Oral History Project

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The Institute for Health Informatics History Project captures, analyzes, and records the history of health informatics at the University of Minnesota. Through oral history interviews, the Project preserves the personal stories of faculty members and National Library of Medicine administrators who were involved in the early history of the field and have keen insights into the history of health informatics at the University of Minnesota.

Stan Finkelstein

Stanley Finkelstein

Stanley Finkelstein begins by discussing his educational background and his arrival at the University of Minnesota. He describes at length his research in the field of home monitoring and telehealth, including his research with Jay N. Cohn on the development of a device to measure and monitor arteriovascular compliance in order to diagnose and monitor hypertension and congestive heart failure; his research with Warren Warwick and the development of the first home monitoring system for cystic fibrosis patients; and the subsequent development of home monitoring of lung transplant patients in collaboration with Marshall Hertz. ...

Lynda Ellis

Lynda Ellis headshot

Lynda Ellis begins by discussing her educational background and her arrival at the University of Minnesota. She describes her first years in the Division of Health Computer Sciences, the atmosphere of the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, and her colleagues in the Department. She then discusses her initial research in computer-based patient education; the graduate program in Biometry and Health Information Systems; and her year of leave at 3M. ...

Bruce Blazar

Bruce Blazar

Dr. Blazar begins by discussing the establishment of the University of Minnesota’s Center for Translational Medicine and the Clinical and Translational Science Institute, and the relationship between the two centers. He next goes on to describe the application process for the National Institutes of Health Clinical and Translation Science Award and the major achievements that have resulted from the CTSA grant. ...

Constantin Aliferis

Constantin Aliferis

Constantin Aliferis begins by discussing his educational background, including his early interest in biomedical and health informatics. He describes the main focus of his research since graduate school, which has included machine learning and the analysis of complex and high-dimensional data sets; scientometrics and informatics retrieval; and model building, analysis, and knowledge discovery across a variety of disease domains. ...

Don Connelly

Donald Connelly

Donald Connelly begins by discussing his educational background, including his early interest in biomedical computing. He describes his first years in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology including the state of computing in laboratories in the 1970s, the atmosphere of the Department, and his experiences as director of the Laboratory Data Division and acting director of the Outpatient Laboratory. ...

Marty LaVenture

Marty LaVenture

Marty LaVenture begins by discussing his educational background in public health, epidemiology, and health informatics. He describes his experiences working as an assistant state epidemiologist in Wisconsin where he was in charge of developing information systems for disease surveillance. During his time in Wisconsin, LaVenture worked with Epic Software to develop online disease surveillance systems. In the late 1980s, LaVenture returned to the Twin Cities and joined the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). LaVenture describes the work he did at the MDH in the late 1980s and early 1990s...

Frank Cerra

Rank Cerra

In this excerpt from part two of a three-part interview for the Academic Health Center Oral History Project, Dr. Cerra discusses the events leading to the establishment of the Institute for Health Informatics.

You can find the full Academic Health Center Oral History Project interview at http://blog.lib.umn.edu/ahc-ohp/ahc-oral-history-project/2014/12/cerra-frank.html.

Stuart Speedie

Stuart Speedie

Stuart Speedie begins by discussing his educational background and his early career spent first at the Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory in Portland, Oregon, and then at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy where he served as Director of Education. He discusses his early interest in information systems and technology and his five-year NSF-funded research project on the development of expert systems on the appropriate use of drugs in hospital settings, which he developed during a sabbatical year at Stanford University. He describes his responsibilities disseminating information technology at the University of Maryland and the information systems research he conducted there. ...

Christopher Chute

Christopher Chute

Christopher Chute begins by discussing his educational background and his decision to move to the Mayo Clinic in the late 1980s. Next, he discusses some of the health informatics research and educational projects that the Mayo Clinic and the University of Minnesota have collaborated on. Dr. Chute describes in detail the main research projects that he and the Division of Biomedical Informatics have worked on since the late 1980s, including research in the areas of biomedical terminology and ontology and the management of patient data in electronic medical records. ...

Milton Corn

Milton Corn

Milton Corn begins the interview discussing the definition of health informatics and the early National Library of Medicine Research Training in Medical Informatics programs, including the University of Minnesota’s training program. Dr. Corn describes his first introduction to medical informatics while serving as dean of Georgetown University School of Medicine and his decision to join the NLM in 1990. He describes at length the evolution of the NLM Research Training Program and the related history of the University of Minnesota’s training program based on the evaluations the NLM performed of the training program every five years.