Rochester RHIO names new chief executive

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The Rochester Regional Health Information Organization has hired a health care administration veteran to take over for its retiring chief executive. John Sheehan will assume responsibilities from current RHIO president and CEO Jill Eisenstein. 

Sheehan currently serves as principal lead business consultant for St. Petersburg, Fl.-based All Tier Health Care Consulting, where he has advised a variety of health care organizations for the past 10 years. Previously, Sheehan headed Lighthouse Telehealth LLC, a Toledo, Ohio-based for-profit provider of telehealth psychiatric and behavior health services. He simultaneously ran Lighthouse’s nonprofit parent, Harbor, a $57 million behavioral health provider with 30 locations in Ohio and Michigan.

John Sheehan

The nonprofit RHIO electronically links area hospitals, health systems and medical practices in a network spanning 14 counties. It allows providers to instantaneously access patients’ medical records including case histories, test results and scans.

RHIOs first appeared across the country in the first decade of the 2000s as hospitals, physician practices and other providers converted from paper charts to electronic medical records systems. The Rochester RHIO was one of the first to be organized in New York and has consistently been praised as one of the most efficient in the state.

The Rochester RHIO conducted a national search for Eisenstein’s replacement and Sheehan “quickly emerged” as the top candidate, says Ann Marie Cook, the organization’s board chair.

“We’re thrilled that John is joining us. He has navigated nearly every aspect of the health care ecosystem, fostering collaboration between diverse entities and consistently delivering measurable results,” Cook says.

In accepting the RHIO position, Sheehan, who as a child spent several years in the Finger Lakes region, returns to his native city. He plans to start as the Rochester RHIO’s CEO Aug. 1. 

Eisenstein has headed the Rochester RHIO since 2015 and previously had served as associate director since 2006. She announced plans earlier this year to retire from the RHIO at the end of August. 

Will Astor is Rochester Beacon senior writer.

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