Healthcare Transformation Coordinator tasked with reducing costs, improving services

Hawaii Independent Staff

HONOLULU—Gov. Neil Abercrombie announced Beth Giesting as the Healthcare Transformation Coordinator, a new position, established by an executive order.

The role of the Healthcare Transformation Coordinator includes developing and implementing plans with the following goals:

* Improving the health and healthcare for Hawaii’s people.

* Transforming the organization and delivery of healthcare services, including payment reform, health information technology and primary care workforce.

* Ensuring collaboration among government agencies, healthcare providers and health plans, and consumers.

* Implementing provisions of President Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

* Increasing quality and reducing costs for the State’s employee healthcare system and Medicaid programs.

As the current Chief Executive Officer for Hawai’i Primary Care Association, Giesting provides support and assistance to Hawaii’s 14 community health centers. Geisting previously served as the executive director of the Kalihi-Palama Health Center and Services Administration of the Oahu Private Industry Council. She earned her MS in Instructional Systems Technology from Indiana University and BA in History from Ball State University.

The Healthcare Transformation Coordinator position and an assistant are funded by a grant from the California Endowment, a nonprofit health foundation, through the Hawaii Community Foundation totaling $300,000 over two years.

“In the healthcare community, we have long wanted leadership from the state so we can achieve our goal of improving patient outcomes,” said Dr. Ginny Pressler, executive vice president and chief strategic officer for Hawaii Pacific Health. “The selection of Beth as the new Healthcare Transformation Coordinator will help us move toward a new direction.”

Abercrombie will also bring on Dr. Thomas Tsang, Senior Advisor to the Governor on Healthcare Transformation, for this effort. Tsang will join the State of Hawaii’s healthcare transformation leadership team in the Governor’s Office, which will also include support from key officials in the State Department of Health and Department of Human Services.

Tsang is the Medical Director of Meaningful Use and Quality at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in Washington, D.C. Prior to that, Tsang worked on key provisions for the Affordable Care Act on the Committee of Ways and Means in the House of Representatives and practiced internal medicine at the Charles B. Wang Community Health Center in New York City.