EP. 65 When the door to leadership opened for Abby Sears, she carried a sense of great responsibility with her.

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Laurie McGraw is speaking with Inspiring Woman Abby Sears, President and CEO of OCHIN, a nonprofit health care innovation center designed to provide knowledge solutions that promote quality, affordable health care for all.  Early on Abby learned she had a passion for business and science.  Then someone opened the door to leadership.  Every day Abby feels a responsibility to honor that opportunity, for her employees, her members, her supportive network which includes her board.  More than ever, Abby believes that team members/employees should not be forced to separate their professional life from their personal life.  She spent years leading OCHIN taking calls from the soccer field or the parking lot of where she was picking up her kids.  Having to choose family over career was never a choice she was willing to make and if that means getting your work done with your toddler or your dog by your side, so be it.  What started out as a grant project, laden with stigma and obstacles, Abby has built a sustainable business which was required to ensure that she could provide premiere systems to support the needs of Medicaid populations and the uninsured.  And having data matters.  With data, Abby and OCHIN have been able to pinpoint key equity issues during this pandemic like vaccine availability to vulnerable populations and with that, support policy changes.  Abby is incredibly optimistic that we can build sustainable systems and realize OCHIN’s vision of providing ”quality, affordable healthcare for all”.

Abby Sears | President & Chief Executive Officer

As Chief Executive Officer, Abby Sears is responsible for the overall strategy and executive leadership at OCHIN. Abby has been with OCHIN since its inception and has helped grow the organization nationally, focusing on building a learning organization that supports the transformation of healthcare through the use of data and technology. A prominent national speaker and HIT advisor with over 15 years of healthcare expertise, she is focused on building a premier information and technology network leveraging Health IT products, services, and the use of practice-based research to help community practices nationwide achieve federal and industry standards for healthcare delivery, quality, and cost control.

Abby was appointed to the federal Health Information Technology Advisory Committee (HITAC) for a three-year appointment, starting in January of 2020, where she will work to help elevate the voices of the patients and providers in historically underserved communities throughout the nation. HITAC advises policy makers on how to safely advance electronic access, exchange, and use of health information nationwide.

In 2012, Abby was named CEO of the Year for Nonprofits in Oregon by the Portland Business Journal. She holds an MBA and MHA, both from the University of Minnesota.

Read the transcript here.