LA HIMSS Board of Directors

Errol Labat, MBA, CISA


Mr. Labat is currently serving as Director of Enterprise Risk Management and Audit Consulting for BlueCross and BlueShield of Louisiana. Professional experience is primarily in Information Technology, 25 years, and management, 30 years, including 10 years in senior management as a CIO. Additional experience includes Director of Corporate Project Management Office (CPMO), Director of IT Audit, and Sr. Director of Data Center Services. Industry sector experience includes, banking, healthcare provider/delivery services, I/T outsourcing services, health insurance, and state government. Labat is a founding board member of the LA Chapter of HIMSS and has served as president and treasurer during his 15 years of service on the board. Labat has a BS degree in Computer Science from Louisiana State University and MBA from University of Southeastern Louisiana.


Past President*

Mr. Cothern is the President and CEO of Healthcare Informatics Resource Exchange, an independent consultancy specializing in clinical workflow optimization, EHR implementation and adoption, data analytics, clinical decision support and IT project management. He is a graduate of Loyola University, New Orleans and has been a registered nurse for 20 years. Cothern has over 16 years of experience in improving healthcare through information technology for both large and small organizations across the country. Cothern is the current President of the Louisiana Chapter of HIMSS and has previously served as the HIE Liaison, Programs Chair and as President in 2011. He was recently selected to serve on the HIMSS National Committee on Nursing Informatics. He also serves on the Louisiana Tech University Health Informatics Advisory Board and previously served on the Louisiana ICD 10 Readiness Task Force. Cothern is a Fellow of the Healthcare Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS) and has previously served on the HIMSS Chapter Task Force.  Cothern is also a veteran who served for nine years as a medic in the Louisiana Army National Guard. 

Elizabeth Hartley-Sommers

President Elect* and Communications Chair

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.

Claudia Miller, CPHIMS, FHIMSS, MBA, PMP


Ms. Miller has directed healthcare IT projects for almost 20 years. She has a deep appreciation for population health management, working with clients, such as The Mayo Clinic, and became an expert in Project Management, serving as CIO of a multi-specialty 90+ physician group, Director of Physician Information Services for a major hospital and PMO Director of a large health system before landing at The Chartis Group. She spoke about the ambulatory EMR at HIMSS14 and at the Clinical & Business Intelligence Symposium prior to HIMSS15. Her articles have been featured in JHIM, HIStalk, H&HN, CHIME and HIMSS C&BI. She is a PMP, Lean Six Sigma Green Belt, a Certified Professional with HIMSS, certified as a Scaled Agile Framework Practitioner, a Founding LAHIMSS board member and a member of the HIMSS C&BI Population Health Task Force. She earned a BS in Computer Science and an MBA at Louisiana State University.

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.

Mark Schroeder

Member at Large* & Sponsorship Chair

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 a Project Coordinator and Software Developer. Mark has over 12 years of experience developing, deploying, and supporting a wide variety of Health IT applications.


Nadine Robin

Member At Large*

Ms. Robin serves as Health IT Program Director for the Louisiana Health Care Quality Forum. She is responsible for integrating the needs of the health IT program’s goals and objectives with state and federal agencies as well as with partnering organizations, groups and associations. Her role also involves strategic and tactical planning of behalf of the program and ensuring that all state and federal deliverables are met within established timelines. During her time with the Quality Forum, Robin has developed extensive experience in Meaningful Use, EHR adoption/implementation, patient engagement and HIE advancement and spoken at regional, state and national levels about issues related to these topics. In addition, Robin plans and implements services related to the Louisiana Health Information Technology (LHIT) Resource Center and the Louisiana Health Information Exchange (LaHIE). She oversees daily operations, staffing and resource requirements; establishes quality standards and evaluation procedures; and ensures value for LHIT Resource Center clients and LaHIE participants. Robin is the Past-president of the Louisiana Chapter of the Healthcare Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS) and has served on that organization’s Board of Directors since 2013. She is also a Committee Member for the Advisory Board of the Masters in Health Informatics Program at Louisiana Tech.  Robin holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Marketing from Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, La.

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. 

Paul Douglas, CISA, CCSFP

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).

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.

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.


Program Development Co-Chair

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.  

Allen Abshire

Program Committee Member

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.

*Designates LA Chapter board officers.