William Tierney, MD is a general internist with specialty training in medical informatics and health system research who currently serves as the inaugural Chair of the Department of Population Health in the new Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin. He and his department are playing a leading role in the Dell Medical School’s mission to help Austin and Central Texas become a model healthy community. Areas of focus for the Department of Population Health will include Community Engagement and Public Health, Primary Care & Value-Based Health, Occupational Health, Family Medicine, Health Information and Data Analytic Sciences, Global Health, and leading the Dell Medical School’s teaching population health principles to medical students.
Prior to joining the Dell Medical School, Bill was internationally recognized for his research in biomedical informatics, quality improvement, health care efficiency, and analysis of data in huge clinical databases. He has implemented and studied electronic health record systems and health information technologies at the Regenstrief Institute and Indiana University where he was founding Director of its NIH-funded informatics fellowship training programs in Indianapolis and Kenya. From 2010-2015, Bill was Regenstrief’s President and CEO. During that time, he diversified Regenstrief’s funding portfolio, launched its Industry Research Office, and increased its external annual funding from $35 million to $47 million. In Indianapolis, Bill also served as Associate Dean for Clinical Effectiveness Research for the Indiana University School of Medicine and Chairman of the Department of Internal Medicine for Eskenazi Health, the nation’s fourth largest safety net health system. He also served for a dozen years as the Director of Informatics and Research for AMPATH, a 25-year collaboration of more than a dozen North American universities, led by IU, with universities in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Rwanda. From 2005 through 2010, the AMPATH Research Program received $65 million in research grants and contracts. One of the features of this collaboration was developing, implementing, assessing, and disseminating OpenMRS, an open-source EHR platform that’s been implemented in more than 60 countries (including the U.S.) and nationally in all Ministry of Health clinics Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Nigeria, Mozambique, Bangladesh, and the Philippines. Bill currently serves as Chair of OpenMRS, Inc.’s Board of Directors.
Bill is a member of the National Academy of Medicine, a Master of the American College of Physicians, A Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians - London, a member of the Association of American Physicians, and President of the American College of Medical Informatics. He has received more than $60 million in extramural grants and contracts as Principal Investigator and has received the highest career achievement award from leading national organizations in three disciplines: the Society of General Internal Medicine (the Robert J. Glaser award), the American College of Medical Informatics (the Morris F. Collen Award), and the Association for Clinical and Translational Science (its Award for Career Achievement and Contribution to Clinical and Translational Science). He has published more than 600 articles, book chapters, and abstracts that have been cited by others more than 25,000 times.