Health Current Recognizes Dr. Jim Whitfill, Equality Health, and Sonora Quest Labs with the 2020 Health IT Awards

Published On: October 15, 2020

Prestigious awards celebrate leadership & innovation in health information technology

Health Current, Arizona’s health information exchange (HIE), is proud to recognize Dr. Jim Whitfill of HonorHealth as the recipient of the 2020 Health IT Leader Award; Equality Health as the recipient of the 2020 Health IT Innovation Award; and Sonora Quest Laboratories with the first-ever ACHIEVE Award.

These prestigious awards recognize an individual who demonstrates leadership and organizations that demonstrates innovation in the use of health information technology to achieve the Triple Aim of better care, better outcomes, and lower costs. The awards were recently presented at ACHIEVE 2020, the 13th Annual Health Current Summit & Trade Show held virtually on Oct. 13-14.

Dr. Jim Whitfill
James Whitfill, MD, of HonorHealth, was nominated for Health IT Leader Award for his recognition as an outstanding individual whose leadership helped advance healthcare through health IT and HIE. As HonorHealth’s Chief Transformation Officer, Dr. Whitfill pioneered interoperability and mobility by leading the organization’s Digital Strategy for Patients that linked, EMRs, and third-party tools for data management and engagement on their smart devices.

When the pandemic hit, he provided much-needed leadership by helping to develop the clinician supporting strategy for COVID-19. Dr. Whitfill also led the rapid digital transformation and adoption of telemedicine within the system. HonorHealth Medical group conducted over 10,000 telemedicine visits in their first month of the pandemic.

Additionally, he is the first non-radiologist physician to chair the Society of Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM), and is the founding member of Health Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS)-SIIM Enterprise Imaging Community.

“Dr. Whitfill’s recognition with the 2020 Health IT Leader of the Year award is truly well-deserved,” said Melissa Kotrys, CEO, Health Current.

Equality Health
The recipient of this year’s Health IT Innovation Award is Equality Health for utilizing HIE data in care coordination, pioneering population health, and their proactive support of the state’s Whole Person Care initiative.

Equality Health coordinates care for over one million lives in Arizona, which is made possible by CareEmpower, their state of art care coordination technology. Supplied by data from the HIE, CareEmpower enables providers to achieve better population health and integrated care delivery to better manage value-based care agreements. The tool gives providers and payers a more comprehensive understanding of its patients to help identify high-risk, high-needs populations

CareEmpower also aids in addressing social determinants of health (SDOH) needs for patients, which supports the state Medicaid’s whole-person health model

“They (EqualityHealth) are truly innovators when it comes to advancing healthcare through health information technology and health information exchange,” said Kotrys.

Sonora Quest Labs
Given the unique circumstances of 2020 and everything that has unfolded with the pandemic, Health Current leadership identified an opportunity to present the ACHIEVE Award – special recognition that honors significant achievements by members of the Arizona HIE community.

Historically, the Health IT Award recognizes an individual or organization that does something innovative with the data they receive from the HIE. However, given the impact of the pandemic, it was decided that it especially important to recognize the innovative efforts of an organization that supplies data to the HIE. For that reason, Health Current presented the first-ever ACHIEVE Award to Sonora Quest Laboratories.

Sonora Quest Labs performs roughly 90 million diagnostic tests each year, serving approximately 26,000 patients every day throughout Arizona. In addition to their innovative Home Collections Services and My Lab ReQuest™, they stepped up to the plate to meet the needs of Arizona’s with their COVID-19 testing. They are now the state’s largest COVID-19 test processor.

When the pandemic began in March, they were processing 6,000 to 7,000 tests per day. They made a commitment to increase their capacity, and by August had reached 60,000 to 70,000 tests per day. They also improved the test results turnaround time from seven to eight days when the pandemic started to having test results available within 24 hours. An impressive achievement and worthy of recognition with the special 2020 ACHIEVE Award.

Nominate Your Organization for a Future Health IT Awards

At Health Current, we want to hear about the great things your organization is doing with HIE data. We currently showcase the accomplishments of Arizona HIE participants with Success Stories on our website at

Talk to your Health Current account manager to learn how to submit a Success Story. When your organization submits a Success Story, you will automatically be nominated for next year’s Health IT Award, presented at ACHIEVE 2021.

ACHIEVE 2020 Video Archive Now Available

Did you attend the Health Current Annual Summit and want to view a session again? Did you miss the Summit and want to watch a session for the first time? Good news! Now you can. Summit attendees can use the same ID and PW used to access the virtual Summit. If you were unable to attend, click here to request access to the archive.