The Digital Initiatives Group at I-TECH (DIGI) brings together individuals with a breadth of experience and skills in digital health. DIGI has researchers, digital health specialists, health workforce specialists, data analysts, and software engineers who are deployed on projects in a flexible and responsive way. DIGI also has access to a global network of staff, consultants, and vendors.
DIGI employs a shared faculty lead role to help leverage diverse resources from departments across the University of Washington. The DIGI co-faculty leads are:
The DIGI team staff members are:
- Beth Dunbar, Senior Digital Health Specialist
- Oliver Jintha Gadabu, Senior Digital Health Specialist
- Casey Iiams-Hauser, Senior Digital Health Specialist
- Piotr Mankowski, Senior Digital Health Specialist
- Christina White, Senior Digital Health Specialist
- Greg Rossum, Software Engineer
- Mallory Erickson, DIGI Administrator
- Michelle Virgin, DIGI Administrator
Jan Flowers, Faculty Co-Lead
Jan Flowers is a Clinical Faculty member and Research Scientist in the University of Washington School of Nursing, and is faculty co-lead of the Digital Initiatives Group at I-TECH. Her area of focus is on innovative strategies and technologies for healthcare systems strengthening in resource constrained settings through appropriate electronic collection and use of quality health data for evidence-based decision making. She has led informatics organizations and teams for over 20 years, focused on technology policy and law, health information systems (HIS) evaluation and maturity modeling, open source communities of practice building, health technology engineering and implementation, patient centered technologies and mHealth, and standards-based interoperability for improved care at the point of service, surveillance, and program monitoring.
Ms. Flowers serves on the board of directors for both OpenMRS and OpenELIS Foundations, and the founder of the OpenHIE Laboratory Information Systems (LIS) Community of Practice, which develops and shares common standards and best practices amongst the open-source LIS community. She holds an MS in Health Law & Policy from the University of California San Francisco jointly with UC Hastings Law School, and a BS in Psychology from the University of Washington. For more about Jan Flowers, please see her full profile.
Nancy Puttkammer, Faculty Co-Lead
Nancy Puttkammer, PhD, is an Acting Assistant Professor within the Department of Global Health at University of Washington and is the faculty co-lead of the Digital Initiatives Group at I-TECH. Her interests are in strengthening HIS and promoting data use and for quality improvement of health programs in resource-limited settings. She is trained as a health services researcher, specializing in using observational, routinely-collected data from electronic medical records (EMRs) to strengthen HIV care and treatment programs.
In her capacity as a Research and Evaluation Advisor at I-TECH, she works with informatics and training projects in Haiti, Kenya, and South Africa to improve large-scale implementation of EMRs, evaluate data quality and data use, support data analyses, and develop capacity for data use and implementation science research among colleagues and counterparts. Dr. Puttkammer has a PhD in Health Services from the University of Washington and an MPH in Community Health Education from the University of California, Berkeley. For more about Dr. Puttkammer, please see her full profile.
Beth Dunbar, Senior Digital Health Specialist
Beth Dunbar is a PhD student in Human Centered Design and Engineering at the University of Washington where she studies design and evaluation of HIS. She is focused on implementation research that supports scaling and costing digital health systems. Prior to joining DIGI, she spent about six years leading health monitoring, evaluation, and informatics teams for Partners In Health in both remote Liberia and rural Malawi. She focused on implementing and refining digital health systems like DHIS2, OpenMRS, and CommCare across community health and clinical programs. She also supported the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in user requirements and deployment of the US-based syndromic surveillance system BioSense 2.0. She holds a MPH in infectious disease epidemiology from Johns Hopkins University.
Oliver Jintha Gadabu, Senior Digital Health Specialist
Oliver Jintha Gadabu, PhD is a Senior Digital Health Specialist for DIGI, overseeing several OpenELIS projects. He comes to DIGI with a cumulative 15 years of experience designing, developing, implementing, and supporting complex health information technology innovations in resource-constrained settings for the improvement of patient care processes and outcomes. From 2013-2016, he served as the Executive Director for Baobab Health Trust in Malawi. Among other projects, Baobab Health Trust was responsible for rolling out an electronic health record (EHR) system in over 120 PEPFAR scale-up districts. He also led the design, development, and implementation of the electronic birth and death registration systems as part of the Civil Registration and Vital Statics program. Dr. Gadabu completed a PhD in Health Infrastructures and Learning Systems at the University of Michigan School of Medicine. He has research interests in EHR data use for improving patient care processes and outcomes. He also holds an MPH from the University of South Africa Pretoria with a specialization in medical informatics, as well as a BSc in Computer Science and Statistics from the University of Malawi, Chancellor College.
Casey Iiams-Hauser, Senior Digital Health Specialist
Casey Iiams-Hauser is a Senior Digital Health Specialist with DIGI and leads the OpenELIS Global LIS project. He has spent well over a decade working in resource-limited settings on architecting standards-based HIS and providing technical assistance to Ministries of Health and local partners. He has led efforts in Kenya, Côte d’Ivoire, Haiti and Mauritius in all aspects of HIS design, development and implementation. He specializes in helping transition laboratory systems from paper-based or bespoke one-off systems into interconnected national lab information networks, with connections to dashboards for turning data into timely information, and results reporting to EMR systems, epidemic monitoring and patient tracing systems, and other platforms.
Mr. Iiams-Hauser has served as lead architect for national LIS deployments for Côte d’Ivoire and Mauritius, working closely with local partners and ministries to build robust deployments with appropriate technological solutions and a well-trained workforce to build sustainable informatics systems implemented at scale. He also specializes in managing the evaluation of software systems from a data security perspective and has led the update of the OpenELIS technology stack, addressing any security concerns to allow it to be installed on the most secure and sensitive networks. He speaks fluent French and enjoys picking up new languages as he travels. He holds his Master of International Affairs from Columbia University.
Piotr Mankowski, Senior Digital Health Specialist
Piotr Mankowski is a PhD student in Biomedical and Health Informatics through the Department of Biomedical Informatics and Medical Education at the University of Washington. His academic work focuses on facilitating the secondary use of electronic health records data from resource-limited healthcare settings by leveraging available global goods, open-source tools, and healthcare standards. His work as a DIGI Research Assistant involves the utilization of many of these resources – including the OpenMRS EMR, OpenHIE Architecture components, and the FHIR health data standard – to develop and pilot health information exchange and continuity of care capabilities for the Haitian healthcare system. Prior to starting his PhD at the University of Washington, Piotr worked for six years as a senior programmer/analyst at the Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, where he had a variety of research, data analysis, and development responsibilities. Mr. Mankowski is originally from Warsaw, Poland, and holds a Bachelor of Science degree from McGill University in Montreal, where he double-majored in Computer Science and Biology.
Christina White, Senior Digital Health Specialist
Christina White is a software engineer with a specialization in health systems. She has served as a Technical Project Manager and Developer on Health Systems projects for over 11 years, and has been involved in all aspects of health systems development, deployment, administration, and support. She has specialized experience in translating clinic workflows into informatics systems requirements, integrating paper-based workflows into electronic systems, and HIS standardization and interfacing. She has developed custom interfaces that adhere to open standards for health information data exchange, as well as adapted open source and proprietary tools where necessary and appropriate. She has overseen the implementation of multi-platform, multi-site EMR Systems in resource-limited settings, the largest of which involved 100+ clinical implementations. She specializes in User interface/User interaction (UI/UX) design and development, and has collaborated on human computer interaction studies. Additionally, she has experience with health systems database architecting, MVC frameworks, development and execution of full scope testing protocols, registration modules, and LIS adaptation and implementation. She has experience collaborating on the development of HIS to meet the varied needs of diverse stakeholder groups. Ms. White holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Bioengineering from the University of Washington and a Masters of Science in Health Economics from Central Washington University.
Greg Rossum, Software Engineer
Greg Rossum provides technical analysis and software engineering with OpenELIS, TrainSMART, and other open source software products as part of the DIGI team. He is the primary software engineer for OpenELIS, and led the effort to convert the OpenELIS Java framework from Struts I to Spring to enhance software security. He also contributed to the OpenELIS interoperability project funded by PATH/Digital Square to demonstrate interoperability between OpenELIS and OpenMRS using FHIR resources. He has worked on multiple health informatics projects in Haiti, Botswana, Namibia, Côte d’Ivoire, and Mauritius. He holds a degree in Computer Science from the University of Calgary.
Mallory Erickson, DIGI Administrator
Mallory Erickson is an administrator for DIGI, and a Global Financial Analyst for the International Training & Education Center for Health. She has extensive experience working with international programs, with five years on the ground in Nicaragua and seven years supporting University of Washington programs in Cambodia, Mozambique, Namibia, Peru and Ukraine. Ms. Erickson holds an MBA from the University of Washington, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy and Spanish from Seattle University. She speaks Spanish and Portuguese.
Michelle Virgin, DIGI Administrator
Michelle Virgin is a senior program manager and administrator for DIGI. She has over ten years of program management and grants and contracts administration experience for a variety of donors and clients. Prior to her work with DIGI, she implemented relief and development programs in a variety of complex operating environments, including Haiti, Afghanistan, Turkey/N. Syria, and Cameroon. Ms. Virgin holds an MA in International Political Economy and Development from Fordham University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and International Development Studies from McGill University. She speaks French fluently.