Having a world-class information technology department is a top priority for WashU Chief Information Officer Jessie Minton. During an interview with BJC HealthCare’s Jerry Fox, she noted WashU IT is committed to building partnerships and fostering key relationships to accomplish that goal.
Nearly 300 information technology professionals attended the interview with Minton on Friday, March 24, which marked the first BJC IT Tech Town Hall meeting of the spring. Through these forums, Fox, who is Senior Vice President, Chief Information Officer and Digital Information Officer, tackles tech topics in virtual town halls, geared toward an audience of BJC IT, Epic1 and BJC Clinical Asset Management teams.
When talking about WashU’s relationship with BJC, Minton noted it is important “to know when to walk together, when to move parallel, and when it makes sense to be in our own space.”
Also touted as high priorities are a new IT governance and portfolio prioritization process and enhancements to research infrastructure structure, storage and computing capabilities. Minton shared that a $30-million investment over the next 5 years for information security projects will be guided by the university’s growing needs.
“We are working with approved funding for FY23-24 and we will return to the Board of Trustees to cover remaining needs as they are identified and triaged, and we get closer to FY25,” she said.
Minton added, the restructuring of the IT funding model is essential to achieving our strategic goals.
In recognition of March as Women’s History Month, Fox asked Minton about her career progression, which involved her taking on a challenging leadership role at the age of 22 and moving up the ranks, building a project portfolio management office from the ground up, developing tools for and leading discussions around campus-wide strike planning at Oregon Health & Science University, leading an IT transformation at the University of Oregon, and learning important lessons along the way.
When asked to compare the 11 years she spent at Oregon Health and Science University and at the University of Oregon, both state governed institutions, to WashU, a private institution, she noted both embody similar cultures in that they produce independent thinkers and support the entrepreneurial spirit. She said the private university setting allows for nimbler movement with regard to organizational change and contractual engagements with vendors.
Fox asked about the March 22 launch of IMPACT, the IT Strategic Plan, to which Minton noted intentionally shaping stakeholder experiences will serve as a driver for success. She added, “We have to ask ourselves how we want to show up to support people.” Additionally, she said helping IT employees see how they fit within IMPACT is an important element leading to the success of the plan. BJC Vice President for Health Information Systems – Epic, Theresa Eckman, was recognized toward the end of the forum. Fox acknowledged Eckman’s contributions to technology as another IT trailblazer.