Advocate. Consultant. Speaker. Volunteer.
Her career path has featured journeying in the realms of computing and network systems, which led to years of health information technology (HIT) executive leadership for a large hospital system in Idaho where she used her strategic IT skills to interoperate, integrate, inform, and include all stakeholders in care: the patient too.
While at Saint Alphonsus Health System, she led a team to implement electronic health records to include digital radiology, cardiology, labs, pharmacy, notes, and much more, interoperating 56 separate systems across 7 Idaho healthcare organizations to support Idaho’s first statewide physician web portal and patients' access to their own medical record and notes via mysaintals.com. As a result, Idaho patients have over 25 years of medical history at their fingertips: interoperability HIT with the patient at the center achieved."
Helping people and patients is the work that drives Leslie. She has a rich life that informs her advocacy. Family. Friends. City life. Farm life. Leslie has witnessed how technology can help people in need and in care. Raised in the Bay Area with origins in Idaho that go back over 150 years, Leslie has a unique understanding of the urban and rural health experience. It's been an adventure to use that experience to advocate for and educate both the people who serve patients and patients themselves. It feels powerful and sustainable.
A turning point for Leslie happened when a patient contacted her: "Crying and barely able to speak as a result of anger, frustration, and confusion, the patient said to me, 'I hate mysaintals.'" Stunned, I asked for more information. "She let me know that her provider had often told her, 'Honey, you need to lose a few pounds…' Her health record revealed something very different. The note dictated by the physician stated, 'Mary is a morbidly obese, chronically non-compliant, difficult middle-aged woman, who without significant weight loss will never live to meet grandchildren.' This was shocking to read, to say the least. The patient told me that tomorrow she and her family would find another doctor who would help and not judge her, and that she 'will live to see grandchildren.'
"That patient's access to her record, however difficult the record was to read, changed her life—and I became determined to advocate for patient' access, provider transparency, and patient education for all people."
Leslie's advocacy has led her to advise the White House, HHS, and many federal agencies; to guide engagement strategies for health systems; to consult with HIT vendors and investors; to speak at conferences; to teach at universities; and to volunteer in healthcare and nonprofits.
Engaging Patient Strategy (Current)
Leslie is a national leader in health information technology (HIT) advocacy for patients. Leslie promotes the use of technology standards, quality measurement, and information exchange with a specific emphasis on patient participation and engagement. Her subject matter expertise informs Direct Trust, CareQuality, HHS, National Quality Forum, Brookings Institution, PEW Research, and other organizations involved in policy formation and technology empowerment. Leslie brings the patient to the forefront of any project or policy.
Vice President (Consulting)
Health System Integration
Leslie is responsible for product and operational innovation to promote patient engagement and improve the provider/patient relationship through technology and communication. Through Leslie’s leadership and knowledge of healthcare administration and standards, she consults to bring health system, provider, payer, and patients together to co-produce health and to reduce costs.
Consulting Executive, Policy
Senior Vice President Policy
Responsible for influencing policy for patient engagement, shared decision making, and standards in health reform at the national level, Leslie led a balanced approach in patient engagement healthcare policy as evidenced in changes in health reform rules and regulations where she and other patient champions advised government and nonprofits both formally and informally on shared decision making, patient engagement, and patient access to records. Health Information Technology is front and center in the Advancing Care Information Program, and Leslie’s service on the Health Information Technology Standards Committee, Consumer Task Force, and Interoperable Standards Advisory put the patient at the center of care.