Feb 25 2008

About Tom

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Tom Munnecke Self Portrait Tom Munnecke is one of the world’s leading experts in health information technology, having been a lead software designer on two of the largest electronic health record systems: Veteran’s Administration’s VistA and Department of Defense’s Composite Health Care System.  He has consulted internationally on hospital computer systems in France, Spain, Finland, Japan, Australia, Nigeria, England, and Germany, and has given keynote addresses, television and radio interviews in dozens of countries.  He was asked to testify at US Senate Hearing on the Future of Health IT,  and was interviewed as one of the Pew Foundation Internet Visionaries for an oral history of the Internet.  He was a visiting scholar and fellow at Stanford University’s Digital Visions Program.

Mr. Munnecke is active as a consultant and an entrepreneur, and is a board member on several health IT startups.  He is particularly interested in innovation at the intersection of health care and personalization and social network technologies.

He holds frequent workshops, salons, and networking events in a cabana at his home in Encinitas, Ca. designed by James Hubbell.

Munnecke was a Computer Specialist with the VA from 1978-1986, one of the founders of the Hardhats and the Underground Railroad In 1986, he moved to Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) in La Jolla, which he left in 2002 as a Vice President and Chief Scientist in their health IT group to pursue broader business and philanthropic activities.  He was active in the early days of the World Wide Web consortium and participated in the corporate SAIC team that acquired Network Solutions and took it public (which netted SAIC $3 billion).  Mr. Munnecke was one of the initial investors of RealAge, acquired by Hearst Communications.
Mr. Munnecke was active in the early days of microcomputers, freelance writing for Popular Mechanics and Byte magazines, as well as co-founding Elcomp, one of the first German personal computer magazines. He wrote a book, Der Freundliche Computer, in German, and met Bill Gates just after he left Harvard, and Steve Jobs and Steve Wosniak the day the announced the Apple II in 1977.

He was one of the first to write about the Personal Health Record, and co-authored (with Dr. Robert Kolodner) the opening chapter to Person-Centered Health Records: Towards Health ePeople.  He has written many other papers on the future of Health IT.  He has also made a series of videos about the history of VistA.

Non-Profit/Volunteer Activities

About 2000, he began looking at the broader issues of using technology to make the world a better place. He started the Uplift Academy, which has been supported by the Omidyar Network, The Philanthropic Enterprise, Donors Trust, the Compton Foundation, and others.  He was a Sr. Fellow at Civic Ventures.  He is also mentors a number of younger people getting their start in the non-profit world. Cosmos Research Center Staff

He started the Cosmos Research Center, a children’s science center, and is a NASA/JPL Solar Systems Ambassador.  He enjoys putting on a lab coat to give science talks at schools.

He has been on the advisory board of the San Diego Science Festival and has been a judge for the MIT IDEAS Competition. He is also a docent at the Elfin Forest Nature Preserve, where he helped set up a science center.

Hobby Activities

He enjoys photography, film making, composing electronic music, and dabble with classical guitar and Djembe in drum circles. His photographs are sold through Getty Images, but for non-profit use he may release his work through a Creative Commons license.

Although he’s lived in southern California most of his life, he’s traveled to 70+ countries, and lived in London, Ontario for a year as a 7-year old, and Goettingen, Germany as a 15 year old.  He enjoy sailing, and, in his college days, soaring (fixed wing gliders, not hang-gliders).  Over the years, he’s also taken up scuba diving, amateur radio, composting, vermiculture (worm composting), bird watching/photography, Astro Photography,  nature photography.  He started a soaring club while a student at UCR Riverside, building a gliderport just a few miles from March Air Force Base, then a Strategic Air Command during the Vietnam war.  Amazingly, he got permission for his student members to fly in the March Air space, as long as they called the control tower before flying.

He maintains a journal/blog  and tweets as @tom_munnecke

I can be reached by using my last name @ google’s mail service.



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