The CEO of the Indianapolis-based Regenstrief Institute will leave in January to join a new medical school in Austin, Texas, the school announced Thursday.
Dr. Bill Tierney, who has led the Regenstrief medical informatics research operation for five years, will become chair of the department of population health at the Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin. A Regenstrief spokeswoman said a national search for Tierney's replacement will begin in the fall.
Tierney, 64, has been at Regenstrief for 35 years, joining the institute after finishing his medical training at the Indiana University School of Medicine. Regenstrief helped launch one of the nation’s first electronic medical record systems at Wishard Memorial Hospital in the 1970s. It has used that system in hundreds of studies since to document the promise of improving medical care by digitizing patient information.
Tierney has been a lead researcher on grants and contracts totaling more than $32 million and has authored or co-authored 290 articles in peer-reviewed medical journals.
He has also served as chief of the medical school's division of general internal medicine and deriatrics as well as chief of internal medicine at Wishard, which is now called Eskenazi Health.
And Tierney led a team in developing an open-source medical resource system for AIDS clinics that IU operates in Kenya. That system, called OpenMRS, is now being used widely in developing nations.
"Through his aspirations for better health, Bill Tierney has advanced the field of healthcare informatics and health services locally and globally," said Thane Peterson, who joined Regenstrief two years ago as its first executive operating officer, in a written statement.
Tierney, in a written statement, said he is looking forward to new challenges. The Dell Medical School was created in 2013 after voters in Travis County, Texas, approved a property tax increase in 2012 to fund it.
"The Dell Medical School has taken on the responsibility of improving the health of the people of Austin and Travis County, Texas—enhancing their health, happiness, and wellbeing,” Tierney said. “The residents of Travis County have made a visionary investment in this medical school, and the Department of Population Health will provide dividends on that investment by creating innovative collaborative models to help people get and stay healthy.”