This Week Health

George 'Buddy' Hickman

Chief Strategy Officer

First Health Advisory

George 'Buddy' Hickman is a highly accomplished senior executive in the health industry and academic health science system. With a wealth of experience as a 5-time CIO and a former Big Four information technology (IT) consulting partner, Buddy is known for his results-oriented approach and strategic mindset. He excels in translating business goals into actionable tactics and has a proven track record in driving change, building teams, and mentoring others.

Buddy possesses strong competencies in solution selling, vendor management, project management, process redesign, and technology integration. Notably, during the challenging times of the pandemic in 2020, he led his team in rapidly expanding remote workforce capabilities at scale. They implemented multiple telehealth platforms and developed innovative communication and clinical engineering applications to minimize clinical workforce exposures and preserve personal protective equipment (PPE). Additionally, Buddy's team provided valuable data analytics visualizations and dashboards to predict infection spread and support clinical operations.

Recognizing the importance of advancing and promoting the healthcare information management field, Buddy has been actively involved in various industry organizations. As a charter member of CHIME (College of Healthcare Information Management Executives) since its founding in 1992, he has held significant leadership roles, including chair of the board of directors, CHIME Foundation chair, and Education Foundation chair. Buddy is also a CHIME Fellow, Life Member, and serves as a faculty member for the Healthcare CIO Boot Camp, where he imparts knowledge on IT governance and building transformational teams. He currently holds the position of board secretary for MedAllies and has served on the boards of KLAS and Hixny.

Buddy's dedication to the healthcare industry extends to his involvement with HIMSS (Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society) since 1982. As a LifeFellow, he has chaired the national/international board of directors, formed and chaired the compensation committee, and contributed to the HIMSS Analytics board after its acquisition. He has also been actively engaged with HIMSS state chapters in New York and Pennsylvania.

In addition to his leadership roles, Buddy has served on advisory boards for Allscripts, Cerner, UAlbany Cybersecurity, MobileSmith Health, and Diebold. He has been a reviewer for industry magazines and journals, a public speaker, and has authored a healthcare IT planning field book, as well as chapters in other books and numerous articles. Under Buddy's guidance, Albany Med received eight consecutive Most Wired awards, highlighting their commitment to technological advancements in healthcare.



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