AAMI Launches Fellow Program with 14 Honorees

June 8, 2019

Contact:  Gavin Stern, gstern@aami.org, 1-703-647-2781

AAMI has launched a Fellow Program to celebrate leaders in the health technology and sterilization fields who have also distinguished themselves through their contributions to the association.

The inaugural class, announced June 8 at the AAMI Exchange in Cleveland, consists of 14 AAMI members who comes from various backgrounds. What they share is a commitment to AAMI’s mission of leading global collaboration in the development, management, and use of safe and effective health technology.

“We are extremely proud of this inaugural class of fellows. These individuals inspire us to contribute more to our professional communities,” said AAMI President and CEO Robert Jensen. “We applaud their accomplishment and thank them for their contributions.”

AAMI recognizes fellows for the depth and breadth of their accomplishments in seven core areas: professional experience, education, technical contributions, presentations and publications, professional participation, certification, and awards and honors.

The 14 fellows are:

Matthew Baretich, PE, PhD, president of Baretich Engineering in Fort Collins, CO. Baretich has been a champion in the health technology community for decades. His contributions to the field are multifaceted. In addition to his clinical and forensic engineering practice, he has been a faculty member for Certified Clinical Engineer (CCE) and Certified Biomedical Equipment Technician (CBET) exam review and for international workshops. He is a popular presenter on a wide range of healthcare technology management (HTM) topics and a prolific author of journal articles, books, book sections, and monographs, including AAMI’s AEM Program Guide. He received the AAMI HTM Leadership Award in 2017 and has also served on the Editorial Board of AAMI’s journal Biomedical Instrumentation & Technology (BI&T).

David Braeutigam, MBA, CHTM, CBET, ITIL, president of Braeutigam Enterprises LLC in Arlington, TX. Braeutigam, formerly system director of HTM at Baylor Scott & White Health, specializes in HTM operations, benchmarking, leadership training, and public speaking. He is a member of AAMI’s Technology Management Council and HTM benchmarking initiative, and co-authored AAMI’s HTM Benchmarking Guide, among many other publications. He is also president of the Healthcare Technology Management Association of North Texas.

Tobey Clark, BSBME, MSEE, CCE, CHTM, FACCE, SASHE, engineering supervisor, Instrumentation and Technical Services, University of Vermont in Burlington, VT. Clark has had a remarkable career that encompassed directing HTM assistance and services to more than 30 hospitals in Vermont, New York, and New Hampshire; health technology education; and instrumentation design and engineering management. His international work is notable. For example, he directs the World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Center for Health Technology Management, which develops and conducts virtual and live education courses on health technology, HTM, and technical services, particularly for developing countries. He previously served on the BI&T Editorial Board.

Carol Davis-Smith, CCE, president of Carol Davis-Smith & Associates, LLC, in Phoenix, AZ. Formerly vice president of clinical technology at Kaiser Permanente, Davis-Smith is an HTM executive with extensive experience in healthcare delivery, group purchasing, and consulting organizations. She has played leadership roles on the AAMI Board of Directors and its Strategic Planning Task Force, Technology Management Council, Nominating Committee, and BI&T Editorial Board. Among many other publications, she authored AAMI’s just-published Acquisition Guide for Clinical Technology Equipment.

David Dickey, FACHE, CHC, CCE, CHTM, vice president of clinical engineering at McLaren Health Care headquartered in Grand Blanc, MI. Dickey has a long history of writing and speaking on quality and safety issues, management practices, benchmarking, productivity, and cost effectiveness. He is a member of the AAMI Healthcare Technology Leadership Committee and the Medical Equipment Management Committee. He was among the contributors to a 2006 Healthcare Technology Foundation report on the impact of clinical alarms on patient safety, which helped elevate this issue in the health technology community.

Stephen Grimes, FACCE, FHIMSS, FAIMBE, principal consultant at Strategic Healthcare Technology Associates in Swampscott, MA. Grimes is deeply involved in advancing the safe and effective use of complex health technology. As a consultant, he has worked with WHO and the Pan American Healthcare Organization on HTM, and he advised and taught in many countries. He sits on the Board of the AAMI Credentials Institute and is a member of the AAMI Standards Committee for Medical Equipment Management and the BI&T Editorial Board. He was previously a member of AAMI’s Clinical Engineering Productivity and Cost Effectiveness Committee and Nominating Committee. He has been a frequent presenter at AAMI conferences and author in BI&T and the BI&T supplement, Horizons. In 2016, he received AAMI’s Healthcare Technology Management Leadership Award. Grimes edited a must-have AAMI resource, Medical Device Cybersecurity: A Guide for HTM Professionals, with AAMI Fellow Axel Wirth.

Heidi Horn, vice president of global enablement-healthcare at Nuvolo. Horn stands out for her various leadership roles, such as facilitating the formation of the HTM Leadership Forum for executives in mid-sized to large health systems to discuss best practices and solutions to shared HTM issues. A member of the AAMI Board of Directors, she is also the vice chair and chair-elect of the AAMI Technology Management Council and has served on many other AAMI committees and task forces. This year, AAMI recognized Horn with the Healthcare Technology Management Leadership Award. Several year ago, AAMI recognized her for transforming the HTM department at St. Louis-based SSM Health, her former employer, into an “Ultimate HTM Organization.”

Paul Kelley, CBET, director of biomedical engineering, the Green Initiative, and asset redeployment at Washington Hospital in Fremont, CA. Kelly is a voice for biomedical equipment technicians (BMETs) at local, state, national, and international levels. AAMI recognized his department this year as one of only two in the nation with the inaugural “100% Certified” designation—every technician in the department has passed the rigorous CBET exam. Kelley also received the Spirit of AAMI Award this year. He is vice-chair for BMETs on the AAMI Board, chair of AAMI’s Technology Management Council, and a long-standing member of AAMI’s Medical Equipment Standards Committee. He also serves as a member of The Joint Commission’s Patient Safety Advisory Group.

George Mills, FASHE, CHFM, CEM, CHOP-DNV, director of healthcare technical operations at JLL. Mills is a legend in the HTM community. At The Joint Commission, where he formerly served as director of engineering, he sensed a gap in standards in the field, and forged a long relationship with AAMI that resulted in the development of standards that benefit the HTM community. He rallied the HTM community to provide data to support alternate equipment management (AEM) programs. He helped educate HTM professionals about safety issues, most notably at AAMI annual conferences—always a top draw. The open-mic Q&A format proved so popular that he agreed to write an “Ask George” column for BI&T, which ran for 42 issues. Mills is a member of the AAMI Board of Directors.

Gerry O’Dell, CISS, president of Gerry O'Dell Consulting in Wesley Chapel, FL. O'Dell is a registered microbiologist who has generously shared her knowledge of all sterilization modalities, microbiology, and compliance in the medical device industry as an AAMI standards developer and instructor. She serves on more than a dozen AAMI Sterilization Standards Committee working groups, and co-chairs the Industrial Moist Heat Sterilization Working Group (AAMI/ST/WG 03), which includes representing the U.S. at the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). She is a lead instructor for AAMI sterilization courses and has served on AAMI task forces to develop key technical information reports on sterilization.

Michael H. Scholla, PhD, global director of regulatory and standards and Medical Packaging Fellow at Dupont Safety & Construction in Wilmington, DE. A former chair of the AAMI Board of Directors, Scholla is a microbiologist with substantial expertise in medical packaging and sterilization. He has been a key contributor to AAMI’s Sterilization Standards Committee since 1992, when it was formed to mirror a committee with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). He helped to develop early standards and guidance on packaging, which are used globally for medical packaging design and process validation. He has helped shepherd these standards through revisions and global harmonization. He served for 16 years on the AAMI Board of Directors and key committees, including the search committees that selected AAMI’s past two presidents and CEOs.

Charles Sidebottom, P. Eng., managing partner at PPO Standards in Minneapolis. Sidebottom, a former chair of the AAMI Board of Directors, knows the ins and outs of international standards from decades of experience. He has been a global leader in developing and promoting landmark standards for electrical equipment, medical devices, risk management, and labeling, among others. He has spoken and written frequently on medical device labeling, symbols for medical devices, and medical device standardization. AAMI presented him its inaugural Standards Developer Award in 2007 and its Leadership and Achievement Award in 2015. He was honored as an Emeritus Member in 2016 and received the ANSI/NIST Ronald H. Brown Standards Leadership Award in 2017.

James Wear, CCE, CPC, CHSP, FASHE, FAIMBE, FACCE, FAIC, consultant, educator and healthcare technology management leader (retired) based in North Little Rock, AR. Wear's expertise and experience is vast. He has been a professor of biomedical instrumentation, chemistry, and biophysics. He was the director of the Veterans Administration Education and Training Center, where he developed the courses and curriculum for clinical engineers and BMETs that became an admired nationwide program for the VA’s 172 hospitals. He has delivered HTM training in more than a dozen countries, contributed hundreds of publications and presentations, and served on AAMI’s CBET Board of Examiners and the Clinical Engineering Board of Examiners for AAMI/ICC and then for the Healthcare Technology Certification Commission. He received the AAMI Foundation/ACCE Robert L. Morris Humanitarian Award in 2011, and he has served on the AAMI Awards Committee since 2012.

Axel Wirth, CPHIMS, CISSP, HCISPP, distinguished technical architect at Symantec Corporation in Cambridge, MA, and adjunct professor in the biomedical engineering program at the University of Connecticut. Wirth  is best known for his thought leadership and subject matter expertise in applying cybersecurity in the complex medical device ecosystem—a growing concern and challenge faced by all participants in the healthcare industry. He helps government agencies and industry associations, including AAMI, establish standards and best practices. He is a member of AAMI’s BI&T Editorial Board and the author of the “CyberInsights” column in BI&T. He has also contributed to the BI&T supplement, Horizons. Wirth edited a must-have AAMI resource, Medical Device Cybersecurity: A Guide for HTM Professionals, with AAMI Fellow Stephen Grimes.

Jensen noted that AAMI had received many nominations for the Fellow program. “Unfortunately, we could not select everyone from the many excellent nominations we received,” he said. We’re looking forward to this program growing each year.”

For more information at the AAMI Fellow Program, please visit www.aami.org/fellow

AAMI (www.aami.org) is a nonprofit organization founded in 1967. It is a diverse community of more than 10,000 healthcare technology professionals united by one important mission—supporting the healthcare community in the development, management, and use of safe and effective health technology. AAMI is the primary source of consensus standards, both national and international, for the medical device industry, as well as practical information, support, and guidance for health technology and sterilization professionals.