The Digital Initiatives Group at I-TECH (DIGI) brings together individuals with a breadth of experience and skills in digital health. DIGI has researchers, digital health specialists, health workforce specialists, data analysts, and software engineers who are deployed on projects in a flexible and responsive way. DIGI also has access to a global network of staff, consultants, and vendors.
DIGI employs a shared faculty lead role to help leverage diverse resources from departments across the University of Washington. The DIGI co-faculty leads are:
The DIGI team staff members are:
- Beth Dunbar, Senior Digital Health Specialist
- Oliver Jintha Gadabu, Senior Digital Health Specialist
- Casey Iiams-Hauser, Senior Digital Health Specialist & OpenELIS Global Product Owner
- Piotr Mankowski, Senior Interoperability Engineer
- Patric Prado, Data Scientist
- Assem Suleimenova, Digital Health Project Manager
- Greg Rossum, Senior Software Analyst/Engineer
- Christina White, Senior Software Engineer
- Eimy Barahona, Country Coordinator – GPHDI
- Cliff Gita, HIS Software Engineer
- Moses Mutesasira, Senior Digital Health Software Engineer
- Abert Namanya, HIS Software Engineer
- Caleb Steele-Lane, Software Developer and Security Consultant
- Herbert Yiga, HIS Software Engineer
Program & Administrative Support
- Mallory Erickson, Global Financial Analyst
- Brynn McKinney, Program Operations Specialist – DIGI
- Sonora Stampfly, Senior Program Manager – TAP Program
DIGI Faculty Co-Lead
Jan Flowers, MS is a Clinical Faculty member and Research Scientist in the University of Washington (UW) School of Nursing, and is faculty co-lead of the Digital Initiatives Group at I-TECH (DIGI). Her area of focus is on innovative strategies and technologies for healthcare systems strengthening in resource constrained settings through appropriate electronic collection and use of quality health data for evidence-based decision making. She has led informatics organizations and teams for over 20 years, focused on technology policy and law, health information systems evaluation and maturity modeling, open source communities of practice building, health technology engineering and implementation, patient centered technologies and mHealth, and standards-based interoperability for improved care at the point of service, surveillance, and program monitoring.
Ms. Flowers serves on the board of directors for both OpenMRS and OpenELIS Foundations, and the founder of the OpenHIE Laboratory Information Systems (LIS) Community of Practice, which develops and shares common standards and best practices amongst the open-source LIS community. She holds an MS in Health Law & Policy from the University of California San Francisco jointly with UC Hastings Law School, and a BS in Psychology from the UW. For more about Jan Flowers, please see her full profile.
DIGI Faculty Co-Lead
Nancy Puttkammer, PhD, MPH is an Assistant Professor within the Department of Global Health at the UW and co-leads DIGI. She leads work on strengthening routine health information systems in resource-limited settings, specializing in data quality assessment in routine health information systems; using data from electronic medical records (EMRs) and other health information systems for quality improvement, program evaluation, and research; evaluating cost and impacts of interventions to strengthen routine health information systems; and planning, implementing and evaluating capacity building strategies to support the health informatics workforce.
Dr. Puttkammer teaches and mentors masters and doctoral students on use of qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods for research and program evaluation. She has a PhD in Health Services from the UW and an MPH in Community Health Education from the University of California, Berkeley. For more about Nancy Puttkammer, please see her full profile.
DIGI Technical Staff
Senior Digital Health Specialist, DIGI
Beth Dunbar, MPH, MSc is a Senior Digital Health and Evaluation Expert for DIGI and PhD student in Human Centered Design and Engineering at the UW, where she studies design and evaluation of health information systems. She is focused on implementation research that supports scaling and costing digital health systems. She recently led a project to develop the protocol on gathering global baseline requirements for HIV Care electronic health records (EHR) systems, as part of the Digital Systems Assessment Tool (DSAT). The protocol is based on input from a variety of health, informatics, and digital global goods experts, reviewing literature, and synthesizing artifacts across several key stakeholders. She earned her MSc in Human Centered Design & Engineering from UW and holds an MPH from Johns Hopkins University.
Oliver Jintha Gadabu
Senior Digital Health Specialist, DIGI
Oliver Jintha Gadabu, PhD, MPH is a Senior Digital Health Specialist for DIGI overseeing several OpenELIS projects. He also leads EHR architecture implementation and EHR data use projects in several countries. He has over 15 years of experience designing, developing, implementing, and supporting complex health information technology innovations in resource-constrained settings at scale for the improvement of patient care processes and outcomes. From 2013-16, Dr. Gadabu served as the Executive Director for Baobab Health Trust in Malawi, which was responsible for rolling out an EHR system in over 120 PEPFAR scale-up districts. He also led the design, development, and implementation of the electronic birth and death registration systems as part of the Malawi Civil Registration and Vital Statics program. He completed a PhD in Health Infrastructures and Learning Systems at the University of Michigan School of Medicine. He also holds an MPH from the University of South Africa Pretoria with a specialization in medical informatics.
Senior Digital Health Specialist, DIGI & Product Owner – OpenELIS Global
Casey Iiams-Hauser, MIA is a Senior Digital Health Specialist with DIGI and is the product owner for the OpenELIS Global Lab Information System (LIS) project and a co-lead for the OpenHIE LIS community of practice. He has spent his career working in resource-limited settings architecting standards-based health information systems and providing technical assistance to Ministries of Health and local partners. He specializes in helping transition laboratory systems from paper based, or bespoke one-off systems into interconnected national lab information networks, with connections to dashboards for turning data into timely information, and results reporting to EMR systems, epidemic monitoring and patient tracing systems, and other platforms.
Mr. Iiams-Hauser has served as lead architect for national LIS deployments for Côte d’Ivoire and Mauritius, working closely with local partners and ministries to build robust deployments with appropriate technological solutions and a well-trained workforce to build sustainable informatics systems implemented at scale. He holds his Master of International Affairs from Columbia University.
Senior Interoperability Engineer, DIGI
Piotr Mankowski is the lead architect and interoperability expert for the DIGI team. He has over 10 years of experience developing healthcare systems, standards-based interoperability, and working with clinical data. He is currently pursuing a PhD in biomedical informatics with a focus on innovative methods for designing, implementing, and validating health system architectures to enable secure, scalable, and performant sharing of data between various components of a health system network. Since 2019, Piotr has supported work on interoperability for health systems in Haiti and has contributed to the development of standards-based solutions for providing continuity of care, patient identity services, and lab order communication between electronic medical record and lab information systems. Piotr actively collaborates with the OpenMRS, OpenELIS, OpenHIE, and IHE communities, and is currently working with these communities on modern, standard-driven approaches for quality and conformance testing of FHIR specifications and implementation guides. He earned his BSc from McGill University in Montreal, where he double majored in Computer Science and Biology.
Patric Prado, MPH is a data scientist with DIGI and supports the use of strategic information for infectious and chronic disease surveillance, monitoring, and evaluation to support decision-making, priority- setting, program improvement, and patient care and treatment.
Patric has international and domestic experience in the development, implementation, and assessment of health information systems, data visualization dashboards, and surveys; data management and quality analysis; program management and coordination with international governments, stakeholders, funders, and partners; integration of multiple data sources for statistical analysis and triangulation; database and data-warehousing techniques; and health Information policy development. Patric received his BS and MPH from Columbia University.
Senior Software Analyst/Engineer, DIGI
Greg Rossum provides technical analysis and software engineering with OpenELIS, TrainSMART, and other open-source software products as part of the DIGI team. He is the primary software engineer for OpenELIS, and led the effort to convert the OpenELIS Java framework from Struts I to Spring to enhance software security. He also contributed to the OpenELIS interoperability project funded by PATH/Digital Square to demonstrate interoperability between OpenELIS and OpenMRS using FHIR resources. He has worked on multiple health informatics projects in Haiti, Botswana, Namibia and Cote d’Ivoire and Mauritius. He holds a degree in Computer Science from the University of Calgary.
Digital Health Project Manager
Assem Suleimenova, MD, PhD is a Digital Health Project Manager with DIGI. She is currently working on the “Quality in Health Information Systems” project, a project is aimed at defining the quality of electronic medical records through qualitative analysis of interviews with stakeholders around the world.
Prior to joining DIGI, Dr. Suleimenova worked as an oncologist and researcher in Kazakhstan giving her first-hand clinical experience, which has enabled her to improve people’s health through prevention, screening, and increasing public awareness within Public Health. She earned her MD from Semey Medical University and her PhD from Kyrgyz Russian Slavic University. She is a current UW MPH student.
Senior Software Engineer, DIGI
Christina White, MS is a senior software engineer with a specialization in health systems at DIGI. She has served as a technical project manager and developer on health systems projects for over 11 years and has been involved in all aspects of health systems development, deployment, administration, and support. She has specialized experience in translating clinic workflows into informatics systems requirements, integrating paper-based workflows into electronic systems, and health information systems standardization and interfacing. She has developed custom interfaces that adhere to open standards for health information data exchange, as well as adapted open source and proprietary tools where necessary and appropriate. She has overseen the implementation of multi-platform, multi-site electronic medical records systems in resource-limited settings, the largest of which involved 100+ clinical implementations. She specializes in user interface/user interaction (UI/UX) design and development and has collaborated on human computer interaction studies. Additionally, she has experience with health systems database architecting, MVC frameworks, development and execution of full scope testing protocols, registration modules, and lab information systems adaptation and implementation. She has experience collaborating on the development of HIS to meet the varied needs of diverse stakeholder groups. Christina holds a BS in bioengineering from UW and an MS in health economics from Central Washington University.
DIGI Research Assistants
HIS Evaluation Specialist
Yao He, PhD, MPH is a Research Assistant for DIGI and PhD student in Global Health Implementation Science at UW. Her research focuses on evaluating the impact and process of digital health project implementation using routinely collected data. Dr. He’s recent projects include evaluating the effectiveness and identifying the facilitators and barriers of OpenELIS project implementation in Côte d’Ivoire; establishing a monitoring and evaluation (M&E) framework for digital health for pandemic preparedness and response; compiling functional requirements for laboratory information management systems as part of the Digital Systems Assessment Tool (DSAT); and drafting data privacy and confidentiality guidance for integrating data systems.
Prior to joining DIGI, Yao worked as research assistant at Health Alliance International on routine M&E of a PEPFAR project in Côte d’Ivoire and as teaching assistant at the University of Washington for graduate and undergraduate level global health courses. She also worked as project manager and M&E lead of maternal and newborn health projects in rural China at Save the Children. Dr. He received her PhD in Global Health Implementation Science from the UW and her MPH in Health Policy and Management from Columbia University.
HIS Evaluation Specialist
Patience Komba, MIPH, is a Research Assistant for DIGI and a Doctoral Student at the UW. She is passionate about using digital health innovations to improve the quality of health services. Her interest is in the monitoring and evaluation of digital health interventions, specifically in low- and middle-income countries. Prior to joining DIGI, Patience worked as the Director for Program Quality in the University of Maryland Baltimore HIV Program in Tanzania where she supported four CDC-funded local HIV care and treatment implementing partners with real-time data use for quality improvement, data visualization, and HIS enhancements. She also worked as a senior technical advisor and country lead for continuous quality improvement for the HIV Care and Treatment Program in Tanzania, as well as provided short-term technical assistance in Kenya, Zambia, Botswana, and Rwanda. She received her Master of International Public Health from the University of Sydney – Australia.
Country Coordinator – GPHDI
Eimy Barahona, MD, MPH, MA is the country coordinator for the GHPDI project. She is a passionate social entrepreneur and physician, whose unwavering commitment to healthcare improvement has defined her career. With a diverse background encompassing project management, public health research, and the implementation of digital health programs, her expertise extends to adeptly managing grants and fellowships, with a specialization in occupational health and environmental medicine.
Eimy is a general physician holding a master’s degree in Environmental Health and Occupational Health and Safety from Ecole des Hautes en Santé Publique and a Master’s in Public Health from Granada University of Spain. She’s also been honored with the Europubhealth Excellence Scholarship. In 2018, she co-founded a pioneering telehealth network addressing healthcare challenges in remote and underserved areas in Honduras, which operated successfully until 2021.
HIS Software Engineer
Cliff Gita is an HIS Software Engineer consultant for DIGI. Clif has experience in OpenMRS, OpenELIS, mHealth (e.g., two-way texting), and data pipelines. He has contributed software development work on OpenMRS since 2019 and has experience in html form entry, web services, attachment, reporting, and FHIR2 modules. Additionally, Cliff was the release manager of the OpenMRS Platform 2.4.0, was a co-administrator of the Google Summer of Docs 2020, and participated as an OpenMRS development fellow extracting longitudinal patient-level data from OpenMRS through OpenHIM to a shared server for calculating PEPFAR indicators. He has worked on the HSIS reporting work for iSante-Plus Haiti EMR and currently contributing to the Jamaican mHealth project. Cliff holds a bachelor’s degree in business computing from Makerere University.
Senior Digital Health Software Engineer
Moses Mutesasira is a Systems Engineer consultant for DIGI focused on the development of the OpenELIS Global LIS, building EMRs based on OpenMRS, integrating HIS products based on OpenHIE architecture using the FHIR Standard, and developing automated testing frameworks for HIS products against specified criteria. Moses worked with OpenMRS on the Patient Level Indicator Project, a proof of concept to demonstrate extraction of large amount of data from OpenMRS and send it to a shared health record, allowing the data to be used by downstream reporting tools.
He also worked on several OpenMRS consultancy projects with several organizations including IntelliSOFT Consulting Ltd., Uganda Cancer Institute, Emory University School of Medicine. Moses holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering and management from Kyambogo University.
HIS Software Engineer
Abert Namanya is an HIS software engineer consultant with DIGI. He is passionate about new technologies and learning. Abert has done tremendous work around software testing, development, and technical documentation. Albert has worked with OpenMRS as volunteer software engineer, then Technical writer on FHIR implementation Guide(HL7 standard). He is currently completing a master’s degree of science in Computing at UTAMU and holds a bachelor’s degree in information technology from Kabale University.
Software Developer and Security Consultant
Caleb Steele-Lane is a contract-based software developer and security consultant who has worked with DIGI since 2017. Brought on to make the original OpenELIS-Global more secure, he has kept with the project to bring it to its current, more capable, and more secure state as a software developer. Major milestones in the project while he has worked on it include: Converting the backend framework from Struts I to Spring, adapting current security mechanisms to more widely used and highly tested standards, adding a FHIR API layer to allow interoperability between disparate systems, and converting the frontend to the more modern React framework.
He has also assisted with other projects at DIGI, such as the Mauritius All-in-One form which was made for contact tracing purposes to respond to the global Covid-19 pandemic. Caleb holds a BSc in Computer Science with a specialization in Information Theory and Data Security from the University of Calgary.
HIS Software Engineer
Herbert Yiga is an HIS systems engineer consultant with DIGI focused on developing healthcare systems that use standard-based interoperability. He also focuses on developing automated testing frameworks. Herbert actively collaborates with the OpenMRS, OpenELIS and OpenHIE communities, is an OpenMRS volunteer, and has developed a module that uses machine learning to predict which patients are most likely to experience interruption in treatment in Mozambique. Herbert holds a bachelor’s degree in information Technology and Computing at Kyambogo University in Uganda.
DIGI Program & Administrative Support
Global Financial Analyst, I-TECH
Mallory Erickson, MBA is an administrator for DIGI, and a Global Financial Analyst for the International Training & Education Center for Health. She has extensive experience working with international programs, with five years on the ground in Nicaragua and seven years supporting University of Washington programs in Cambodia, Mozambique, Namibia, Peru and Ukraine. Ms. Erickson holds an MBA from the University of Washington, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy and Spanish from Seattle University. She speaks Spanish and Portuguese.
Program Operations Specialist, DIGI
Brynn McKinney manages the operational and financial health of DIGI. Serving as the primary point of contact for business development, contract administration, budget management, financial reporting, recruiting and logistics. Brynn stays ahead of policy changes within the University and ensures compliance with Washington State laws. She has 17 years of experience in organizational capacity development within the public sector and has previously worked for King County Treasury, The Montana Department of Justice – Office of Consumer Protection, The Montana Department of Revenue, and the University of Montana.
Senior Program Manager, TAP Program
Sonora Stampfly, MPH is a Program Manager with the I-TECH center and oversees the CDC funded Technical Assistance Platform (TAP) portfolio as a PATH consortium member. Ms. Stampfly oversees budget management and reporting for this award, including budget development across projects, assuring compliance with funder requirements and coordination with subrecipients on spending and forecasted costs. Previously, Sonora coordinated NIH funded research training grants on HIV, HPV, and NCDs with partners in Kenya and Nepal. She also supported global health leadership training programs within the Department of Global Health at UW. She received her MPH from UW.