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CIO Unplugged – 12/1/07

December 1, 2007 Ed Marx No Comments

The views and opinions expressed in this blog are mine personally, and are not necessarily representative of Texas Health Resources or its subsidiaries.

My Journey to CIO
By Ed Marx

As a 16 year old sanitation engineer (they called us janitors back in the 80’s) working the evening shift at the 21st Medical Group Clinic at Peterson Air Force Base, I never envisioned myself having a healthcare career. I was more concerned about adjusting the volume on my new Sony Walkman than how dirty the floor looked. That is, until I met Tech Sergeant Samuelson. Samuelson worked in the ED where I signed in and out for each shift. He loved his job and it showed in his smile. He had a passion I did not. Unknowingly, Samuelson seeded my vision to serve in a profession where I could impact the lives of people—as he did mine.

The summer prior to college, I enlisted in the Army Reserves and became a Combat Medic. Although I had limited opportunity to serve others in an actual crisis, I relished the time I spent training soldiers for the worst. It was more than a job. As my university studies progressed, I left the medical corps to be commissioned as a Combat Engineer Officer. I enjoyed the challenge, but I missed giving shots and driving an ambulance. In a job that appeared to be a diverging footpath in graduate school, I gained an appreciation for technology and its ability to enhance processes and enable transformation. Consider it another experience that laid another slab in the foundation of my future. The question was how my passion for healthcare would meld with my emerging interest in technology.

As providence guided, I landed a position at a community hospital as an Anesthesia Aide. I had applied for dozens of senior positions, but because of my lack of relative experience, I couldn’t land any interviews. As an Anesthesia Aide, I honed my clinical experience and learned more about patient care processes. This season was key to my future. I developed relationships with clinicians and administrators and was eventually offered a position in administration. Unlike the traditional CIO, I rose up through the business ranks while attaining both clinical and technology experience. In leveraging these three divergent disciplines, I discovered my niche but, moreover, I allowed my vision and passion to move me forward into my calling.

My career soared and afforded me many cherished memories of institutions and people about whom I will write. I have served as a leader in academia, single hospitals and IDN’s, for-profit, and not for profit, the last 5 years as a CIO. But what stokes my fire each day is knowing in my heart of hearts that what you and I do as professionals in healthcare information technology has a significant impact on those whom we serve, primarily our collective patients. Stay tuned to “CIO Unplugged.”


Ed Marx is senior vice president and CIO at Texas Health Resources in Dallas-Fort Worth, TX. Ed encourages your interaction through this blog. (Use the “add a comment” function at the bottom of each post.) You can also connect with him directly through his profile pages on social networking sites LinkedIn and Facebook, and you can follow him via Twitter – User Name “marxists.”

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