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Press Room

U.S. News and World Report Interviews Local Expert in One of Cutting-edge Careers for 2008

For Immediate Release:  Woodstock, IL  -  December 20, 2007

U.S. News and World Report has interviewed Merida L. Johns, PhD, owner of the Bundling Board Inn and former university professor, for an article appearing in U.S. News and World Report Online on December 19th about the top cutting-edge careers for 2008.  Dr. Johns was interviewed because of her expertise and leadership in health informatics, one of the careers identified in the article as cutting edge for 2008. 

Health informatics is identified as one of a dozen cutting-edge careers that is poised for future growth because of the growing healthcare demand that requires more and better quality health data and information.  “Implementation of electronic health records, diagnostic decision support systems, and regional health information networks require health informatics specialists to design and develop sophisticated computer systems,” says Johns. The “job market for health informatics specialists is out of sight,” she adds.

Health informatics is an umbrella term for a range of careers involved with the management of patient-related and health information.  The article stresses that while there are many opportunities for those traditionally thought of as “techies,” there are also ample options for individuals with business and analysis skills.  For example the health information systems analyst works with physicians, nurses and other healthcare practitioners and examines current healthcare information processes for improvement and subsequently develops the data architecture blueprint that is provided to programmers for the actual software development.  The article states that individuals who receive a bachelor’s or master’s in health information management are likely to have a good, secure job waiting that will play a crucial role in improving the quality of American healthcare.

Dr. Johns has had a distinguished career in health informatics over the past three decades.  She started her career in health informatics working in administrative capacities in hospitals in the early 1970’s, and directed some of the earliest computer usage in healthcare.  She received her doctorate from The Ohio State University with a concentration in information systems, systems theory, and research and evaluation.  Later she was a tenured professor at Ohio State University and coordinated the Master’s in biomedical computing program there.   Her groundbreaking research on the roles and functions of healthcare chief information officers led her to the University of Alabama at Birmingham where she founded the first master’s degree program in health informatics in the United States specifically designed for educating individuals for executive leadership positions as Chief Information Officers in hospitals and other healthcare facilities.  Later she assumed a full-time faculty position in the School of Business, Loyola University Chicago, where she directed the graduate program in information systems management.  Dr. Johns is currently a Visiting Professor in the graduate program in health informatics at The College of St. Scholastica, Duluth.

Dr. Johns is a sought-after speaker in the field and has authored numerous articles that have appeared in national and international journals and has presented testimony to the U.S. Congress as an expert in health information privacy issues.  She is the author of several professional books and her textbook Health Information Management:  An Applied Approach is the most widely used textbook in the health information management field.  Her current interests focus in development and management of high productive work teams.

The U.S. News and World Report article on health informatics can be viewed at:

The U.S. News and World Report article on best careers for 2008, including health informatics, can be viewed at:

For additional information about Dr. Johns and her current professional work, visit:  http://www.mljohnsphd.com

Contact:  Merida Johns,PhD




220 E. South Street * Woodstock, IL  60098

Copyright 2007 - M.L. Johns.  All Rights Reserved