Robert M. Cothren, PhD

Executive Director
California Association of HIEs
Dr. Cothren is a leader in developing policies, processes, and technologies that promote widespread, trusted sharing of health information to deliver coordinated care and improve community health. As Executive Director for the California Association of Health Information Exchanges, Dr. Cothren leads California’s stakeholders in realizing statewide health information exchange through promotion of regional and enterprise exchanges, and data sharing among them. Dr. Cothren has participated in nationwide health information sharing since the inception of the Nationwide Health Information Network (NwHIN, now eHealth Exchange) in 2004, and has over 20 years of experience in health information technology. He is active in the development of national interoperability standards through organizations such as the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) Standards and Interoperability (S&I) Framework, Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE), and HL7. He acted as the enterprise architect for ONC’s CONNECT project and supported federal agencies in participating in NwHIN, and is a charter member of the launch of CONNECT as a true open-source community through Open Health Tools. He has participated in the Direct Project, helping lead its efforts to develop scalable trust and pilot testing new implementation standards. Dr. Cothren has over 20 years of professional experience in health, medical, and biological research in academic, public, and private industries. He has led development efforts in medical devices, diagnostic software systems, and clinical and public health IT solutions. He was a Northrop Grumman IT Technical Fellow, has over 100 peer-reviewed articles and speaking invitations, and holds 18 patents with 3 more pending. Dr. Cothren received his PhD in Medical Engineering from the Harvard / MIT Health Sciences and Technology program.