Retiring Rich King led health system into healthcare’s future

FAIRMONT, W.Va. – West Virginia United Health System  is making preparations to welcome new Vice President of Information Technology Services and Chief Information Officer (CIO) Jim Venturella. The senior healthcare executive will step into the leadership position currently held by WVUHS CIO Richard A. King, whose retirement will cap a career that led his organization through sweeping technological changes and advances.

"Information technology affects every part of the patient experience in healthcare,” said Christopher C. Colenda, M.D., M.P.H, president and CEO of the system. “Jim Venturella is the ideal choice to build upon the accomplishments of Rich King and his team of IT professionals across all our hospitals and clinics.”

As a seasoned management consultant, Venturella spent 17 years with Deloitte Consulting and Andersen Consulting, where he worked with payers, providers, and life sciences companies. In a career built on specializing in developing and delivering innovative clinical, operational and technical solutions to complex healthcare problems, he also spent seven years as CIO for University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Physician and Hospital Services. In 2012, Venturella was a finalist for the Pittsburgh Technology Council’s CIO of the Year award. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Pittsburgh.

“The healthcare industry is changing rapidly and technology is playing a key role,” Venturella said. “WVUHS has a successful track record of deploying new technology. I look forward to leading this talented team to develop and implement innovative solutions to support this healthcare transformation.”

As CIO, Venturella will advance the progress that helped define his predecessor Rich King’s 10-year career with WVU Hospitals and 13 years at WVUHS.

King not only oversaw the transition to electronic medical records across WVU Healthcare, University Healthcare, all WVUHS-employed physician offices, and several private practices but the debut of MyWVUChart. More than 60,000 patients now use the portal to communicate with their providers, access their records and prescriptions, schedule appointments, and check their laboratory results online.

As one of last year’s top 20 Most Wired hospitals, WVU Healthcare also achieved the HIMSS Analytics EMRAM Stage 7 designation. As a measure of a hospital’s implementation and utilization of information technology applications, the final stage, Stage 7, represents a paperless, advanced patient record environment. At the time, WVU Healthcare was one of only five healthcare organizations to receive both inpatient and ambulatory designation.

In announcing his June retirement, King, a Sutton, W.Va. native who holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Alderson Broaddus College, expressed his thanks to the health system’s information technology team for their knowledge, skill, and diligence in making WVUHS a nationally recognized leader in a constantly evolving and competitive field.

“The team with which I have had the pleasure of working to build and implement the infrastructure and technology solutions that have helped to change the way healthcare is delivered,” King said of IT management and staff. “Not only have they made a tremendous impact within our organization, but throughout the state of West Virginia.”

Venturella will step into his new role in March.

The West Virginia United Health System is the largest healthcare system in West Virginia, and the state’s second-largest private employer. Established by the West Virginia Legislature and the voluntary affiliation of several non-for-profit hospitals in 1996, it now encompasses six acute-care hospitals -- including the flagship Ruby Memorial Hospital on the campus of West Virginia University -- dozens of medical offices, and a diverse network of affiliated organizations.

WVUHS member hospitals provide about 25 percent of the inpatient hospital care in the state of West Virginia.

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For more information: Leigh Limerick, Communications Specialist, 304-293-7087
lal: 02-23-15