2023 Data Pioneer Awards

2023 Awardees

Kathy Hines receiving an award from Kevin McAvey

Kevin McAvey presenting the award to Kathy Hines

Michael Valle receiving an award from Janice Bourgault

Janice Bourgault presenting the award to Michael Valle (receiving for Starla Ledbetter)

Kathy Hines

Kathy Hines is a Senior Health Care Data Advisor and until recently was the Senior Director of Partner Operations and Data Compliance at the Center for Health Information and Analysis (CHIA) in Massachusetts. Kathy spent over 40 years working with health care data and was a leading advocate for the effective use of administrative data of all kinds. She worked with the hospital discharge from the 1980’s/1990’s and with the MA APCD data since its inception. Kathy was a stark proponent of making the data as good as it could be, and she led the Data Quality Team and the Data Compliance Team at CHIA, focused on data intake and validation of the hospital and MA APCD data sources. Kathy felt passionate not only about data, but also about the data users. She implemented a unique Customer Service approach to ensure collaboration and promote quality, timely data that meet the needs of stakeholders. She worked closely within Massachusetts with the Division of Insurance, Department of Public Health, Health Policy Commission and others to assist them in uses of these data sources and ensure the data collected meets their needs.

Kathy has also been a tremendous national colleague to her fellow health data professionals. She has been a champion of NAHDO, the HCUP Project, and the APCD Council since their early days and most recently had the privilege of serving on NAHDO’s Board. She has presented at numerous NAHDO Conferences, their workshops and is a member of the conference planning committee. She has always been willing to assist other states and think broadly about the health data universe, not just the needs of Massachusetts. Kathy is an impassioned advocate of improving the quality and completeness of these rich data resources and furthering their usage across the country. She earned the respect of her colleagues within MA and across the country with her thoughtfulness, helpfulness, and good humor.

Starla Ledbetter

Starla is retiring this year after a nearly 30 year career with HCAI (formerly OSHPD).  Starla’s extraordinary career has included leadership positions overseeing medical coding in a hospital setting, administrative data collection, financial data collection, and most recently serving as Sponsor for the development of California’s Healthcare Payments Data (HPD) program.  Starla has also served in numerous leadership positions for various professional associations including as a NAHDO Board member from 2017 to 2022.  Within the California Health Information Association (CHIA), Starla has served on the Legislative Committee, Nomination Committee, Technology Committee, and Seminars Committee.  Starla also received a CHIA achievement award in 2006.  Starla served as Secretary for the Executive Board of the Public Health Data Standards consortium from 2005 – 2010 and has held numerous roles with the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) and the Sacramento Valley Health Information Association (SVHIA) where she served as President, Secretary, and Newsletter Editor. Starla recently left the NAHDO board, having served on the Executive Committee as secretary.