LA HIMSS Board of Directors

Mark A. Schroeder


Mr. Schroeder is married and living in New Orleans, LA. He received his BA from Tulane University, and MS from the University of New Orleans. Currently, Mark works for LSU Healthcare Services Division department of Healthcare Effectiveness as the Director of Application Development. Mark has over 15 years of experience developing, deploying, and supporting a wide variety of Health IT applications.


Paul Douglas, CISA, CCSFP

President-Elect, Programs Chair

Mr. Douglas is an Associate Director in P&N’s Consulting services division. His primary focus is within the Healthcare Industry specializing in IT Risk Management, Cybersecurity, and IT Compliance. Douglas has worked with over 25 Health Systems, Hospitals, and Insurance Providers across the Gulf Coast region. He has extensive experience assisting covered entities with compliance and risk management associated with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Security Rule, HITECH Act, PCI DSS, and various other cybersecurity frameworks. Aside from the Healthcare Industry, Douglas works with a wide variety of clients including academic and financial institutions and not for profit organizations. He volunteers and serves as a committee chair for the Association of Healthcare Internal Auditors (AHIA).

Elizabeth Hartley-Sommers

Past President*

Ms. Hartley-Sommers is educated as a nurse and is a nerd by passion. She has worked as a bedside clinician, a manager of home health and hospice agencies, designer and implementer of EMR technologies, and most recently as the Clinical Data Exchange Manager of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana. Ms. Hartley-Sommers is a Six Sigma Black Belt and a Professional of the Academy of Healthcare Management. She recently attained her Master of Science in Integrated Healthcare Management and has seen the healthcare system from the eyes of a clinician, manager and IT professional as well as a chronically ill patient with insulin dependent diabetes. Ms. Hartley-Sommers also serves on the HIMSS National Interoperability and HIE Committee. She is putting to work her tenacity for innovation, dedication to evolving the healthcare model and drive for simple, standard, repeatable processes to improve the lives of patients, like herself, who need healthcare to be as seamless and person centered as other aspects of daily life.



Ms. Fuller is an associate professor in the Department of Health Informatics and Information Management at Louisiana Tech University. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree and a Master of Business Administration, both from Louisiana Tech University and a Certificate in Health Informatics from the College of St. Scholastica. For more than 20 years, she has taught courses in clinical classification and terminology systems, health data structure and standards. During this time she has also served as a trainer in ICD-10 coding for multiple health care facilities in Louisiana as well as many other regions in the U.S. As a member of the Louisiana Chapter of HIMSS, she assists with communication issues related to the association. She is a former president of the Louisiana Health Information Management Association and presently is a member of the American Health Information Management Association Consumer Engagement Task Force.

Alan Thriffiley


Mr. Thriffiley is a Project Manager for LSU Health Care Services Division’s Center for Healthcare Effectiveness and brings over 15 years of healthcare IT and medical informatics expertise to HITAC. Experience includes management of program development, technical infrastructure, implementation, support and maintenance of EHRs, ancillary clinical and financial information systems, analytics and telemedicine systems, and the administration and operations of Disease Management, Wellness and Population Health programs. Contributions to the CMS eCQM National Testing Collaborative (NTC) and the Healthcare Services Platform Consortium (HSPC) allow Thriffiley to bring improved healthcare outcomes and interoperability solutions at a national level. Thriffiley is a HIMSS Fellow and has previously served as President of the Louisiana Chapter of HIMSS. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Louisiana Chapter of HIMSS, the Louisiana Tech University Health Informatics Advisory Board, and is a member of the HIMSS National Chapters Task Force.

Allen Abshire

Sponsorship Chair & Member At Large*

Mr. Abshire joined the Louisiana Health Care Quality Forum in 2012 as Manager of Business Operations and Technology Services and is currently serving as the Director of HIT Operations. In this role, he oversees the daily operations of the Louisiana Health Information Exchange (LaHIE), working with new participants to ensure EHR system connectivity and managing the Master Patient Index. He also collaborates with leadership and partners in all Quality Forum initiatives to evaluate technology uses that may have a positive impact on the delivery of health care in Louisiana. Mr. Abshire’s career includes over 30 years in information technology, including over 20 in the field of health care information technology. He has worked in various roles with regional HIEs, including Healthcare Access San Antonio, Greater Houston Healthconnect and LaHIE, and has served on the Louisiana HIT Committee and subcommittees. Prior to joining LHCQF, he served as Program Manager for HIE, Telehealth and ACO for CHRISTUS Health – St. Patrick, where he was responsible for CHRISTUS HIE and patient portal oversight after serving as the Regional CIO of CHRISTUS Southwest Louisiana at CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital for 12 years. Mr. Abshire has been active in several organizations, including the Technology Council of the SWLA Chamber of Commerce, Rural Healthcare Communications Pilot Program, and the Southwest Louisiana Region 5 Healthcare Subcommittee for Mutual Aid Society.

Hank Fanberg

Advocacy Chair

Mr. Fanberg is a member of the Office of the CIO and Director, Technology Advocacy for CHRISTUS Health, one of the nation’s largest faith based Catholic Health Care Systems with facilities in seven states and three countries. He supports CHRISTUS’ system wide strategy for health information technology, focusing on legislative/regulatory policy and its impact to the health system and HIT’s role in enabling efficient, convenient, safe, person-centric and cost effective care. He helped found and was the Executive Director for the Health Information Network of South Texas (ONC HIE) and is the associate project coordinator for the FCC’s Rural Health Care Pilot Program in Texas. He is the immediate past president of the Louisiana HIMSS chapter and is a member of National HIMSS’ Professional Development Committee. He chairs the Louisiana Department of Health’s Health IT Advisory CommitteeMr. Fanberg is active in a number of associations including the American Telemedicine Association, AcademyHealth (where he is vice chair of its Health IT interest group), The American Hospital Association’s Health IT work group, and the Personal Connected Health Alliance. Mr. Fanberg received his M.B.A. from The University of New Orleans where he is currently a Ph.D. student in urban affairs. He received his undergraduate degree from Rutgers College; he graduated from Loyola (New Orleans) University’s Institute of Politics and has guest lectured at Johns Hopkins University’s M.B.A. for physicians. He is adjunct faculty at Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi’s School of Nursing and The University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill’s Gillings School of Global Public Health.

Bryan Taylor

Communications Chair

Bryan Taylor is a Family Nurse Practitioner with a passion for exploring the way technology continues to impact and improve the delivery of care. A graduate of Louisiana State University, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and Southeastern Louisiana University; Bryan started his nursing career as an acute care nurse in the Baton Rouge area hospitals. Later as an NP, he worked in a variety of clinic and hospital settings including occupational and workplace medicine, urgent care, hospice, as well as specialty and primary care practice.

Bryan joined Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana in 2014 and has been part of the team which helped stand up their telehealth platform capability, BlueCare, which currently enables members to access an MD 24 x 7 for minor health issues. Bryan and the Blue Cross Blue Shield operations and clinical teams continue to work alongside providers and health systems in Louisiana to explore the use of technology in delivering care. For example, Blue Cross Blue Shield along with provider partners recently launched a telehealth pilot delivering real time virtual dietitian services to members with Diabetes.

Bryan plans to continue learning more about how technology is being used to enhance the delivery of physical and mental healthcare and share it with the LA HIMSS community. As this year’s LA HIMSS Communications Committee Chair, he would like to invite others here to reach out, connect, and share their insight and passion for how information technology is evolving care.

Michelle Martin, MBA

Program Development Chair

Ms. Martin is an Associate Professor at Louisiana Tech University in the Health Informatics and Information Management Department. She received her Bachelor of Science in Health Information Administration from Louisiana Tech University in 1994. Since that time Martin obtained two Masters degrees both from Louisiana Tech University. She obtained a Masters in Business Administration in 1998 and a Masters in Education with a Business Concentration in 2005. Prior to coming to Louisiana Tech as a Associate Professor in 1998 she was Director of Health Information and Medical Staff Coordinator at a rural hospital in North Louisiana. She is an AHIMA ICD-10 Trainer and Fellow of the American Health Information Management Association.

Jeff Rayder, PMP, CLSSGB

Membership Chair

Mr. Rayder earned his B.A. in Political Science from Louisiana State University in 1999. He brings more than 20 years’ experience supporting IT infrastructure and has served as a Senior Project Manager implementing state-wide infrastructure and clinical support projects during the past 10 years for the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System (FMOLHS). Mr. Rayder currently serves as the Director of the Epic Community Connect Program for FMOLHS with a focus on business development, cost modeling, marketing and sales coordination. He has also been a member of the Project Management Institute attending and speaking at Baton Rouge, Louisiana chapter events for the past 8 years.

*Designates LA Chapter board officers.