Vice President & Chief Information Officer
Georgia Hospital Association
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
As vice president and chief information officer of the Georgia Hospital Association (GHA) — the largest healthcare trade association in Georgia — Steven McWilliams has his finger on the pulse of the state’s healthcare industry.
“GHA serves more than 150 hospitals in Georgia. Our purpose is to promote the health and welfare of the public through the development of better hospital care for all of Georgia’s citizens,” he said.
The association provides information and education to its members on issues ranging from healthcare access to effective hospital management and regulatory compliance best practices.
McWilliams first joined GHA in 2015 as director of IT services before assuming his current position overseeing IT strategy and operations for the association in 2017. As the agency’s CIO, McWilliams has helped GHA and its member hospitals weather the global pandemic, skilled workforce shortages and ever-changing cybersecurity threats — including the growing prevalence of ransomware attacks targeting hospital systems and other healthcare providers.
Leading the agency through the challenges of the past few years has given McWilliams new insights on leadership. While some may think of leadership as a purely intellectual pursuit, he knows now that it also requires courage, strong communication skills, confident risk-taking abilities and, perhaps above all, a clear vision.
“Being able to see the big picture allows leaders to know where the business is going and make adjustments as needed along the way,” McWilliams said. “Having a clear vision helps keep everyone in sync, moving in the same, forward direction.”
Under McWilliams’ leadership, GHA’s IT teams created and executed a new cloud storage strategy, developed a robust mobile app experience for in-person member events, consolidated data collection and facilitated other operational upgrades that improved member management and engagement.
“Leveraging an understanding of technology and a willingness to engage, Steven has participated on panels, contributed to roundtables, authored articles, and is involved in mentorship programs, building relationships across industries,” McWilliams’ team said. McWilliams and his staff remain at the ready to help member hospitals navigate the everchanging landscape of modern healthcare — from responding to potential new COVID-19 variants and cyber threats to adapting to workforce shortages and the growing popularity of telehealth delivery options.
“As disruption in healthcare continues, issues around cybersecurity, workforce and telehealth will remain at the forefront,” McWilliams said.
By developing partnerships with sister hospital associations around the country in the coming years, McWilliams hopes to expand GHA’s leadership role in helping hospitals address the most pressing healthcare challenges of the post- COVID-19 era.
A respected leader in his field, McWilliams has authored and contributed to articles published in Georgia Trend magazine and CIO Review. He was a finalist for the 2019 Georgia CIO ORBIE award and received a 2021–2022 Global Leadership Institute Award from HMG Strategy. He is an active member of several boards and organizations, including the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society and the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives.
Steven has done some voice over work for the local PBS affiliate out of Seattle, WA. If you were in that area back in the early 2000 time period, you may have heard his voice in between your favorite PBS show.