Two Female UnityPoint Health Leaders Win Top IT Honors

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Laura Smith and Betsy McVay headshots; two females with top IT honors
Becker’s Hospital Review, a national health care trade publication, recently awarded two UnityPoint Health executives with top information technology (IT) honors. Laura Smith, Vice President and Chief Information Officer, was named to Becker’s 100 Hospital and Health System CIOs to Know for the third year in a row (2017, 2018 and 2019), and Betsy McVay, Vice President and Chief Analytics Officer, was recognized on Becker’s 102 Women in Health IT to Know list for 2019, which is the first time a leader from UnityPoint Health has made this list.

Smith leads the IT division for UnityPoint Health, including a team of 600 IT professionals spread across multiple locations, the oversight of the IT operating budget and delivery of an annual IT portfolio of projects. Additionally, she provides guidance at a system-level for strategic planning and execution of associated initiatives.

“I’m extremely passionate about creating an environment where team members are valued and empowered to do their best work,” Smith says. “It’s what motivates our team to fight the battle in the ever-changing realm of cybersecurity.”

McVay is instrumental in maturing how UnityPoint Health uses data as an organization. She guides an integrated delivery system, with a focus on providing insights and process support for strategic efforts, including population health initiatives, clinical variation opportunities, financial and business analyses and performance management solutions. Her team of about 70 strong touches every part of the organization, from patient experience to human resources.

“I strive to help connect the dots across UnityPoint Health to create a stronger network of providers caring for our communities,” McVay says. “It’s not just about collecting data, but rather, creating collaborative opportunities with clinicians and business leaders to identify problems and figure out the most appropriate tools for change.”

McVay’s first appointment and Smith’s third are two recognitions held in high esteem by UnityPoint Health. A recent study found only 10 percent of tech executives are women, a gender gap the Midwest health system is working hard to close. UnityPoint Health currently has seven women on its system senior team, with an additional five female Chief Executive Officers across the system.