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GPC Leadership


Principal Investigator (PI):Russ Waitman, PhD
Institution: University of Kansas Medical Center

Since arriving at the University of Kansas Medical Center in 2010, Russ Waitman has worked with colleagues across the schools and campuses to establish a strategy for clinical and translational research informatics for Frontiers, the Kansas and Kansas City NIH Clinical and Translational Science Award. A key component was working with the University of Kansas Physicians and the University of Kansas Hospital to establish a master data sharing agreement and oversight process so they could jointly create an integrated data repository, HERON, based on the NIH funded i2b2 platform. This led to KUMC serving as the leading institution for the PCORnet Greater Plains Collaborative Clinical Data Research Network where Dr. Waitman serves as Principal Investigator. His research interests are clinical decision support, knowledge discovery, and creating information environments to support personal health, research and patient safety.


Co-Principal Investigator (Co-PI): James McClay, MD
Institution: University of Nebraska Medical Center

Dr. McClay is an associate professor for the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE where he established the graduate degree program in Biomedical Informatics and operates the Enterprise Clinical Research Data Warehouse. Dr. McClay attended the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI, earning a Bachelor of Science in Biophysics with Honors. He earned his MD degree at Wayne State University in Detroit, MI, and completed his Master of Science in Bioengineering the University of Michigan. He completed his residency program in general surgery at St. John Hospital in Detroit. He was a National Library of Medicine Medical Informatics Fellow at Harvard Medical School from 1990-1993 and worked in industry until joining the UNMC faculty in 2001. Dr. McClay is past chair of the American College of Emergency Physicians Informatics Membership Section and chairs the HL7 Emergency Care Workgroup. His research focuses on the capture, analysis and use of clinical data to improve health.


Lead Patient Advisor: Cheryl Jernigan, CPA, FACHE
Institution: University of Kansas Medical Center

Cheryl Jernigan, CPA, FACHE is a 19-year breast cancer "thriver" and a "co-survivor" with her husband, who is a survivor of metastatic prostate cancer and HPV tonsil cancer. She is the Lead Advocate for the Greater Plains Collaborative's grant to develop a Clinical Data Research Network (CDRN) as part of The National Patient-Centered Clinical Research Network (PCORnet). In her research advocacy work, Cheryl is a member of Susan G. Komen's (national) Scientific Advisory Board, which oversees Komen's breast cancer research program; and a member of the steering committee for Komen's Advocates in Science program. She also serves as a member of the National Cancer Institute's Central Institutional Review Board for Adult Late Phase Clinical Trials; The V Foundation's Scientific Grant Panel; the Clinical Trials Transformation Initiative's Steering Committee; and the Multi-Regional Clinical Trials Center's Working Group on Returning Clinical Trial Results to Participants.


Site PI: Elizabeth Chrischilles, PhD
Institution: University of Iowa

Dr. Chrischilles, professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Director of its Health Effectiveness Research Center, holds the Pomerantz Chair in Public Health in the University of Iowa College of Public Health. Dr. Chrischilles is Associate Director for Population Sciences in the University's Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center. Her research involves using electronic healthcare databases, engaging patients, and collecting patient-reported outcomes to address comparative effectiveness questions, particularly for older adults and patients with multiple chronic conditions. She is Co-Director of Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Research Design for the University of Iowa Institute for Clinical and Translational Sciences. Dr. Chrischilles is currently leading a breast cancer outcomes research agenda in the Greater Plains Collaborative.


Site PI: Genevieve Melton-Meaux, MD, PhD, FACMI, FACS, FASCRS 
Institution: University of Minnesota Academic Health Center

Genevieve Melton-Meaux is Associate Professor of Surgery and Core Faculty of the Institute for Health Informatics at the University of Minnesota (UMN). She serves as the Chief Health Information Officer (CHIO) for Fairview Health Services and University of Minnesota Physicians where she leads efforts to strategically optimize the institution's enterprise EHR and other HIT, as well as manages the Enterprise Data Reporting and Analytics team. Her research interests are clinical natural language processing (NLP) tool application and development, improving note usage in EHRs, evaluating biomedical standards in practice, and improving surgical care with informatics. She co-leads the UMN Clinical NLP-IE Research Group and has served on the CTSA Key Function Committee for Informatics. Nationally, she serves on the Clinical Informatics Subspecialty Board Committee of the American Board of Preventative Medicine and the American Medical Informatics Public Policy and Nomination Committees. A practicing colorectal surgeon, Dr. Melton-Meaux is board certified in Clinical Informatics, Surgery, and Colorectal Surgery.


Site PI: Lindsay Cowell, PhD
Institution: University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center

Dr. Cowell has built a research program focused on the development of bioinformatics and computational biology methods for studying the immune system and infections diseases. In particular, her work has focused on the somatic diversification of antigen receptor-encoding genes and the development of computable representations of qualitative biological and clinical information. Within each of these areas, she has developed projects that emphasize methodologic developments as well as projects focused on answering specific biological questions.


Site PI: Marc Drezner, MD
Institution: University of Wisconsin - Madison

Drezner has been an active researcher for the past 41 years, using laboratory and clinical research relating to metabolic bone disease to translate basic science findings to the bedside. He is Executive Director of the NIH CTSA-funded University of Wisconsin-Madison Institute for Clinical and Translational Research and Senior Associate Dean in the School of Medicine and Public Health. He has also served on the external advisory board for the Wisconsin National Primate Research Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and on a number of committees, including the steering committee of the University of Wisconsin Institute of Aging, the University of Wisconsin Faculty Senate, the University of Wisconsin Medical Foundation's Financial Committee and the University of Wisconsin Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee.


Site PI: Mark Hoffman, PhD
Institution: Children's Mercy Hospital

Dr. Mark Hoffman received his PhD from the University of Wisconsin - Madison and performed post-doctoral research at the National Animal Disease Center in Ames, Iowa. Before Joining CMH, he served as Director of the Center for Health Insights at the University of Missouri - Kansas City (UMKC), where he also served as an Associate Professor in the Department of Biomedical and Health Informatics and the Department of Pediatrics. He also spent 16 years leading genomics, public health and research initiatives at Cerner Corporation, where he was a Vice President. In addition to his peer-reviewed publications, Mark is an inventor on 17 issued patents. He recently was the PI on a University of Missouri System Interdisciplinary, Intercampus grant.


Site PI: Robert Greenlee, PhD, MPH 
Institution: Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Population Health (CCEPH), Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation

Dr. Greenlee is a tenured research scientist and epidemiologist in CCEPH with primary interests in the clinical epidemiology of cancer and cardiovascular diseases, and in the quality, effectiveness, and outcomes of health care. He is an adjunct associate professor in the Department of Population Health Sciences at the University of Wisconsin (UW) School of Medicine and Public Heath, and has several roles within the UW Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (ICTR). Dr. Greenlee earned a PhD in Epidemiology from Emory University in Atlanta, GA, and joined MCRF in 2000 as a staff scientist supporting the development, maintenance, and collaborative research using the Marshfield Epidemiologic Study Area (MESA).


Site PI: Bradley Taylor
Institution: Medical College of Wisconsin

Bradley Taylor is the Chief Research Informatics Officer at the Medical College of Wisconsin, where he leads Biomedical Informatics for the Clinical and Translational Science Institute of Southeast Wisconsin. He and his team integrate information technology systems, electronic health records, clinical databases, and tissue repositories throughout CTSI's partner institutions to support clinical and translational research. Brad is actively involved in the collaborative sharing of resources and expertise with multiple CTSAs nationally where close attention is paid to the tools and systems developed by each entity to avoid duplication of efforts. His goal is to positively impact the lives of people in our community and beyond by providing efficient, innovative technology solutions for both patient care and translational research.


Site PI: Alfredo Tirado-Ramos, PhD
Institution: University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

As chief and founder of the Clinical Informatics Research Division of the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, Dr. Tirado-Ramos leads a full-spectrum biomedical informatics program and explores the intersection between informatics, translational science, and clinically relevant data-centric problems including, but not limited to, computable phenotype-based research in health disparities, obesity, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, ageing, and cancer. He created and maintains an information research system for interdisciplinary collaboration between pediatric endocrinologists, cancer researchers and neurologists, creating new institutional governance frameworks along the way. He also co-directs the informatics core at the Claude Pepper Older Americans Independence Center, a National Institute on Aging award, where he works on state of the art informatics infrastructures to investigate innovative interventions that target the aging process as well as aging-related diseases, with a major focus on pharmacologic interventions.


Site PI: Jerry Parker, PhD
Institution: University of Missouri

Dr. Jerry Parker is associate dean for research and a professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at the MU School of Medicine. He is also co-director of the MU Institute for Clinical and Translational Science and MU Coulter Translational Partnership Program. As a researcher, Dr. Parker maintained continuous funding for more than 30 years. His interests encompass health informatics, health outcomes and comparative effectiveness research. For nearly 15 years, he was principal investigator and director of the Missouri Arthritis Rehabilitation Research and Training Center. He has served on the National Institutes of Health's National Advisory Board for Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases and was a member of the NIH Consensus Panel on Traumatic Brain Injury. He has also served on national peer review panels for the NIH, National Institute for Disability and Rehabilitation Research, VA, and Arthritis Foundation.


Site PI: Bill Barnett, PhD
Institution: Indiana University

William Barnett is the Chief Research Informatics Officer (CRIO) for the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI) and the Regenstrief Institute. In that role, he has a dual integrated mission. First, to provide, integrate, and advance biomedical informatics services, including process-based services like the clinical trials, data management, and web portal services provided by the Indiana CTSI, and also to lead the research data and analytics services. Secondly, to provide informatics research leadership to develop and apply innovative informatics approaches to advancing healthcare research as a Regenstrief Investigator. He is also a Visiting Associate Research Professor in the Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics at the IU School of Medicine, and the PI of the Informatics Core for the Collaborative Initiative on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (CIFASD).


Development mailing list

Technical notes and milestones

Governance Council, by site:

  • KUMC: Russ Waitman
  • CMH: Mark Hoffman
  • Iowa: Betsy Chrischilles
  • MCRF: Robert Greenlee
  • MCW: Brad Taylor
  • Minnesota: Constantin Aliferis, Genevieve Melton-Meaux
  • UNMC: James McClay
  • UTHSCSA: Alfredo Tirado-Ramos
  • UT-Southwestern: Lindsay Cowell
  • WISC: Marc Drezner
  • University of Missouri: Jerry Parker
  • Indiana University: Bill Barnett
  • UC-Davis: Brad Pollock, Methods Core Lead

Honest Brokers, by site:

  • KUMC: Tamara McMahon
  • CMH: Warren Teachout
  • Iowa: Prakash Nadkarni
  • MCRF: Laurel Verhagen
  • MCW: Brad Taylor (de-identified); Kathy Williams (identified)
  • UMN: Kathleen McKay
  • UNMC: Jim McClay
  • UTHSCSA: Laura Manuel
  • UT-Southwestern: Susan Morrison (primary); Phillip Reeder (back-up)
  • WISC: Eneida Mendonca (primary); Tom Mish (secondary)
  • MU: Abu Mosa
  • IU: Brenda Hudson

IRB Representatives, by site:

  • KUMC: Chris Griffith
  • CMH: Amanda Bierstine
  • Iowa: Michele Countryman
  • MCRF: Lori Scheller
  • MCW: Connie Byrne
  • UMN: Erin Venegoni
  • UNMC: Gail Paulsen
  • UTHSCSA: Kim Summers
  • UT-Southwestern: Rhonda Oilepo
  • WISC: Mike Bingham (GPC IRB Facilitator)
  • MU: Michele Kennet
  • IU: Amy Waltz

To cite/acknowledge the GPC, please use the following citation:

  • Waitman, L.R., Aaronson, L.S., Nadkarni, P.M., Connolly, D.W. & Campbell, J.R. The Greater Plains Collaborative: a PCORnet Clinical Research Data Network. J Am Med Inform Assoc 21, 637-641 (2014).


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