This Week Health 5 Years

Drex DeFord

Executive Healthcare Strategist


I'm a farm-kid from Indiana. With no money for college, I enlisted in the Air Force as an IT Specialist. While on active-duty and working full-time, I finished my undergrad in Business (Magna Cum Laude), and my first masters degree (Public Administration). The Air Force offered a direct commission as a USAF Officer (hospital administration) -- and I accepted.

As a USAF officer, I was the CIO at a small hospital; the Administrator of an Air Transportable Hospital (like an Air Force version of a MASH unit) during Desert Shield/Storm -- shot at and missed; Deputy CIO at the USAF School of Healthcare Sciences; completed a second masters (MS in Health Informatics), CIO at the Air Force's Largest Regional Command (14 hospitals and clinics across the Southern US); CIO at one of the AF's largest Medical Centers; went back to the Middle East to lead an expeditionary hospital supporting multi-national warfighters enforcing Iraqi No-Fly-Zone Operations (Operation Southern Watch); then off to Washington DC as the Chief Technology Officer for Air Force Health System's World-Wide Operations.  

After 20 years and 21 days of military service I retired from the USAF, and started a civilian career that's included CIO roles at Scripps Health, Seattle Children's, and Steward Healthcare, and CEO of Next Wave Connect.

I hung out my shingle as an independent consultant, launching drexio digital health in early 2015.  


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