With healthcare being Floyd County’s largest industry, medical technology is especially important.

Two out of the six chief information officers named as finalists for an annual award recognizing excellence in technology leadership are from Floyd County.

Harbin Clinic’s Chief Information Officer Andrew Goodwin and Jeff Buda, vice president and chief information officer at Floyd Medical Center, were recently named as finalists for the 2020 Georgia CIO of the Year ORBIE Award.

There are only six finalists in the state, chosen from a pool of 120 nominees.

And for our medical community, that’s a big deal.

“As one of our top employment sectors in Rome, Floyd County and the surrounding area, we know firsthand what excellent healthcare is available right here in our community,” said Jeanne Krueger, Rome Floyd Chamber president.

“Being a named finalist is significant because it recognizes two individuals and entities for their stellar work in Information Technology,” she said. “While we are proud of their achievement, we are also proud of the quality care patients receive as they seek medical information and care in Rome and Floyd County.”

Another, possibly overlooked, factor is how having this level of medical technology available locally trickles down when it comes to future generations.

“We also want to underscore the opportunities available in Rome and Floyd County for students to learn and train in state-of-the-art information and technology with these healthcare providers,” Krueger said.

The finalists

Buda joined Floyd Medical Center as chief information officer in 2012 and was named vice president in 2016.

“Jeff joined our organization at a time when Floyd was focused on the acquisition of a second hospital and electronic health record implementation and quickly recognized several elements of our core technical infrastructure were on the brink of failure,” said FMC President and CEO Kurt Stuenkel. “For the next two years Jeff and his team focused on stabilizing Floyd’s infrastructure, while delivering on strategic imperatives enabled by information technology.”

“Also during this time, Jeff’s team maximized Floyd’s meaningful use incentives, earning over $15 million in incentive payments over the subsequent five years,” Stuenkel added. “In addition, Jeff has been instrumental in developing our information security team, improving customer service and developing a professional Project Management Office, whose members lead some of our most significant projects.

“He was instrumental in our evaluation of the acquisition of our third hospital in Centre, Alabama, and, because of his demonstrated leadership, growth potential and interests, he now has the expanded role of executive oversight of our Public Relations and Volunteer Services departments. I cannot think of a more qualified individual for the honor of Georgia CIO of the Year,” Stuenkel said.

Goodwin leads Harbin’s clinic-wide information systems and technology team and was recognized for his ability to demonstrate excellence in technology leadership.

“This recognition is truly a testament to the talented (information technology systems) team at Harbin Clinic,” Goodwin said. “We’ve made great strides in transforming the information technology and systems function to provide the Harbin Clinic physicians and staff with best-in-class support while also optimizing the patient experience. Without question, I would not have been able to do it without a great team supporting me.”

Goodwin led his team through a complete redesign and rebuild of the Harbin Clinic network infrastructure as well as an upgrade of all phone systems.

Most recently, Goodwin’s team launched HarbinCONNECT, Harbin’s telemedicine service, to provide uninterrupted patient care during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Across every department at Harbin Clinic, we are always focused on improving our patients’ quality of care,” said Kenna Stock, CEO at Harbin Clinic. “(Information technology) is no different as Andy guides his team to design an infrastructure and IT support function that ensures our providers and staff are able to do what they do best: care for patients. Andy is absolutely deserving of this recognition, and I congratulate him on his achievements and success.”

All finalists will be recognized on Oct. 7 at the virtual finalist event, and ORBIE winners will be announced at the virtual Georgia CIO Awards on Nov. 6.

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