lynda and their children, traveling and endurance cycling. 

Barb Johnston
CEO and Co-Founder, Healthlink Now
 Barb Johnston is the CEO of HealthLink Now a privately owned Telemedicine company based in Sacramento. Ms. Johnston has over 17 years’ experience in the business, legal, clinical and policy aspects of the Telemedicine industry. As the former Executive Director of the California Telemedicine and eHealth Center she raised over $20m to enable the development of the 10 telemedicine networks in rural California. She is a former Executive Director of the Medical Board of California and was the Health IT manager for Kaiser's online mental health program. Ms. Johnston is a past Board Member of the American Telemedicine Association (ATA). She is a Director on the Board of the California Emerging Technology Fund. She has worked on Telemedicine policy and legislation for many years and has extensive high level executive management experience in both public and private sectors.

Georgene Waterman, PhD
COO, LifeMedID 
In 1969 Georgene Waterman started her career in healthcare.  In 1970 she was promoted to nurse manager and developed the first outpatient surgery preparation course in the Sacramento area.  She returned to school to obtain a Ph.D. degree in education and started her own consulting business where she provided management education for hospitals and other businesses throughout Northern California.  She returned to healthcare and became the Director of Marketing.  Another promotion to Assistant Administrator was obtained in 1986.  In this position she was responsible for the education of physicians, hospital staff and the community.  Her other responsibilities included the development and operations of a for-profit component of the healthcare system.  

In 1990 Georgene became the Chief Executive Officer of Fair Oaks hospital in Fair Oaks, California.  In 1991 she was responsible for building and opening a new acute care hospital in Yuba City, California.  She administered both hospitals for a year until a suitable Chief Executive Officer could be found for the Yuba City site.

In 1995 she purchased the rights to Renaissance Executive Forums of Northern California.  The Forum is a national membership organization that provides support services exclusively to chief executives.  The members leverage the knowledge and experience of the group to exponentially increase the speed and quality of decision-making and to pro-actively manage the changing business environment.  The Forum acts much like a traditional board of directors and provides education to keep the chief executive current on business trends and strategic planning to help plan for resources needed in the future.

Yan Chow, MD, MBA
Director, Innovation and Advanced Technology, Kaiser PermanenteDr.
Yan Chow is Director of Kaiser Permanente (KP) Information Technology’s Innovation & Advanced Technology Group (IAT). IAT identifies, assesses, and makes internal recommendations on new and emerging clinical information technologies that will impact health care in the next two to five years.
IAT is affiliated with KP’s Sidney R. Garfield Center for Health Care Innovation, an advanced 37,000-sf laboratory for care delivery simulation. The Center houses a full-sized medical/surgical ward, OR, L&D suite, outpatient offices, and a home environment. New space designs, technologies, and workflows are tested in as real a setting as possible without risk to patients or disruption of operations.
Dr. Chow has had a successful clinical practice at KP for several decades. He was also involved in regional IT management, overseeing a number of operational systems for 60,000 providers at 60 sites. He also led experimental projects such as KP’s first PC interface for mainframes and created KP’s first networking forum for physicians.
Dr. Chow has founded and advised a number of startups in the Internet, health care technology, storage, and database spaces. He has 3 U.S. patents and has been an author and invited speaker at industry conferences.
Dr. Chow earned his A.B. with honors from Harvard University and his M.D. from the University of California at San Diego. In 2005 he received his MBA from the University of California at Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, where he graduated as valedictorian.
Founded in 1945, Oakland, California-based Kaiser Permanente is the nation’s largest not-for-profit integrated health care system with 17,000 physicians, 173,000 employees, 37 medical centers, 611 medical offices, 9 million health plan members in 10 states, and annual revenues of $49+ billion. Kaiser Permanente comprises the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Kaiser Foundation Hospitals, and the Permanente Medical Groups.
James Marcin, MD, MPH,
Professor, Pediatric Critical Care, UC Davis Children’s Hospital
Dr. Marcin is a Professor of Pediatrics and Pediatric Critical Care Medicine at the UC Davis Children’s Hospital in Sacramento, California and the Hedirector of the Pediatric Telemedicine Program at the Center for Health and Technology.  Dr. Marcin has been conducting telemedicine consultations for more than 13 years and has worked closely with other clinicians, administrators, technicians and health policy makers to support the use of telemedicine.  He has been a member of the American Telemedicine Association for more than 9 years and is the founding and immediate past chair of the Pediatric Telehealth Special Interest Group.  He conducts research in telemedicine and quality of care, particularly as it relates to acutely ill and injured children in the Emergency Department and the Intensive Care Unit.  He has been Principal Investigator on grants from AHRQ, HRSA and EMS-C investigating the impact of telemedicine on quality of care and other patient outcomes. 
Muhammad Afzal MD, FCCP
Chief Executive Officer, Performance ICU
Chief of Staff, Sutter Medical Center  
Dr. Afzal is the CEO of Performance ICU and Pulmonary Medicine Associates. He and 15 other doctors and other investors started Performance ICU in September 2012 in the hope of turning their experience running Sutter's electronic ICU into a nationwide business model. The company offers Tele-ICU medicine to hospitals and health systems throughout the nation.  The doctors' combined critical care medicine and e-ICU experience makes them one of the most experienced Tele-ICU intensivist physician groups in the country.

Dr. Afzal was named as the Sutter Medical Center Sacramento chief of staff in January 2013. Afzal served as the secretary-treasurer and vice chief of staff for the SMCS medical staff prior to acceding to the two-year appointment as chief of staff.

Dr. Afzal received his medical degree from Islamia University, Quaid-E-Azam Medical College and did his residency and internship in internal medicine at St. Luke's Hospital in Cleveland. He completed his fellowship in pulmonary disease and critical care medicine at the University of California, Davis.