FCHN Chief Information Officer appointed by governor to ConnectME Authority
FARMINGTON - Gov. Paul Lepage has appointed Ralph Johnson, chief information officer (CIO) at Franklin Community Health Network (FCHN), to serve as a board member of ConnectMe Authority. The goal of the Authority is to facilitate universal availability of broadband service and to increase the “take rate,” which is critical to Maine’s education and economic prosperity.
In 2006, the Legislature created the ConnectME Authority to develop and carry out its broadband strategy by identifying unserved areas of the state; developing proposals for broadband expansion projects, demonstration projects and other initiatives; administering the process for selecting specific broadband projects; and providing funding, resources and incentives. Since its inception, broadband access or availability has risen to more than 90 percent with 52 percent of Maine households subscribing to some type of broadband service (compared to 62 percent nationally). The Authority’s goal is to equal or exceed the national average.
During Johnson’s tenure at Franklin Community Health Network that started in 2006, information technology has been a priority. In 2007, FCHN led a consortium of health care providers to receive an award from the Federal Communications Commission to bring broadband to western and central rural Maine. The project connected high capacity fiber optic cables to 11 health care facilities, including four hospitals. In July 2011, Franklin Memorial Hospital was named among the nation’s “most wired” hospitals according to the results of the 2011 Most Wired Survey Benchmarking Study released in the American Hospital Association’s journal Hospitals & Health Networks.
Johnson is a certified health care CIO from the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives and is active in the Health Information Systems Management Society, the Healthcare Finance Management Association, and the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives.